Saturday, 23 June 2018

FIXING CONTINUITY GLITCHES - QUICK FIXES 6: WEEPING ANGELS STUFF

Since we just finished up with a Probable History of Weeping Angels (http://robtymec.blogspot.com/2018/06/chronologies-and-timelines-brief.html), I figured we should stay in this thematic vein and look at a few problems that have occurred in the stories I just arranged in chronological order. Let's see if we can sort a few things out: 


HOW DOES AMY GET PAST THE ANGELS IN FLESH AND STONE IF HER EYES ARE CLOSED?    

As we reach the latter part of Flesh and Stone, Amy finds herself in a serious predicament. The energy of the Crack in Time that was found aboard the Byzantium is expanding. She must run from it or it will engulf her and she'll be erased from time. Unfortunately, because of something the Angels did to her, she cannot open her eyes. The Doctor manages to jury-rig a homing device for her and she stumbles through the Byzantium's Infrastructure Forest trying to get back to the Doctor and River. 

It's a moment of great tension that then goes a bit weird. To heighten the suspense, Amy runs into a group of Weeping Angels. They think that she's looking at her even though her eyes are closed and they become quantum locked. She must get past them without letting them know her eyes are closed. 

Since when do Angels work this way? Shouldn't they be able to tell that Amy's eyes are closed? 

"They're scared." is the cryptic explanation that the Doctor offers. Really?! That's all you can tell us?! There's got to be more to it than that.

And I'm going to try to come up with something: 

Weeping Angels, more than likely, have a very different perception threshold than we do. They probably still see on a regular visual spectrum but they can also see time energy in some way. After all, they do feast on it so they would need a way to detect it. More than likely, they sense it telepathically. But it might also register visually for them, too. 

So, with all kinds of extra time energy surging out of the Crack, it's confusing their senses. They can't actually see properly. Panic and fear are dominating their instincts as they try to make their way to safety. So the Doctor claiming they're scared is accurate.

Partially blind, they still sense Amy in their midst as they come upon her. They can't truly tell if she's looking at them because they can't see well so they make a hasty assumption. They just decide she's staring at them and go into quantum lock mode. As Amy starts behaving in a way that seems to insinuate that she isn't looking at them, they start to disengage their protective stance. Again, they still can't see all that well because the Crack in Time is messing with their senses. So they don't disengage from stone mode completely. They're hesitant. 

Hesitant enough that River can get the teleporter working and pull Amy out in the nick of time.




HOW CAN THE STATUE OF LIBERTY TRAIPSE THROUGH MANHATTAN WITHOUT BEING SEEN? 

This is one that even Moff doesn't bother to offer an answer for. In The Angels Take Manhattan, we discover that the Statue of Liberty, herself, is a Weeping Angel of sorts. She visits Winter Quay on a fairly regular basis to help trap newcomers in vicious time loops to build up potential energy in their battery farm.

The Big Question, of course, is: how does a statue of that size travel from Liberty Island to Winter Quay without being seen? Surely, someone would notice Lady Liberty moving along through the streets of Manhattan. Something that big can't be missed! And if someone is seeing the Statue of Liberty then she should become quantum locked. She should never get anywhere near to her destination because people would be noticing her all the time and keeping her locked.

The answer, I think, lies in the ability certain Angels have with building up power. I think one of the principal reasons we see the one Weeping Angel displaying hitherto unseen abilities (coming through the video screen to attack Amy, causing Amy to turn into an Angel by making eye contact) in The Time of Angels is because she built up a lot of energy to accomplish the feats that she did. She's only able to snap necks for a bit afterwards cause she used up so much power to accomplish those tricks.

So the more energy an Angel stores up, the more abilities she can develop. I'm guessing a huge Angel like the Statue of Liberty has saved up all kinds of power. This is probably why she has grown to such enormous size. Which means, of course, that she has extra skills that regular Angels don't have.

One of those skills might be a temporary cloaking ability of some sort. I'm more inclined to believe that she can exhibit huge bursts of speed (even regular Angels move quite fast) for limited periods of time that can enable her to move past people without being noticed. We still hear the occasional loud footstep but we don't actually perceive her. Only when she wants to legitimately attack someone does she need to slow down and/or de-cloak. At that point, the regular rules apply. If someone sees her, she quantum locks. But when she's not in attack mode, Lady Liberty can move unseen for short periods of time.

Even when she's actually on Liberty Island, she needs only a nano-second of not being noticed to slip into stealth mode and head out to Winter Quay. Once at the Battery Farm, she stops and can be seen by anyone looking in her direction. Again, if she can just get a split second of being unnoticed, she can return to Liberty Island.

It would have been nice if we had gotten such an explanation right in the episode. But, alas, sometimes we fans must just work this out for ourselves. 



WHY CAN'T THE DOCTOR JUST GO MEET AMY AND RORY IN OMAHA? 

Many fans felt the tragic ending of Angels Take Manhattan wasn't really so tragic. They were sure that they had found a simple solution for the Doctor to be able to see Amy and Rory again. He just needed to arrange to meet them at some place outside of New York. Then all the time distortion and suchlike that was making Manhattan so impenetrable during the 1930s wouldn't be in the way, anymore. 

I suggest that this problem isn't something geographical. But, more specifically, temporal. Rory and Amy created a huge paradox within the temporal mess the Angels had made of Manhattan Island in the 30s. They had only just managed to escape it by returning to the TARDIS in 2012. If they got sent back to that period then the paradox they had made during their last visit would cause a sort of time field around them that would make it impossible for the TARDIS to penetrate. Or even someone as time sensitive as the Doctor to approach. He would just be repelled by the time field. Or might become deathly ill from it. Or something like that.

So, no matter where Amy and Rory go, this time field follows them and makes them unapproachable for time travelers. It's almost like a time lock of some sort that stays with them til the end of their lives. That's why the Doctor can never see them again.



Hope my explanations are satisfactory. I know some of the mis-steps Angels Take Manhattan made irritate fans to this day. Maybe this will help make sense of things....



A few other Quick Fixes: 

Five: 
http://robtymec.blogspot.com/2017/10/fixing-continuity-glitches-quick-fixes-5.html

Four: 
http://robtymec.blogspot.com/2017/05/fixing-continuity-glitches-quick-fixes.html

Two: 
http://robtymec.blogspot.com/2016/02/fixing-continuity-glitches-quick-fixes-2.html

I did specify "a few" so I won't bother listing all of them. If you want to read them all, they're out there. Have a look around....


  







Saturday, 16 June 2018

CHRONOLOGIES AND TIMELINES: A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE WEEPING ANGELS

It is with heavy heart that I must announce that the CHRONOLOGIES AND TIMELINES-style posts won't be around for much longer. I've covered the timelines of almost all the great recurring baddies. Unless the show creates an ongoing monster/villain/wife for the Doctor that she meets several times in a non-chronological order, we don't have much left to look at. 

We do still have the Weeping Angels, though. I'm actually a bit excited to be examining them. They're the only monster in the New Series that seem as popular as classic monsters like Daleks and Cybermen. They have definitely merited the repeat appearances they've been given. Thankfully, those appearances have not been in proper order. So now I get to fix that!    



ORIGINS

It's difficult to say how the Weeping Angels began. We know so little about them. So far, Blink has given us the most explanation about how they work and where they came from. But even that doesn't tell us much. It's believed they're very ancient. That they first began sometime when the Universe was very young. That's as much as we know. 

The End of Time - Part 2 offers us a huge tease that explains vaguely how they may have started.  Rassilon claims that a big vote was taken about breaching the Time Lock they were trapped in during the Time Wars and initiating The Final Sanction. Everyone in the High Council agreed with the plans except two members. "As a monument to their shame," Rassilon pronounces, "they shall become the Weeping Angels of Old." (or words to that effect, I'm terrible with quotes.). The two Time Lords who voted against the decision are seen standing with Rassilon in the traditional Weeping Angels pose.

Is this where it all starts? Did two Time Lords get changed into Weeping Angels and were sent back in time to somewhere near the Dawn of the Universe? Did they, after that, somehow find some way to procreate so that other Angels could stalk the cosmos? It does support a remark the Doctor makes in Blink that the Angels were originally good so there is a bit of cross-referencing to back this idea up.

The Master stopping Rassilon's plans in End of Time and the Doctor, ultimately, saving Gallifrey in Day of the Doctor may mean judgement was never passed on these two Time Lords. It's difficult to tell. Rassilon is a pretty harsh guy who likes to turn people to stone. So, even with all these events getting in the way, he may have made sure his decision was followed through. Since it's implied that one of the Time Lords was the Doctor's mother - this may be one more thing that motivates the Doctor to kick Rassilon off of Gallifrey.

Whatever the case, little is still known of where the Weeping Angels truly came from. It could've started with these two Time Lords. It could've been something entirely different.

I'm more inclined to believe that it was just some ancient race whose experiments with quantum locking went horribly wrong. That the two punished Time Lords never got properly punished. Or, if they did, they simply joined a race of Angels that were already roaming about causing trouble. But all of this is highly subjective. So if you want to think that it all started with those two Time Lords I can't really argue against you.



THE ANGELS VISIT EARTH

Once we move past the vague reference in End of Time, we don't see much of the Angels until the 20th Century. No doubt, from the Dawn of Time to The Angels Take Manhattan, they invaded a whole bunch of worlds and terrorized various cultures. But we see none of this on the show.

Chronologically speaking, the true first adventure involving the Weeping Angels would be Angels Take Manhattan. A substantial number of Angels have established themselves on Earth during the 1930s and are setting up their first "battery farm" in New York City. They are luring humans into the Winter Quay Building on Manhattan Island and subjecting them to a sort of vicious Time Loop that enables them to feed off their potential energy. As the energy builds, the Angels become stronger and stronger. 

This would be, I presume, how they take over any civilization. The Angels establish an initial power base, then expand their feeding ground. Until, eventually, the entire population of a planet is set up in such a manner. Battery farms exist everywhere and the Angels can subsist indefinitely.

Fortunately, Rory and Amy put a stop to this process in 1938. They introduce a huge paradox into the battery farm which spoils the time energy the Angels are feeding off and kills most of them.





SPECIAL NOTE: This is the first time we see Baby Angels (we'll only see them very briefly one other time in Hell Bent). We should probably speculate about them for a bit:

It's entirely possible that Baby Angels are a clue regarding the reproductive cycle of the species. The Weeping Angels were gathering a lot of potential energy from their battery farm in Winter Quay. Could it be possible that they were using some of it to propagate themselves? I doubt that Weeping Angels copulate in the way that organic creatures do, but they might use raw energy to create smaller versions of themselves that can slowly grow in size as they're fed more and more.

Having said that, Baby Angels could just as easily be a different strain of Weeping Angels. Creatures of the abstract that have just chosen to take on a smaller form. As usual, we have little or no information to go on, here.




THE AFTERMATH OF MANHATTEN

Rory and Amy's actions in 1938 certainly put a kibosh in the invasion plans of Earth, but it did not completely wipe out the Angels as the Doctor predicted. Some of them survived and continued to cause problems.

Before we get into those problems, we need to briefly divert our attention to the planet Tivoli.  At some point around this time, the Angels must have attempted to invade there, too (how could they resist? Everyone else loves to take the place over). I would doubt it was the same group that tried to invade Earth. They took too heavy a blow. My guess is that there are several groups of Angels out in the cosmos.

The attack probably took place place sometime in the late 20th or early 21st Century. Recently enough that Gibbis remembers it vividly and it has left some deep psychological scars. More than likely, the Angels scared Gibbis so much because they didn't dominate in the way that most oppressors did on Tivoli. The Angels were probably kicked off  by another group of invaders that wanted the planet. This seems to be the usual pattern of things. 

In 2007, a group of four Angels that survived Amy and Rory's Paradox had banded together and were inhabiting the abandoned Wester Drumlins House. They were living as scavengers. Occasionally sending curious explorers of the house into the past and feeding off their potential energy. By a pure stroke of luck, they do this to the Doctor and Martha Jones. They discover, of course, that the Doctor has a TARDIS and they want to use it for their own nefarious purposes. Thanks to the timely intervention of Sally Sparrow, all four Angels are now permanently quantum locked as they stare at each other in the basement of the house. These are, of course, the events of Blink.

In 2011 (if we go by the date it was transmitted) the automated prison ship that houses the Minotaur-like alien that is meant to be an off-shoot of a Nimon picks up Gibbis from his homeworld along with three humans from Earth. Gibbis sees Weeping Angels in the hotel room that is meant to be housing his greatest fear. Some might dispute that this is not a true appearance of the Weeping Angels but just an illusion projected by the prison ship. But that opinion is subjective since we do learn in another story that anything that holds the image of an Angel can become one.

Finally, there is a Weeping Angel and a Baby Angel that survived Rory and Amy's Paradox that are scavenging in New York in 2012. The Baby Angel resides in the Angel of the Waters statue. The Weeping Angel lurks in a nearby cemetery. Both play pivotal roles in displacing various characters in The Angels Take Manhattan. It's entirely possible that they actually recognize Rory and Amy for what they did and are trying to exact revenge. The Baby Angel doesn't actually realize that it set the events in motion that would lead to the destruction of the Battery Farm of Winter Quay. 



INTO THE FUTURE....

After the failed invasion attempt on 20th Century Earth and the exploits of various teams of surviving scavengers during the 21st Century, little is seen of the Angels for quite some time (at least, within context of the TV show, thus far). Their next appearance is sometime within the 51st Centurry. No specific date is given during The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone, but several characters do state the century.

Prior to that appearance, we know that a huge host of Angels gathered on Alfava Metraxis and, somehow, became stranded there. We're guessing they had something to do with the extinction of the Aplans: a two-headed humanoid species that were native to the planet. I suggest that Weeping Angels arrived on the planet sometime around the 47th Century and actually accomplished what they had set out to do on Earth. The entire population was placed into Battery Farms and the Angels thrived for quite some time.

Somehow, however, the Aplans worked out a way to strand the Angels on their world before they were wiped out. We don't know for sure how as we're not sure how Angels actually travel through the Universe. It could be as simple as making sure every form of interstellar technology was utterly destroyed so that the Angels couldn't use any ships to get them off-world. Or it could be something far more complex if the Angels have some natural ability to transport themselves through space. A special jamming signal, perhaps, that nullifies that ability. Whatever the case, once the Weeping Angels had absorbed all the potential energy of the Aplans, they retreated to a temple-like structure known as the Maze of the Dead and began to decay.

A single Weeping Angel that had been held in human custody manages to commandeer a space freighter that was shipping it. The Angel intentionally crashes the vessel into the Maze of the Dead on Alfava Metraxis and the army stranded there start absorbing radiation from the ship's reactor core. Slowly coming back to life as they do.

They didn't count on a Crack in Time caused by the Doctor's TARDIS exploding to interfere with things the way it did. In the end, the Doctor fools the Angels and causes them to fall into the Crack and seal it up.  





ANOTHER SPECIAL NOTE:

In this particular story, we see the Angels displaying abilities that were, hitherto, unseen:


That Which Retains the Image of an Angel Can Become One:   We're still not entirely sure of the full extent of this power. Apparently, however, if you capture an image of an Angel in some way, the Angel can come into your location through that picture/footage. Whether it can fully manifest itself through the image or just uses it as a sort of portal to look through - it's uncertain to say. But it's definitely very creepy and makes them even deadlier than ever. 


Don't Blink and Don't Look in Their Eyes:    As if fighting a Weeping Angel wasn't complicated enough! We know that we can freeze an Angel by staring at it, yes. But now, you mustn't look into its eyes or the Angel can transplant itself into you and turn you into one of them. 

Once more, this could reveal a method of reproduction among their species. Do they do it in two ways? Can they make Baby Angels but also convert humans into Angels? As usual, who can say for sure?!   


Snap!!!   Not so much a hidden power as a deficiency. Sometimes Angels are so low on energy that they can't send you back in time when they touch you. They will, however, still snap your neck.




We don't know if the Angels have always had these abilities. They were never seen until now. Could these be skills they've developed over the 5 000 years between 2012 and the 51st Century? Do Angels evolve? Or are these tricks they've always had but we've never seen until now.  Thus far, these powers have only been witnessed in The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone.






THE FAR-FLUNG FUTURE

 As has been established in other Chronologies and Timelines entries, the events of Time of the Doctor take place sometime around the 44th Century (the entry that truly commits to a date is in my History of the Cybermen series, Part 5 - http://robtymec.blogspot.com/2018/02/chronologies-and-timelines-history-of_27.html). Like several other aggressive species, the Weeping Angels respond to the distress call Gallifrey is putting out on Trenzalore and come to investigate

It is interesting to note that they are the one species that could easily slip past the forcefield the Papal Mainframe put around the planet. This says something about the nature of the Angels' power and technology. They seem to be more advanced than any other species out there.

It is also interesting to note that we don't seem to see any sort of Weeping Angel spaceship. Could my idea that they can just warp across space unassisted by technology be correct? It's entirely possible that they snuck aboard the ship of another species and traveled that way. But it's just as possible that, when they've gathered enough potential energy, they can somehow just will themselves to another part of the Universe. Which would also make getting past the Papal Mainframe's force field make more sense. Once an Angel has decided to arrive somewhere, there's no stopping it.


THE FAR FAR-FLUNG FUTURE

It is to my great shame that I must admit: I missed a Cybermen cameo when I was compiling my History of the Cybermen series a few months back. Technically, this event should also be in my Dalek History series but, in my defense, the episode wasn't out yet when I was putting together that particular chronology.

Fortunately, this cameo also involves Weeping Angels. So I can, at last, cover it here. If you want to imagine these next few paragraphs appearing at the bottom of my Dalek and Cybermen Histories - be my guest. I suppose I could cut and paste this in but I prefer to leave my acts of shame visible for all the internet to see!

It would appear that there were a set of Cloister Wars that probably happened sometime in or around the Time Wars (we see a post-Time War Dalek in the Cloisters that re-enforces this idea). Charting where this happens in Galactic History becomes a bit tricky. The Time Wars seem to take place outside of Time, itself and we can give no proper date to it. The Cloister Wars, I would imagine, happen under similar conditions. But I would like to think that there is a sort of "entry point" in the timeline where the various combatants start becoming involved with the war. The battles, themselves, take place in some sort of limbo dimension outside of time and space. There would also be an "exit point" where the war is over and various participants are now stranded in the Cloisters. We'll track these points and work out a sort of trajectory for them.

I would suggest the entry point would be some time shortly after the Andromedans breach the Matrix during Trial of a Time Lord. They seem to be the first species of non-Gallifreyans that find their way into the Super Computer of the Time Lords. Their actions attract the attention of Daleks, Cybermen and Weeping Angels (and, perhaps, others that we just don't see trapped in the Cloisters during Hell Bent) and they attempt to penetrate the Matrix after them.

The Doctor dates The Mysterious Planet as being several million years in Earth's future. How valid this claim is can be hotly disputed since he makes his prognosis after the most cursory of glances at his pocket watch  But let's just say the Andromedan Breach happened sometime around then. This would indicate that Daleks, Cybermen and Weeping Angels are all around for the next few million years. No doubt, there were times when we didn't see much of them. But they were always lurking in the shadows. Surviving.

What exactly went on during the Cloister Wars seems very abstract. But there must have been some sort of skirmish. This seems to be more than just some attempts to hack into a really powerful computer system.  But who can say for sure how it all played out.

They exit point from the Wars would be where the Time Lords are hiding near the end of the Universe. The Dalek, Weeping Angels, Baby Angel and Cybermen have been brought back into normal Time and Space but are trapped within the Cloisters for all eternity. No doubt, as the Universe expires once and for all - they will finally die with it. Not a great way to go out, though! 

But that does mean that, even at the end of the Universe, the Weeping Angels are still at work...



Thus resolves one of our last entries in the Chronologies and Timelines series. I am tempted to cover the Ood and one or two more New Series monsters that have made multiple appearances. We'll have to wait and see... 

In the meantime, here are a few other monsters I've covered. 

Daleks (first entry - just keep following from there):  
http://robtymec.blogspot.com/2015/06/chronologies-and-timelines-tymecian.html

Cybermen (first entry - just keep following from there):
http://robtymec.blogspot.com/2018/02/chronologies-and-timelines-history-of.html