Doctor Who “The Time Of Angels” Spoiler-Free Preview

We reckon you’re going to love this one

So far this year we haven’t been doing our Spoiler Free Doctor Who previews. No reason, really – we’ve been too busy providing other sorts of Who goodness (such as our minute-by-minute reviews). But “The Time Of Angels” is something special. I watched it last night so I could get the review ready to post straight after the episode airs, and was so excited by the end that I just had to blog about it.

Don’t worry, there will be NO spoilers. I knew very little about the episode other than the villains (and in case you don’t – though I can’t imagine how – I won’t even mention them) and I’m glad about that. I’m not even going to say, “There’s a great gag about…”, because there is a great gag about that whatever-it-is, but it’s much more fun not knowing it’s coming (but it will make you laugh).

So, here are a few random thoughts:

  • This is the most traditionally Steven Moffat episode so far this season. By a long way.
  • This is the darkest script so far. By a long way. It’s kind of both Alien and Aliens at the same time.
  • Having said that, there’s a wonderfully bonkers teaser.
  • In many ways, it’s also the most “classic” Who that New Who has ever been.
  • If Matt Smith and Karen Gillan haven’t won you over already, they should have by the end of this episode, and there’s only one brief moment when Matt seems to be channeling Tennant. The rest of the time, he’s turned all the way up to Eleven.
  • The cliffhanger is daringly different to the usual style of cliffhangers.
  • The direction is superb – there are some stunningly tense sequences and some gorgeously-framed shots.
  • Doctor Eleven does a very amusing impression of something.
  • The dialogue is quotemongous.

It is the first part of a two-parter, so it’s difficult to judge the story overall, but on the basis of this first part, it could turn out to be one of the show’s all-time classics.

Of course, feel free to take all this with a pinch of salt. New Who is a divisive show and SFX is known for being a magazine that definitely sits on the thumbs-up side of that divide. But I’m going to stick out my neck and make a prediction – on the episode poll on the SFX forum this weekend, I reckon well over 50% of voters are going to give it five out of five. I certainly will.

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