S. 31, Ep. 4.
What a wonderful episode.
New Doctor. New companion. New ‘big bad’. River Song. It would’ve been sheer incompetence if this episode had failed, but that’s okay, because it didn’t.
It’s interesting to note that this was Matt Smith’s first episode to shoot and I think it benefited greatly from this.
This is a story that calls for more drama from the actors rather than mania. The Doctor has always been able to dial back the mania when the story requires but the youthfulness of Matt Smith made the mania almost appear to be effortless in the first three episodes. The gravitas that this episode required really let us see that Matt Smith is certainly not the wrong choice to play this character.
During this episode it becomes clear that Amy Pond is in her first spot of real peril as a companion, and it’ll be interesting to see how she deals with this. There’s a scene where she’s interacting with an Angel on a video monitor and without trying to give anything away Amy Pond proves that she’s every bit a worthy companion.
It’ll be interesting to see further interaction between her and River Song.
It was fantastic to see Amy getting a brief education on Gallifreyan history from The Doctor.
The Lonely Assassins (or Weeping Angels) are the crowning glory of this episode.
They’re not new-new villains – having previously been introduced during the last Doctor’s tenure – but these are the modern day equivalent of the Dalek as far as I’m concerned.
The tension of the episode is perfectly punctuated by the genuine menace that these statues-that-aren’t-statues bring to the mix. To say any more would spoil it for those that haven’t yet seen the episode, so I’ll stop here.
River Song makes a very welcome return in a way that only River Song could.
I initially thought The Doctor and her would rendezvous in a slightly different manner but that would have dispersed any tension that would have created between River and Amy.
River’s knowledge of The Doctor and what he’s likely to get up to in the future is a definite draw for the audience but there’s a secret she’s keeping and it really is only a matter of time before The Doctor (and the audience) finds out.
Overall a brilliant episode and I’m very much looking forward to the second part.