Doctor Who S07E05 – The Angels Take Manhattan



This is the episode where we say goodbye to the Ponds. It’s also the episode that showed me why I love Moffat’s writing, because no matter what some tend to think of his stories, and this one is a corker, you’re emotionally attached to these characters. You feel for them, you worry about them, you love them.

And that wonderful line comes back in full force for us…

What’s the point of them being happy if they’re going to be sad later? The answer of course, is that they’re going to be sad later.

And everyone is sad later, including me. I was in tears for the entire second half of the episode.

The episode bring back one of my favorite monsters of the new series, the Weeping Angels (though the Silence are a close second). It also makes them as frightening as they were in the episode that introduced them in Blink.

We find the Doctor (Matt Smith), Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) spending a quiet afternoon in Central Park, New York. The Doctor is quite engrossed in a book, reading aloud, to Amy’s consternation, and Rory sprints off to fetch coffees after agreeing about not noticing lines around Amy’s eyes.

It’s while Rory’s gone that we learn the mystery novel the Doctor is reading, written and about one Melody Malone, is in fact River Song (Alex Kingston), the Doctor’s wife, and Amy and Rory’s daughter (isn’t time travel fun?). What’s more interesting is that Rory disappears after an encounter with a vicious cherub-like weeping angel, and appears in the past, in the book, in point of fact.

You see, the Angels kill you by removing you from the present timeline, sending you back in time to live out your days,as they live off the energy of your life left in the void where you should have been.

So the Doctor and Amy punch a whole in the temporal disturbances around the New York of the 30s and arrive to find that the angels are setting up camp.

The character of Grayle (Mike McShane) is a bit of a waste, a crime boss with a collection fetish for statues, in fact he has a weeping angel chained up in his main show room, and cherubs in the basement. Beyond that though, he doesn’t have a lot to do for or in the story.

But that’s ok, it simply sets up the problem our heroes face, the angels are feeding off people, keeping them trapped in a collection of buildings known as Winter Quay, and one of them appears to be Rory.

In fact, this aged Rory dies on-screen as we watch, happy to be reunited with Amy.

That death becomes a fixed event, there’s no way to change it, unless there is some way that they can create a paradox.

And Rory finds it…

The last half of the tale had me in tears right to the last frame. Well that’s not entirely true, there was a huge smile of relief, and then, that happy shiney moment is stolen away and it goes from bad to worse.

It’s no secret that this is the final episode featuring the Ponds, but know we know there really is no way for them to come back. I won’t say anything else for those who haven’t seen it, just have your tissues ready.

There is one simply ludicrous moment, but it’s so much fun you can’t help but enjoy it… of course the biggest statue in New York is a Weeping Angel, of course it is! Huge laugh from me on that, but even if it were true, are you telling me no one is going to notice it striding through the water, or at least frozen in place in the water.

There’s a wonderful postscript narration provided by Amy, that makes you alternately smile and tear up again because you remember all the things she references, and that just puts you in frame of that line again.

If you throw yourself into this show even remotely, then you’re bound to have some leaky eyes before the episodes end, and yes it’s sad. We know we won’t see them again, they’re gone, but we know they had a lifetime together, and we can hope that they were happy.

Now, we’ve reached the mid-season break, and we have that long wait until the Christmas special, which sees the introduction/return of Jenna-Louise Coleman as the new companion.

What did you think of it? Did you cry? I sure did.

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