Doctor Who

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A | 2 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
People Are Places

And even if I didn't think the show thought that, I would know the story meant it. But we're not writing apologetics anymore, we're not trying to synthesize or tease out anything deeper, and so I will say that in a story about angels and priests that look like neither, it's still super stupid to name your soldier-priest sons Angelo or Christian.

The voice leads the other one astray, while elsewhere a soldier takes aim at a statue, summoning Octavian and the Doctor's team to him. "We know what the Angel looks like. Is that the Angel? According to the Doctor, we are facing an enemy of unknowable power and infinite evil. So it would be good, it would be very good, if we could all remain calm in the presence of decor." The Doctor asks the boy's name, which is Bob, which the Doctor loves. "It's a Sacred Name. We all have Sacred Names, they're given to us in the service of the Church." The Doctor, finally irritating Octavian with his flagrant disregard for authority -- the priesthood and the military, implicit in this one man, being about the most authority you can get -- laughs and tries to charm the boy: "Sacred Bob. More like Scared Bob now, eh?"

(Um, more like Evangelista, actually.)

"Scared keeps you fast," the Doctor says, stepping in on Octavian again. "Anyone in this room who isn't scared is a moron." I hate the way he acts around soldiers, I always have. Poor Martha got it between the teeth every single time, and not even Davros calling him out for it seems to have made the point. The Bishop -- who's not entirely unsympathetic, either to Bob's twitching or the Doctor's soft touch -- sends the boy Bob to guard with "Christian" and "Angelo," and we get on with it.

Amy worries about the Byzantium, high over their heads, but are assured that the Aplans are great builders. "Had dinner with their chief architect once," the Doctor explains, noting for our later delight that they were two-headed, and then randomly asks River to read him the end of the madman's book: "What if we had ideas that could think for themselves? What if one day our dreams no longer needed us? When these things occur and are held to be true, the time will be upon us. The Time of Angels."

...Okay, I forgot that part. Maybe this episode is actually happening, under all the freakouts and borrowed images and plotlines. Maybe that's what the Angels were about all along. We get hard. But I'm so used to thinking only in theological terms with this show that maybe I've fallen to my own orthodoxy and what would for me be the central line of this episode could better be applied to Amy's lot. She's hard. She worshipped him in ways she didn't even know, building her toys and fancies and raggedy dreams. Maybe the story has kept on going, with so many moving parts I couldn't be sure. And so many reasons not to trust it:

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Doctor Who

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