Doctor Who: Flesh and Stone

Written by the one and only Peter Grehan

This lived up to the expectations created by last week’s episode The Time of Angels. It is a story that is showcasing Steven Moffat’s writing at its best and it seems he has completely overcome any reticence with killing off his characters. These character deaths become opportunities to show their depth and culminate in the courageous death of Father Octavian. I was reminded of a passage in the bible that exhorts us not to fear the death of our bodies, but rather fear the death of our souls. This is the first science fiction story I have ever seen that actually showed us what that warning could mean. The appearance of the crack in time meant that people and angels could be removed from time itself, so that they never existed, never lived a life. There are things worse than death indeed. Also interesting was how Moffat worked one of the classics of fairytales, the forest, into his story in a way that is entirely plausible and logical.

The only part of the story I really didn’t like was Amy Pond’s attempt to “hump” the Doctor at the end of the episode. Just didn’t seem right for an episode of Doctor Who, especially given its younger audience.

Steven Moffat may have made a rod for his own back with the time altering “crack” story arch. Messing with timelines can be tricky, especially if people or angels cease to have existed. Do the dead they killed become alive again? Would the mission to destroy the weeping angel ever have been instigated in the first place? Why was there a prison ship waiting to collect River Song (great name by the way)? When there was now no longer a reason to have taken to her there anyway. It’s for this reason that science fiction writers should tread very carefully when messing with time lines. Unless of course you are Robert A. Heinlein, in which case you just embrace it and write something like All You Zombies.



5 comments


    Frank Sable

    May 6, 2010

    I think I’ve had holidays that have disappeared into a time crack. When I get back to work it’s like the holiday never happened!

    R Garner

    May 6, 2010

    I like the new Doctor but not as much as I loved David T, he needs to think about what he his saying instead of just blurting anything out that may sound intellegent and scientific.
    David T said everything from the heart.

    El Snizzo

    May 7, 2010

    Good write up Peter. I enjoy reading these.
    The Weeping Angels were my favourite baddie from the Tennant series. I don’t think they have all been killed off have they? Aren’t there still some in a basement somewhere?

    Its nice to see Iain Glenn on the screen again and Darren Morfitt (Spoony from Dog Soldiers).

    Writing about timelines is confusing and will always throw up questions that will lead to more questions and so on to more stories. I think its even trickier to aim these stories at younger audiences as well. The Futurama cartoon series does it superbly, indeed the main character ‘Fry’ is his own grandfather.

    A nice twist was seeing the Angels go from being bad to being scared as well, when they realised their impending doom.

    Matt Smith is an excellent choice too. There’s no change for me. Following David Tennant was always going to be difficult, but he’s pulled it off very well.

    Peter Grehan

    May 7, 2010

    Thanks Snizzo, I always remember it being a traumatic period when a new Doctor took over, but they’d always win you round in the end. Didn’t mean you couldn’t have your favorites though. I believe it’s always the first Doctor you see, the one that get’s you hooked on the series that people find the best. In my case in was the first Doctor, William Hartnell so I feel very lucky to have been there at the beginning.

    Frank Sable

    May 7, 2010

    We’re certain to see the weeping angels again. They’re too popular not to come back again. Just look at the number of times the Daleks and Cybermen have been killed off.

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