DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Doctor Who: Flux episode “Village of the Angels” has spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, Whovians! “Village of the Angels” is, undoubtedly, my favorite Thirteenth Doctor episode thus far. Perhaps it’s because, to me, the Weeping Angels are the scariest, most formidable Doctor Who foe. In addition, that cliffhanger is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. It feels like classic Who, folks.
Jodie Whittaker has always epitomized the essence of our favorite Time Lord, but the writing for her leaves something to be desired. However, “Village of the Angels” gives Whittaker a meaty story in which to sink her teeth, one chock full of suspense, thrills and even a plot twist.
Ready to delve into “Village of the Angels”? Let’s get to it.
We open with Professor Jericho (Kevin McNally) conducting a lie detector test on Claire (Annabel Scholey), the woman from Liverpool who encountered the Doctor and Yaz. She tells Jericho the current date: November 21, 1967. I love that this episode airs on November 21 as well.
Meanwhile, one man in Medderton receives a note saying, “Leave now.” We see the town searching for a little girl, Peggy.
Claire claims she was born in 1935 after inadvertently telling Jericho her birthdate was in 1985. Suddenly, Claire succumbs to seizures, and an inexplicable, otherworldly force overtakes her. It tells Jericho there’s “no escape” and “the Angel has the TARDIS.”
Then, we see the Doctor (Whittaker), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Dan (John Bishop) in the TARDIS while a Weeping Angel seizes control. Thankfully, the Doc cleverly disposes of the Angel with some quick thinking. The TARDIS lands in Medderton, and our time-traveling crew spots an older couple utilizing it like a phone box.
We learn that Peggy is missing, so Yaz and Dan assist with the search party efforts while the Doc uses her sonic screwdriver to survey their surroundings. Mrs. Hayward (Penelope McGhie) urges one man to count the gravestones in the local cemetery. Something’s amiss.
Later, Jericho gives Claire tea after that traumatic event, and the Doc crashes the basement party. She presents Jericho with psychic paper listing her “credentials” while implementing her sonic screwdriver. Peculiar energy emits from Claire, and the Doctor also recognizes her from Liverpool.
Next, the Doc spots Claire’s sketches, including the TARDIS and a Weeping Angel, and our favorite Time Lord throws them away. While Claire’s in the bathroom, she notices a pair of stone wings sprouting from her back.
After counting the gravestones, the man with whom Mrs. Hayward was speaking spots a Weeping Angel. Of course, he doesn’t know not to blink, so he vanishes.
Meanwhile, Yaz and Dan spot a Weeping Angel amid their search for Peggy, and they also disappear.
Bel (Thaddea Graham) arrives on Puzano to meet Namaca Ost Parvess Po (Blake Harrison), who encourages her to join him when “she” lands on the planet later. Bel asks Namaca if he’s seen Vinder, and she switches on a hologram. Unfortunately, Namaca hasn’t spotted Bel’s love.
Then, the Doc wanders around Jericho’s house, finding broken glass during her surveillance. Jericho swings open the front door to find a bevy of Weeping Angels outside his home. The Doctor urges Jericho to lock everything securely and look for a TV. Claire explains she wound up in 1967 after a Weeping Angel sent her back in time, and she hasn’t left 1967 Medderton in two years.
Suddenly, the Angels weasel their way inside Jericho’s house while Claire procures a clipping that features “The Cursed Village,” a.k.a. Medderton. According to the said clipping, people disappear on the night of November 21. We see statue dust sprinkle out of Claire’s eye.
Later, Yaz and Dan arrive in Medderton, but the town is empty of people. They enter a desolate house; wherein there’s a gramophone. Yaz surmises they’re in the early 1900s (1901, to be exact). Peggy emerges behind them, revealing that everyone “is gone.”
Peggy informs the pair that the Angels are in 1901 too; however, they promise to leave her alone. Peggy leads them to the town sign, warning Yaz and Dan not to venture beyond it. We see the universe lingers past the signage, and Peggy notes it’s a “quantum extraction.”
Meanwhile, Peggy’s great uncle and great aunt wander past the Medderton sign in 1967, and they vanish into thin air after encountering an Angel.
Then, the Doctor switches on the TV in Jericho’s basement with her sonic screwdriver. Claire’s Weeping Angel sketch reassembles itself, and an Angel materializes from it. Thankfully, the Doc sets it ablaze, then douses it with water. Claire lifts her sleeves, revealing her forearms are turning to stone, like a Weeping Angel.
The Doctor believes Claire is a Seer, and an Angel resides in her mind. Our good Doc needs to enter Claire’s head to learn more, and she does just that.
We see our Doc on the beach in Claire’s mind, and a rogue Weeping Angel looms behind her. The Angel utilizes Claire as a conduit, speaking through her. According to the Angel, they need the Doctor’s help. The other Angels pursue them because of their knowledge, and they work as an extraction squad for The Division.
Ergo, this Weeping Angel chose to hide in Claire’s head, using it as a sanctuary.
Next, Namaca takes Bel to where “she” meets them. This “she” is Azure (Rochenda Sandall), and she appears alongside Passenger. The other folks around Bel and Namaca cheer for Azure, and Azure reveals there’s a galaxy that’s untouched by the Flux. Everyone will need to board Passenger as a transportation system. However, Bel knows Passenger is an “endless prison,” so she saves Namaca while those around them vanish into Passenger.
After Azure and Passenger depart, Namaca chastises Bel for eliminating his only means of escape off Puzano.
Meanwhile, Yaz, Dan and Peggy notice the village closing in on them, and another Angel appears. Peggy’s great aunt and uncle resurface, and Peggy emphatically urges them to steer clear of the Angel. Unfortunately, they get too close, and the Angel destroys them instantly.
Back at Jericho’s house, the TV emits static, and the Angels bang on the doors. Jericho hears a message from one of the Angels, and they proceed to insult him.
Suddenly, the Angel lunges out of the TV, and Jericho smashes it. Then, he spots Angels descending the staircase into the basement. The Doc asks Claire’s Angel what they know about The Division, but the Angel wants our Doc to protect them first. They’ll allow Claire to live if the Doc eradicates the other Angels.
Claire’s Angel possesses knowledge of the Doctor’s stolen memories regarding The Division.
After Claire and the Doc resurface, Jericho reveals the Angels gained access to the basement. The Doc smashes a wall to unveil a secret passageway leading outside. Undoubtedly for a philanderer from ages past.
The Doctor turns on the lie detector and places the helmets on two Angels before escaping with Claire and Jericho.
However, Angels clamber through the walls, break the doors and appear from all sides to entrap our heroes.
Meanwhile, Yaz, Dan and Peggy notice what looks like a force field of sorts, separating 1901 Medderton from 1967 Medderton. Mrs. Hayward emerges, informing Peggy that she won’t return to her “present” for a long time. Plot twist: Hayward is Peggy, 66 years later. Boom!
Claire slips past the Angels back in the tunnel while Jericho inadvertently disappears, winding up in 1901 Medderton with Peggy, Yaz, and Dan. The stones in the burial ground behind Mrs. Hayward light up, and while all that transpires, we see the Doctor surrounded by the Angels. The Doc turns her back on them, but they don’t attack her. She flees the scene, bewildered.
Outside Jericho’s house, the Doc spots her friends on the other side; however, she can’t cross the line into the past. Yaz tells the Doc about “quantum extraction.” Our Time Lord explains that Medderton was isolated from its time. The Doctor tries to bargain with Claire’s Angel, urging them to turn themselves in and leave Claire.
Then, put Medderton back in its timeline. Unfortunately, the Angel made a better deal — they’re turning the Doctor over to The Division instead. Suddenly, the Doc transforms into a Weeping Angel while The Division squad lingers around her.
Meanwhile, Vinder (Jacob Anderson) encounters Namaca on Puzano, asking him if he saw Bel. Namaca leads Vinder to a recording she left behind. Just as Bel’s about to leave her coordinates for Vinder, the recording cuts off.
“Village of the Angels” might not surpass “Blink” as the best Weeping Angels episode, but it’s a fun outing that feels less chaotic than last weeks’ convoluted episode. Yes, three storylines intertwine; however, it’s not as difficult to follow as “Once, Upon Time.” For that, I’m grateful.
I’ve no idea how the Doc will get out of this situation, but I can’t wait to find out.
New episodes of Doctor Who: Flux air Sundays at 8 pm on your BBC America affiliate.