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Doctor Who – The Angels Take Manhatten

It is the end of the era, it was the last Doctor Who episode to feature Amy Pond and Rory Williams, the two best companions The Doctor has ever had (in my opinion). It was the episode that Steven Moffat promised, giving the pair an emotional farewell that they deserved.

The Weeping Angels are back and they have found a perfect food source, New York City, and in 1938 they have been able to hide in plain sight in the city’s many salutes, including a very large and famous one. In 2012 The Doctor, Amy, and Rory are in the city, but an Angel is able transport Rory back to the 30s and The Doctor and Amy are unable to land the TARDIS. Luckily they have an ally, River Song, who is able to help the pair get back in time and stop the Weeping Angels’ most dastardly plan yet.


“The Angels Take Manhattan” is the best episode of this first half of this season. Moffat certainly knows how to write episodes involving his best creation. The Weeping Angels are still as sinister as ever and like their first appearance, we do not see them move. The premise is that they kill people by sending them back in time to feed off the time energy they leave behind, but it becomes an even crueler death because they’ve turned it into a psychological form of torture. This episode answers that they can send people back further in time even after the first time and they use this method to farm people in a continuous loop of torture.

“The Angels Take Manhattan” has a creepy atmosphere when the Weeping Angels are around, which it needed. The effect of the screen fading in and out to black was as effectively menacing as ever as the Weeping Angels approach our heroes and how they move stiffly when no one is looking. They are a great horror creation and there is a reason why they are seen as the best new villain the show has created since its revival. “Blink” will still be the Weeping Angels definitive episode but at least Amy’s final episode is against her biggest fear.

The exit of Amy and Rory was filled with plenty of melodrama that you would expect from Doctor Who, but considering that Amy is the Doctor’s longest companion since the show’s revival it was deserved. Their final episode shows the great love and trust between Amy and Rory, how they have grown throughout their run on the show. One of the great aspects of Amy’s character has been the avoidance of making her out to be a companion who has a romantic interest in The Doctor; the love they share is platonic because of their special connection since her childhood. It was a hard goodbye for The Doctor, possibly the hardest because there is no chance for them to ever meet again. It is similar to Rose Tyler’s departure but tougher because it was a sacrifice Amy chooses to make.


There is acknowledge of previous events of the series through River Song, how The Doctor has been wiping all knowledge of his existence, how it has impacted River’s life, and she is now a professor. Plus when you think about the relationships and timelines between the characters The Ponds/Williams are a strange family, such as Amy knew The Doctor as a child, yet he ends up being her son-in-law.

The first half of the seventh season has been bookend by two excellent episodes (I really like the Daleks) and the other three have been solid but not spectacular. It is a sad to see Amy and Rory gone from the show, but we have already seen Jenna-Louise Coleman in “Asylum of the Daleks” and she plays someone similar so she should be a good companion for The Doctor. We will see if the mention of the phrase “remember me” and The Doctor’s eradication of himself from history plays a part in the series next year.

Rating
8.5

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