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Published on May 3rd, 2010 | by Christian Cawley

Flesh and Stone Reaction

An average audience of 6.9 million viewers tuned in for Flesh and Stone according to overnight figures, with Doctor Who securing 34.5% of the available audience, reports GallifreyNewsBase.

Split across 6.53 million watching on BBC One, (the most watched programme of the evening on the network), and 0.34 million watching on BBC HD, final figures are likely to be higher once delayed viewing from iPlayer and Sky+ are factored in.

Doctor Who - Flesh and StoneReviews of the episode – the conclusion of the storyline begun in The Time of Angels and a development of the series arc – have been overwhelmingly positive.

SFX awarded the Steven Moffat script – his fourth so far – with 4 stars out of 5, although given some of the points in their review this seems a slightly high score. Time to start marking our of 10, perhaps? Still, they’re not wrong about this:

There are, however, plenty of touches of the Moffat genius. Amy’s countdown is a brilliant tension-heightening gimmick, and the scenes with the cleric having no memory of his vanishing comrades is very spooky (almost like something from Sapphire And Steel). The Doctor’s final dialogue with the doomed Bishop (“I wish I’d known you better.” “I think, sir, you’ve known me at my best.”) must rate as one of the best-written and most affecting self-sacrifices scenes in the show’s history.

If you’re looking for a national mainstream press review, once again your only hope is The Guardian. however Dan Martin declared that Flesh and Stone is:

“…better than Genesis Of The Daleks and better than City Of Death and better than Tomb Of The Cybermen and, yes, better than Blink,”

which leads us to wonder if he’s quite alright. I mean, it was good, possibly even a classic, but better than Genesis…?

Den of Geek’s review of Flesh and Stone makes a particular point of the developed powers of the Weeping Angels no longer content with feeding off the time energy created by sending you back in time (as in Blink) – now they’re really aggressive, desperate to feed on the energy from the Byzantium and the crack.

How about suddenly taking a cleric in a headlock, for instance? A brilliant moment, terrifically executed.

Then there’s the angel in Amy’s eye. The simple weaving in of a countdown into Amy’s dialogue was great for starters (be honest: how far into it did get before you realised she was counting down?), but as it became clear the angel was inside her, it was played out to terrific effect.

Doctor Who - Flesh and Stone sees the return of River SongMaryAnn Johanson is focussed firmly on the Doctor and his various possible/potential relationships with the women in the episode – and she rightly underlines that the situation with River Song is less of a situation and more of a “what are you doing to us, Moffat?!”

Okay: the Doctor and River. In the space of three short episodes featuring River Song (and the awesome Alex Kingston), we’ve gone from “The Doctor’s what?” to “No, she can’t really be the Doctor’s wife — that’s too obvious. Something else extrainsidious and strange must be going on here.” And it almost doesn’t matter what that something extrainsidious is, or even if River does in fact turn out to “merely” be a lover of the Doctor’s (which would be extraordinary enough, for where this show came from), because it’s the hashing over the possibilities she represents that’s the real fun.

Finally, ShadowLocked blogger Leo Porter has made the rather astonishing claim that Matt Smith is the best Doctor since Tom Baker. Based on 5 episodes, we really don’t see how this decision can be determined so soon, however the rash declaration soon loses steam:

I believe that David Tennant would have been the subject of this article if he had been The Doctor in the reign of Steven Moffat instead of Russell T. Davies, and that in this sense – for all that the role profited him and the new verson of the show garnered viewers – he was short-changed.

So, in fact nothing to do with the actor then, Leo?

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About the Author

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




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