Were it not for the fact that the episode is intricately connected to the Flux story, Village of the Angels could have been an instant classic. With some stunning visuals and stand-out performances, this is the best we’ve seen of the Weeping Angels since their debut in the award-winning Blink. But this is no standalone episode and, unlike War of the Sontarans, the entire plot revolves around the machinations of the Division. Without the Division there is no story here, just a collection of horror motifs and chilling effects.
With a cliff-hanger that surely ranks as one of the series’ best, we were left with a twist of epic proportions with the Doctor transformed into an Angel. But this was quickly followed by an intentionally distorted variation on the theme tune and an underwhelming Marvel-inspired mid-post credits scene. Both felt like unnecessary conceits, like the playful cancellation of Doctor Who in the build-up to the series and all that messing around with the logo.
We get it! The Doctor is in trouble… the universe is in trouble… and we are meant to feel it too. The thing is, we already did; Jodie Whittaker’s fine performance and the superb direction of the closing scene saw to that.
Many of our questions are the same ones we’ve been carrying all series, but the most significant aspect of this episode could be that Chibnall has moved the characters into their final positions. The endgame, whatever that is, is ready to be played out.
10. Did The Doctor Really Just Fix The TARDIS?
The TARDIS has been playing up all series, with the Doctor increasingly concerned about the integrity of her usually dependable ship. She has already lost control to whatever power brought the TARDIS to the temple of Atropos and now one of the Angels has been able to breach its already weakened defences.
As the Angels prepare to land the ship, the Doctor takes evasive action. The most immediate concern is that the Doctor, Yaz and Dan could be sent back in time and permanently separated from the TARDIS. So the Doctor acts fast. With a typical combination of technobabble and improvisation, she is able to reboot the TARDIS, expelling the Angels instead. Yaz’s fear that it might not work because the TARDIS is already broken proves to be unfounded.
It’s all a little too easy and it turns out to be completely unnecessary because the Angel wants the Doctor not the ship. So what was the point of the scene? Could it be that the TARDIS is now also free from the damage caused by the Flux? At the moment the TARDIS is stuck, taking time to fully reboot, but is she soon going to be ready to come to the Doctor’s aid? Judging from the post-credits trailer to Survivors of the Flux, the TARDIS will be back with an old friend of the Doctor. Kate Stewart has form for acquisitioning the ship, but could it have returned to UNIT HQ off its own volition?