Review: Doctor Who: The Angels Take Manhattan

Let me start off by saying that I really enjoyed The Angels Take Manhattan.  The Angels were back on form, shooting people back in time to feed off the temporal energy released.  Written by Steven Moffat and beautifully directed by Nick Hurran.  It again had that big budget movie feeling, filming in New York didn’t hurt that.  This was indeed the emotional rollercoaster promised to us by Moffat.  Unfortunately its impact was lessened by knowing months ahead of time that this would be the final episode for the Ponds.

***** SPOILERS *****

I did however have a couple of problems with the episode.  When I first saw the trailer I was worried that Moffat was going to make the Statue of Liberty into a Weeping Angel, and low and behold he did.  First off that Angel wouldn’t get very far, I mean how often is someone not looking at the Statue of Liberty, especially when it’s walking around in downtown New York.  Also aren’t the Angels supposed to turn to stone when they are quantum locked?  I thought the Statue of Liberty was a hollow metal structure.

Admittedly this was done for spectacle, something Moffat and Davies are both guilty of.  I have no problem with spectacle, but it should still make sense in the context of the story.

I liked the Idea of the Angels’ farm, but who was paying the utilities for their Winter Quay apartment building?  Wait the Angels own an apartment building?  Since the people there were prisoners, who was bringing them food?  The idea is great on the surface, but it doesn’t stand up.

I loved the Melody Malone book, a Pond River publication.

The moments with Amy and Rory were really good, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill did an amazing job.  Especially the scene on top of the Winter Quay, where Rory figures out that if he kills himself it will cause the paradox that will destroy the Angels.  The part I didn’t get was when he asked Amy to push him over the edge.  I think Rory is plenty strong willed enough to take the plunge on his own, and asking Amy to basically kill him was way out of character for him.

Then in the graveyard at the end of the episode, after Rory is zapped back by an Angel, Amy allows herself to be zapped back so that her and Rory can live out their lives together.  According to the Doctor he can no longer take the TARDIS back to New York 1938, so Amy and Rory are lost to him.  Why can’t he just take the TARDIS back to New York 1939, or better yet take it to New Jersey 1938 and take the train to pick up Amy and Rory?  Oh wait never mind, it’s New Jersey.  But my point still stands, that’s not even Timey Wimey, it’s just reason and logic, I guess that’s why Doctor Who has been Science Fantasy since it came back in 2005 and not Science Fiction as it once was.

Like I said even with its problems, I enjoyed The Angels Take Manhattan.  It was a good send off to companions that have been around for a long time, but that’s all it was.  It was an entire episode wrapped around saying goodbye to the Ponds, and the previous episode The Power of Three was essentially a build up to this episode.  I liked Amy and Rory, but now that they are gone, maybe we can get back to telling some good stories that don’t revolve around the companion(s) or the Doctor’s relationship with the companions and/or River.

The Ponds are gone, they didn’t choose to leave the Doctor, but they didn’t die either, they got to live out their lives happy and together.

So Raggedy Man it is time to travel on.  We my friends,  unlike the Doctor must take the long path, for Christmas is 12 weeks away.  I look forward to the Christmas Special.

Check out our “The Angels Take Manhattan” photo album.