Tube Watch: Doctor Who – The Angels Take Manhattan

by Cap'n Carrot on October 1, 2012 · 1 comment

in Television

Doctor Who‘s mid-season finale begins with a lazy day in Central Park with The Doctor (Matt Smith) reading aloud from 1930′s pulp novel by Melody Malone and ends with the Time Lord’s final farewell to Amelia Pond (Karen Gillan). In between writer Steven Moffat gives us the Weeping Angels, a paradox that nearly destroys New York City, the return of River Song (Alex Kingston), and a pair of heart-wrenching decisions involving the future of Amy and Rory (Arthur Darvill).

The novel, and the concept of one’s future becoming fixed once seen, is an intriguing one that keeps paying off as the characters must find a way to prevent the end that is to come. I’m also glad to see the show return to the Angels’ original modus operadi, as seen in “Blink,” of sending people back in time and stealing their life energy rather than the far less interesting versions of the characters we saw in Series Five who simply killed their prey.

Amy and Rory had their run, and Moffat certainly twists the knife in during those final scenes. That said, the Ponds’ story had felt very much played out this season and I’m very much looking forward to a new companion (Jenna-Louise Coleman , who will join Doctor Who in this year’s Christmas episode) who I hope will breathe some new life into the show.

“The Angels Take Manhattan” has quite a few parallels to “Doomsday,” Doctor Who‘s Second Series finale that said farewell to the rebooted series first companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper). In both instances the showrunners (first Russell T. Davies, and here Steven Moffat) seem determined not to let their beloved first companion go only to do just that by having The Doctor lose them in space and time. We’ll have to wait and see if the stated finality of the Ponds turns out to be as timey-wimey as it was for Rose (who returned to make several appearances after being “lost”). I’m not expecting to see Amy and Rory again, but you never know.

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    I liked the idea of the Angels setting up a “farm”. The end of the intro, with the biggest Angel yet (no spoilers!), was fantastic. And I loved seeing Michael McShane (Grayle) as a creepy collector. I’ve enjoyed his performances since first seeing him as Friar Tuck in “Prince of Thieves”.

    For me, the Ponds have worn out their time (pun intended) on the show. It took guts to make their loss seem “permanent”, and I’m selfishly hoping it will remain that way. Hopefully this season can get back on track, though I’m not too confident.

    What I really want to see is some sort of Doctor team up, ala “The Two Doctors”, “The Three Doctors”, or “The Five Doctors”. Perhaps I could suggest “The Four Doctors” (just to fill in the gap and keep my OCD in check)? Get the four most recent: Smith, Tennant, Eccleston, and McGann. Too much to wish for, I’m sure.

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