your £$ support needed

part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

Doctor Who blogging: “The Angels Take Manhattan”

Doctor Who The Angels Take Manhattan Matt Smith

(all spoilers! don’t read till you’ve seen the episode… or unless you don’t care if it’s spoiled for you. this is a love fest only — all complaints and bitching must come from a place of love / previous: “The Power of Three”)

(get my downloadable discussion guide to “The Angels Take Manhattan” for teachers, librarians, and everyone else who needs to keep kids amused, engaged, and educated at DoctorWhoTeachersGuides.co.uk)

I am going to flatter myself and call my guess that the Ponds were going to die about 80 percent correct.

Doctor Who Angels Take Manhattan

Amy and Rory may not die right in front of the Doctor, but they are, in a flash, as dead to him as if he had seen it happen.

How Steven Moffat got here, though, is so very contrived. Once again, he painted himself in a corner that it was tough to get out of without cheating. Well, okay: he didn’t do all the painting on his own. The TARDIS, as a narrative device, is so very powerful — too powerful, sometimes, which can really ruin a story. Twice here Amy says, “Well, let’s just pop back in the TARDIS to retrieve Angel-zapped Rory,” which would normally be exactly the thing to do. But there’d be no story if that were possible, so Moffat pulls a temporal distortion outta here and scrambled timelines out of there and slaps a paradox on top and presto bingo, brokenhearted Time Lord.

Moffat inherited the TARDIS, but he alone is responsible for a companion who seems constitutionally incapable of making a decision about leaving the Doctor, and for a Doctor who seems inexplicably overly attached to his friend in a way we’ve never seen before. So Moffat had to come up with a way to separate them forever. Perhaps whatever solution Moffat invented would feel contrived. But nearly everything hear feels slapped together, with so many elements present in the story only because if they weren’t, there would be no story, but which don’t hold up in any sense at all on their own. And when lashed together, it doesn’t even have the structural integrity of a house of cards.

For starters, literally: there is the PI in the beginning of the episode, Garner, who’s hired by Rich Collector Guy to investigate the Angels. He is clearly meant to be a character in the Melody Malone book written by River that the Doctor is reading in Central Park — the fingers punching out the tale on the typewriter fading in and out of Garner’s story make this indisputable. Also, he’s Chapter One:

Doctor Who Angels Take Manhattan

Maybe Garner is a “real” person (though then how did River know about him?) or maybe he’s just a character River invented for the book: either way, the Doctor was reading about “living statues that moved in the dark.” Wouldn’t he have realized he was reading about the Weeping Angels?

Maybe that’s not a big deal. Maybe he did realize and shrugged it off. Maybe he reads novels about Daleks, too.


The Angels own an apartment building in Manhattan? How does that work? Do they have human agents who handle all the real-estate stuff, and all the taking care of the people who are locked in the building for 60 years stuff? (Those people have to eat, don’t they?) How do the Angels communicate with those human agents? How could no one notice that people are living in that building but never come outside?

Maybe that’s not a big deal. Maybe that’s just something we have to suspend our disbelief about.


Doctor Who Angels Take Manhattan

“The city that never sleeps” is ideal hunting ground for creatures who can move only when no one is watching them? How does that work? The Statue of Liberty is a Weeping Angel? How does that work? Even if there are some brief moments when no one is looking at the very large, very prominent, very famous landmark in very busy New York harbor, which is overlooked from all sides by big apartment buildings occupied by the denizens of a city that never sleeps, surely a few people will eventually notice that the Statue has left its plinth and is now frozen in the middle of a Manhattan street?

Maybe that’s not a big deal. Maybe I’m overthinking this.


What is River doing in 1938? Why has she set herself up as a detective who investigates Angels, one so renowned that Rich Collector Guy has to have her kidnapped in order to get her attention? (Couldn’t Rich Collector Guy just have hired her in the usual way, like he did with Garner, assuming Garner was real?)

Maybe that’s not a big deal. Maybe we have to just accept some stuff as given.


How does River get her manuscript for the Melody Malone book to Amy? Couldn’t River visit with her vortex manipulator, “less bulky than a TARDIS, a motorbike through traffic”? Couldn’t the Doctor go with River that way?

Maybe that’s not a big deal.

But all these things thrown together in one 45-minute story? That’s a big deal.

I love Doctor Who, and I love all the ’shipping here, which is — I know, I know! — what this episode is all about. But it needs to happen in the context of a story that’s remotely plausible. This is Doctor Who! There’s so much room for telling new sorts of stories that blow your mind a little that there’s no reason to throw stuff together “just because” you need them for your story. And just because this is Doctor Who doesn’t mean you can get away with this.

Sure, this is creepy:

Doctor Who Angels Take Manhattan Arthur Darvill

But it stops being creepy pretty quickly when you realize how none of what surrounds it is even slightly convincing. Creepy does not happen in a vacuum.

So, I’m hugely disappointed on that level. And then I am also hugely disappointed for New York City. It was pretty clear from the get-go that a realistic representation of New York’s geography was not going to be in the cards, for the notion that the Chrysler Building looms over Battery Park is laughable. And I suppose there was some sort of wormhole that allowed the Doctor and Amy to travel from Times Square in midtown Manhattan

Doctor Who Angels Take Manhattan

to Brooklyn across from lower Manhattan

Doctor Who Angels Take Manhattan

in the space of a breath between words, midsentence.

But neither of those is really the problem (though they irk me as a New Yorker). No, the problem is: this story did not need to be shot in NYC. They wasted their trip across the Atlantic on an episode that could have easily been shot in Cardiff. Indeed, most of the key action was shot in Cardiff, and nothing vital happens in the bits that are most spectacularly NYCish.

Doctor Who Angels Take Manhattan

Doctor Who Angels Take Manhattan

These are nice images, and the second one especially has a real aura of New York about it, of how lonely the city can be. But it only underscores how little advantage they took of a fantastic opportunity to capture the Doctor in this amazing place. I could rattle off a dozen story ideas that would feel like Doctor Who and feel like New York at the same time. (I won’t, because maybe I’ll have the chance to do something with them someday.) I’m really astonished at how Moffat blew this.

Random thoughts on “The Angels Take Manhattan”:

• Statue of Liberty credits:

Doctor Who Angels Take Manhattan

• Ah, now it all makes sense! This is happening in a parallel universe in which the laws of storytelling physics are different. We know this because

Doctor Who Angels Take Manhattan

the Detroit Lions do not win Super Bowls. Ever.

• “Oh, you know, texting a boy”:

Doctor Who Angels Take Manhattan


• There’s a Rolls Royce engine under the TARDIS console?

Doctor Who Angels Take Manhattan

Whaddaya know…

• Awwww! The Doctor is suddenly preening himself at the prospect of seeing River?

Doctor Who Angels Take Manhattan Matt Smith

Doctor Who Angels Take Manhattan Matt Smith Alex Kingston

My fangirl ’shipper heart is happy.

• Oh, and hey: River has been pardoned because the Doctor no longer exists, at least not in databases and such. Imagine the surprise of the keepers of Stormcage discovering they’ve got a prisoner who’s been convicted of killing someone who never existed. (This is the way to paint yourself out of a corner! Now we just need to know who brought the case against River in the first place…)

• The Doctor is now very sad.

Doctor Who Angels Take Manhattan Matt Smith

The Doctor is most interesting when he’s sad. I hope this bodes well for the rest of the season.

• Sad, and with brainy specs?

Doctor Who Angels Take Manhattan Matt Smith Karen Gillan

All right already, I give in: I’m in love with Matt Smith’s Doctor!

• Great quotes:

“Only you could fancy someone in a book.” –Rory, to the Doctor (alas, poor Rory: he never fancied anyone in a book!)

“Didn’t you used to be somebody?” –River, to the Doctor

“When one’s in love with an ageless god who insists on the face of a 12-year-old, one does one’s best to hide the damage.” –River, to the Doctor

“It would be almost impossible…” –the Doctor
“Loving the almost…” –River

“One psychopath per TARDIS, don’t you think? –River, refusing to travel with the Doctor on a permanent basis (ouch)

(next: “The Snowmen”)

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/flick/public_html/wptest/wp-content/themes/FlickFilosopher/loop-single.php on line 106
official site | IMDb
posted in:
tv buzz
  • I probably don’t think about Doctor Who nearly as deeply as you do, but even I was bothered by a lot of the things you mentioned. I kept going “How does that work?” during a great number of the scenes. Then there were certain things that happened and there was no explanation – such as the ‘mom & son’ angel coming after the collector guy. What was that about?

    Even with all that, I still got a little teary eyed at the end. Poor Brian though, he was so lovely as a character, and it’s a shame Moffat isn’t going to revisit him more than likely. 

  • Software Tools

    This episode is essentially about many of the characters being somewhat manic, so “consistency” has little to do with anything in it.

    IMO, the well known Emmerson quite sums it up nicely… “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”.  Doctor Who has never been about consistency, so you need to get over it and go with the (manic) flow!!

  • I feel like you left out something important. As contrived as the rest of this episode now seems in hindsight, the Amy storyline has been wrapped up in a way I really respect Moffat for. All this time Amy has been trying to run away from her fairytale, to live out her life in boring mundanity. At the end of this episode, she instead chooses love over the status quo–twice–and gets her happy ending, with her handsome prince. That’s the beautiful thing, and the thing that made me cry, and you’ve glossed over it.

  • Tony Richards

    Maryann, I look forward to your Dr. Who reviews partly because I know I’m going to agree with you once I see the episode.  That said, if that is how you felt about the episode I’m a little disappointed but not entirely surprised.  Moffat seems to promise lots of ‘Big’ but ultimately comes up short.  At least that’s how I felt at the conclusion of series 5 and 6 and Asylum of the Daleks.  Like you said, he seems to paint himself into a corner with the story lines and then cheats his way out….let’s reboot the universe, hide the doctor in a robot reproduction of himself, etc.

  •  I actually called the ending almost exactly. The only part I got wrong was guessing that being sent back in time by the angels would actually allow them to raise River after all, and we don’t know for sure that this didn’t happen. The Statue of Liberty was the only thing I really had trouble swallowing. I feel like there is probably a deleted scene that explains the angels are able to infect an existing statue. Either way, that might not be the actual statue that gets them. There is a poster in the elevator, and we know that an image of an angel can infect the person who sees it. Maybe the statue did get possessed by an angel, and after that happened, pictures of it allowed it to enter the minds of people who saw the pictures?

  • For someone who wrote the best time travel story ever (Blink), I’ve found Moffat’s revisiting of the Angels to be disappointing.  And then Amy pretty much quoted Kathy’s letter to Sally.  *sigh*

  • Pelahnar

    Don’t know about on-screen, but if the Doctor didn’t go and _tell_ Brian that his son and daughter-in-law were never coming back, I would be very upset at him. And if there is not some fanfiction to that effect by…next week perhaps, I’m going to have to write it myself. 

  • Jim Mann

    I thought Moffat delivered a fine ending to series 5, less so in series 6.  

    I liked many things about Angels, but also felt that it didn’t have quit the punch it could have. 

  • Much like last week’s episode, this one works best as a character piece. While I think the plot was weak in too many places, I think this episode – indeed these first five episodes – served to show how different the Ponds are for him than other companions. The death of a companion has always hit him hard, particularly Adric. We’ve seen companions leave him, be trapped in alternative realities, or be otherwise removed from him. We’ve even seen him dump poor Sarah Jane Smith out on the curb. He mourns them. He loathes himself for the departure of a companion every time it happens. But he never goes back.

    The Ponds, however, were the first faces his new face saw. I really loved that line last week. Seared their faces onto his hearts. Young Amelia, in particular, stuck with the Doctor. I really like the idea that a freshly-regenerated Doctor is very impressionable. In that regard, MaryAnn, I think Moffat and his team (eventually) explained the Doctor’s attachment to the Ponds, particularly Amy. I also think that the fact that they are River’s parents might have given him a sense of family he hasn’t had in a very long time. (“I was a father once. And a grandfather.”)

    That said, despite some really great character work (the Doctor and River actually felt like a married couple for the first time!) and some truly lovely scenes (Amy and Rory throwing themselves off a building to stop the Angels!) and some rather gut-wrenching performances (Matt Smith’s scene on the TARDIS with Alex Kingston, when the Doctor remembers that River might be hurting, too, is perfectly played), the episode suffers from the same problem from which many other of the Moffat-written episodes suffer: too many good ideas and not one person above Moffat to reign in his enthusiasm. His best work was when he was serving under RTD and when he was just starting his run, when he wasn’t quite as sure of himself as he has become.

    I do really like the *direction* he seems to be going, erasing the Doctor from the memory of the universe. The Daleks might actually be the less-dangerous foe he imagined them becoming at the end of Genesis of the Daleks. He’s freed River from her wrongful conviction. He’s getting things back to where it all began in 1963. The Doctor as an unknown and unknowable being. I hope that this continues, and I hope that the second half of the season really exploits this. I had hoped he would be seen travelling alone for a few episodes, but it appears that no one in the writers’ room finds this remotely interesting because the previews for the Christmas special clearly show Jenna-Louise Coleman returning.

    As much as I have loved New Who under both Davies and Moffat, I find myself dreading each episode as much as I anticipate it. Like MaryAnn, I try to watch each with love; but Moffat and Davies have injected so much melodrama into the franchise along with their brilliant character work and story-telling that I am almost weary. Where I once eagerly downloaded each new episode and watched it within 12 hours of its BBC airing, I now find myself sometimes waiting as much as a week to watch. Part of that is Life, but I think that part of it is the exhaustion from the inconsistency and melodrama.

    I still love the Doctor, and I thought Amy and Rory were great companions. But the drama of their departure was overshadowed by knowing it was coming and by the melodrama surrounding it. Matt Smith is brilliant as the Doctor, and he does his best with every single script he’s given no matter what he is asked to do, even when its ridiculous beyond measure. (I might be the only person who agrees with the Doctor that fezzes are cool, and that is entirely on Matt Smith’s acting.) This episode was everything that is right about the Moffat era (great character work, beautiful effects, Matt Smith playing the Doctor to the hilt, Alex Kingston) and everything that is wrong (over-filled plots, too much timey-whimey, melodrama that turns beautiful moments into laughable ones).

    I hope that the answer to the question, “Doctor who?” turns out to be something better than “Dr. John Smith, Ph.D.

  • DarkMagess

    I didn’t know angels could infect other statues.

    At any rate, despite all the crying I see on twitter and photographic evidence that this episode wrecked my friends, I wasn’t feeling it. I think Moffat could be a great writer but he’s a terrible showrunner. He needs someone else to rein him in, or else we end up with episodes like this, where everything is all over the place and there isn’t any sense.

    I liked Amy and Rory, especially Rory. But it was dragging on with the “shall we stay, shall we go?” inability to decide what to do with their lives.

    Have they officially given up on the Doctor and River meeting in reverse order? I never could wrap my brain around that, although it seemed cool. But now she seems like she’s moving in the same direction he is.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I enjoyed this one a lot, but then I’ve been a less critical of the show for about a dozen episodes now.

    How Steven Moffat got here, though, is so very contrived. Once again, he painted himself in a corner that it was tough to get out of without cheating.

    When writing stories where time travel is possible, the question of going back and trying again always looming over the proceedings, threatening to break the story. There are only a very few convincing solutions to this problem (e.g. the Quantum Leap solution: take the agency for when and where the character travels through time away from the character). Outside of those, the audience is simply going to have to accept that the character’s ability to travel anywhere in time is restricted by Reasons. Timey-Whimey Reasons. Writers employing their Reasons aren’t cheating. It’s an almost unavoidable aspect of the genre.

     he alone is responsible for a companion who seems constitutionally incapable of making a decision about leaving the Doctor

    Are “unwaveringly stay” and “unflinchingly leave” really the only choices you see? Is there no drama or character to be mined from the middle? And where does the “constitutionally incapable”come from? We’ve only seen this aspect of Amy’s story arc over 4 epsiodes.

    and for a Doctor who seems inexplicably overly attached to his friend in a way we’ve never seen before.

    Setting aside the idea of a character who never changes, isn’t seeing the Doctor do things we haven’t seen before part of the advantage of “regeneration”? Also: Rose. *gag*

    The Statue of Liberty is a Weeping Angel?

    Yeah, ok, that was an “irresistible” image that they really should have resisted.

    What is River doing in 1938? Why has she set herself up as a detective who investigates Angels

    “Time of Angels” established River Song as a foremost expert on Weeping Angels in the 51st century. It’s a thing for her.

    How does River get her manuscript for the Melody Malone book to Amy? Couldn’t River visit with her vortex manipulator, “less bulky than a TARDIS, a motorbike through traffic”? Couldn’t the Doctor go with River that way?

    Those are interesting questions. What they suggest to me is that: a) Melody Pond my yet see her parents again (or may already have seen them); and b) the Doctor is desperately afraid of crossing his own timeline. Why?

     the problem is: this story did not need to be shot in NYC. They wasted their trip across the Atlantic on an episode that could have easily been shot in Cardiff.

    Wasted, schmasted. The whole thing was always a publicity stunt, just like shooting in Utah last year. They just wanted to limit the costs.

    I wish you’d have finished the exchange:
    “Didn’t you used to be somebody?”
    “Didn’t you used to be the woman who killed the Doctor?”
    “Doctor who?”
    *exchange of knowing smirks*

  • I very much agree. This was one big clusterf*$k of an episode. I just had SO MANY questions running through my head as it moved along. So much going on with no explanation or sense behind it.
    Plus, I felt none of the emotion so many are claiming to have felt. But these are the same people who were prepared to feel such emotion. 
    “The ponds are leaving! I’m going to cry my eyes out”
    Really? Doesn’t it all have to WORK to be rewarded with such a reaction? Because I was just too damn baffled to be able to muster up a tear, let alone anything else. I kind of liked the final image of Amelia, though.
    Amys afterword made no sense to me. Wouldn’t her and Rory be stuck in bed for forty years? How is that a good life? When did she write this? How did it get in the book? Heck, everything about the book confused me.
    Then there’s there’s the  whole “Oh, we must have missed one!” business. What a stupid way to end their story. It might have worked for me without that scene.
    I didn’t HATE the episode. It just didn’t work for me. I’m definitely ready for Oswin(or whatever she’ll be called).

  • Pelahnar

    “But the drama of their departure was overshadowed by knowing it was coming and by the melodrama surrounding it.” 
    Quite true. I started watching Doctor Who last February and by that point, the first six series were all at my library. I watched them straight through, not knowing what was coming until I got there. I’ve never cried watching Doctor Who (though Torchwood is another story), but I feel like I was more affected by Rose’s departure and Donna’s than I was by Amy and Rory’s, just simply because I knew it was coming this time. I think I would like it more if they didn’t give any hints as to what’s coming. Because they do, I eat it up just like everyone else…but still. 

    (Question: how am I supposed to put the quote that I’m responding to in boxes? I can’t figure it out.)

  • I_Sell_Books

    Is that the Sulaco in River’s text to the Doctor?

    Also, this episode is a mess, and I agree with you wholeheartedly, and even though it irritates me, I have managed to keep the irritation mostly low. Go me.

  • Michael Elamson

    I have really enjoyed this season so far, more than Moffat’s first two seasons, and this episode was string for me. With all due respect, Maryann, Doctor Who has always required its viewers to come with a “just go with it” attitude. At times it has pushed that too far; this time wasn’t one of them for me. I loved it, and I thought the end of his time with the Ponds was handled perfectly. 

  • VanessaDK

    Great Review as always Mary Ann–
    I knew you would screencap the Rolls Royce shot! Thanks.

    Did you notice the Britishisms that crept in?  I think that the detective refers to Winter Quay as an “apartment block” which is a nice melding of American (apartment) and British (block), and I can’t imagine anything being called “quay” in NY.  Do you think the phrase Winter Quay had any meaning? It seemed an odd choice for anything to be named.

  • thepantedpuffin

    Has anyone figured out what’s written on the Doctor’s TARDIS-blue fire extinguisher? I couldn’t make it out.

  • VanessaDK

    I also appreciate your observations about NYC geography.   The scene in which they walk from Times Square to Brooklyn seemed totally pointless, and clearly only served to showcase a few iconic New York views.

    The one use of New York that I totally approved of (unfortunately it gets  lost because of the way it was shot) was the use of the Belvedere fountain in Central park as a weeping angel statue, since it does indeed have an angel on the top.

    I’ve said before that I  think that Moffat comes up with ideas that he thinks are awesome and then manages to make his episodes twist their way toward those ideas–like having the Statue of Liberty be a weeping angel.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the image that motivated the use of NYC, and yet it was used so poorly–mainly to create the image of the statue, Amy and Rory in front of the neon sign.

    A lot of the plotting of this episode was leaked ahead of time and many of us guessed right on the nose what it meant for Amy and Rory to face the weeping angels one last time.  I maintain a suspicion that the real surprise is yet to come–that we have not seen the last of Amy and Rory in Series 7 and they will be popping up again with a real surprise resolution (but maybe that is just me hoping Moffat is still  more clever than I am).

  • Slanderson1969

    I think the dreaded Moffat said it best, “People who post in forums are the last people you want running a show!”

    I think some fans have are to much like Trekkies about what is established cannon and what isn’t and others just have to nit pick everyone thing… if you are SO obsessed with this or that go smack your head against the wall till you realize it is just a show people… trying to establish rules or reason into a fictional program makes you a putz!

  • That’s helpful. Nice addition to the conversation.

  • guest

     Right, check your brain at the door.  I’m just sorry that Amy’s and Rory’ last appearance was in such a weak story as they had so many great adventures along the way.

  • Chloe

    I’m a die-hard fan so yes, I was choked up at the end of the episode.
    As a common-sense person, I am left wondering how the Williams survived for 40 years as captives of the Angels.  How were they fed and clothed?  Who did the laundry?  And hey, wasn’t that a bitchin’ funereal plan the Angels have to get them buried together with such a nice headstone?  I know, closure is not always tidy but there are quite a few “huh?” moments that mar this episode.
    And I agree that the closing image of the young Amy was a lovely one.

  • How does this play fast and loose with the rules exactly? The events detailed in the book had become part of the Doctor’s personal timeline. If he went back and rescued her, the book would never have been written, they’d have never been in Manhattan, Rory would never have been sent back in time, Rory and Amy wouldn’t have jumped off the building. The last chapter of the book is called Amy’s Last Farewell, because that’s what happens and it happens to the Doctor so he can;t go back and change it.

    This is the same principal thats been established in the show countless times, especially since 2005.

  • The farm no longer existed by that point. Amy and Rory were zapped back in time by a freelance Angel and just lived normal lives like Kathy and Billy in Blink.

  • beccity98

    I don’t like the new credits. I can never figure out what they are until you tell me. And I have one huge tv. And contact lenses.

  • RogerBW

    Every story does a certain amount of emotional manipulation. To an extent I welcome it. But when it’s turned up to 11 and everything else is thrown out of the window – when you have a character who’s deliberately been built up to be nearly omnipotent, but who’s successful or not purely because of narrative fiat – it all rather breaks down for me.

  • Sum1314g

    This episode just puzzled me.  They never finished reading the book.  All they knew about it was the chapter headings.  And all Rory’s headstone said was his age and name.  Couldn’t a paradox be easily avoided by just working around these facts?   Couldn’t they send a message via River, go back to the 30’s, meet Rory outside New York, and  take him back to his own time?  Then when he was 81 the Doctor could pick him up and take him back.  It just kind of seems like a bummer for Rory and Amy’s family and friends to never see them again because of such a silly setup. 
    I liked the glasses, though.  And I do like the genre episode idea (Western, noir, etc.).

  • No, because the chapter headings had been written based on what actually happened to the Doctor – eg Amy saying her last farewell to him in the graveyard. Its part of his own person timeline – as are many other events in this episode that wouldn’t have happened if Amy hadn’t been zapped back in time and written the book.

    This episode was one of the clearest examples of the concept that ‘the Doctor can’t alter his own personal timeline once he’s part of events’ that has been alluded to so many times in the new show.

  • I’m in general agreement with Christian, but:

    “We’ve even seen him dump poor Sarah Jane Smith out on the curb.”

    That’s not the way I remember Sarah Jane leaving at all. As I recall, she chose to leave.

    But way too much melodrama, way too much “amping up” (the universe is ending!), has been a huge problem with the series under Davies and Moffat.

  • The biggest problem with the Statue of Liberty as a weeping angel was all I could think of “It’s the Stay-Puff marshmallow man!”

  • RogerBW

    That’s not the way I remember Sarah Jane leaving at all. As I recall, she chose to leave.

    No, she had to be put off in a hurry when the Cloister Bell rang.

  • Sum1314g

     True, of course.  I just mean that we know so little of the actual events in the book that different things could have happened to lead to the same result.  We know that someone in the 30’s publishes this book.  We don’t know it has to be Amy.  And we know Amy has a farewell.  But we don’t know for certain when and to whom.

  • Sum1314g

     Plus, even if taking them out of the past is too risky, there is absolutely nothing to say he can’t stop by and visit them at some point later in their lives.  It wouldn’t be messing with timelines at all.  And totally possible, unless they intend to spend their entire lives in Manhattan (???).

  • Skepchick

    So who thinks that Amy and Rory, now settled in New York, make it their mission to find toddler River when she pops up, and raise her?

  •  Well, seeing the grave created a fixed point in their timeline, which means they know they die in and are buried in New York. The Doctor could visit them any number of ways, but he can never take them on an adventure again, because all of his adventures have risk, and if something happened to one of them, it would cause a very damaging paradox in close proximity to a place that is already temporally unstable. I think the Doctor was as much mourning the fact that Amy actually chose to leave him as the idea that he couldn’t see her again. Of course he could find a way around it, but I think seeing him and not being able to do anything exciting with him would be hard on all of them.

  • PJK

    There are several problems with the fixed timeline idea.

    1) The book is taken as a true account of what happened. But authors can and do lie in books, so this isn’t a given.
    2) The only fixed thing at the end of the episode is the existence of the headstone with the names on it. As we see in the episode itself the headstone at first only has Rory’s name on it, Amy then goes back in time and her name is suddenly added to it. That already means that Amy has changed the past by her actions. Since the gravestone is the only “evidence” of the fixed point, it would actually be easy to get out of this situation. It only requires someone to extract Amy and Rory from New York at a later date (say 1939) and place a fake headstone in the graveyard. This would solve this issue without causing any form of paradox since the Doctor didn’t actually see Amy and Rory die.

    So, I don’t buy the “Amy and Rory are lost to me forever” explanation given in the episode and I don’t really see any reason why this event is now fixed in time.

  • But The Doctor knows this isn’t fiction. He knows Amy/River write it in the future based on *what happened* to them and him personally. 

    Not only can he not save Amy without altering his own personal timeline, he can’t see her either – because he knows that isnt what happens – the last chapter in the book reads ‘Amelia’s Last Farewell’ and that was in the graveyard and must be the last time she says goodbye to him.

  • Jim Mann

    I thought the biggest problem was that nobody else seemed to notice it walking through town.  The angels hunt by being secretive, by most people not realizing what they are.  The Statue of Liberty walks through town, making a huge noise (and presumably causing destruction).  That should have alerted everyone in the city to something going on. 

  • Pelahnar

    “Amy’s Last Farewell” was the title of the afterward. She wrote it when she was really old and told the Doctor that they’d lived a good life in it. Not the scene in the graveyard.

  • RogerBW

    In other words, they really are all slaves of the Almighty Script. This episode is a cry for help!
    (I’m not being entirely serious.)

  • All I was thinking was where did they find Nikes in her size?

  • PJK

    That could still have been part of the deception. As I said authors do lie in their books. Maybe there was a reason for Amy to write those words which had nothing to do with the actual events that happened to them.

    All I’m saying is that nothing that was in this episode explicitly prevents the Doctor from contacting Rory and/or Amy if he should choose to do so.

  • Leigh Walker

     I have to disagree with you there… How is spending forty years locked in a room a happy ending? She chose it because it was the only way she would get to be with Rory, and she couldn’t exactly leave him there alone.
    Their ending wasn’t beautiful, it was the lesser of two evils- being separated forever, or being imprisoned forever, together.

  • Bassygalore

    “But now she seems like she’s moving in the same direction he is.”
    That was my thought as well, which just  makes it more confusing for me. :/

  • Leigh Walker

    It’s such a shame that Moffat now gets to write  the most significant episodes like openers and finales- his were the best under RTD but now that he’s showrunner it’s like he’s overwhelmed by not having someone else’s story guidelines to follow.
    As a result his episodes are always somewhat manic, make little sense and promise big and spectacular things but fail to deliver. There’s only so much “HUGE” you can do in an hour and with a BBC budget- the best episodes are always the ones that focus on contained adventure/problem solving/escapades with lots of character development.
    There’s still plenty of room for hijinks and Matt Smith’s tomfoolery in a contained episode, it just looks less like someone with the attention span of a goldfish has produced it.

  • Pelahnar

    Someone else gave a good alternative to that earlier. They didn’t spend 40 years in a locked room, because they were sent back by a surviving angel – the farm had been shut down by that point. They had to live out their lives in the past because of the paradox thing that would happen if the Doctor tried to go get them (I was never quite sure what that meant), but they weren’t locked up in the hotel.

  • GeeksAreMyPeeps

    So, these were my comments after last week’s episode:

    I kinda like this idea, but given that we’re dealing with the Weeping
    Angels next episode, maybe they’ll reach the age of 89 in the present
    time because of the Weeping Angels. So Amy and Rory can have their
    “normal” life, only they’ll live it out in the past. But I think we’ve
    kinda gone beyond that for the Angels. That worked for a one-off

    Um, I think I pretty much nailed it.

  • I just came to the conclusion that your blog is nothing but a place for Moffat haters.  You are just simply entertained by bashing this wonderful TV show and you completely suck the joy by over analyzing everything. 


  • Braindeadpj

    but Sarah Jane  had already decided to leave at that point anyway – or was at least calling his bluff by threatening to leave 

  • A lot of us are not Moffat haters.  Blink is, hands down, my favorite time travel story ever.  But Moffat has a show leader has had his problems, and his writing now doesn’t seem nearly as sharp as it was before he took over the show.

  • And that’s ANOTHER problem with last night’s episode – aside from a few people, no one seemed to notice that people were vanishing.

  • Tony Richards

    I don’t hate Moffat…I like his writing in general, and I love Sherlock.  And, some of my favorite episodes of Doctors 9-11 were written by him.  However, I agree with MJ that his writing, since he took over for the show, has promied big but failed to deliver.  But these are my opinions.  And, like MJ mentions at the top, I express this frustration out of love for the Doctor.  I’m not complaining for the sake of being a jerk…

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I’d like to think that but that assumes that Amy and Rory:  a) landed in 1969, in particular, and b) know that Melody was a toddler in NY. Both are possible. Also, River seemed awfully excited that Amy let the evil monster zap her back to some unknowable point in the past.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    This. Is a very good rationale for the problem of fixed points and predestination and crossed timelines and why the Doctor can never see Amy and Rory again.

    Also, it’s worth noting that Amy always choosing Rory over the Doctor was firmly established way back in “Amy’s Choice”. That was the primary point of that episode.

  • Bassygalore

    Can’t speak for everyone else, but I’m neither a Moffatt hater nor a Moffatt lover. This story had many flaws and many things that didn’t make sense – writers don’t walk on water you know… .

    People come here to talk about and analyze the episode and to hopefully glean some insight about what they didn’t understand from someone else. Case in point, look at the exchange between Sum1314g and Barry Bethal (and others). Sum indicated what was puzzling and Barry gave his thoughts on why it made sense to him. 

    Sure, some people may air their anger at what a writer did or did not do, but I think that’s mostly because they expect *better* – particularly given their love for this show. I’m sorry, I just don’t see the blog as a place for Moffatt haters. It’s kind of unfair to make a general statement like that. Besides, it would be really boring if Maryann thought every episode was the best episode ever and everyone just agreed with that assessment week after week. 

    Anyway, (IMHO) if you have such joy in the show, then it shouldn’t be so easy for it to be sucked away by someone else’s lack of enthusiasm or criticism. No one but you can truly take away your joy.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Re 2): that might work. But it would be risky. Insofar as it risks a paradox, something the Doctor think are not to be trifled with. I think the point being made here is that, for all his galavanting through time and space, there are things the Doctor just won’t do. I can appreciate that this explanation might be hard to swallow, but, as I said earlier, sometimes time travel stories have restrictions that exist for nothing other than (prevention of story breaking) Reasons. It’s like how time travel in the Harry Potter-verse was only ever used to save the life of two humans and a hypogriff.

  • Ohiopokey

    Maryann, when Amy asks the Doctor to go back and tell little Amelia the story of …..OK,  I can’t wrap my head around this circle, the timey wimey-ness makes me cross-eyed.  but as I watched it, I thought “aha!  it all was just a story!  Maryann was right!”   

    Also, we were told that this episode would end the Ponds completely, with no chance of coming back.  I still don’t understand how this actually happened, since even considering the given points in time, I can see loopholes in this!  Oy, even Rose….more than once….

    I really thought that the finality of departure, with no chance of coming back, in an episode involving Angels, would have something to do with what happened in Time of Angels.  Dave is a victim of the Angels but becomes their voice.  Similar to the terrifying ghost thoughts remaining of the victims of the Vashta Nerada.  I thought there was a chance that Rory and Amy would become Angels.  I also suspected another possibility, again suggested by Time of Angels in which “That which holds the image of an Angel becomes itself an Angel.”  Amy lets the image image of the Angel into her eye, and her eye starts becoming sandy, and she seems to be turning into stone.  Again, a suggestion to me that perhaps Amy and Rory would become Angels themselves.

    Sorry for getting hung up on Time of Angels, but am I wrong that the Angels weren’t throwing people back in time in this episode.  They were just “taking” them or killing them? 

    But it all boils down to: I am just totally flummoxed by Amy’s timeline.  The series was so much about her, not about the Doctor with her as a companion, that she got thrown around into more realities than I can compute.

  • Pelahnar

    Slight correction: Dave was the name of the guy in Silence in the Library – well, two of the guys, Dave and Other Dave. The guy whose voice got stolen by the Angels in Time of the Angels was named Bob. 

    I, too, am confused by Amy’s timeline. I’m almost glad it’s over, so there will be no more confusion (on that count.) I’ve long given up trying to rationalize it.

  • Jim Mann

    I generally love Moffat’s work.  And I think his first season as the lead was brilliant — right up there with Davies’ final season as the best new Who season.  But last year, while it had some great episodes (including some good ones by Moffat himself) never really came together. He really didn’t seem to think through the implications of the Silence, and he didn’t answer the big question that he raised at the end of The Big Bang (what caused the Tardis to explode).   And the latest Angels episode also felt that way — some nice ideas, some great character moments, but unfinished, as if he hadn’t worked his way through how some of this fits together. 

  • bronxbee

    yeah, i didn’t get the whole “rest of your life in this one room thing”… in the original (and unbeatable!) Blink, you were zapped back into the past and lived your whole life forward.  remember sally’s friend was zapped back and wound up getting married, having children, grandchildren, etc.  and that was when the Angels were really scary.  they’ve gotten to be like the Daleks, actually a bit tiresome…

  • MyGood

    Hmm…you mean this Moffat?  Posting in a forum?  About Dr. Who?   http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1486706    :)

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Not to defend Nancy’s flounce, but to offer a counter point: I don’t think the story had all that many flaws.

    All in all, “Angels Take Manhattan” held together for me. I think the story was consistent with what we have already seen about the Weeping Angels, and with what we know about time paradoxes in Doctor Who. I feel that I can explain most of the apparent flaws without have to stretch too hard at all.

    For instance, people have wondered how the residents of the Winter Quay survive all those years being trapped in the hotel. I don’t think this is the correct usage of “trapped”. That is, I don’t think people are physically barred from leaving the building. Rather, I think they are trapped in a causal loop. Consider the PI in the teaser. I think the older version of the man had returned to the building late in life, hoping to warn himself. But, having now seen his own future, he’s locked into it.

    I also suspect that these people may feel compelled to remain in the loop. Consider Rory. He had no reason to go inside that building after the cherubs sent him there from Grayle’s house. Yet he did, and found his way to the room where he was dying.

    I will grant that the Statue of Liberty represented a great big WTF moment. I wish, as I said, they had resisted the urge to use that image. But it wasn’t a story-breaker for me.

    I think we’re in the middle of a long game buildup to what exactly is bad about crossing ones own timeline. The Doctor seems increasingly anxious about the problems associated with doing so. I’d certainly be glad to see the show address that issue. And while there’s no guarantee that Steven Moffat’s solution will be good or bad (“Blink” was a brilliant use of a causal loop, but “The Wedding of River Song” was a little bit half-baked), I don’t see how he could come up with anything worse than Reapers. >.<

  • Judy

    Little stuff disturbs the suspension of disbelief. The Superbowl is played at the end of January. How can it be headline news in what is clearly summer in NYC, with no coats and green leaves on the trees in Central Park?

  • bronxbee

    what?  Moffat is above any sort of critique?  no one is above critique… he’s done some amazing work — especially his stand-alone episodes and Sherlock, but sloppy is sloppy… and unless you’re married to Moffat, i don’t understand your ire.

  • Ohiopokey

    Oh, yeah!  Dave and Proper Dave!  Thanks for correcting me.

  • Bassygalore

    Your assessment about whether or not they were physically barred from leaving makes sense. I think I (like most people) presumed that because the angels were feeding off of their energy and because they were laying in bed, that they didn’t have enough energy to leave (i.e. trapped). You’re right though, they were compelled to go in the building, so a causal loop makes sense. :)

    Statue of Liberty – WTF indeed!

  •  Well, I got that idea because when they encountered old Rory in the bed, he said that he would be stuck there for forty years. I just figured it would still be that way except the two of them. Why would the Angels send them back if not to “feed” off them? Why allow them a good life? That makes no sense.
    Whatever. It ALL pretty much makes no sense to me.

  • PrincessSlaya

    I think one of the major problems was the fact that this was just one episode.  If it hadn’t been squashed awkwardly into 50 or fewer minutes, it might have flowed better.  It was too choppy and too rushed, which left me feeling unfulfilled and (therefore) more critical of the episode than I think I would have been if it had been longer.  I think Moffet made a mistake in deciding to do away with multiple-part episodes, particularly with a momentous storyline like the End of the Ponds.  Maybe he thinks if it speeds by, we won’t catch the problems.  However, as a Who watcher since the days of Tom Baker, I know there have been plenty of bizarre inconsistencies and irregularities in storytelling before.  We’ll swallow it, but we need to be fed slowly!  Don’t just ram it down!  It causes indigestion!

  • Eve

    The Statue of liberty as an Angel annoyed me. Mostly because if that WERE to happen it’d be the climax / the big problem. That is a HUGE thing to happen. (someone said that the story could be all the angels working to turn off all the lights so noone can see the Statue of Liberty so that she can…???). And instead she just stands there looking a bit scary, and it’s barely evne mentioned….

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    the tag is blockquote. Use it like this, but replace the curly brackets { } with angle brackets :

    {blockquote}Text to be quoted…{/blockquote}

  • Pelahnar


  • I wonder whether a writer’s work can possibly remain as sharp when he is being showrunner for TWO major series. I mean, how much time is there to concentrate on any script, compared to the freedom he had for Blink?

  • Let’s not forget that we don’t *know* what happens anywhere, only what we have seen, or has been reported by others. All we knew last season about the Doctor’s death was that a number of people reported having seen him die by Lake Silencio. 

  • Jack Deth

    I liked Rory’s line:

    “Ive always wanted to see the Statue of Liberty… I guess it got impatient.”

  • Ohiopokey

    also, irresistible to mention….The Doctor’s use of regeneration power to heal River’s wrist.  We know that this will come back to haunt him, at some point.  

  • Stephenericrobinson

    Yes! The Angels working to “free” Lady Liberty would be more interesting than the hotel idea, which seemed too complex.

  • teenygozer

     It never occurred to me that Amy & Rory were imprisoned in a room on the “farm”!  I assumed they lived out their lives in the past — didn’t River say that she was taking her book to Amy to publish and write an afterward for?  I’m guessing Amy got into publishing at some point after they were sent back in time.  The “Angels” couldn’t send them back in time to the farm, both the farm and the Angels were gone, destroyed by Amy & Rory.  That single Angel was referred to as a lone survivor and it was obviously pretty weak.  It got its revenge on the Ponds by sending them back in time, but that’s all it could do.

  • everstar

     I wanted to know why the Doctor couldn’t just borrow River’s time jumpy thing to visit Amy and Rory, since it quite obviously works for River and we’ve seen the Doctor use it before.  Or why can’t River “borrow” a couple more of them and jump Amy and Rory out?  Yeah, yeah, fixed point in time, I know.  (Seriously, she can’t even loan it to Rory so he can jump out and tell his dad they’re all right and they love him very much?)

    I just feel so dissatisfied and I don’t know why.  Rose also left under rather arbitrary conditions but somehow that didn’t feel as abrupt as this does to me.  I love Amy and Rory, and the idea that they’ve just disappeared and I’ll never see them again ever makes me really sad.

    On a more shallow note, I’d love to get one more episode with them just because I’m dying to see the Ponds in 40’s era dress.  Amy would look smashing in retro makeup with Rita Hayworth hair.  And Rory in a suit and fedora?  Rowr.

  • everstar

    I really wanted some time where we got to see the Ponds settled into ’40’s New York, or at least see them react to being trapped in the past.  Running with the Doctor meant so much to Amy and we didn’t get to see her reaction to it ending at all.  It felt like the end of the Ponds called for a much bigger emotional catharsis I just didn’t get.

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    If they’re in their early thirties now, and they live to be in their eighties, and that graveyard scene at the end is in the present… that actually works!

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    Yeah, the noise killed it for me. If they hadn’t included the footstep sound we could have at least thought it was travelling by teleportation, or bilocation, or the power of fanwank, but those were just too silly.

    Alternative theory: nobody noticed because in this pocket universe the Angels have teleported *every single person in New York*. Yikes.

  • Mac Styran

    “I just feel so dissatisfied and I don’t know why.”
    You and me both. Weird.
    We’ll still keep watching, I guess. :)

  • Pelahnar

    River’s time jumpy things is called a vortex manipulator. But I don’t know why the Doctor couldn’t use it, if only to say goodbye properly.

  • Jim Mann

    Actually, with the ever expanding football schedule in America, the Superbowl is now played in early February.  But maybe it has something to do with all the time disturbances around NY.  :) 

  • bronxbee

    What I don’t get is River’s over reaction to the Doctor’s healing her hand… she’d be pretty useless to him with a broken wrist.  Nor do I understand why the Doctor shouldn’t realize the pain and cost to someone who loves him.  Also, there’s* entirely*  too much slapping going on… too much slapping, not enough kissing.  Sorry, but moffat introduced the love/marriage/river/Doctor angle, and he should deal with it in a better way.  Like a couple of episodes where River goes Travelling with the Doctor, now that she’s not in prison anymore.  His whole dealing with their relationship is like the 12 year old he sometimes makes the Doctor behave like.

  • Michael Elamson

     The paradox that Rory created by committing suicide destroyed the hotel. It never existed. The surviving angel just sent them to the past where they had a good life — Amy’s afterword in the book says they did.

  • Lady Tenar

    Words cannot possibly express how much I wish Moffat had left the Angels in “Blink,” where they belonged. As far as I’m concerned, it’s been all downhill from there, as Moffat has now undone everything about them that made them an interesting and challenging villain by milking them for spook moments. How does “The Statue of Liberty is a Weeping Angel,” work? Why because it’s creepy, damnit! Nothing else seems to be required anymore. And to be fair, that screenshot of the displaced, snarling Statue of Liberty is creepy and unnerving as hell. But, as you observe, creepy does not happen in a vacuum and if your entire plot is built around producing creepy images that are creepier as stills out of context, what’s the point of having a 45-minute filmed story anyway?

  • Lady Tenar

    Yes, that would actually work. Lady Liberty is a Weeping Angel but has been frozen as a statue for over 100-years because she is always being observed in the City that Never Sleeps. That would be creepy AND would effectively use NYC as a unique plot device and would set up a great story. But the whole idea of the “quantum-lock” on the angels seems to have been all but abandoned. They’re just regular, undistinguished scary-looking monsters now, even if they are PARTICULARLY scary-looking.

  • But it is a serious point. This story is deliberately playing with the metafiction.

  • The Statue of Liberty is only an Angel in the paradox version that was destroyed by Amy and Rory. And in that paradox version, I thought New York was remarkably quiet (granted, I have no personal experience of New York in 1938, but still…). So ordinarily, the Statue would be quantum locked. But as suggested elsewhere, in the paradox version, the population of New York had been massively depleted.
    Why didn’t people notice? Well actually, that’s a question for Blink as well. Why don’t people notice these time jumps? I presume because they become ‘true’. The scary thing about the Angels sending people back in time is that… they don’t exist in the present, even in memory (like Amelia Pond’s parents).

  • “I guess she got impatient.”

  • Leigh Walker

     My mistake, I totally forgot about the hotel being destroyed. But then surely if they’re free to do as they please for the rest of their lives in the past, there’s no reason the Doctor couldn’t just arrange to meet them somewhere not New York? Ridiculous story line. Ugh.

  • Ohiopokey

    It’s like watching baseball where you know better than the manager (and I do.)  You  notice flaws in the episode and find all sorts of ways that you (me) could have done it better. The early heavy-handed foreshadowing was unnecessary since we all knew the Ponds would  depart in the 5th episode.  The discussion with Brian about the future of his companions accomplished nothing but make us now wonder what is going on at his house.  For God’s sake, if we are blubbering (you, not me,) that the Doctor lost his best friends, and River lost her parents, what’s going on with him?  which we would never have even considered if he had not been introduced as such a fabulous character.  We wouldn’t have thought about any of the families.  I want Brian to become a companion!  a great poetic way for him to be something more than a delightful footnote and keep the Pond legacy alive.  

    The terror of the Angels was not exploited enough since they simply put people to bed. It was their creepingly slow approach with each blink which previously made them behing-the-davenport monsters, not just checking people into the Hotel California.  Also, it does bother me that their manner of taking their victims was different in earlier episodes.  But the baby blowing out the match really gave me goosebumps.

    So, for me, indifference and scoffing at all the convenient loopholes, yawning at the cemetery (twice) because it was so boring.  I felt it could not possibly be the end of the Ponds, and looking at a tomb stone was an anti-climactic grand finale.   But I bawled when the Doctor went back to Amelia as she waited, though.  
    MARYANN (sorry for yelling,)  I would really love you to chime in on my mention that at the end of the show, I thought you were right all along.  When the Doctor made full circle and ended up telling Amelia stories of her future,  everything which happened was a fairy tale for her.  And a terrific way to explain any loopholes anywhere, if it was all in her dreams. Finally, we all can think of a bunch of reasons why this doesn’t have to be the undoable death of the Ponds.  (Rose – gag)OK, this is how I would have written it: The Ponds would have dissolved out of existence, like Rory almost did until Amy remembered him at the urging of the Doctor.  My ideal ending in order  to write them out forever, would be for them to dissolve out of existence and have the Doctor forget they every existed.  *Further,* very few people at all know about the doctor, since he has officially been erase (by memory and data bases) so no one could remind him to remember the Ponds.  (I could have done almost anything better than Manny Acta in the second half, although it was nice that he finally started calling for bunts.)

  • Ohiopokey

    Forgot an important paragraph:  It’s so easy to focus on flaws.  I LOVE DOCTOR WHO even down to the worst episode!  (which is debatable but probably the Bill Buckner ball-between the legs game, or the infamous Browns thrown-helmet episonde.)

  • Pelahnar

    I’m drawing on someone else’s response to a similar question again. If he went back and got them, but then they ended up dying elsewhere – so that they wouldn’t have lived their lives out and died in New York – that would be another paradox. Not sure what the consequences of that would be, but he generally tries to avoid creating paradoxes – unless specifically needed, like in this episode.

    I believe that whoever I’m paraphrasing also said that it would be hard on all of them if they saw each other (somewhere other than New York) but couldn’t do anything together because that’s always dangerous and might create that paradox. But, yeah, I don’t see why they couldn’t meet elsewhere at least to have a proper goodbye.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Weeping Angels have only appeared in three stories, “Blink”, “Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone”, and “The Angels Take Manhattan”, yes?

  • ermawong

    Disclaimer: I am not a critic. It’s not my job to analyze and critique, so perhaps it’s easier for me to do the following than others of you… but I actually enjoy these episodes, and enjoyed this one, too. Despite all the problems mentioned by MaryAnn and many of you, and with a general agreement that the show fails to deliver on promises of wonderfulness, I still try to accept it for what it is, to appreciate the efforts of everyone involved in making the show, and to just go along for the ride.

    Just want to say that, because I was first drawn to this blog by the promise that it was to be a place for a Doctor Who love fest. Yet for some time it has seemed this promise of wonderfulness has not been met, either… but I’ll try to accept this for what it is, too, and pop in from time to time to enjoy this ride.


    * Statue of Liberty as an Angel… Did I snort and roll my eyes along with most of you? Yes. But I also got a kick out of the idea, and ultimately enjoyed that the writers put it in. They’re having fun!

    * Rory’s name on the tombstone — the *first* time… It’s a bit meta, isn’t it? The idea that once you read something, it’s set in stone, giving extra power to the idea of the danger of “spoilers”… and here we are, the audience, reading Rory’s name on a tombstone before the characters see it. The Doctor may have made Amy’s final farewell a fixed event… but did we the audience make Rory’s (final) death a fixed event? Another fun idea I’m glad the writers put in.

    * Doctor’s intensity and apparent selfishness asking Amy to stay… Yeah, that was surprising. But it just seems there’s something else here, something symbolic that just wasn’t quite fleshed out in the script… The chapter title was *Amelia’s* final farewell. Not “Amy’s.” The Doctor’s final saying of her name before she was zapped was “Pond;” the name that appeared on the tombstone was “Amelia Williams.” Could it be that losing Amy, for the Doctor, is akin to losing a child? The Doctor met Amy as a child — using her given name Amelia — and if she is indeed “imprinted” on his hearts, it’s perhaps as that little girl. And as for the theme about aging, there seems to be something about that here, too. Despite all the play with Mr. and Mrs. “Pond,” (and notwithstanding the wonderful conversations from other episode reviews about the use of Pond/Williams), was the tombstone reading of “A… Williams” intended to signify the non-reversible act of growing up? A final release of her childhood (e.g. Pond) and embracing of her adulthood (e.g. Williams)? Indeed, a final departure from the guidance of her father figure (e.g. the Doctor) and striking out on her own as an adult?  The Doctor could never see Amy again… just as parents can never see their children again once they are grown… So in a way, the Doctor’s intensity felt like a dramatic, Doctor-Who-style expression of the selfish wish of most parents to never lose their children…

    Enough for this attempt at a love fest. Or, acceptance-fest.

  • But that’s milking, isn’t it. I mean, how often have you seen that magnificent creation of Mr R Davies (and competition-winning child), the Absorbaloff?

    Just think how successfully Doctor Who could have been all over the world if they’d never made The Dalek Invasion of Earth? Of how we’d have been spared the unfettered weirdness of The Chase, the scope of The Dalek’s Masterplan, the menace of the Power of the Daleks, the moral dilemma of Genesis of the Daleks.

    Yes, all halfway decent monsters are best left well alone with one story to their name.

    That way, remember, we get a double dose of mediocre monsters!

    So three cheers for the Voord, the Zygons, and more especially the nameless monster from Midnight (possibly the only genuine support for this argument).

  • I LOVE DOCTOR WHO even down to the worst episode! (which is debatable but probably the Bill Buckner ball-between the legs game, or the infamous Browns thrown-helmet episonde.)

    You love it that much, huh?

    *Scratches head*

  • Killara29

    Thought Rory was a bit short changed   as usual.  Knew it was going to end as it did   Amy would only ever leave him for Rory.  Still don’t understand why he left them and could never see  them again  why not go to 1954 New Jersey and catch the train to nyc?

    Actually when I saw the Angel hotel, all I could think was that they were constantly zapping the inhabitants back to various points alongside the hotel’s timeline so that they were constantly being used for their potential and also that this prematurely aged them!  Because why FEED your victims that’s just bizarre.

  • Pelahnar

    I also got the idea that they were using the potential more than once – I wonder if that’s a dangerous thing to do? I mean, energy is supposed to be constant. You shouldn’t be able to use any type energy more than once…

    But how would that prematurely age them? If the angels fed them, it would be so they would live longer and therefore would have more potential time energy.

  • Pelahnar

    The Absorbaloff was a competition-winner? You’re kidding! I hated that monster – liked the episode, but hated the monster.

  • tinwatchman

    I think you’re right in that Moffat still has some explaining to do. My impression from the episode is that the Angels must have some way of “protecting their food” from other time travelers – maybe related to the temporal distortions, but maybe not – that the Doctor is aware of, but has yet to explain. That said, seems likely to me that that sort of exposition would have weighed down the episode, as well as the emotional punch Moffat was going for.

  • Moffat doesn’t have any more “explaining to do” than the Grimm Brothers did for their story “The Six Servants” (or any of their other output).

    He’s a show-runner, not a public information service.

  • I’m sorry to say it, but ask kids to design Doctor Who monsters, and they’ll almost overwhelmingly come up with rubbish like the Absorbaloff. Sadly, the one or two genuinely interesting and creepy ideas that do appear will be excluded by the ‘competition committee’ element of this sort of thing.

    I say this with experience not only of the Absorbaloff, but of the several ‘competition-winning’ monsters designed by readers of Doctor Who Adventures magazine, to which my son, until recently, subscribed.

  • tinwatchman

    All right, fair enough. Let me rephrase: I think Moffat needs to explain several things – including why Amy and Rory’s fates were fixed in this case after the Angel touched them as opposed to before, as well as why the TARDIS blew up at the end of Season 5 – in order for me, personally, to be completely satisfied with the story he’s telling. Happy?

  • The comments on this episode have made me think hard about the process and effects of time travel in science fiction, and whether the plot holes criticised in this posting are faults of Moffat in particular or of the sub-genre in general.
    This evening I’ve just been to see Looper, and it looks awfully like the timey-wimey-paradox-resolution-love-triumphs Dr Who stories that irritates MAJ and others about Moffat’s writing. Looper is a *very* classy package, but it fails to follow its time-travel rules consistently throughout the whole story and ends up with a character killing himself to rewrite time and I wonder whether it demonstrates that there are always intrinsic problems with stories that promote time travel as a central concern, and not just with Moffat’s handling of it in general.

    I can’t make any conclusions from just two examples, but I am wondering what are the good (and bad) examples are of timey-wimey stories?

  • Skepchick

    Amy and Rory do have a clue this happened–remember in Let’s Kill Hitler, when Mels starts to regenerate, she says, ‘the last time this happened I ended up as a toddler in New York,’ or something very much like it.

  • Kahler_Jex

    I really liked this episode and all of Series 7 part 1. Yes, there are plotholes, but chances are, some may even be explained in the future! Remember that this was the last episode. I preferred a town called mercy though.

  • Kahler_Jex

    I hope he explains the TARDIS blowing up soon. He has to before he stops being showrunner, doesn’t he?

  • Kahler_Jex

    I really like what you have said, and agree with most, but as a die-hard fan I disagree with your opinion on the Statue of Liberty. It is made of metal… With a staircase in it. Metal…

  • Kahler_Jex

    Do you like it as much as me? I do not see your Who-Themed name and pic! ;-)

  • CB

    As a long-time Lions fan, I am offended by your suggestion that there is an alternate universe in which they win Superbowls.   No, obviously this is an alternate universe where “The New York Record…” is the equivalent of The Onion or Weekly World News.

  • teenygozer

    I may have just accidentally hit “like” when I tried to reply… please don’t think I liked what you said, should a like appear.

    I’m sorry, but the “it’s just a show” trolls can bite me, even the concern trolls who try to appear helpful.

    And let it be said that Berman/Braga might have created a watchable show in “Enterprise” if they’d had the slightest respect for canon.

  • LaSargenta

     I think you can “unlike” by clicking the button again.

  • Hmcc_ni

    There is a storyboard short released by bbc that shows Amy and Rory’s adopted son going to visit Brian with a letter from Rory explaining everything.

  • christina

    That reminds me: Whatever happened to Amy’s parents. They did reappear after the crack was closed, right? Because they were at Amy’s wedding, but never to be heard from again. 

  • Can’t dissolve the Ponds out of existence, b/c doing so would also dissolve River out of existence,  which negates two and a half seasons worth of episodes.

  • Radek

    I absolutely loved this episode. I nearly cried and I never cried before watching DW. I was absolutely gripped and nearly strangled my boyfriend’s hand out of suspense and angst. The entire show could be this timey-wimey and this heart-breaking. =)

Pin It on Pinterest