02 May 2010

Doctor Who: 05.05: Flesh and Stone (part 2 of 2)

As the two-parter concludes with Flesh and Stone, we are given the first detailed look at the fifth season’s arc. Since the start of the season, and every episode since, we’ve seen the mysterious cracks in time. What they represented was never explained, until this story. The Doctor realizes now that these cracks are causing time to be unwritten, which explains why Amy could not remember Daleks and the events of The Stolen Earth and Journey's End. The Doctor also mentions (as to what many fans asked when The Next Doctor aired) why the history records failed to record the Cyber-King rampaging over Victorian London.

The question is, how and who is doing this. We also get another mention of the Pandorica (which is part of the title of the penultimate episode of the season), but no clue as to what that means either -though a friend of mine suggests that River Song’s diary is the Pandorica (and did anyone else notice the giant Eye from The Eleventh Hour during the sequence where River and the Doctor are on the flight deck? There is a loud noise, and River turns away from the small view screen, which looks like its vertical hold has gone all crazy. The Eye pops up very quickly and then vanishes).

The episode builds on the tension from Time of Angels, though I found some of the Doctor explanations about the Angels a bit paper tigerish in the sense that he jumped to a lot of conclusions instead of actually figuring things out; especially when he says the Angels could not get Amy because she had her eyes close (and then River beams her out, which strikes me as a bit of deus ex machina, and makes me wonder why writer Steven Moffat had her separated from the others in the first place).

While River Song (and guest star Alex Kingston) gets a bit side lined in part two, we learn that she was in prison for a murder (did she come from the same place as Prisoner Number One from The Eleventh Hour?). While its never said whom she killed, Moffat seems to go out of the way to hint that it is the Doctor. And, there is a great part where the Doctor gets very angry at River, and she reacts as if she’s never seen him be that way. Besides, it was nice to see the Doctor show some anger.

The ending is also a bit odd. I’m unsure what it represents -Amy wanting a one night stand with the Doctor the night before her wedding. It seemed to come from nowhere, as she has showed no signs in the previous episodes that she fancied him. Then again, in conjunction with the cracks in time and the beam out River performed on Amy, could we be seeing an alternate version of Amy?

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