The sinister Weeping Angels have returned in chapter 4 of Flux, aptly titled ‘Village of the Angels’.
The episode follows the Doctor and her companions as they investigate the disappearance of a girl in a small village in 1967.
Maxine Alderton joined showrunner Chris Chibnal to co-write this episode; she previously wrote season 12 ‘The haunting of Villa Diodati’, which has been accepted by most fans as being one of the best stories in this era.
Like Diodati, this episode had a classical horror vibe to it, which fit the creepy Angels perfectly. There is an eerie atmosphere throughout and many claustrophobic scenes, which made for an overall tense story.
The episode has many strengths, in fact I think it was one of the best in a while.
The Angels, originally created by Steven Moffat, were genuinely scary and Alderton adds to their lore in unique ways. There is some beautiful, creative imagery in this episode that is sure to haunt younger viewers. In fact the cinematography in this one, was some of the best in the show and there was a particularly impressive shot involving a mirror.
Every interaction with the Angels in this episode felt unique to what we’ve seen before, there was always new challenges and inventive solutions, that kept these monsters feeling fresh.
Jodie Whittaker once again gave a great performance, she really shined with Alderton’s dialogue and really sold the danger of the situation. Annabel Scholey and Kevin McNally, who made guest appearances, were also great.
Dan and Yaz are unfortunately split up from the Doctor (again), however, unlike episode three, this time their side quest was very entertaining and had an engaging plot. It was great to see them deal with the Angels on their own, as it pushed them into being more independent and made the scenes more frightening. I really can’t wait to see what happens next with them.
However the episode had one major flaw in my opinion, which was the scenes that focused on the character of Bel.
The episode cuts back to her quest to find Vinder multiple times, really undermining the pacing and tension of the episode. It was hard to get invested in the mystery and the atmosphere because it kept going back to an unrelated character doing unrelated things to the main plot of the episode.
These scenes did not feel like they belonged in the episode, but felt like Chris Chibnal just copied and pasted them into random parts of the script. You could argue that it pushes the overall narrative of Flux forward, however there was already plenty of that in the Angels plot, which was handled better.
While the overall structure of this season has benefited it in many ways, this was a real disadvantage. It’s a shame that we couldn’t get a stand alone Maxine Alderton horror episode about the angels, without it being tied down by the side quest, as everything with the angels is absolutely gripping TV.
The episode makes up for it though, with an intense cliffhanger which had some beautiful eerie imagery, which is sure to go down in history as a high point of this era.
Overall, Alderton did a great job here. The angels were once again, terrifying, and it had a great atmosphere. However the episode is slightly ruined by scenes that feel jarringly misplaced.
Image Credit [BBC]