TV Review – ‘Flux – Chapter Four: Village of the Angels’ (Doctor Who)

SPOILERS ALERT!!!

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

After what was arguably a decent, albeit underwhelming instalment of the ‘Flux’ story called ‘Once, Upon Time’, could things be better with its following instalment ‘Village of the Angels’? Well, yes they can. But my goodness!!! The episode’s cliffhanger ending was such a shock to watch on the TV!

‘Village of the Angels’ left me in a state of “What’s going on?!” in the same way that ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’ left me in a state of “What’s going on?!” I’m intrigued about what’s going to happen in the last two instalments of ‘Flux’. I hope the Doctor will be okay and that she’ll return to her former self. 😐

Like last time, I revisited ‘Once, Upon Time’ on BBC iPlayer before checking out ‘Village of the Angels’ on TV. At some point, I’ll need to revisit the first five instalments of ‘Flux’ before checking out the final episode ‘The Vanquishers’. This is so I can take into account all that’s been going on before seeing the finale.

‘Village of the Angels’ is an episode by Chris Chibnall and Maxine Alderton. It’s interesting that Chris Chibnall only invited Maxine Alderton back to work on an episode of Series 13 whilst he wrote the rest of ‘Flux’. Maxine Alderton previously wrote the story ‘The Haunting of Villa Diodati’ in Series 12.

I imagine what happened is that Maxine pitched a Weeping Angels story; Chris Chibnall liked it; and asked if they could use it for ‘Flux’. Had ‘Flux’ been a 10-part story instead of a 6-part story, maybe writers like Pete McTighe and Ed Hime would have been invited back to contribute to the epic story.

‘Village of the Angels’ takes place on the 21st of November 1967 in Devon. So that’s 54 years ago on the day this ‘Doctor Who’ episode was transmitted on BBC TV. In the episode, a little girl called Peggy has gone missing. Professor Eustacius Jericho is conducting psychic experiments in the area. 😐

Whilst that’s going on, there is one gravestone too many in the village graveyard. No-one knows why that is. As the Doctor, Yaz and Dan end up in Medderton in Devon, the mystery unravels as to why it’s called the ‘cursed village’ and what do the Weeping Angels want? Could it be something deadly?

I like how this episode resolves the cliffhanger ending from the previous episode where the TARDIS had been hijacked by a Weeping Angel. The Doctor manages to sort it out, saving her, Yaz and Dan. But things might not be plain-sailing as they venture out of the TARDIS into the village of Medderton.

This episode features the return of Annabel Scholey as Claire Brown. It was nice to see Claire again, as she debuted in the epic six-part story’s first episode called ‘The Halloween Apocalypse’. It was good to find out more about what’s with this character, though not every question is answered here.

It’s clear that Claire comes from 1985 as opposed to 1935 when she was being interviewed by Professor Jericho. She was sent back in time by a Weeping Angel in ‘Flux’s first episode after all. But I don’t know how she came to know the Doctor and Yaz in the first place when they met in Liverpool 2021.

This episode showcases the Weeping Angels at their best in ‘Doctor Who’, matching on the level of ‘Blink’ and maybe more so, compared to the Weeping Angels from the Steven Moffat era. However, there are familiar elements of the Weeping Angels from previous episodes in Steven Moffat’s era. 😀

This includes stone in Claire’s eyes; her hallucinating that she’s a Weeping Angel and there are images taken of Weeping Angels that become Weeping Angels themselves. These are elements featured in ‘The Time of Angels’/’Flesh and Stone’. It’s intriguing how they get used in this episode. 🙂

In fact, it’s fair to say that Chris Chibnall and Maxine Alderton make good use of those terrifying elements of the Weeping Angels introduced by Steven Moffat and push them up to another level. I wonder if Steven Moffat is happy with what Chris and Maxine have done with his creations lately. 😀

There are new terrifying elements of the Weeping Angels introduced in the episode. When someone gets zapped back in time by an Angel, if you’re touched a second time, you die instantly and you crumble into stone. It was shocking to watch once I saw a couple touched by an Angel a second time.

It was also a shock when the Doctor got rid of a drawing of an Angel by Claire that had been torn in two and it became an Angel, she scrunched it; tried to burn it and it came back in fiery form. Thankfully, the Doctor was able to douse the fiery Angel out with a fire bucket, as it was on hand. 😀

One of these days, I’m going to have to write a ‘Doctor Who’ episode called ‘Blink in Hell’. As in ‘blinking hell’! Get it? 😀 Oh, and it was also disturbing when it was revealed that Claire had an Angel inside her. The Doctor mind-melds with Claire and she makes contact with the Angel controlling her.

From his contact with the Angel speaking through Claire, the Doctor learns that the Angels can be operatives of the Division, the group that recruited the Doctor during the past she’d forgotten. It was shocking how it all culminates in the episode’s cliffhanger, but I’m getting ahead of myself here.

The episode’s cast also includes Kevin McNally as Professor Jericho. For ‘Doctor Who’ fans, Kevin McNally played Hugo Lang in ‘The Twin Dilemma’. He’s also been in Big Finish audios like ‘Spider Shadow’, ‘The End of the Beginning’ and episodes of the first two ‘Dalek Universe’ stories. 🙂

I’ve also seen Kevin in the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies, ‘Downton Abbey’, and he played Captain Mainwaring in the ‘Dad’s Army’ 2019 ‘lost episodes’ remake. It was amazing to see Kevin McNally in this ‘Doctor Who’ episode and interacting with Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor throughout it.

Kevin McNally is also married to Phyllis Logan who’s also been in ‘Downton Abbey’ and was in ‘The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos’, didn’t you know? Actually, it’s interesting Kevin McNally is the second of three of the regular cast of the ‘Dad’s Army’ 2019 ‘lost episodes’ remake in ‘Doctor Who’. 😀

The first was Kevin Eldon who played Lance Corporal Jones as he appeared in ‘It Takes You Away’ in Series 11. The second is Kevin McNally and now we have a third coming up in ‘Flux’s fifth episode in Robert Bathurst, who portrayed Sergeant Wilson in the ‘Dad’s Army’ 2019 ‘lost episodes’ remake.

There’s also Vincent Brimble (who played Tarpok in ‘Warriors of the Deep’ – I wouldn’t have guessed! 😀 ) as Gerald and Jemma Churchill as Jean, little Peggy’s guardians. Jemma Churchill has also done ‘Doctor Who’ audios like ‘Creatures of Beauty’ and ‘Breaking Bubbles and Other Stories’. 🙂

She was also in ‘The Five(ish) Doctor Reboot’ with Peter Davison. Gerald is a mean so-and-so whilst Jean seems genuinely concerned about the whereabouts of Peggy. If only Gerald and Jean didn’t go in front of the Angel and listened to Yaz, Dan and Peggy, they wouldn’t have been killed so horribly.

The episode also features Poppy Polivnicki as Peggy and Penelope McGhie as Mrs. Hayward. Hey, big shock! Peggy and Mrs. Hayward are the same person. Peggy ended up in 1901 before she became Mrs. Hayward in 1967. I sort-of worked that one out whilst watching the episode from start to finish.

There’s also Alex Frost as Reverend Shaw. The episode also features another appearance of Thaddea Graham as Bel, who appeared in the previous episode and is looking for her lover (oh sorry, life-partner) Vinder. She ends up on a desolate alien planet where she meets Blake Harrison as Namaca.

Blake Harrison is well-known for playing Neil Sutherland in ‘The Inbetweeners’. Hey, at least he had a better role to play in this episode compared to what James Buckley had in ‘Orphan 55’. But it’s still not as good a role compared to what Joe Thomas got in ‘Castle of Fear’. Some do get lucky, I guess. 🙂

I did find the Bel storyline a little distracting from the main plot. Whilst it was intriguing to see what she did and what Rochenda Sandall as Azure and Jonny Mathers as Passenger did to people on desolate planets following the Flux, I’m not so sure what Bel has to do with the general plot in ‘Flux’.

Apart from trying to reunite with Vinder of course! Speaking of which, Jacob Anderson makes a guest appearance as Vinder in the episode’s mid-credits sequence where he meets Blake Harrison’s Namaca and asks questions about Bel’s whereabouts. I imagine Jacob Anderson’s in the next episode.

Just to talk about the three main regulars, Jodie Whittaker continues to be excellent as the Thirteenth Doctor. I enjoyed how she was tackling the Weeping Angel menace in the Devonshire village and how she frustrated she became once trying to learn answers to questions about her past.

I enjoyed how she interacted with Claire and Professor Jericho. It was disturbingly unusual when Jodie’s Doctor wasn’t affected by the Weeping Angels when she turned her back on them as she ran away. I’m currently anxious about what has become of Jodie’s Doctor by the episode’s climax here. 😐

Mandip Gill as Yaz and John Bishop as Dan are equally good in the episode too. I’m also currently anxious about them since they’ve now been zapped back in time by a Weeping Angel to 1901 where they meet up with Peggy. Does this mean they can never return to the Doctor and not time-travel again?

It was disturbing when Yaz, Dan and Peggy discovered that Medderton was taken out of time and space altogether, since surrounding the village is infinite space. I’m not sure what to make of that as to whether the Angels did that or the Ravagers, but it was shocking to watch in seeing the episode. 😐

And now we come to the cliffhanger ending of the episode. And let me say, I did not see this coming when watching the episode. The episode concludes with the Thirteenth Doctor…being turned…into a Weeping Angel. I’m not even joking! The Thirteenth Doctor has transformed into a Weeping Angel!

I…err…WHAT?!!!!!

Sorry, let me that say that again!

WHAT?!!!!!!!!

I mean, really! What else can you but…WHAT?!!!!! That is the most ‘out of nowhere’ cliffhanger ending I’ve ever come across in a ‘Doctor Who’ episode! I’ve no idea what’s going on with the Doctor becoming a Weeping Angel. I know I’ll be revisiting the episode again next week, but I’m just baffled.

I don’t know how worried I should be at this point. I will give the Jodie Whittaker/Chris Chibnall this. At least it makes me want to come back to check out the next episode in the series. I’m sure Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor will be alright, but at present, I’m currently curious as to what all this is all about.

‘Village of the Angels’ has been a mind-blowing instalment in the ‘Flux’ story of ‘Doctor Who’. The Weeping Angels are more terrifying in this episode compared to what they were when they were in ‘Blink’ and the Steven Moffat era episodes. The episode also features a good cast in it throughout. 🙂

And the cliffhanger ending is something I didn’t expect to see when watching this particular ‘Doctor Who’ episode on TV. I’m currently looking forward to the next episode of the six-parter, especially from watching the trailer. I hope to revisit all five episodes before checking the final ‘Flux’ episode. 🙂

By the way, Blake Harrison played Private Pike in the ‘Dad’s Army’ 2016 film. 😀

Next week’s episode is ‘Flux – Chapter Five: Survivors of the Flux’ by Chris Chibnall.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

2 thoughts on “TV Review – ‘Flux – Chapter Four: Village of the Angels’ (Doctor Who)

  1. Williams Fan 92

    Great review Tim.

    I fully agree with you on the cliff-hanger. It was such a shock when the Doctor turned into a Weeping Angel. I hope she manages to get out of it. I enjoyed the scenes where the Doctor confronted the Weeping Angel that was in Claire’s mind. I found Kevin McNally as Professor Jericho to be a joy to watch.

    The secondary plot featuring Yaz, Dan and Peggy had a lot going for it. I didn’t predict the twist of Peggy and Mrs. Hayward being the same person. I cannot believe that the three of them and Professor Jericho will have been in 1901 for three years by the next episode. I quite liked the Bel sub-plot once again, especially when I saw Azure and Passenger. I didn’t realise that was Blake Harrison playing Namaca. We’ve got two episodes to see if Bel has anything to do with the Flux.

    I will start on the rest of my bits for the ‘Logopolis’ discussion and I will start listening to ‘Thin Time’ tonight before sharing my thoughts on it tomorrow.

    Take care, WF92.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      Glad you enjoyed my review on the fourth episode of ‘Flux’. I’ve no idea how the Doctor’s going to get out of being a Weeping Angel. Hopefully she will get out of it. How it will happen, I just don’t know. It was nice to see Kevin McNally in the episode. Looking forward to seeing him again in the next episode. It will be interesting to see how things have turned out for Yaz, Dan, Peggy and Jericho in the next episode. I’m curious as to how the Bel subplot will come together in the current ‘Flux’ story with the Thirteenth Doctor. Incidentally, Blake Harrison also worked with Jodie Whittaker in the drama ‘Trust Me’, which I’ve reviewed on my blog.

      Looking forward to hearing from you on our ‘Logopolis’ discussion as well as your thoughts on ‘Thin Time’.

      Many thanks,

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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