So here we are are at the penultimate episode of FLUX.
Thus far, the road through S13 has been rocky at best, with some 'hits' and far more 'misses,' although the whole of the affair has generally felt far more entertaining than any of the WHO storytelling we've gotten from Showrunner Chris Chibnall up to this point in his tenure.
Last week's Village of the Angels proved no exception, offering largely 'enjoyable' fare that sometimes ruffled its better qualities with (very Chubby) convolutions, and dodgy-at-best logic.
Performances were largely interesting and invested, Whittaker once again proving the exception here. There's an irony to Whittaker's presence: in the episodes in which Chibs actually brings to bear stronger production qualities, Whittaker feels even more sleight and out-classed than she regularly does on the show. Suggesting there's really no way to win with her in place.
Robin Whenary's photography for this episode was top notch - classy and atmospheric. I'd argue that this was among the better-shot DW episodes in a very long time.
Joel Skinner's editing was taut throughout, lending even Village's slowest sequences a pop and crispness which has been much needed in the Chibs Era across the board. Compared to some recent episodes, visual effects were agreeably solid to excellent - and were, above all, relatively consistent.
On the whole, Village of the Angels was an atypical well-made installment for the Chibs Era, suggesting a level of shiny finish that makes one wonder why this level of quality control hasn't bee present all along. In episodes like War of the Sontarans and Village of the Angels, we're seeing DW produced with a keen eye towards 'keeping up with the joneses' in terms of style and execution - closing that sometimes abyssal gap between DW and (admitted more robustly financed) shows like the current TREK fare, or THE EXPANSE. Yet, the question again remains: why does this only happen sometimes in the Chibs Era? It's hard not to image the answer to that question, at the end of the day, simply comes down to one word: Chibs.
So - it was imperfect and hinky in terms of landing some of its broader notions. BUT - it was fun...and had a good laugh or two (Peggy's reaction to her grandfather's disintegration is gold). And if 'fun' is the best we can manage during the Chibs Era? I'll happily take that - as much of Whittaker's run has been anything but.
With this...onward! The Survivors of the Flux discussion forum awaits!
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