Facts About Angels - spoilers for DW S7E05
Okay, so I’m just going to try to catalog what things are in the canon about the Weeping Angels.
This is interesting to me, because they only have three storylines/ 4 episodes. It’s not like they’ve been developing over decades, or have dozens of hours of on-air history or anything. Discrepancies in the Angels’ behavior/ physiology/ appearance from episode to episode are more damning than variations with Daleks, Cybermen, etc.
Things established in Blink:
- It’s an Angel when you see it. All we know is that if you look at it, it turns to stone. Not “It pretends to be stone” or “It appears to be made of stone,” but “It is a hunk of stone in the shape of an Angel.”
- An Angel does not choose to turn to stone. It’s a function of the Angel’s biology that when it is seen, it turns to stone. It cannot opt in or out of being stone. “Thinking” you can or can’t see it doesn’t matter (continuity error in The Time of Angels/ Flesh and Stone)
Related to this, Angels turn to stone. Not copper, bronze, brass, plastic, etc.
- We don’t know what the creature itself looks like. If they turn to stone when seen, they must not be stone when they are unseen. Because you cannot observe an Angel without it being forcibly turned to stone, the Angels cannot be shown moving onscreen. (continuity error in The Time of Angels/ Flesh and Stone)
- When stone, the Angels cover their eyes so they do not accidentally see one another. Because the Angels are themselves living things, seeing another Angel (or being seen by another Angel) means one or both of them is turned to stone. This fact of their biology saved Sally Sparrow and Video Store Guy in Blink. When the Angels saw one another in a ring around the TARDIS, they were all turned to stone, and trapped as such because none of them could move. (continuity error in The Time of Angels/ Flesh and Stone)
- Angels feed off time energy. The Angels send people back in time the same number of years they would have continued to live, and feed off the energy given off in the transferral (or something). This is why they wanted the TARDIS, and why they feared the Crack in the Universe. Moffat did acknowledge this discrepancy in Time of Angels/ Flesh and Stone.
Things established in The Time of Angels/ Flesh and Stone:
- The image of an Angel is an Angel. This is particularly problematic in The Angels Take Manhattan, because there are images of the Statue of Liberty everywhere, yet none of them come to life and zap anyone. This also creates questions about all the people with SOL postcards, T-Shirts, photographs, paintings, computer desktops, etc. Shouldn’t all those people be in mortal danger right about now? Why isn’t anyone worried about that?
- Angels can strip peoples’ neocortexes and use them to psychically communicate? I don’t know, that was a weird one.
Things that are problematic in The Angels Take Manhattan:
- Angels are made out of everything. Stone, bronze, copper, etc.
- Angels do not look like Angels. Not just “they’re decrepit and damaged” like in Time of Angels/ Flesh and Stone. The Angels in Manhattan take all kinds of forms. They’re colonial settlers, children, babies, and Lady Liberty, in addition to traditional Angel forms.
- Angels do not take the Angel pose. None of the non-Angel-shaped statues cover their eyes when seen. There are some Angel statues whose eyes are covered, but by and large the other statues do not.
- How the fuck did Lady Liberty get to that hotel? I had assumed from the preview that there was some mass power outage, and so Lady Liberty could not be seen. This was patently not the case in Angels Take Manhattan, so am I seriously meant to believe NO ONE, in a city of millions of people, had Lady Liberty in their line of sight for her ENTIRE WALK to Winter Quay? We heard her walking, so it’s not like she magically flew or disapparated or anything. When Rory and Amy were jumping off the roof, there were cars driving in the street below. But no one saw her?
That’s a whole lot of canon that got either sidestepped, rewritten, or ignored over the course of four episodes. Moffat’s a man with great ideas, but he’s shit with long-term plotlines and continuity.
And anyone going “CONTINUITY IS A HUGE ISSUE IN DOCTOR WHO IT’S NOT JUST MOFFAT GOD YOU’RE SUCH A HATER,” this is continuity over the course of four episodes. If he can’t keep it together for four episodes, there is something wrong. Sorry I’m not sorry.