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"It's all about you."
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lil_shepherd


This is beginning to get really tricksy, and what follows is mainly thinking out loud.

None of the main characters is exactly what and who they seem, and that may even include the Doctor. Having been caught out more than once already on the "Oh, that's just a continuity mistake" front, I am now looking very, very carefully at what seem to be errors. The most obvious one, which many people have already been speculating about, is that when the Doctor came back to talk to Amy in the forest area, he was wearing his jacket which, specifically, had been grabbed by the Angels in an earlier scene, and which he does not wear for the rest of the episode. Geekier people than me have taken close-ups of the tweed and concluded that he wears several jackets during those episodes broadcast so far (and there's an interesting change!) and this is not the same one the Angels grabbed. Obvious continuity error... except, except that is, in itself, a very odd little scene, and a quite unnecessary one from a driving-the-plot-in-an-Indiana-Jonesish-adventure. What's more, the Doctor knows that Amy cannot see him, and he takes care that she will not touch his sleeves... I don't know. The more I think about it, the more I wonder.

Then there is River - abrasive, snarky, intelligent, arrogant, courageous, subtle River - who is plainly regarded as very dangerous but very useful by the Church Military, and whose actual relationship with the Doctor seems to change by the moment. Who did she kill? The huge dropped hints that it was the Doctor's future self make me suspicious. There's something we aren't getting yet. And who taught her to fly the TARDIS? She admits she's hiding things, just as the Doctor admits that he lies. Hmm - they're a good pair.

So the Doctor has "seen the best" of Father Octavian? Will he also see the worst? I am deeply suspicious of the Church Military - even if the ban on "marrying yourself" is just a joke, it still speaks of a dangerous control of society. And what god or gods do this Church worship?

As for the Angels, there is much unanswered, and because of the sort of writer Moffat is, some of those unanswered questions may be deliberately left open for a later answer.

Let's see. The Angels assembled or were assembled in the Maze of the Dead for purposes unknown. The locals are either dead or, possibly, flung back in time (or forward?) Humans have taken over the planet but appear to be unimportant. The Angels seem, for some reason, unable to leave - and gradually deteriorate - save one, who is apparently waiting for the opportunity to crash a spaceship on top of the catacombs, release a lot of energy, and revive all the Angels and, dare I say it, destroy the Universe (or conquer it. I really must watch that again.) They try to anger the Doctor, to make him run up into the Byzantium and, eventually, into the Crack. Hmm. Was the Doctor - and with him, Amy, who may be more important - brought here to open that Crack and, if so, by whom? One thing is clear, the Angels run from the Crack so didn't intend to go into it themselves. The Doctor believes they want him to fall/jump into it, and he substitutes them.

The Church Military's job is to stop the Angel on the Byzantium, and they send River to do it. She, despite having been released from jail for the purpose, plainly has her heart in the matter and calls the Doctor to the scene, both to rescue her and to tail the Byzantium. It is likely that part of her job, set her by the Church Military, is to get the Doctor there. (Though Octavian does say that she promised him an army.) There is also a possibility that a future Doctor arranged the whole thing himself.

Finally, Amy, because when the Doctor says, "It's all about you," he is not - or not only - accusing her of emotional selfishness (and who wouldn't take the opportunity to try and shag the Doctor if you were going to marry Rory - and were by no means sure you wanted to - in the morning?) It has been clear for some time now that that Crack is about Amy - it is following her, or was created by her. Who and what is Amy? Octavian says that the Doctor does not know "who and what" River is. He doesn't know who or what Amy is either.
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Oh, yes! Yes to much of this. Though I had not spotted the thing with the jacket, and of course you're right. (I was distracted by thinking that Amy had been set an impossible task - to keep her eyes closed - and in her place, or that of her companions, I would be desperately trying to fashion a blindfold).

And I'm enjoying Amy's relationship with the Doctor - rather against my will. The will-they-won't-they apect of the Doctor/Companion relationship is one of the aspects of NuWho that I find most tedious - but this time it's so wittily done that the actual scenes (as opposed to any speculation) are irresistible!

Yes, the lack of a blindfold is something that Moffat is hoping you won't think too much about - though I'm not sure what they could use, given how everyone is dressed. He is also hoping you won't think too much about the backstory.

Indeed, something about that backstory just occurred to me - a race with two heads would be more difficult for the Angels to cope with than a race with one. Perhaps dealing with that was one of the factors that 'exhausted' them.

I thought about the blindfold. And also about the Doctor's bow-tie. OK, it's not *very* wide, but it would do! And doesn't he carry a hanky? (Filthy beast, if not...! No wonder he didn't want Amy to touch his sleeve.)

I have to confess, I didn't notice the bit about the jacket. I suppose now I'll have to watch the Friday re-run (or at least part of it).

Ina points out that a blindfold would draw attention to the fact that she wasn't looking at the Angels. They must know when people are looking at them... but that doesn't explain why they didn't noticed the closed eyes.

Ah, the bow tie. Apparently since Matt started wearing one sales of the things have doubled. The expert on the Radio discussing this said he thought the ones (there are several) that Matt has been wearing were clip-ons.

They must know when people are looking at them

Not according to my original understanding of the quantum locking idea. Originally, they were frozen if there was an observer, no knowledge on their part necessary. I liked it better that way.

I also didn't like seeing them actually move. First, because I liked it that you never could see them move: if you were looking at them, then somebody (you) was looking at them, and they were frozen. Second, I always imagined the moving angels as flesh and blood predators, not moving statues: the statue look went with the immobility.

(I hated that some of the statues blown into the crack had broad flat bases!)

I don't care so much about the angels that I am particularly bothered by the retcon - if it is a retcon - but I do agree with you about the flat bases. Bad move, SFX dept.

It's not just the jacket, his physicality with Amy is different in that little scene. Shirted Dr leaves her to go into the forest and can't touch her, he waves his hands about near her but that's it. Jacketed Dr holds her head while he's talking to her, strokes her hair and kisses her forehead. No wonder she thinks a shag is on the cards.

I am beginning to explore the idea that River is a regeneration of the Doctor. That she's hiding that from the Church Militant by taking the rap for having "killed" her previous version. The marrying yourself line takes on a new context then.

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Hmm. Have just watched this, and it's not entirely clear that he *is* wearing a jacket at that point - you can only just see his left shoulder. And if he is, he's pushed the sleeves up, because when he takes Amy's hands, you can see half-way up his forearms.

Which is equally interesting, because that long-sleeved shirt he is wearing has cuffs that not only have bright horizontal stripes, but come right down to below his wrists - and he does not roll up his sleeves at any other time.

He is wearing the jacket - and it is not the jacket he wears in the rest of the double episode. (It's a wonderful thing to be a fan in the days of digital.) But it is not very visible - which suggests either that 1. this is a fill-in scene done later, and it is, indeed, a continuity error which they have tried to cover by shooting his hands separately at a later point, though it would have been easy enough to eliminate what is left of the jacket in the computer, even on a BBC budget or 2. that this is a Moffat sneaky as proposed above.

I am not sold yet on the latter, but it is interesting to speculate, and I did feel that that scene was odd and a tad out of character for this Doctor at the time.


I love the idea of River being an incarnation of the Doctor. But if she is, then we have seen his final death.

Though Moffat is setting up a reset that could be any size...

During my first viewing I felt there was something up with that little interlude when the Doctor takes her hand but couldn't quite articulate what it was. I'm not *quite* geeky enough to have watched on freeze frame but the screen shots I've seen do seem to confirm that he's wearing the dark tweed jacket in that scene and the paler one in the earlier scenes. It also explains that odd bit where the Angel grabs his jacket - it's a red flag for the discerning viewer!

I LOVE River! Independent, clever, sexy older woman who throws the Doctor completely off balance - what's not to love? And Amy... at last a companion with feelings, thoughts and an agenda separate from the Doctor's.

I wondered about the idea of River being a future incarnation of the Doctor, particularly in relation to the throwaway line about self-marriage... (also, have you noticed Moffat is getting away with a lot of lines that, had RTD come up with them, would have had certain viewers yelling, "Gay agenda!"?). The nice thing is I have confidence Moffat knows exactly who she is and where he's going with the character.

Even if Moffat claims that this is a continuity error, I am not sure I am going to believe him until the end of this season. He has already claimed that about the date on Rory's pass - but if you are faking something like that, why should you get the date so plainly wrong?

We also know that the Moff, like the Doctor, lies when it suits his purpose, which is to accomplish his own sleight of hand. No magician likes to give away his tricks, and no writer is going to tell you the secrets that keep you watching!

I don't blame them at all for lying their little cotton socks off at times! It must be so hard in this digital age to keep anything secret. ("Spoilers!")

Rory's pass is weird - as you say, you'd have to *try* to make a mistake like that - after all you would have to work out the date based on his character bio to make it realistic and it isn't as though it's just a wrong/transposed digit.

I also liked Amy jumping the Doctor! I know there's been criticism but for god's sake she'd just nearly died, was freaked about her wedding and had a warm personable body next to her to make it all better - if only for a little while. Made perfect sense to me!

Eleven and Amy have a wonderful chemistry (and I don't mean romantic/sexual). The last couple of years of NuWho have been a bit meh and have showcased some of the worst aspects of Russell's writing. (I did enjoy the first couple of seasons). It's so nice to become reinvested in the show.

It was wonderful to be so totally engrossed by an episode! And actual sci-fi as well!
Wow.
My theory is that Amy Pond is a younger version of River! River was very solicitous of Amy-odd when you think that she might be construed as a rival for 11's affections.
:p

River seems totally confident in her relationship with the Doctor, which is amusing as he is plainly uncomfortable with it...

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