2MTL 132: "The Time of Angels" and the Perils of High Expectations

Could "The Time of Angels" live up to the relentless fan adulation, or was I doomed to disappointment because my expectations were just too inflated? Well…at least there was one big development in the Doctor's character that made the episode worthwhile.

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  1. Hi Chip. I totally agree with you and actually always do. I was seriously underwhelmed by the whole Weeping Angels story as it was just unoriginal and unexciting. I find the whole life cycle of the Weeping Angels a ridiculous premise, so much so that Moffat is having to change the rules. I am finding most of these stories lacking depth and intelligence. I won't spoil Vampires in Venice for you but it has so many flaws that a good script editor should have iron out before filming. Moffat is trying so hard to keep us tuned each week that the little unraveling mysteries he seems to introduce each week just irritate me. Now, no one knows if he put them by choice or error. VIV is just too flippant and slapstick for its own good and really, I am not looking forward to each episode with any enthusiasm any more. Fans are drooling over this series but looking at the forums they seem between 7 and 16. I guess I got into DW when I was 12 and have kept with it. Maybe I 've outgrown it. Keep uo your intelligent and critical reviews. You are the best.

  2. I have a bone to pick with you, my friend–which, as you know, is rare.

    A group of isolated people being picked of one by one by a powerful alien menace–too similar to "Silence in the Library" you say? How about too similar to a huge chunk of all Who episodes ever? "Horror of Fang Rock," "Robots of Death," and "Image of the Fendahl" are just three that come to mind. As with almost all Who stories, if you reduce it to its bare structural elements, it's bound to feel a bit same-y. "The Time of Angels" & "Flesh and Stone," have just the right twists to the formula, interesting characters, and whip-smart writing that make it rise above humdrum Who-by-numbers. It's true that overly high expectations can spoil–but I think, in this case, it was your judgment about the episode that let you down.

  3. Erik, while I agree that "a group of isolated people being picked off one by one by a powerful alien menace" is one of the 20 plotlines in the world that keep getting used over and over, I think Chip has a valid point. Moffat recycled (1) the Weeping Angels and (2) River Song. Now, recycling the Angels isn't necessarily a bad thing, given how popular/memorable "Blink" was (although I've seen a lot of commentary complaining how this story really decreased the dread they felt about the Angels from "Blink"). But when we last saw River Song, we had the GOIPBPOOBOBAPAM storyline as well. Take out River Song and the storyline doesn't feel so much like a retread because of new characters to interact with. I would have preferred to see River Song (if I had to see her–I don't care for the character very much–in a completely different plotline that would have given us more insights into her character besides [smug]"I know the Doctor VERY well"[smug].

  4. Oh goodness me, now I feel compelled to put my 2 cents in. I most whole-2-heartedly agree w/my namesake, Erik; The Angels 2 parter was absolutely fabulous IMO. To me it a a very DW type story firing on all cylinders.

    I very much disagree w/Mr. Kyte & I've also noticed this dichotomy between other fans of the show. While SK loathes "the little unraveling mysteries," that is precisely the element that has me through the roof over series 5 as a whole. It's no secret I've hinted to this via twitter, but about 2 eps in I already suspected series 5 could be my all time favorite season of DW, no seriously & I know what that implies, and considering the fact that I've been a fan since 1983. Briefly, TVoV, while I am typically not a "romp" kinda guy [eg my loathing of "The Runaway Bride," "Voyage of the Damned," "Planet of the Dead,"] TVoV really, really hit for me in a very, very humorous engaging kind of way without annoying me.

    And Mrs. 2MTL, while River as a character hasn't really swayed me 1 way or the other in either appearance (aside from her meeting the Doc out of sequence), remember that this angel story was partially a set-up for what is to come in her character's story, therefore the endgame is still undercooked and cannot be fully judged just yet.

    BTW, loving the podcast as always even when I don't agree. Keep up the good work. ;^)

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