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Recap / Doctor Who S39 E4 "Flux Chapter Four: Village of the Angels"
aka: Doctor Who S 39 E 4 Village Of The Angels

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The terrifying birth of a Time Lady-Weeping Angel. And this time, it sticks.
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The one where the Doctor finds more in common with the Weeping Angels than she wanted.

"Village of the Angels"note  is the fourth episode of Series 13, and the fourth installment in the Flux story arc. It was written by Maxine Alderton & Chris Chibnall, and debuted on November 21st, 2021.


Tropes:

  • And Then John Was a Zombie: The Doctor herself is transformed into a Weeping Angel at the end.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: What gives great-uncle Gerald's wife the right to talk to him like that? 47 painful years, that's what. And the fact he is a vile and virtueless excuse of a human.
  • Asshole Victim: Nobody is particularly cut up when great-uncle Gerald dies by touching an angel for the second time. Not even Peggy, who has lost the only family she had left (her great-aunt died at the same time).
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  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: When Jericho announces his full name to the Doctor, she marvels at the awesomeness of the name, before wintering on about how she can use that to win at Scrabble.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Professor Eustacius Jericho. The Doctor even lampshades it.
  • Awful Truth: Mrs. Hayward has to break it to poor Peggy that she will never escape from 1907... because Mrs. Hayward is Peggy herself, having lived a full life in the village for over 66 years.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Jericho gives one to the Angels, and boy, it's a doozy!
      "You are observed! That is my power over you!"
    • He also gives one to the Doctor and he absolutely lives up to it.
      "I've seen many things beyond my comprehension, Doctor. I was one of the first British soldiers into Belsen at the end of the war. If you think a few stone statues will disturb my equilibrium, you are mistaken."
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  • Bad Samaritan: Azure is offering people salvation to a safe galaxy using a Passenger as transport. Only Bel realizes that Azure's motives aren't as pure as advertised.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The Angels succeed in capturing the Doctor and successfully wipe out both towns during their mission. The Angel in Claire was able to trade the Doctor in exchange for its own safety.
  • Batman Gambit: The rogue Weeping Angel inside Claire pulls one off. It knows the Doctor would try to save Claire, uses her as bait and ends up with a bargaining chip against its pursuers. Something more valuable to the Division than a rogue Angel, a rogue Time Lord.
  • Big Entrance: Like the Cybermen before them, the Angels get into somewhere by smashing the door down.
  • Body Horror: The Doctor's graphic transformation into an Angel at the end of the episode. Granted, New-Who has done more terrifying transformations than this one, but this one is spine-chilling to say the least.
  • Break Them by Talking: The Angels try to do this to Jericho. (See "The Reason You Suck" Speech below.) It doesn't take.
  • Call-Back:
    • Multiple to "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone", the two-part episode that first established the Angels' abilities to appear from images and to implant themselves within people through their line of sight and take them over from the inside. Most prominently, the Doctor repeats the passage that she (he at the time) read from a book saying, "That which holds the image of an angel becomes itself an angel".
    • The Doctor once again utters two distinct classic phrases:
      • "Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow." The first part has been uttered by past incarnations and companions every once in a while during the Classic and New Who eras, while the last time the Doctor said the full line was in "The Girl Who Died". This makes Jodie Whittaker the fifth incarnation of the doctor to utter the full phrase, following Jon Pertwee, Peter Davison, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi's incarnations. Pertwee was most well known for saying that line. Even though he only said the full phrase twice!
      • She tells Jericho, "When I say run, run!" (And, as a variation, also uses "When I say blink, blink".) Another classic line that many Doctors have uttered, but made the most famous by Troughton's incarnation back in the 60s.
    • We once again see the results of the Angel's powers of sending people back in time to "live to death" through Mrs Hayward, the elderly version of Peggy who was sent back to 1901 and stayed in that time for 66 years. We've seen examples of this before with Kathy Nightingale and Billy Shipton in "Blink", and Detective Garner, Amy and Rory in "The Angels take Manhattan".
  • Commonality Connection:
    • Despite the danger, Professor Jericho is mainly interested in gathering data and analysing the situation, an attitude the Doctor can appreciate.
    • Averted with the rogue Weeping Angel who is fleeing the Division. The Doctor has little sympathy, and it turns out rightly so.
  • Creepy Monotone: The Angels mimic Jericho's voice in a very cold tone when taunting him.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: The Division is said to employ beings of every species on every planet across every moment in time, even Weeping Angels.
  • Evil Uncle: Not literally evil, but Peggy's great-uncle Gerald comes across as very unfeeling and harsh to her, showing a lack of care. Sadly Truth in Television, as seniors in the 60s often treated children in such a way; even Peggy isn't particularly broken up at him being killed.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: The Doctor blinks in front of the Weeping Angel just before she realizes that it's not coming after her.
  • Floating Continent: The Angels use quantum extraction to displace the entire town in a bubble and slowly collapse it, leaving nowhere to run.
  • Forced Transformation: The Doctor's transformation into an Angel at the end of the episode.
  • For the Evulz: The Angels draw out their chase of the Doctor and company... because they want to give her time to puzzle out what's happening before she realizes that it's pointless. Likewise, they spare a few people because it amuses them to do so; Mrs. Hayward explicitly says that they do this because they're cruel.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: A Weeping Angel slips into the show's credits. Don't blink!
  • Grudging "Thank You": Namaca thanks Bel indirectly through Vinder when he comes to the belated realization that she was right about Azure and her Passenger.
  • His Name Is...: The hologram recording that Bel leaves for Vinder runs out just when she's about to reveal her coordinates.
  • Hypocritical Humor: The Doctor tells her companions not to wander off, then (as Dan notes) promptly wanders off elsewhere.
  • It Won't Turn Off: The torn-up picture of the Angel reassembles itself, and the TV that Jericho smashed continues to broadcast the taunting Angel voice.
  • Kill It with Fire: Zig-zagged. When an Angel manifests as a projection through Claire's drawing, the Doctor quickly crumbles the paper to break the projection, then chucks it in the fireplace and sets it on fire to destroy any trace of the image. As the burning paper unfolds in the flames, the Angel reappears as a flaming projection, so the Doctor has to douse the flames to get rid of it permanently.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Gerald and his wife suffer this fate when they're touched by a Weeping Angel (after they have already been sent into the past by a different one), causing them to petrify and crumble into dust.
  • Living Drawing: The drawing that Claire made of a Weeping Angel, which starts to manifest through this. Another Angel manifests by manipulating the readings on the EEG to draw an angel on the paper.
  • Living Structure Monster: Images of the Angels on the walls in the escape tunnel become hands that reach out to grab people. Even the dust is itself an Angel, with a bit that gets into Jericho's eye becoming an Angel that then displaces him.
  • Mirror Reveal: While washing her face at the sink, Claire has a vision of herself with the wings of a Weeping Angel.
  • Nerves of Steel: Professor Jericho, a WWII veteran. As he tells the Doctor, "If you think a few stone statues will disturb my equilibrium, you are mistaken."
  • No Sympathy: Peggy sheds no tears for her great aunt Jean even though she comes across as much nicer than her husband.
  • Oh, Crap!: Bel knows to run when Azure refers to the being next to her as a Passenger, as she has experience with the beings and recognizes the term.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The Angels not attacking the Doctor at the episode's climax when she turns her back on them, which leads into the reveal that the Angels have made a deal to capture the Doctor for the Division.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The Angels give one of these to Professor Jericho, claiming that he only throws himself into his academic work to distract himself from it being the only thing that gives meaning to his loveless, childless, and otherwise pointless life. He doesn't let them get to him.
  • Retired Badass: Professor Jericho, a war veteran.
  • The Reveal:
    • Claire recognised the Doctor and the Weeping Angel because she has psychic visions of the future.
    • It was already well-known that if a Weeping Angel touches you, it can send you back in time. Here, if you touch one, it can also send you back.
    • It wasn't shown what happens if you get caught by a Weeping Angel twice after it's fed off your energy from temporal displacement. If it happens, you turn to stone and crumble into dust. Yikes!
  • Rogue Soldier: The Weeping Angel inside Claire. The other Angels aren't trying to rescue it— they're trying to capture it.
  • Series Continuity Error: When Gerald and Jean are grabbed by the Angel in 1901, they petrify and shatter instead of going back in time again, and Peggy grimly remarks that no one survives it twice. However, in "The Angels Take Manhattan", Rory, who had been sent back to 1938 by an Angel, encountered a future version of himself who had been sent back a second time and was dying of old age. This could be explained as being a result of the quantum extraction only having 1901 as a past destination and there's nowhere else to go before that time, whereas being touched twice by an angel per se in a normal timeline of events, the angels can usually keep a hold of their prey and continue to feast on their potential energy.
  • Shellshocked Veteran: Professor Jericho was one of the British soldiers who liberated Belsen concentration camp at the end of World War II. He doesn't go into detail about what he found there, but states that it prepared him for dealing with unexplained horror.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: The Angels try to get into Jericho's head by emotionally manipulating him, but he has none of it.
  • Significant Reference Date: The 1967 parts of the episode take place on 21 November, the same date as the episode's airdate in 2021.
  • The Slow Path: Mrs. Hayward is Peggy, who never returned from 1901 and lived back to 1967.
  • Sniff Sniff Nom: The Doctor sniffs Gerald's coat and establishes that they have landed in 1949. He indignantly points out that it's 1967. Turns out he's had the coat for a while.
  • Spare a Messenger: The Angels like to spare a few people during their rampages, just so there's someone to remember what happened.
  • The Stinger: The final scene of the episode begins shortly after the credits roll, where Vinder encounters Namaca and receives a message from Bel before the credits resume.
  • Taken for Granite:
    • Getting grabbed by an Angel twice when in the space of a quantum extraction is lethal, causing the victim to petrify and then shatter.
    • The Doctor at the end of the episode, after the Angels capture her, is converted into an Angel.
  • Television Portal: An Angel attempts to manifest through the crude security camera that the Doctor rigged up out of a period television. Jericho smashes the screen to stop it.
  • Tempting Fate: Dan and Yaz will be safe from the Weeping Angel as long as they have light. First the moon goes behind a cloud, then their torch batteries go out.
  • Tentative Light: Electric torches are unreliable in the presence of the Angels. Yaz and Dan suspect (accurately as we know from past episodes) that an Angel can drain their power.
  • Time Is Dangerous: The temporal barrier between the two concurrent instances of the town allows sound and light to pass through, but solid objects are vaporized. This is demonstrated on a stick as a test, as the group was savvy enough not to cross immediately.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Gerald and Jean continue to ignore Yaz and Dan's warnings and insist the Weeping Angel is just a statue even though one of them already displaced them (Gerald before Jean, so she saw him disappear into thin air from touching it) and they've noticed it's now suddenly day instead of night (but apparently not noticed that the streets are deserted and everything is in disarray), and even though Yaz and Dan are supposedly affiliated with the police. It gets them killed when they make second contact with the Angel.
  • Uniformity Exception: The Weeping Angel which hijacked the TARDIS and communicates with the Doctor has a distinguishing scar/crack running across its face.
  • Wham Episode: The Doctor becomes a Weeping Angel! Does more need to be said?
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We do not see what happens to Reverend Shaw after the Angel sends him back in time (though it is possible that he met the same fate as Gerald and Jean, since Peggy already knows what happens when an Angel catches someone twice).
  • Why Isn't It Attacking?: The Doctor wonders this when she tries to outrun an Angel and isn't grabbed, knowing that it was a fool's errand when she did it. Even blinking doesn't move them. She realizes too late that it's because more are above the exit of the tunnel, and they don't want to displace her, but capture her.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: The rogue Angel is able to manifest inside Claire because as a seer she saw its image in her mind.

Alternative Title(s): Doctor Who S 39 E 4 Village Of The Angels

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