When we last left the Doctor, River, Amy and the surviving soldiers, they were surrounded by an army of, let’s face it, zombie Angels who had shown some very new nasty habits, such as pulling out people’s spines, so they could torment their potential victims. The Doctor shot a pistol at a gravity globe allowing them all to escape the Angels and throwing them aboard the hull of the crashed spaceship, Byzantium.
But the Angels aren’t far behind and, trapped in a corridor, the Doctor’s only option is to turn out all the lights in order to get the door open so they can access the main bridge. As Angels pour in the hatchway the only light will be the flare from the soldiers’ rifles. Continuing the tension so beautifully built up in the first episode, Time of the Angels, the Angels are now almost fully formed and back to full power. But, access the bridge they do, safe for the moment.
However, Amy still has an angel inside her, converting her amd it’s making her count down from ten to the second she will be consumed by the creature inside. This is as much to torment the Doctor as it is to put him under extra pressure. The Angels also seem to know more about the cracks in time as a hideous screech nearly deafens the trapped humans. It is the sound of Angels laughing, as hideous and unnatural a sound as their very existence itself. Their only hope is to get through a forest of cyborg trees to get to the control room. The Angels break through into the bridge and grab the Doctor but he is saved by the appearance of a crack in time which has been a thread running through the entire series and will eventually climax in the Pandorica. The Angels feed on time energy and the crack offers them all you can eat but it doesn’t last long. Now the race is on to get through the forest before the Angels catch up. But Amy is dying, forcing the Doctor to leave her behind with some of the soldiers while he, River and Octavian go on to get to the control room.
Now we all thought this episode couldn’t give us any more surprises or revelations about the Angels and the creep factor has been more than reached. But Steven Moffat is a clever man who has one last trick to pull out of the bag. To stop the Angel consuming her Amy must keep her eyes closed which prevents it from finishing the process. The crack reappears and one by one the soldiers are consumed by it, being wiped from history and leaving Amy alone and blind in the forest. Using the communicator, the Doctor helps guide her through the Angels to where he and River are, Octavian having been murdered by one of the stone assassins.
The creepy factor begins anew as Amy is surrounded by Angels in the forest, helpless and inches away from being touched by one. She falls, losing her communicator. And Moffat pulls his last trick. Up until now in every Angel appearance they have been stone statues, solid, unmoving and just like any statue you would see in a graveyard. Now as Amy lies helpless, the camera pans round to the Angels and they slowly turn their heads towards the Doctor’s companion. Words cannot express just how much of a shocker this was to the audience. It wasn’t expected. But that moment when the Angels move independently and begin to reach towards Amy, it has the same effect as one of Michael Myers’ stealth attacks as he creeps from the dark towards an unknowing victim. You’re screaming at the screen in some hopeless attempt to warn Amy but River manages to teleport her to them at the last second.
And it comes down to one quirk of fate as the Doctor, Amy and River face the army of restored Angels and come face to face with Angel Bob. Bob is a cocky son of a bitch who thinks he has triumphed and beaten the Doctor. He fully expects the Doctor to do as he says and throw himself into the crack in time. This may not sound like much but it is an indication of the arrogance of the Angels as a species. They believe they are invincible because they have managed to restore their species despite the Time Lord’s best efforts but as the Doctor points out, they have ignored the gravity of the situation. He restores the Byzantium’s gravity, reasserting the ship into its proper position. What the angels forgot is that the ship crashed upside down and they are standing on the underbelly so when the Doctor fixes the controls they plunge straight into the crack which wipes them from history.
By the end of these two episodes, the Angels have been firmly established as a major threat in the Doctor Who universe and that everything we knew was wrong. We are plied with shock after shock as the episodes progress and everything is layered so beautifully that it fools the audience into a false sense of security every minute that passes just because we think Moffat has shown us all the twists concerning these creatures.
But such is their deserved popularity is that they have turned up in two Doctor Who books, Magic of the Angels where a magician is using a solo Angel in his vanishing lady act and Touched by an Angel where a man tries to save the love of his life from dying tragically when he sent back in time as an Angel’s victim except this time the Angels have chosen him as prey for a very specific reason. Again it shows how calculating they are as a species and each time adding to their mythos.
And now we are about to face them again and for the Ponds it will be the final time. We will see new forms of Angels like the cherubs and possibly the King Kong of all Angels. Moffat has promised someone will die and this time he means it. Bets are on Rory as he finds himself sent back in time at the Angels’ hands but whatever happens… don’t blink!