Touched by an Angel

Roots: There are references to The World Tonight, Saddam Hussein, Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful”, Casualty, ,Law & Order, the Daily Mirror, Albert Einstein, Dixons, Groundhog Day, Mrs Doubtfire, The Sun, Bobby Charlton, John Prescott, Tony Blair, Our Price, Peugeot, Harry Potter, Blind Date, New Scientist, Michael Barrymore, Shakespears Sister, John Lennon, Fred Perry, D-Ream’s “Things Can Only Get Better”, The Wunderstuff’s “The Size of a Cow”, Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, Transvision Vamp’s “Baby I Don’t Care”, the Prodigy’s “No Good”, Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Fireman Sam, Aladdin, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Monet, Cybill, Friends, Frasier, ,The Girlie Show, The Chart Show, The Lighthouse Family’s “Lifted”, Slade, Wizzard, Wham!, Woolworths, The Teletubbies, The European, This Life, Robbie Williams’ “Angels”, Abba, Fiat, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, The Beach, Great Expectations, Cold Feet, Ikea, The Chuckle Brothers, Toploader’s “Dancin’ in the Moonlight”, Big Brother, Scalextric, Charles Aznavour’s “She”, Frank Spencer, Che Guevara, Amélie, Cyrano de Bergerac, Betty Blue, Mon Oncle, Asterix & Obelix Take on Caeser, ‘Allo ‘Allo, the Spin Doctors’ “Two Princes”, Suede and Blur.

Dialogue Triumphs: “Get out of the country if necessary. Belgium, I recommend Belgium. And I never thought I’d say that.”

Continuity: When the Weeping Angel first seen here uses up its energy it turns to stone and crumbles to dust. The Angels normally dump their victims somewhere far enough back in time and safe enough that any minor alterations to the timeline will be absorbed by the established pattern of history. The Angels seen here feed on time paradoxes, which they try to trick others into trying to create: they cannot intervene directly, as they would become a part of the paradox and end up feeding on their own timelines. They forge a note for Mark, which they write on psychic paper. The Doctor tricks them into looking at each others’ reflections on a television screen, whereupon they become non-corporeal images trapped in the cameras: the Doctor traps them in an inifinite loop.

The Doctor uses the psychic paper to pose as a policeman, and later a member of the Maths department. His pockets contain a banana, a squeaky rubber telephone, and The Venusian Book of Calm. He slaves the TARDIS navigation circuits to Mark’s timeline in order to follow him. The Doctor, Amy, and Rory drink frappuccinos in Rome, the Doctor asking for his decaffeinated. He dons a pair of sunglasses. He has a detector that detects “wibbliness” in the Time Vortex. He hypnotises Rebecca and her Dad so that they have no memory of the Doctor, Amy, Rory, Mark’s future self, or the TARDIS. He can neutralise the Blinovitch Limitation Effect using the sonic screwdriver. He has another Fez in the TARDIS, which he lends to Rory. He has a psychic credit card, which he also lends to Rory.

Amy carries a hand mirror in her coat.

Rory spends a week living in Mark’s flat waiting for the Doctor to pick him up, during which he visits Leadworth. He later spends four weeks waiting for the Doctor and Amy to turn up when the Weeping Angels zap him back into the past.

Links: Blink (as well the Angels, the Doctor mentions Sally Sparrow), The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone. There are references to the Blinovitch Limitation Effect (see Day of the Daleks and Mawdryn Undead).

Location: The South Downs, 10th April 2003; London, 7th and 14th October 2011, 29th and 31st October 1999, 5th June 2001, 21st April 2002 and 10th June 1994; Warwick, 11th to 12th June 1994; Warwick, 8th May 1993, 2nd April 1995, 17th February 1996 and 16th December 1997; Rome, 11th August 1998; and Chichester, 4th November 2000 and 16th April 2003.

The Bottom Line: A complex time travelling plot and Steven Moffat’s best monsters to date are coupled with a heart-breaking tragic romance to astonishingly good effect. Morris captures the regulars perfectly and rounds the story off with a touching, uplifting message about looking forward, not back. A triumph.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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