The First Doctor The Second Doctor The Third Doctor The Fourth Doctor The Fifth Doctor The Sixth Doctor The Seventh Doctor The Eighth Doctor The Ninth Doctor The Tenth Doctor The Eleventh Doctor The Twelfth Doctor
New Series Episodes 66 & 67:
The Time Of Angels / Flesh And Stone

Plot

A message left on a museum artefact brings the Doctor to the rescue of River Song, at a point in time before his first encounter with her, but after her first meeting with him. River is helping the militant Father Octavian investigate the Byzantium, a spaceship smuggling a dormant Weeping Angel. By the time the Doctor, Amy and River catch up to the vessel, however, it has crashlanded atop a ruined temple, and to reach it, they must traverse a mortuary labyrinth filled with crumbling statues. Too late, the Doctor realises that the Weeping Angel is not alone -- and that he has walked into a trap.

Production

On July 17th, 2007, Russell T Davies offered Steven Moffat the opportunity to succeed him as the showrunner of Doctor Who. Moffat had been a fan of the show since he was a young child, and had written for the programme every year since Davies had revived it in 2005. Although it meant delaying or sacrificing several of his own projects, Moffat could not turn down the chance of a lifetime, and officially accepted the job on October 26th. At this point, it would be two and a half years before the broadcast of Season Thirty-One -- the first under Moffat's stewardship. Nonetheless, he quickly set about planning his initial block of episodes, including devising the new Doctor and companion he would be responsible for introducing.

For the structure of Season Thirty-One, Moffat decided to hew closely to the pattern established by Davies: most episodes would be standalone stories, with three two-part adventures scheduled at regular intervals (including the season finale). He began writing the season premiere, The Eleventh Hour, around January 2008, and had begun work on the first two-parter (which would consist of episodes four and five) by the end of the year. Moffat quickly decided that this would feature the reappearance of River Song, whom he had introduced in Season Thirty's Silence In The Library / Forest Of The Dead. The character had been killed off in that story, but Moffat had introduced the notion that she and the Doctor had a close relationship in her past and his future, and he intended to explore that idea more deeply as showrunner.

One thing that Moffat was keen to do in Season Thirty-One was introduce a number of new concepts, and avoid focussing a lot on old monsters. However, he was eager to bring back one of his own past creations: the Weeping Angels, who had been tremendously well-received after their introduction in 2007's Blink. Nonetheless, Moffat was aware that sequels often proved to be pale imitations of the original, and so he wanted to craft a story very different from the small-scale, claustrophobic Blink. For inspiration, he looked to the 1979 science-fiction horror film Alien and its 1986 follow-up, Aliens. Both movies were very popular, with Alien featuring its heroes combatting a lone monster and Aliens upping the stakes by pitting its protagonists against a planet overrun by the creatures. Moffat strived to emulate this approach by confronting the Doctor with a host of powerful Weeping Angels, as opposed to the four scavengers encountered by Sally Sparrow in Blink.

In Silence In The Library, Moffat had included several throwaway allusions to other adventures shared by the Doctor and River. He had not intended these to have any larger significance, but now decided to use one these references -- to “the crash of the Byzantium” -- as the starting point for his Weeping Angels story. Part one quickly gained the title The Time Of Angels, and Moffat had completed his initial draft by the start of December 2008. The second installment followed in early 2009. At this stage, the Doctor's new companion was called Lucy Sparrow, the same surname Moffat had used for the protagonist of Blink. Moffat had recognised how successfully Davies had used Rose Tyler to reintroduce Doctor Who to the viewing public when the show returned in 2005, and wanted the new companion to fulfill the same function in 2010.

Although The Time Of Angels and its untitled sequel were planned to be the fourth and fifth episodes of the season, Moffat and his fellow executive producers, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis, decided they should be the first to go before the cameras. They were well aware that Season Thirty-One would be the most pivotal for Doctor Who since its 2005 rebirth, coming in the wake of the phenomenally successful partnership between Davies and his Tenth Doctor, David Tennant. With this in mind, they wanted to give Matt Smith, newly cast as the Eleventh Doctor, an opportunity to settle into the role before filming his all-important debut episode. Thus the Weeping Angels story would be made as Block One of the new production schedule. This would be just the second time that a new Doctor's era did not begin with the recording of their first adventure; when Peter Davison became the Fifth Doctor, he initially taped his second story, Four To Doomsday, while his introduction in Castrovalva was actually the fourth serial he made.

Moffat was intent that, along with a new Doctor, Season Thirty-One should also introduce a new look for Doctor Who. A key part of this initiative was the recruitment of directors who had never before worked on the programme, and the first of these was Adam Smith, assigned to The Time Of Angels and its sequel. Smith's previous credits included multiple episodes of Skins and the 2008 version of Little Dorrit.

Moffat was also eager to see a new look for the TARDIS -- both inside and out. He wanted the interior to seem much larger than the Eccleston/Tennant console room, and so production designer Edward Thomas devised a set that replaced the previous coral look with glass and chrome. Multiple exits would be visible, whereas any such egress apart from the main doors had merely been implied in the former console room. Rather than building the new set in place of its predecessor at Upper Boat Studios, it was instead constructed adjacent to it, in the space which had formerly housed the Torchwood Hub (destroyed in the opening episode of Torchwood's third season serial, Children Of Earth). This was because novelist Neil Gaiman was planning an episode for later in Season Thirty-One which would feature both console rooms. (Gaiman's story would ultimately be postponed and appear as The Doctor's Wife in 2011.)

For the outer police box shell, Moffat wanted to move closer to the original design used in William Hartnell's early adventures, and more particularly that which featured in the 1960s Dalek feature films starring Peter Cushing as “Dr Who”. This would be both bigger and brighter than the Eccleston/Tennant TARDIS, with the St John's Ambulance badge displayed on the Ship's doors for the first time since The Ark in 1966.

In April, the three executive producers began conducting auditions for the role of Lucy Sparrow. One of the actresses they saw came highly recommended by Willis: this was a Scottish performer and model named Karen Gillan. Gillan had been interested in acting since childhood, and a number of stage roles had ultimately parlayed themselves into several TV credits, including a regular role on The Kevin Bishop Show and a small part in the 2008 Doctor Who story The Fires Of Pompeii, in which Gillan had played a Soothsayer. Around this time, Gillan was recording her movie debut in the horror film Outcast. Her audition impressed Moffat, Wenger and Willis, who asked Gillan to return in mid-May to perform some scenes opposite Smith. Their chemistry was palpable, and later that day, Gillan learned that she had been cast as the Doctor's new companion. The news came as a particular delight to her mother, who was a big Doctor Who fan. The announcement was made to the press on May 29th.

Soon thereafter, attention turned to the show's star, and the development of the Eleventh Doctor. Smith had now watched every twenty-first century episode of Doctor Who, together with a sampling of serials from the classic version of the show, but instead of drawing upon earlier interpretations, he was determined that the Eleventh Doctor should be a very new entity. To help him develop his concept of the Doctor, Smith took to writing short stories, including one in which his Doctor and Albert Einstein travelled back to ancient Egypt. For Smith's costume, Moffat had originally envisaged something pirate-inspired, perhaps incorporating the more modern look of 1999's The Matrix. However, Smith was resistant to this approach, and finally convinced a dubious Moffat to let him try a combination of tweed jacket, suspenders and bow tie, echoing the professorial look of the mid-twentieth century. To Moffat's astonishment, the outfit suited Smith to a tee.

Production on Doctor Who's thirty-first season began on July 10th, with the footage of the Weeping Angel in the Byzantium cell recorded at Upper Boat. However, it was ten days later that the main shoot got under way in a blaze of publicity, with Smith and Gillan -- whose character had now been rechristened Amy Pond -- joined by Alex Kingston, reprising her role as River Song. July 20th and 21st were both spent at Southerndown Beach near Bridgend, which was the Byzantium crash site. Unfortunately, quick moving tides on the 20th and torrential rain on the 21st put a damper on the proceedings, and forced Moffat to rewrite some material so that it could be filmed in the TARDIS console room. The next two days, July 22nd and 23rd, saw the scenes in the Clerics' encampment recorded at Aberthaw Quarry in East Aberthaw.

One of the two primary locations for the Weeping Angels adventure was Puzzlewood, near Coleford in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. This served as the Jungle Vault aboard the Byzantium, and filming took place there from July 21st to 31st, omitting only the 26th. This included the enigmatic scene of the Doctor travelling back through his timeline from the season finale, The Big Bang, which was part of the overarching storyline Moffat had been planning for some time. Wet conditions continued to plague the shoot during their stay in Puzzlewood, forcing considerable rescheduling. One consequence was that Stephen Martin-Walters could not complete his scenes as the Cleric Crispin, and so many of his lines were shared between Crispin's colleagues Marco, Pedro and Phillip instead. Another rewrite saw Moffat give the Doctor a line to explicitly acknowledge the incessant rain.

The other primary venue for the story was nearby Clearwell Caves, posing as the Maze of the Dead; production there spanned August 1st to 8th. In addition, on the 4th a second unit led by first assistant director Dan Mumford returned to Puzzlewood to record Octavian's revelation about River's incarceration. On the 8th, Adam Smith was abetted by another second unit handling pick-up shots, this time helmed by Alice Troughton; Troughton had previously directed The Doctor's Daughter and Midnight, as well as five stories for The Sarah Jane Adventures.

The remainder of the shooting schedule was confined to Upper Boat Studios, starting on August 10th and 11th with scenes on the Byzantium secondary flight deck. The 12th dealt with material in the shuttle and some Byzantium corridor sequences, with the latter continuing to the 13th alongside those in the home box room and effects shots. August 14th involved work on the sets for the secondary flight deck and the shuttle, alongside various inserts. Filming resumed on the 17th for scenes on the Byzantium primary flight deck. This work carried over to the 18th, when a number of pick-up shots were also recorded. Finally, August 19th was the first day of production on the new TARDIS interior set.

Although this marked the end of the main shooting schedule, a number of scenes still remained to be filmed. However, Adam Smith was moving directly into work on the season's third production block -- consisting solely of The Eleventh Hour -- and so this would permit him to fit the outstanding sequences from the Weeping Angels story around work on the season premiere. As such, additional TARDIS scenes were filmed on September 24th and 25th. On the 29th, Bute Park in Cardiff was the venue for the prison guard's hallucination, and on the 30th, the museum visited by the Doctor and Amy was actually Brecon Cathedral in Brecon.

On October 12th, material in Amy's bedroom was taped at the Vicarage in Rhymney. Moffat intended for the season arc to climax on the actual date that The Big Bang would be broadcast, but since the transmission schedules had not yet been fixed, several possible variations had to be recorded for those instances in which the date appeared on screen. Various inserts were also recorded at the Vicarage on both October 12th and 14th, with more pick-up shots completed at Upper Boat on November 12th, 20th and 25th. These included a revised version of the scene in Amy's bedroom (realised as a set this time) which was now painted blue at Adam Smith's suggestion in order to visually reinforce Amy's connection with the TARDIS.

By February 2010, part two was still without a title, as Moffat searched for another name which would incorporate the word “Angels”. Finally, his son Joshua pointed out that this was unnecessary, since the viewers would already know of the presence of the Weeping Angels from episode one. Joshua suggested Flesh And Stone as an alternative, and Moffat decided to adopt the title.

The Time Of Angels was broadcast on April 24th. Unfortunately, during the tension-filled closing moments of the episode, the BBC chose to run an animated trailer along the bottom of the screen featuring presenter Graham Norton advertising his talent competition, Over The Rainbow. Several thousand viewers lodged a complaint with the BBC, and the Corporation issued a formal apology on April 27th.

Sources
  • Doctor Who News.
  • Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #26, 30th December 2010, “The Time Of Angels / Flesh And Stone” by Andrew Pixley, Panini Publishing Ltd.

Original Transmission
1: The Time Of Angels
Date 24th Apr 2010
Time 6.24pm
Duration 41'37"
Viewers (more) 8.6m (8th)
· BBC1 8.1m
· BBCHD 461k
· iPlayer 1.5m
Appreciation 87%
2: Flesh And Stone
Date 1st May 2010
Time 6.27pm
Duration 42'37"
Viewers (more) 8.5m (11th)
BBC1 8.0m
BBCHD 476k
iPlayer 1.4m
Appreciation 86%


Cast
The Doctor
Matt Smith
Amy Pond
Karen Gillan
River Song
Alex Kingston
(more)
Alistair
Simon Dutton
Security Guard
Mike Skinner
Octavian
Iain Glen
Christian
Mark Springer
Angelo
Troy Glasgow
Bob
David Atkins
Marco
Darren Morfitt
Pedro
Mark Monero
Phillip
George Russo


Crew
Written by
Steven Moffat
Directed by
Adam Smith
Produced by
Tracie Simpson
(more)

1st Asst Director
Dan Mumford
2nd Asst Director
James DeHaviland
3rd Asst Director
Heddi-Joy Taylor-Welch
Runners
Nicola Eynon Price
Laura Jenkins
Location Managers
Gareth Skelding
Paul Davies
Unit Manager
Rhys Griffiths
Production Manager
Holly Pullinger
Production Co-ordinator
Jess van Niekerk
Production Management Asst
Claire Thomas
Production Runner
Siân Warrilow
Asst Production Accountant
Carole Wakefield
Script Editor
Lindsey Alford
Continuity
Non Eleri Hughes
Camera Operator
Joe Russell
Focus Pullers
Steve Rees
Anna James
Grip
John Robinson
Camera Assistants
Tom Hartley
Jon Vidgen
Boom Operator
Dafydd Parry
Sound Maintenance Engineer
Jeff Welch
Gaffer
Mark Hutchings
Best Boy
Pete Chester
Electricians
Ben Griffiths
Steve Slocombe
Bob Milton
Alan Tippetts
Stunt Co-ordinator
Crispin Layfield
Supervising Art Director
Stephen Nicholas
Associate Designer
James North
Art Dept Co-ordinator
Amy Pope
Production Buyer
Ben Morris
Set Decorator
Julian Luxton
Props Buyer
Adrian Anscombe
Standby Art Director
Ciaran Thompson
Set Designer
Ben Austin
Storyboard Artist
Matthew Savage
Concept Artists
Richard Shaun Williams
Peter McKinstry
Graphic Artist
Jackson Pope
Standby Props
Phill Shellard
Tom Evans
Standby Carpenter
Will Pope
Standby Rigger
Keith Freeman
Standby Painter
Ellen Woods
Props Master
Paul Aitken
Props Chargehand
Matt Wild
Dressing Props
Martin Broadbent
Rhys Jones
Props Makers
Penny Howarth
Nicholas Robatto
Practical Electrician
Albert James
Construction Manager
Matthew Hywel-Davies
Construction Chargehand
Scott Fisher
Scenic Artists
John Pinkerton
John Whalley
Graphics
BBC Wales Graphics
Title Sequence
FrameStore
Costume Supervisor
Bobbie Peach
Costume Assistants
Sara Morgan
Maria Franchi
Make-Up Supervisor
Pam Mullins
Make-Up Artists
Abi Brotherton
Morag Smith
Casting Associates
Andy Brierley
Alice Purser
Assistant Editor
Cat Gregory
VFX Editor
Ceres Doyle
Post Prod. Supervisors
Samantha Hall
Chris Blatchford
Post Prod. Co-ordinator
Marie Brown
Dubbing Mixer
Tim Ricketts
Supervising Sound Editor
Paul McFadden
Sound Effects Editor
Paul Jefferies
Foley Editor
Helen Dickson
Colourist
Mick Vincent
On-Line Conform
Matthew Clarke
Mark Bright
Original Theme Music
Ron Grainer
Casting Director
Andy Pryor CDG
Production Executive
Julie Scott
Production Accountant
Ceri Tothill
Sound Recordist
Bryn Thomas
Costume Designer
Ray Holman
Make-Up Designer
Barbara Southcott
Visual Effects
The Mill
Special Effects
Real SFX
Prosthetics
Millennium FX
Music
Murray Gold
Editor
Will Oswald
Production Designer
Edward Thomas
Director Of Photography
Damian Bromley
Line Producer
Patrick Schweitzer
Executive Producers
Steven Moffat
Piers Wenger
Beth Willis


Media
DVD Release
Doctor Who: Series 5 Volume 2 (single disc; 2010)
Buy: UK
Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series (2010; boxed set)
Buy: Canada · UK · USA
Blu-ray Release
Doctor Who: Series 5 Volume 2 (single disc; 2010)
Buy: UK
Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series (2010; boxed set)
Buy: Canada · UK · USA

Updated 4th August 2013