Doctor Who: The Angels Take Manhattan – Dork Review
After four episodes of build-up, it’s time for Amy and Rory Pond to leave Doctor Who. Much like Billie Piper or David Tennant, they leave after a lengthy run, just need a good departure for us to remember them fondly.
The Inverse Takes Manhattan
This episode was more notable for what it wasn’t, to be honest. Some things it wasn’t: a massive world-ending apocalypse which happens to unseat the companion, the culmination of many ongoing subplots, an overburdened mess of continuity, a raft of emotional manipulation.
And don’t get me wrong, that’s a positive point, because I was expecting at least two of those things. To be honest, The Angels Take Manhattan felt like a well-constructed standard episode of Doctor Who, a good normal adventure… which suddenly wipes out two companions at the end.
The perfect way to run this episode, actually, would’ve been to keep it secret that Amy and Rory leave. We’d watch most of the running time thinking it was a common or garden adventure, and then BOOM. Completely impossible in the modern climate, and that’s a shame, as it would have blindsided everyone.
The Angels Take A Holiday
The flipside of all the above is, yes, the advertising meant I was expecting more staggering sense of event, and Moffat’s stabs at building one up (ominous comments about “endings”, etc) seemed out of place in an otherwise normal episode. The Weeping Angels make for a cool visual, especially when they take over the Statue of Liberty, but perhaps don’t make for finale-level drama.
Still, it worked well on its own terms, good to see the Angels’ back-in-time trick get interesting uses, and… does this mean the Doctor can never again go to 1938? Under any circumstances? I felt sad at the two obvious scenes, River Song didn’t annoy me for once, not sure the riff about “marriage changing everything” really worked, but good show nonetheless.
And looking back briefly at the five episode mini-series, I’ve enjoyed it. The awkward semi-companion angle with the Ponds was interesting, although only attempting five episodes rather than thirteen was probably wise.
Also pleased they disentangled the arc plot and focused on individual stories. Yes, some parts didn’t work, like the half-baked divorce in Asylum Of The Daleks and lame ending of The Power Of Three, but that’s not a bad hit rate. Looking forward to Christmas and the proper debut of Jenna Louise Coleman. How did you find the Pond-cleaning episode? What about the series so far?