Okay, spoilers everywhere, so if you haven’t seen it don’ t read any of this. I talked a bit before about Time of Angels…it did indeed contain bits that were very interesting to me pertaining to matters of faith/religion. I have to say that Flesh & Stone took it up a notch…and I was pleasantly surprised.
Some of the themes brought up were faith and fear…how they are related and the limits of both. The discussions back and forth betwixt The Doctor and Angel Bob were very interesting. Bob did have some good points about the fact that the Doctor keeps making promises that he might not be able to keep; he gets people to put their trust in him, then does indeed let some of them down. Sometimes being afraid is the most intelligent position,as Bob kind of alludes to…and of course, one can’t truly be brave without fear.
The military nature of the church wasn’t explored much further than in the first part. In Time of Angels it is said that the church has “moved on,” whatever that might mean (kind of an odd comment seeing as how the church did have a military nature in the past (rightly or wrongly)). The Bishop, Father Octavian (BTW, the real St. Octavian was martyred by the Vandals) was one of the most interesting characters Who has had on it in a long time. A solid military man of moral character with strong faith in God, and a willingness to help the side of good even unto death. No bones were made about his belief, it was pretty straightforward in the phrases he used.
I have to admit I was caught off guard by the way Moffat handled Octavian and The Doctor’s relationship. When Octavian was caught by an Angel, he faced death with extreme courage, saying that The Doctor was seeing him at his best, “For that I thank God, and bless the path that takes you to safety.” Eleven had actual tears in his eyes, with no witty comebacks.
It’s always interesting to speculate how many things I can spot in plots that line up with scripture are there intentionally or just by coincidence. Two examples; the first is Octavian reply about giving up his life, he said he was content…when we look at what Paul tells us in scripture: Philippians 4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
The second was the idea that the angels needed Eleven to sacrifice himself to save them…and he didn’t do it. Again, perhaps a messiah-like allusion that actually matches the biblical idea pretty closely. Christ, the true Messiah, did not die to redeem the fallen angels; His sacrifice was not for them, nor efficacious for them, but rather His sacrifice was for humanity.
A difference that I noted between the Doctor and Christ; a big deal was made out of the fact that the Doctor doesn’t always tell the truth, yet he expects to be trusted despite that. God’s nature is such that He does indeed always tell the truth, and that is one of the reasons why we know He can be trusted. It is an interesting juxtaposition.
I really enjoyed these episodes…as far as plot, Blink was better, but as far as characters, I preferred these (that is, if I leave Dr. Song out of the equation, I despise her character, not the actor, but the character). Who else out there doesn’t believe that Song is the Doctor’s future wife? Maybe that’s just me hoping…