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This page is for discussing the ways in which Flesh and Stone doesn't fit well with other DWU narratives. You can also talk about the plot holes that render its own, internal narrative confusing.

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  • The Doctor tells Amy that she can't open her eyes for more than one second, however when she does she keeps them open for around 5 seconds.
This may have either been prolonged for dramatic effect or the Doctor just said it so she wouldn't do that.
I was pretty sure you could see the background moving behind it.
The image of the angel was also missing from her eye - I interpreted this as the angel that was forming in her mind having fled (either destroying itself or submerging into her mind) from the Crack. This implies that what happened next - keeping her eyes closed while crossing the forest - was meaningless.
I don't think the image of the angel had to be there all the time.
If I might add it is possible that the nature of the Crack itself had something to do with the length of time Amy looked at it. I.e. she could look at the Crack 'but only the Crack' for longer than 1 second.
Maybe the time energy from the Crack was holding the angel back?
Perhaps what the Doctor meant was that the countdown would resume if her eyes were open for more than one second. Remember she wasn't about to hit zero on her countdown when she closed her eyes. So, there were a few moments left.
It really did seem that the Doctor was simply using "one second" for dramatic emphasis, rather than because that was exactly how long she had left.
I'm sure there's an explanation, just give me a second to think about it. ;) The point is: stop being a kleptomaniac who takes things literally and note that some things can be said figuratively. Especially if it's said primarily to scare a person into not taking an unnecessary risk.
  • If the Angels were wiped from history, then why were Bob, Octavian, Christian and the Angelo still dead?
Especially since River said she might get pardoned. No one will remember that she did anything, so why would she get pardoned?
Well, the bodies of Octavian and the other clerics were erased as well; that might explain why they were still dead. As for the consequences of the Weeping Angels being released...I don't know. One important thing to remember is that the crashed Byzantium was still there. Thus, "Angel Bob" must still have been there to crash it. Thus, we have to assume that some version of the Byzantium incident still happened. So, presumably, River can present the authorities with the evidence of what was going on in an attempt to gain her pardon. There ought to be some sort of evidence of the Crack's presence, thus confirming that something weird was going on with time and corroborating her story.
The underlying point remains: The whole episode becomes paradoxical – if Angel Bob is wiped from existence, then there was no cause of the crash. Then, those who were wiped from existence should be un-wiped, because they had no reason to be on Alfava Metraxis otherwise. This includes the other Angels, because the erasure of Angel Bob prevents the cause for the crash of the Byzantium, and therefore the Crack on A. Metraxis in the first place... (Actually, how is that possible? The Doctor said the Crack in Amy's Wall would be there even if the wall was demolished, implying that the wall is immovable. So why is this Crack "attached" to the Flight Deck?) Even if that last proposition is false, the fact remains the episode shouldn't have happened.
You're right, of course. (sigh) I'm getting a headache. Well, there are only two possibilities left - either Angel Bob actually wasn't wiped from existence (another problematic assertion) or the effects of such an erasure did not spread to the entire universe. There is some evidence for the second assertion. The clerics who went for a closer look at the Crack were erased. So wouldn't it be logical to assume that other clerics would have replaced them on the mission? Actually, when you think about it, there's an inherent paradox in the idea of something being "erased" from history anyway. If something is erased, then it never existed, which means it was never erased, which means it did exist, and so on, and so forth. I don't think Steven Moffat would have screened this episode in the first place without thinking it through carefully, and I can only assume that some explanation will be presented for these problems before the end of the series. As far as the Crack is concerned, the Doctor said that the Crack was immovable, not the wall. It's been implied thus far that the Crack is an intelligent entity following the Doctor and Amy. It can't be moved, but it can move wherever it likes.
I'm going to present a concise theory here, parts of which have been mentioned elsewhere. First of all, we know that the Cracks cannot perfectly erase everything connected to something/someone they absorb. If this were the case then Amy would have vanished whenever her parents were sucked in. Also, we know that the universe tends to "compensate" (as the 10th Doctor would say) around the absence of those who disappeared. Again, Amy and those around her never think too hard about the fact that she is alive but has never had parents. Similarly, those who sent River on the mission will not think too hard about the fact that the mission no longer makes sense when she returns. But, because the Angels never existed, she's accomplished nothing worthy of a pardon.
The notion of the Crack throws up other paradoxes, such as those surrounding The Stolen Earth/Journey's End and The Next Doctor. If we consider the former, if these events never happened, does this mean that Donna is now healthy once more? Does this not mean Rose, Mickey and Jackie could not have crossed over from Pete's World consequently meaning (among other things) that Mickey and Martha never got married. Does this mean Davros is back in the Time War? Similarly does this not mean the entire Victory of the Daleks episode could not have happened? In fact if the events of the Series 4 finale are erased from history then it might account for the removal of the Next Doctor, as the break down between dimensions is what permitted the Cybermen to invade Victorian London. Also episodes of Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures seem to indicate everyone had a memory of the Dalek invasion. Gwen Cooper talks to Clement McDonald about the world's belief in aliens in Children of Earth Day 1. Clyde's father mentions the Daleks in Mark of the Berserker. Additionally if the events were erased from history then Luke would have no idea who the Doctor was or have any recollection of helping him during the invasion.
My theory is that the notion of time travel, at least for the Doctor Who universe, is so complex that: only the Doctor, as a Time Lord, and possibly other intelligent individuals/species with an detailed knowledge of the mechanics of time travel can understand it. Steven Moffat himself has suggested something akin to this and even provided an explanation of sorts in his episode Blink. "Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey". The Doctor himself also states that time lines can become any shape in the Unquiet Dead. Perhaps the events transpired and were remembered because they hadn't been 'erased yet' (as confusing a concept as this is). This means the events that were erased definitively occurred and can be counted as part of the official canon but essentially it equates to mere memory loss as well as a loss of any official record of the events. However the Doctor also states that Time travellers like himself, Amy and likely River Song can remember such things. This could be because they became part of the events when they landed the TARDIS or alternatively it has something to do with the very nature of travelling through time; at the very least in the TARDIS or in the presence of the Doctor (possibly something to do with the background radiation mentioned in Doomsday). Consequently this would account for Captain Jack, Martha, Mickey, Rose, Jackie and the Meta Crisis Doctor retaining memories of the event and possibly informing higher authorities such as UNIT. This does not account for Luke Smith, Mr Smith, K9, Gwen Cooper or Ianto Jones. However, since Ianto is dead we may never know and as for Gwen, we have yet to see her post Children of Earth. As for Luke and the others: It is possible that Mr Smith's advanced technology may have retained information about the event and informed them. Luke's unique brain might be immune and capable of retaining such information. Or Sarah Jane (as a time traveller) retained information about the event and informed Luke and the others.
  • Okay - I've been thinking about this a lot, and here's my attempt at explaining the paradoxes in Flesh and Stone. Fasten your seat belts.
The Crack is an intelligent entity. The dialogue of the episode seems to imply that. It's hungry. Its sole intent is to get a meal; in this case, a nice dinner of Weeping Angels. Therefore, all its efforts will be focused on getting that meal. Also, it seems to be following the Doctor and Amy around, so it wants the Doctor to get to Alfava Metraxis so it can eat the Weeping Angels.
"Angel Bob" was responsible for crashing the Byzantium. This event, in turn, brought River Song to Alfava Metraxis. She brought the Doctor to Alfava Metraxis, who in turn (it seems) brought the Crack there.
The Crack could have devoured the army of Angels without damaging any of these events. Time travellers aren't affected by changes in the timeline, so quite possibly the Angels aren't either. So Angel Bob could have crashed the Byzantium without knowing that his fellow Angels had been erased from history, in the new timeline that the Crack created. This would, of course, require the Crack to avoid erasing Angel Bob from history. Maybe it just killed Angel Bob and left his existence intact. Logic would seem to demand this.
The clerics were erased from existence because their bodies were erased. Thus, the erasure of the Angels that killed them would have had no effect. They were never born, so they never came to Alfava Metraxis in the first place.
The clerics could have never came there but we could be viewing events from the Doctor's eyes and not from the timeline as a whole.
One last thing - it's highly possible that there might be time travellers among the authorities who arrested River Song. They would have been able to sense that the timeline had been changed. So her actions - despite the fact that some or all of them occurred in an alternate timeline - would have still meant something to them.
So, there you are. It's not a foolproof explanation by any means. However, it does seem to cover everything pretty well. Logic doesn't really work on time paradoxes, so you're going to run into problems sooner or later with any attempt at explaining them. My advice is, let it go, and sit back and enjoy the episode. It's a really good one.
Well, while I'm not certain the Crack itself is the entity, I think there is some time-sensitive entity at work here. My thought is that the Crack is either the entity itself, or there's something that happens (an explosion or perhaps something that messes with time like the Timescoop), and it requires some massive form of energy (thus it locks onto "complicated time events" like the Doctor and perhaps, the TARDIS). Maybe it even has to do with something that happened during the Time War and it only started getting worse due to something Amy was going to do. Remember that at the end of the episode, the Doctor realises the Cracks might not be following him, but Amy. In addition, I'm not certain I'd say that "Angel Bob" was the Angel which crashed the Byzantium. "Angel Bob" was just the Doctor's name for the remnant of the consciousness that was at one point Bob, and there was no direct evidence that I can remember which stated that the Angel on the Byzantium was the one that killed Bob. In fact, the main reason I don't believe "Angel Bob" and the Angel from the ship are the same is that when the Doctor asked him (I believe in the 1st part of this two-parter) if the Angel was still on the ship, instead of stating "No, I'm not" (which would imply they are the same entity), he simply said a form of "no", to which gives the impression they aren't. As far as why the events did not "un"-happen when the Angels were devoured by the Crack, the Angels sealed it, and there was possibly no residue energy for them to be erased. Otherwise, the main answer would be that non-time travellers would be removed from history, but those who are time-complicated would be fed to the Crack. I think the second option is the more likely of the two, because when they were talking about feeding the Doctor to it, they never mentioned any sort of ramifications of him being removed from history. The only way I can reconcile this with the Doctor's later explanation for why the Angel image is no longer in Amy's eye/head is that the particular Angel which did that was taken by the Crack earlier. Thus also making a case for the fact that they are not the same. With our viewpoint being akin to that of time-travellers, one has to wonder why they don't feed the cameras to the Crack, as they'd be almost as time-complicated as the Doctor!
See, for some reason, I think Steven Moffat is doing this deliberately - It'll all be tied up with the Pandorica. Also, did I see some clerics for one scene near the end... aren't they dead or erased from history?
The paradoxes caused here are the exact same ones caused by any time travel into the past. If the Crack erased the clerics, they never came to Alfava Metraxis, so they couldn't have been erased. OK, if the Doctor hid the Hand of Omega in 1963, then the Hand of Omega was already in 1963, so he didn't have to go back to 1963 to hide it. Exact same paradox. This is only a paradox if you insist on believing there's a single timeline for everyone. But we already know this isn't true. You couldn't travel in time if it were. The Doctor has visited 1963 multiple times--it's in his personal future even when he happens to be romping around 2070, and it's his personal past even when he happens to be running from cavemen in 100000 BC. The episode even explains that the clerics still did exist for Amy and other time travellers, they just never existed for anyone who's not a time traveller. That means that both versions of history actually exist side by side. And those two timelines continue to interact, through the Doctor and Amy interacting with non-time-travellers. The timeline of a non-time-traveller isn't going to necessarily have a consistent history--but again, that's already true as soon as anyone travels into the past, so this doesn't add any extra complexity.
You absolutely * could* travel in time if there were a single timeline, but that's largely irrelevant here as the DW universe has been firmly established to have multiple timelines. As to the paradoxes, the Crack has been shown to leave behind "traces" of those people/things that it removes from time - Amy's parents were gone, but she still existed; the ducks were gone, but the duck pond remained. So it's consistent with the Crack's behaviour that the Angels are gone, but the ship was still crashed.
So far as I can tell, the Crack erases a person from history but doesn't necessarily remove all the events. Instead, it erases the memories, forcing the observers to try to rationalise things that just don't piece together, like a duck pond without any ducks. Those familiar with Chainfire can understand this principle.
It is also possible that the crack simply rearranges the "wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff." In this way it all still happened, but as time isn't anywhere near linear it just kind of got excluded. Also, it would explain why some alien invasions are never again mentioned; others are kind of there, but not all the way, and others everyone knows about. A possible reason for Amy being unable to remember the Medusa Cascade is that the people fated to be important, such as Donna and Amy, are unable to notice the abnormal things that don't directly take them to their universe changing moment. So history is different for each person.
Cracks don't literally erase people from history, otherwise REALLY MANY things would've been rewritten. They simply erase people from one moment in the present, and all the further erasing happens only in other people's minds - they forget those erased, their memory changes, memories involving erased people change into others not involving them, so words 'they never have existed' are not exactly literal - they HAVE existed and what they've done in their life remains the same, but no one remembers who really did those things. They never have existed only in terms of everyone's memory, because if nobody remembers you it's as if you never were there for them.
  • When they start moving on camera, they move a lot slower than normal speed for an Angel.
If you look at them you see they're still stone, they're only just turning back to flesh, so its not that unlikely they are slower in stone form then they are in flesh.
I think they're moving slowly because they're not sure Amy can't see them, and they're being cautious. Beyond that, I'm having a little trouble explaining this scene. I had assumed that the quantum lock was something the Angels had no control over, which would mean that it wouldn't make any difference whether or not they thought Amy could see them. Since he's been brilliant thus far, I'm going to give the Grand Moff the benefit of the doubt and assume that he has a logical explanation for this - I only wish he would tell us. In any case, here's the best I can do at explaining this scene - the Angels are used to freezing whenever somebody comes along, so their "instincts" kicked in when they saw Amy coming and they froze. They weren't paying attention because they were so terrified of the Crack. So the fact that her eyes were closed didn't register at first. When it started to dawn on them that she couldn't see, they moved slowly either because the fact hadn't registered yet, or just because they were being careful. Another thing to remember is that these Angels hadn't quite finished restoring, so their behaviour might not be the same as that of other Angels.
I just figured that the Angels have just sort of developed an instinct to freeze whenever they see something move or something approaching. Amy wasn't looking at them when she tripped, which means they could technically move, but still chose (instinctively) not to because they knew Amy was there and could freeze them any second. Perhaps being forced to freeze is somehow "painful" for them and they can simply "elect" to freeze. Speculation, but fun to think about. By the way, none of the events or scenes in this episode stops the Angels from being kick-ass.
This is all explained within the story. They're moving much slower than usual, throughout the two episodes. In TToA, Octavian says, "They're not fast. You said they were fast. They should have had us by now." The Doctor answers, "They're dying. Losing their form. They've been here for centuries, starving." In this episode, the Angels claim that there's enough power to revive them completely, "more power on this ship than you yet understand". But they're wrong about this, as the Doctor later explains when they reach the Crack: "Is that the power that brought you here? That's pure time energy. You can't feed on that." So, they've still got limited energy, and they burned up most of what they had thinking there was an almost infinite supply coming in the near future, and burned up even more panicking and running from the Crack once they understood what it was.
It could be a combination of instinct but also the fact that technically there was no one to observe them to tell whether or not their stone from would be taken when not observed. Since that's the only form we've seen them in, it would serve the narrative if it was not revealed and the form when they move still recognisable. The stone noises are probably effects as they can be quite silent in their movements.
  • In both The Eleventh Hour and Flesh & Stone, when the clock went from 11:59 to 12 (and it was night time outside) it goes from 11:59 AM on 6/25 to 12:00 PM on 6/26. It's REALLY weird. Look at...40:59 to 41:01. You have to fiddle with a clock for it to work like that. I'm sure people have already mentioned this in other places, but I thought I'd mention it here. What do you guys think this means? Because it has to mean something. We were purposely drawn to the clock at the end, and it was kind of obvious.
Perhaps this was simply a production error and nothing more, or an error in Amy's clock.
Alternatively, it's a clue to something that we'll discover in the finale (and which people are speculating about somewhere on Howling:The Howling. But either way, it's not a discontinuity or plot hole (unless they decided there was something wrong with Amy's clock but they never get around to explaining it, or something like that).
  • In the original episode where the Weeping Angels are introduced (and on the Weeping Angels page in this Wiki), it was stated that the Angels cannot even look at each other as they would turn to stone. This means that any instances where the Angels moved in a lit environment in this episode, unless they had their eyes covered (in the established "Weeping Angel" pose) are inconsistencies. If the previous Doctor was able to lock four of them in a circle around the TARDIS by moving the TARDIS and leaving them all looking at one another, then any scenes where Angels could see other Angels in this episode (unless the lights were out) would have produced the same result.
So long as there were other Angels around to move the ones looking at each other, this wouldn't matter. No doubt, in a large community of Weeping Angels, this sort of thing happens all the time.
Still doesn't carry. In that first episode involving the Weeping Angels, the Doctor says that they are the loneliest creatures in existence, as they cannot even look at each other. And for one Angel to move another would require that the one doing the moving must be within the visible scope of at least one of the frozen Angels. In that first episode it is also implied (if not declared) that the turning to stone is not a conscious choice on the part of the Angel, in which case, again, their ability to move somewhat once they realise that Amelia cannot see them is incorrect.
Well, they could cover their eyes or keep them closed (if they can close their eyes) while moving each other. It wouldn't be that hard.
Presumably, an army of Angels has this problem and has worked out how to deal with it. For example: 1. Try to avoid looking at each other. If you do look at another Angel, look away. 2. If you see two Angels (or a larger circle) locked by mutual (or circular) observation, move one of them to break the chain.
The idea of an Angel moving one of the two doesn't carry if the two truly look at each other. If A is looking at B, then if C tries to move A, B will see C. If C tries to move B, A will see C. I think this was more an error of the choreographer, who wanted to make them more beautiful at the cost of story. However, the simple answer is that eventually they drain out the energy of wherever and the light goes away, so two locked together can both escape.
Seems to me that the only possible explanation is that the angels blind themselves in large armies such as this one, making it so that it isn't a worry. Shear numbers would make up for the increased difficulty catching prey.
My personal theory regarding the Angels being frozen while Amy's eyes were closed is that something was watching them through the Crack until the moment they began to move. But that's still not a perfect explanation by any means.
What I was told by the below post I made is that the Angels have the choice to freeze when they are not being looked at. Why they would want to do this, because the entire point of freezing is as protection, and how they unfreeze after freezing because once they are frozen they are stone, so have no choice about unfreezing, there is some discontinuity there, but for now it seems the best way of explaining it.
What I don't get is, why do they move slower on camera than when moving off camera? They are supposed to be fast. So, why so slow?
See above. It's explained on-screen why they're so slow.
The fact of the matter is, when they're on-camera, WE can see them. :P
  • In the original episode the Doctor said it was a fact of their biology that they turned to stone when viewed but otherwise could move around freely. So why would they assume that Amy could see them and turn to stone when she had her eyes shut. The turning to stone part was a fact not a choice (If Amy couldn't see them, they can move).
Turning to stone when seen is a fact not a choice, but that doesn't mean they couldn't choose to turn to stone at other times—kind of like how you breathe without thinking about it, but you can control your breathing if you choose to. But I think a bigger issue would be that the Angels appear to be deaf. The Doctor is telling Amy to walk as if she could see them, and the Angels are right there and don't pick up on that.
They were stone at this point, and stone cannot hear.
What if it is a learnt behaviour from within the Angels' animal past? These Angels are hunters, and in Blink it is implied that they may hide for years waiting for the kill they want. If hiding in a public place there will be times when nobody is looking at them. But they might choose not to move as when somebody looks back and notices a change of position they are going to be noticed. The Doctor is their target, not Amy. Maybe instinct tells them to behave like stone with somebody around (although not looking) if they are not the intended target?
  • Why are they still physically stone at this point? In Blink the Doctor makes it seem as though when not being observed they become normal flesh and blood. I can understand instinctively keeping still when people are around, but it doesn't seem like they would actually be stone. At the very least, wouldn't they have to become organic to start moving?
Turning to stone when seen is a fact not a choice, but that doesn't mean they couldn't choose to turn to stone at other times—kind of like how you breathe without thinking about it, but you can control your breathing if you choose to. But I think a bigger issue would be that the Angels appear to be deaf. The Doctor is telling Amy to walk as if she could see them, and the Angels are right there and don't pick up on that.
  • When the Doctor is trying to release Father Octavian, he blinks but the angel does not move!
Also I might add - River Song was in the flight deck, the Doctor was looking the other way and with Octavian trapped he could not have possibly seen the Angel, so why is it stone. And don't say there were other life in the forest that could have seen it because why would they need other animals in the forest.
Octavian could see the Angel, as could all the other life in the forest.
Of course there is still the question of why Octavian was still there to be released. It only takes one touch to be sent back in time, but Octavian was still there and the angel was touching him in several places.
The Angels in this story were already established to have been killing by snapping necks, not sending back in time. They also are said to have been much slower than usual, because of their lengthy imprisonment in the tomb.
  • Amy acts a bit out of character at the end doesn't she? In other episodes, it is shown she loves Rory a lot; even to the point of risking suicide to be with him in Amy's Choice. Yet in this episode, she very quickly decides to CHEAT on him with the Doctor. Any good reason?
They talk about this on Confidential, and various interviews since that time. It's not really out of character. Amy is flirtatious, sometimes self-centred, and not as grown-up and self-aware as she thinks she is. And at least intellectually she doesn't think sex is that big of a deal. Meanwhile, she's just been through a traumatic, exciting, and life-threatening experience with the Doctor. The likes of which she's never even imagined before, which would give anyone very strong urges. So, being human, she rationalises it away: she's not actually married yet, so it's not _really_ cheating on her husband; and besides, it's just a harmless fling that won't mean anything in the morning; and besides, that morning could be days or even years away in her timeline, and Rory will never know; and anyway he's at a bachelor party with strippers, and.... people do that kind of thing. (Of course if Rory did the same thing, she'd be angry with him, and wouldn't accept any of those justifications, but everyone has a double standard when it comes to their own actions.)
  • River references "The Forest of the Dead" when she is talking to the Doctor about handcuffs. Isn't this in her future? How does she know about this?
When River says "You, me, handcuffs, must it always end this way?" she does unknowingly reference her death but she is talking about her being in prison and that all her adventures with the Doctor always end with handcuffs as she goes back to Stormcage.
  • Marco gives Amy the communicator, then leaves her to see the crack. When he disappears out of existence she still has the communicator even though Marco never existed to give it to her.
Once again: cracks don't literally erase people from history, otherwise REALLY MANY things would've been rewritten. They simply erase people from one moment in the present, and all the further erasing happens only in other people's minds - they forget those erased, their memory changes, memories involving erased people change into others not involving them, so words 'they never have existed' are not exactly literal - they HAVE existed and what they've done in their life remains the same, but no one remembers who really did those things. They never have existed only in terms of everyone's memory, because if nobody remembers you it's as if you never were there for them. Same here - he existed, he gave her the radio, and then he disappeared, but the crack changed nothing except him being there, it basically took him away. And except people's memories, too, everyone who ever knew him forgot about it. Except for the Doctor and Amy.
This principle can be easily checked in comparison - what happened to the Doctor in The Big Bang and what happened to him in The Name of the Doctor. The former is the example of how cracks work - people disappear from the (relative) present, other people forget them, things stay exactly as they were - the Doctor was erased from people's memories but not literally from history, otherwise, let's be honest, Earth and the entire universe would've been destroyed a couple billion times by then. What the Doctor's done never changes. The latter is the example of what would happen if the past involving someone erased REALLY changed - the stars started to disappear, people changed, Vastra said: 'The Universe without the Doctor... there will be consequences'. With cracks, there are no real consequences and no real changes of what happened before the erasing/taking. Until the series finale when there are too many cracks in too many times and places and they start erasing (taking) things from the past moments - which they shouldn't do because those things HAVE to exist later, like deleting Earth in 19th century while we know it has to be still here in 21st. It's like changing a fixed point. Paradox once, paradox twice, universe boom.
  • As the Angels are described up to this point, they're only stone when quantum-locked - when they 'cease to exist'; their 'true form' is surely something quite different. Even if they can choose to quantum-lock when not being looked at, why do they stay stone when they're moving? As soon as they unlock, shouldn't they resume existing in their 'true form', whatever that might be?
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