Series 13 of Doctor Who did something a bit different and had one larger story told over the course of six episodes. It was called “Flux” and there was a lot of moving parts to it, personally there were some I liked, some I didn’t, and some stuff I still didn’t quite understand even having now watched it twice but one thing that did stand out was the fourth episode in this story arc; “Village of the Angels”.
It’s my favourite episode of this story arc because it’s one of the more self-contained ones. Set in Devon in the 1960s, a little girl has gone missing, Professor Eustacius Jericho (Kevin McNally) is conducting psychic experiments, and in the village graveyard, there is one gravestone too many – it’s the Weeping Angels.
As mentioned before when I talked about “Blink” which is the first episode these creatures appeared in, the Weeping Angels are proper scary when done right. By this point it’d been a while since we’d had an episode with Weeping Angels, and the last time they were used it had got a little samey for me so they didn’t feel as terrifying as they once were. “Village of the Angels” changed that and made the Weeping Angels a proper threat again. Characters got caught by the Angels and sent back in time, some characters we care about, others we don’t, and the realities of getting stuck in the past feels real and dangerous.
As well as giving us a scary villain, “Village of the Angels” gives us some great new characters in Professor Jericho and Claire (Annabel Scholey). There’s a lot happening in these Flux episodes and new characters are introduced all the time but those two really stood out. Jericho is smart, kind and quickly adapts when the Doctor arrives and starts talking about moving statues and the importance of not blinking. Claire is a woman out of time with some psychic abilities meaning there’s the opportunity to do something different with the Weeping Angels and her mind. The highest accolade I can give to characters like Jericho and Claire is I’d love to see them have more adventures in the TARDIS. They are both companion-material.
“Village of the Angels” is a really atmospheric story that does push the overarching “Flux” plot on, but also puts characters in proper peril, has a relentless villain, and has the kind of cliffhanger that is almost impossible to live up to the potential it sets up.