Flesh and Stone
The Doctor: Yeah, but we have comfy chairs. Did I mention?
Production Code: 1.5.
Story Number: 206b.
The utterly brilliant story continues…
And what a story it is. The sudden inversion of the whole cast at the start of the episode is an ingenious resolution to the cliffhanger, and as the camera moves back, surely this is one of the most spectacular Doctor Who scenes ever onscreen, the cast upside down on a “spaceship, in a maze”? There is more to come though.
All the way through, the story breaks down the classic elements of the Doctor Who story only to build them up again into something new – a simple Doctor Who corridor becomes a thing of wonder, when viewed from a slight angle. So, yes, the base is sieged like many a classic (and “Classic”) story but things don’t quite go as expected, in this “forest in a bottle on a spaceship in a maze”. This time “everybody dies” (except the regulars), which isn’t the usual Moffat thing to do with a story. There is a lyrical scene where Octavian (played by Iain Glen) says goodbye to the Doctor, and this tone of doom is expanded upon by the second-from-last scene.
This particular scene, the twist of River Song being not quite what she seems is elaborated upon (another inversion, is she the Doctor’s doom rather than his romantic interest – or is she both?) An excellent Doctor Who “base under siege” tale then, with little extra surprises like this added in throughout the story, scenes constantly confounding expectations. Such as the last scene.
It’s been foreshadowed though – the Doctor has always been “the other man” as far as Amy’s and Rory’s relationship is concerned…
Rating: 5/5 (for this part of the story)
and for the whole story, 5/5.