DW: Time Trials – A Confusion of Angels Review

DW TT A Confusion of Angels

So the previous story had three returning elements and was a bit too much… so let’s go with FOUR. Five if you include Missy (though she was more of a regular cast member during the TV series this is set in, so I can let that pass). While the previous story still managed to be fun, is this just too much? Was there any reason to have the Heavenly Host do battle with the Weeping Angels other than the fact they both angel themes? Let’s find out!

Official Synopsis:

When the Doctor and his companions are drawn to a transport vessel in deadly trouble in deep space, they’re pulled into an impossible conflict, between the robotic Heavenly Host… and the Weeping Angels!

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

DW TT A Confusion of Angels 3

I kind of like how there’s always some sort of Judoon rhyme gag now…

Despite the overflow of returning monsters and characters, I really liked the new characters invented for the story. Captain Brew is a good steadfast and sarcastic captain who is actually more willing to hear the Doctor out than normal, and Kathryn the technician was good (despite looking like Zero Suit Samus a bit too much…), becoming attached to a Heavenly Host she had rebuilt. The rest of the crew was good too, even if they tended to fall into “distrust the strangers, I guess we should trust the strangers” archetype.

I really enjoyed Series 10, especially the interaction between The Doctor, Bill, Nardole and Missy, and this story pretty much perfectly recreates that chemistry, with the possible exception of Nardole’s speech bubbles often having “*sniff*” in the middle of them, as if that somehow gets across his personality more…? Still, seeing Missy free from the Vault and arriving to help was fun.

The art is good, too, for the record. Not amazing, but perfectly fine.

The Bad:

DW TT A Confusion of Angels 1

So much Russell T. Davies continuity…. Oh well, nice shading on the Judoon!

Sadly the core story was obviously just someone going “The Heavenly Host and the Weeping Angels are both angel enemies The Doctor’s faced! Let’s have them fight each other”. Who really wanted to see the Axon-Voc Robot hybrids again? The Angels can be fun in the right circumstances, but here they don’t really do anything different or interesting. The whole “what takes the image of a Weeping Angel becomes an Angel” and an Angel using someone else’s vocal cords to speak, both from their second ever story, are used, but it’s all buried under so much continuity and returning elements that you just can’t focus on it.

So alongside the returning angel-based foes we have the Judoon, who are flanked by Margaret, the Slitheen who was regressed to an egg and apparently was not only left with the Judoon’s bosses “The Shadow Proclamation”, but the skin of the human called Margaret she killed and flayed was left with the baby egg and she now proudly walks around with it on, despite having no memory of her past self… I guess. Nice! What the hell was the point in all this? I mean, at least she wasn’t walking around farting everywhere, I guess Slitheen technology has improved or whatever, but it was still so, so pointless that it was definitely “one returning element too far”, if not two as the Judoon didn’t really need to get involved either.

Honestly if it was just a ship full of Heavenly Hosts that got taken over by Weeping Angels, complete with angels taking over angels, I could get on board with it, especially with the good guest and regular cast, but they really botched it with continuity overload.

The Continuity:

DW TT A Confusion of Angels 4

Hands up who wanted to see these guys return? …. Oh.

The Weeping Angels first appeared in 10th Doctor story “Blink”, but most of the Angel-related lore used here comes from their second appearance, the 11th Doctor TV story “The Time of Angels / Flesh and Stone”. The Heavenly Hosts, as well as Max Capricorn (who gets a cameo in this story) appeared in the 10th Doctor TV Christmas Special “Voyage of the Damned” and haven’t really reappeared anywhere else since then, unsurprisingly really…

The Judoon first appeared in 10th Doctor TV story “Smith & Jones” and have reappeared many times across all media since. Margaret on the other hand first appeared (and acquired her human skin) in the 9th Doctor TV story “Aliens of London / World War Three”, and was regressed to an egg in “Boom Town”, just a few episodes later.

The rest of the continuity is just related to Series 10 stuff, which is obviously fair enough and vague enough to not really have specific episodes to link to. Thinking about it, it’s all continuity from post-2005 relaunch, which is rare to see so many new elements from just that era come together…

Overall Thoughts:

DW TT A Confusion of Angels 2

Well hello excessively long comic panel!

A Confusion of Angels could have worked as a four-part comic story, as I said a Weeping Angels story where they take over gold Angel Hosts isn’t a bad idea, but it then just keeps getting more and more continuity violently tossed as it until it just becomes a mess. It’s not a total write-off, the Series 10 team is entertaining, but … yeah, a disappointing (possible) end to the 12th Doctor Titan Comics…

3 Star Read

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