'Doctor Who' Review: Episode 5.05, 'Flesh And Stone'

Doctor WhoEpisode Title: "Flesh and Stone"

Written By: Steven Moffat

Story: Surrounded by Weeping Angels and trapped on an alien world, The Doctor must come up with a plan to escape the terrifying creatures and save the lives of Amy Pond, River Song, and the soldiers sent to eliminate the Angel that brought them there. It's a race against time to find a way off the planet before the Angels do the same, while also preventing Amy from falling prey to a new danger lurking inside her.

It's the second half of the season's first two-part story!

The Who, What and How: The Weeping Angels continue to do what they do best: creeping everyone out with stop-motion frights that never seem to lose their edge. As the story's setting moves from dark caves to a crashed space ship, then to a deep forest within the ship, writer Steven Moffat manages to squeeze maximum scares out of each environment with a combination of the Angels' unique abilities and a few new twists introduced to the creatures' repertoire.

The second half of last week's "Time of Angels" adventure packs a lot into the episode (maybe too much), offering some insight into those mysterious cracks in reality that have appeared in all the episodes this season, peppering the tale with hints about future storylines, and showcasing a pair of especially creepy scenes involving the Weeping Angels. One sequence finds Amy navigating the forest alone, eyes closed while Weeping Angels descend upon her. It's one of the scarier moments in the episode, and only became moreso when we actually see the Angels move for the first time.

Similarly, a scene in which a group of soldiers attempts to hold off the Angels in a narrow corridor as the lights go out offers as a great reminder why the Angels are so popular. As the soldiers' muzzle flashes create a strobe-light effect in the hallway, the creatures' assault on the doomed soldiers is a nightmare-inducing display of of start-and-stop carnage.

Matt Smith and Karen Gillan continue to provide some very watchable, very fun moments together, and their great chemistry as The Doctor and Amy Pond is complemented — not lessened — by the addition of Alex Kingston as River Song. Kingston's character continues to dispense with cryptic hints about The Doctor's future that make a second viewing seem necessary to catch it all.

Given the dark tone of much of the episode, the lighthearted exchange at the conclusion, in which Amy throws herself at The Doctor, seems a bit out of place — though not entirely unexpected. The nature of the pair's relationship has been a hot-button topic among fans this season, so it looks like we could have some big developments on the horizon for "Who" fans wondering how much of a part romance will play in the new season.

Final Word: While the episode wasn't without some glaring plot holes and head-shaking moments (Amy "pretending" to see the Angels, and the very deus ex machina role played by the cracks in reality, for starters), there's no denying that our second encounter with the Weeping Angels was educational, to say the least.

I'll reiterate my opinion from last week that the Weeping Angels felt a bit overexposed in this adventure, with too many new tricks added to their resume in too short a time. After all is said and done, however, the creatures remain one of the most terrifying weapons in Moffat's arsenal of villains, so here's hoping the "Who" team finds a little better balance with these characters next time around.

Smith and Gillan continue to impress, though the final scene seemed a bit out of place for Amy Pond, who always seemed more in-control and collected than that. Still, The Doctor handled things exactly as we expect from Smith's take on the character, so it will be interesting to see where things go from here.

"Doctor Who" airs every Saturday at 9 PM EST on BBC America. Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!