It was the second of a two-part story that began with The Time of Angels. It showed the Weeping Angels moving for the first time; when moving slowly, they give off a stone-scraping sound. It also showed the Angels' cruelty and sadism in a new light; though the Angels wish only to feast on the Byzantium's power, they continuously go after the survivors fleeing them for no other reason than to kill.
It also continued the theme of suggesting that the Eleventh Doctor is mad, which he has either claimed to be or has been called a madman.
This story revealed more about the cracks, such as why Amy cannot remember the Daleks' attacks on Earth during Doomsday or The Stolen Earth / Journey's End. The Pandorica is mentioned again, this time by River Song, hinting it may be a serious event in the Doctor's future. The story also contained a moment where the Doctor appeared out of place from the conflict around him and seemed more engrossed in a bigger crisis yet to ensue.
There's no way back, no way up and no way out. Trapped by an army of Weeping Angels and an ever-growing mysterious crack, the Eleventh Doctor and his friends try to escape through the wreckage of a crashed space liner. Meanwhile, surrounded by Angels, Amy faces an even more deadly attack, as she's forced to find her way through the forest vault, eyes closed.
Quickly picking himself up, the Doctor tells everyone to look up, as he begins pacing around and pointing the sonic screwdriver at their footing. A confused Amy asks the Doctor what she is looking at. Exasperated at Amy's inability to grasp the obvious, the Doctor reminds her that the power is still on in the crashed ship, so what else is on? The artificial gravity!
The Doctor explains that shooting the gravity globe caused an updraft, allowing them to be caught in the Byzantium's gravity field once they jumped. They have landed upside down on the ship's hull; even if they jumped again, they would still be in the ship's gravity field. Octavian quickly notices that the Weeping Angels are beginning to look more like themselves; within an hour they'll be an army, the Doctor notes. The Doctor opens the door, telling everyone to get in. Amy wonders how. The Doctor tells her its just a corridor; the gravity orientates to the floor. Everyone heads inside as the Angels pop the lights outside the entrance.
Right as the door shuts behind them, the Doctor notes the Angels arrived within the first few seconds after the door closed they are not quantum locked in the dark. Making matters worse is the way to the secondary flight deck is shutting, despite the Doctor's attempts to force it back. Worse, the lights are still flickering. As the Doctor works on the lights, four Angels break off the door and enter the corridor. In the nick of time, the Doctor prevents the Angels from draining the lighting grid's power. However, he gravely announces he will have to drain the power in the corridor to get the door open — including the lights. Amy points out that they lost the torches when they jumped; this will leave them in total darkness.
Having lost good men to these monsters, Octavian asks River if she trusts the Doctor; she does. However, when asked if the Doctor is a madman, River repeats "I absolutely trust him." Seeing that the Doctor is the only one who can get them out of this time-bomb/death trap, Octavian and his men line up to fire on the Angels while the Doctor tells Amy to turn the wheel on the door four times after he has cut the power. She responds with "ten", but the Doctor corrects her and she replies that she said four.
They quickly enter, with the Doctor shutting the door behind them. Octavian magnetizes the door to keep the Angels out, thinking even they cannot turn the wheel now; they start doing so, but slow enough that it buys everyone time to think. Now that Octavian gets that the Angels cannot be stopped by conventional means, the Doctor begins figuring out what their resources are; River joins him in contemplating what they can do. The Doctor and River realise there must be an oxygen factory on board to supply the passengers with air. The Doctor activates a panel on the back wall, which opens to reveal a cybernetic forest within the ship. Amy continues counting down but has no memory of doing so.
While the Doctor and River try to explain the counting to her, Angel Bob calls to find out their plans. The Doctor taunts him but grows serious when Bob tells him that they are in Amy's eye. The Angels are making her count to scare them and will take her soon. Bob gloats over gaining mastery over time and space. The Doctor informs him the Byzantium doesn't have that much power. A screeching noise is heard from outside; "Dear God! What is that!?" Bob explains, the best as it can, that the Angels are laughing because "the Doctor in the TARDIS hasn't noticed".
The Doctor wonders what he has missed and turns to see a huge crack appear on the wall of the ship; the energy the crack is giving off makes the room shake. He orders the others to run while he looks at it. Though Amy is reluctant, River pulls her away, knowing the Doctor will catch up. A scan from the sonic tells the Doctor that the crack is "extremely very not good." When the Doctor turns to follow, he is surrounded by the Angels. He quickly scans the entire room, maneuvering over the equipment to block the Angels. However, right before he can enter the forest and lose them, an Angel catches the Doctor by his jacket.
The Weeping Angels do not kill him immediately, confusing the Doctor. He turns around to see them facing the crack, arms raised. Wiggling to get free of the grip of the Angel holding him by his jacket, the Doctor tells them that the light coming out of the crack is pure time energy; it is not power, but "the fire at the end of the universe." As the entire group looks at the crack, the Doctor runs off into the forest without his jacket, telling them, "Another thing, never let me talk"; he got out of his coat while they were distracted.
Meanwhile, Amy has reached "four" in her countdown and lies down, cradling her head. River produces a scanner to check her while Octavian worries they are exposed. River retorts that Octavian's only job is to keep the Doctor safe. If he's dead, she won't forgive herself, but if he's alive, she won't forgive him. She realises he is standing right behind her. They wonder how he escaped the Angels; "Found a crack in the wall and told them it was the end of the universe". When questioned what the crack really is, the Doctor repeats "the end of the universe" and rushes over to Amy.
The Doctor quickly babbles over the fact Amy looked into an Angel's eyes, and an image of an Angel becomes one. He then realizes that the Angels want their victims to use the quantum lock, so they'll look in the Angels eyes and create an image in their brain's visual centre. And there's a copy of Angel Bob in Amy's mind. At "zero", it will pop out of Amy's head, killing her. After internal debate, the Doctor orders Amy to close her eyes; she complies, after fighting off the fear the Angel tried using to stop her. She soon begins to normalize. If she opens them for more than a second, the Angel will escape and she will die. Unable to see, the Doctor suggests she stay in the clearing with the others while he and River proceed to the primary flight deck. Octavian insists that where River goes, he does as well. The Doctor reluctantly agrees, leaving Amy with the remaining Clerics. As they head off, Amy asks him not to leave him.
As she sits waiting, the Doctor suddenly reappears and tells her that it's vital she start trusting him. She asks how she can trust him, as he doesn't always tell her the truth. He says that if he always told the truth, he wouldn't need her to trust him. Amy then asks how the crack in her wall can be here, and the Doctor responds that he doesn't know yet, but he's working it out. He requests that she remember what he told her when she was a little girl. When Amy asks him what he told her, the Doctor tells her that what he said isn't the point... just as long as she remembers. Just as quickly as he arrived, the Doctor is gone again.
As Octavian, River, and the Doctor move through the forest, Octavian tells the Doctor that River is on leave from Stormcage Containment Facility in his custody. Through this mission, she hopes to earn a pardon. While River tries to open the door to the primary flight deck, the Doctor considers the anomalies he has recently noticed: the duckless duck pond in Leadworth; Amy's inability to remember the Dalek invasion of Earth; and the lack of any mention of the CyberKing in Victorian London in the history books. He uses River's scanner to analyze the scan he took from the crack; it reveals that a temporal explosion will occur on 26 June 2010 and cause the cracks in time and space — Amy's time.
The Angels stake out the clearing and begin tearing apart the treeborgs to cut off the power supply to the lights. The lights flicker. When they go out, the Angels are nowhere to be seen. Light projects across the forest from the secondary flight deck. Marco, the squad leader, sends Crispin and Phillip to investigate it. Amy insists on seeing its source, though she will have to open her eyes. When she sees it is the crack from her wall, she collapses and begs to know why it is following her.
Marco orders Pedro to go to the light. Amy reminds him he sent the other two, but he insists there weren't any others. After some time, Marco decides to go and investigate, having forgotten Pedro as well. Amy pleads with him to stay, but Marco foolishly wishes to investigate what the light is. As a compromise, he leaves her a spare communicator and agrees to speak to her through it. As he reaches the crack, his voice vanishes in a crackle of static. Amy is now left alone without anyone to guard her against the Angels: the one in her mind and the ones outside of it.
River opens the door and steps inside while Octavian waits with the Doctor. The Doctor deduces to his own surprise that time can be unwritten; Octavian tells him to hurry inside because of the Angels. "There's more dangerous things here then Angels." the Doctor retorts. The lights go out. When they return, Octavian is trapped in an Angel's stranglehold. Knowing the Doctor cannot save him, Octavian tells him River is in prison for murder and he shouldn't trust her. As the Doctor flees, Octavian's neck is snapped. River tries to get a teleport working as the Doctor explains the cracks. When she challenges his ideas, he responds with growing rage and tells her the teleport is useless.
Amy huddles alone in the forest, blind and with nothing but the communicator. The Doctor contacts her; Amy must make her way to the flight deck. The Angels can only kill her, but the crack can erase her from time. He sends software to the communicator to help her find her way. Terrified, she slowly makes her way across the forest, soon surrounded by the army of Weeping Angels fleeing from the crack. In their own terror, they do not realise her eyes are closed and their defence mechanisms kick in. They figure it out, though, when Amy trips over a root on the ground. They slowly remove the statue guise and move in to kill her.
Just as an Angel reaches towards Amy, River thankfully gets the teleport working and transports her to the flight deck. The Doctor tells River he could kiss her out of happiness, but River tells him to wait until he's older. An alarm goes off, confusing River. The Doctor says its warning the ship is low on power, which means the flight deck will open.
The wall lifts up, revealing the Weeping Angels all snarling at them, except for Angel Bob; "Bob" explains the crack will destroy their reality if left unchecked. The Angels have calculated the crack will close if the Doctor throws himself into it. When asked why he should help the Angels, "Bob" tells him it will save River and Amy as well. River, as a time traveller, wants to take the Doctor's place, but he laughs — she is not even as complicated as one Angel and it would take all of them to equal him. He tells her to get a grip. River continues to protest, but the Doctor tells her to seriously get a grip.
River deduces his "genius" plan and has Amy grab onto the console, warning her not to let go. Angel Bob repeats his request for the Doctor to sacrifice himself, but the Doctor reminds them that they've been draining all of the power on the ship, including that of the artificial gravity; with the words "Night-night", the Doctor grabs onto the console and the ship's gravity fails. The planet's gravity field takes over in its place, sending the Angels plummeting into the crack while the Doctor watches in delight. The crack glows brighter and closes.
Later, another squad of Clerics cleans up the camp outside the temple while Amy sits nearby, complaining of aches from climbing out of the Byzantium with her eyes shut. The Doctor likewise did so; Amy tells him that he didn't have to do that. "Neither did you" he states. Since the Angels fell into the crack, the one in her mind never existed now. Amy wonders why she remembers them and the Clerics when they never existed at all; the Clerics all forgot each other and walked straight into the crack. The Doctor explains that, as a time traveller, she now sees things differently.
The Doctor goes to River, who has been handcuffed. She is prepared to teleport up to the prison ship, hoping to have done enough to earn a pardon. The Doctor admits that Octavian told him of River's crime that she murdered a man. River confirms this. When further stating that Octavian told him the victim was a good man, she replies that he was the best man she ever knew. The Doctor asks if he can trust her. River laughs, saying he can if he wants to... "but where's the fun in that?" She also adds that they'll see her next when the Pandorica opens; the Doctor laughs at this, thinking the Pandorica is a fairytale, River responding with "Aren't we all?" She vanishes with the Clerics.
Back in the TARDIS, Amy tells the Doctor she wants to go home. He thinks she means for good, but she insists she has something to show him. "You're running from River. I'm running from something, too." He parks the TARDIS in Amy's bedroom five minutes after they first left. Amy shows him her wedding dress and engagement ring; she is getting married in the morning to Rory Williams.
Amy says that she needs comforting, after the recent events. She tries to explain to the Doctor "who" she wants, but the Doctor hasn't a clue as to what she is talking about. Seeing he is not going to get hints, Amy tries to kiss him, but he dodges her and stands up. She continues to allude to sexual connotations, all of which the Doctor nervously attempts to fend off. He rebuffs her advances by protesting that he is 907 years old and the kind of relationship she wants will never work out between them.
Amy retorts that she was thinking of a one-night stand, not a relationship. She attempts to undress him and finally kisses him, but he pushes her away, citing her marriage the next morning. Amy thinks he's given in, heading to her bed. Realising that the date of the temporal explosion: 26 June 2010 is the date of Amy's wedding. The Doctor tells her that the most important thing is that he straightens things out with her. He pulls her to the TARDIS, with Amy trying to kiss him again. He pushes her back into the TARDIS just as the clock turns past midnight to the next day.
A flashback returns to the conversation River Song and the Doctor were having about the origin of the cracks in time. Amy's wedding day will preclude a catastrophic event. The base code of the universe translates to "26 06 2010", the date of an explosion that caused the cracks to appear. With that, the Doctor vanishes into the TARDIS.
- The Doctor - Matt Smith
- Amy Pond - Karen Gillan
- River Song - Alex Kingston
- Octavian - Iain Glen
- Bob - David Atkins
- Marco - Darren Morfitt
- Pedro - Mark Monero
- Phillip - George Russo
|Executive Producers Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis|
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
- Whilst trying to figure out the implications of the cracks in time, the Doctor wonders about the CyberKing, and if 21st century Earth's lack of knowledge of its presence is somehow related.
- The Doctor states his age is nine hundred and seven.
- River Song says she and the Doctor will meet again when the Pandorica opens; the Doctor claims that the Pandorica is just a fairy tale.
- Amy's age and her second encounter with the Doctor are established as taking place in 2008, when she encountered Prisoner Zero, while her third encounter with the Doctor when she left with him took place on the night of 25 June 2010 when Amy is twenty-one.
- The final scene in which Amy attempts sexual advances on the Doctor was the subject for controversy among both audiences and critics.[source needed] Writer Steven Moffat later stated in 2020 that he regretted playing the scene for comedy.
- According to Steven Moffat on the 30 March 2010 edition of the BBC Radio 4 programme, Front Row, the title of this episode was supplied by his son, Joshua.
- The title is a play on "flesh and bone", a common idiom referring to a creature's anatomy, since most humans and animals are composed of flesh and a skeletal structure. The title also refers to the Weeping Angels' weakness of turning to stone whenever anyone looks at them, and possibly the fact that Amy thought her hand had turned to stone in the previous episode, The Time of Angels. This was a rumoured title for the episode Gridlock.
- The Weeping Angels are seen moving for the first time. One Angel is seen moving a hand to grab the Doctor by his jacket, and later they turn their heads when they realise that Amy can't see them.
- The date shown in the episode, 26/06/2010, would be the broadcast date of the final episode of Series 5, The Big Bang, in Britain. In other countries, it was not aired until later, however.
- The method the Doctor uses to dispose of the Weeping Angels mirrors his method of vanquishing the Cybermen and Daleks in TV: Doomsday.
- Amy continues the tradition of female companions kissing the Doctor. However, instead of falling in love with him, Amy had another idea.
- This episode aired on the same day as the K9 episode Alien Avatar was first broadcast on Disney XD in Britain. It also aired on the same day that Sirens of Ceres was first broadcast on Network Ten in Australia.
- The episode's final scene leads into Meanwhile in the TARDIS 2.
- 6.9 million viewers
- 8.5 million viewers (UK final)
- The beach scenes on Alfava Metraxis were filmed at Southerndown beach, Vale of Glamorgan. This was also where scenes in Army of Ghosts/Doomsday and Journey's End were filmed.
- Scenes in the forest vault of the Byzantium were filmed in Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean.
- Amy and Rory will either marry each other or put it on hold at the end of the episode, and Rory will travel in the TARDIS at the end. This was proven false, but Rory joined Amy and the Doctor in the TARDIS in the next episode, and he and Amy got married in the series finale.
- On first entering the Byzantium, the Weeping Angels' stances change between first breaking in and just before the Doctor must turn the lights off. This is despite the lights being isolated and them always being observed by at least four Clerics.
- When the Doctor is searching for a way to open the door to the forest he places his hands on it and it wobbles.
- When the Doctor is grabbed by a Weeping Angel, the Angel's hand is seen moving along with the Doctor.
- When Amy lies down on the tree stump her hair is all over her face but on the wide shot her hair is behind her head.
- While the Doctor is talking to River in the forest, he has both hands behind his back as if tucking in his shirt; however in the next shot he is still in mid-sentence and is suddenly holding his hands in front.
- While the Doctor talks to River at the end of the episode the position of his right suspender strap switches places from angle to angle.
- Just after the Doctor leaves with River and Octavian, his future self holds Amy's hand and talks to her. However, he does not wear his normal gold watch, which is replaced with a black one, and does not have the vortex manipulator on his right arm, which he should have had.
- During the final scene in Amy's bedroom the Doctor looks at Amy's alarm clock. Despite the fact that the conversation was talking about Amy getting married "in the morning" the clock changes from 11:59 AM on 6/25 to 12:00 PM on 6/26, a mysterious 12-hour jump.
- In the scene where Amy is following the sound of the Doctor's sonic screwdriver, there are points where the light on the screwdriver is off, yet the sound can still clearly be heard on both ends of the communicator.
- River says to the Doctor, "You, me, handcuffs... must it always end this way?" (TV: Forest of the Dead)
- River Song mentioned the crash of the Byzantium when meeting the Tenth Doctor. (TV: Silence in the Library)
- River Song says the Doctor will see her again soon, when the Pandorica opens. This refers to their later (to her, earlier) adventure where it is shown she knows to say this as Amy told her she did. (TV: The Pandorica Opens)
- When mentioning how time can be rewritten the Doctor references Amy's lack of knowledge of the Daleks and planets in the sky (TV: The Stolen Earth/Journey's End), and that no one on Earth remembered a Cyber-King in 19th century London. (TV: The Next Doctor)
- The Doctor and Amy both recall the crack from her bedroom wall. (TV: The Eleventh Hour)
- After the Doctor leaves with River and Octavian to find the primary flight deck, the Doctor quickly returns for a moment to speak with Amy and his behaviour and appearance are different (jacket, rolled-up sleeves, etc). This turned out to be the Doctor from the future. (TV: The Big Bang)
- The Doctor mentions the duck-pond with no ducks in Leadworth. (TV: The Eleventh Hour)
- The Doctor kisses Amy on the head before temporarily leaving her. He did the same with Zoe Heriot (TV: The War Games) and Jo Grant. (TV: Colony in Space).
- Angel Bob says that "the Doctor in the TARDIS" hasn't noticed. Prisoner Zero said something similar to the Doctor. (TV: The Eleventh Hour)
- River says that the man she killed is the best man she knows and is indicated to be the Doctor himself. This is confirmed in Let's Kill Hitler where the crew of the Teselecta state that she killed the Doctor on 22 April 2011 on Lake Silencio which is a fixed point in time. River's "murder" of the Doctor is later explored in The Wedding of River Song.
- River states that she hopes she has done enough to get a pardon. While she apparently doesn't at this time, she is later pardoned after the Doctor erases all records of himself, meaning there is no proof she killed anyone. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)
- River later visits her Amy and Rory shortly after the events of this episode for her during The Wedding of River Song to reveal the Doctor's survival to them and that she had lied about not recognising Amy.
Home video releases
- Series 5: Episode 5 - Flesh & Stone