Television Review: Doctor Who – The Angels Take Manhattan (7.5)

“Some left me, some got left behind, and some – not many but some – died. Not them, not them Brian, never them.” – the Doctor.

Asylum of the Daleks (7.1)
Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (7.2)
A Town Called Mercy (7.3)
The Power of Three (7.4)

I intended to write a review for this episode back in the same week it was shown, but life got in the way. Now it’s really too belated. So I’ll just add a few words, and refer you to Slouching towards Thatcham for an exhaustive blow-by-blow review.

I just want to say it was a brilliant, emotionally satisfying finale to the Pond’s life with the Doctor, delivered with the Moffat genius for story-telling. We knew it was going to be heart-breaking in some way, but I could not see how he could kill off Amy and Rory. It would be like murdering puppies on YouTube. The clue was in the Weeping Angels, who send people back in time. This is what happened first to Rory, heavily foreshadowed by the sight of his gravestone early in the episode. Amy sacrifices herself to the last Angel in the hope of joining Rory in the past, where they do indeed live long, happy lives together. The grief belongs to the Doctor and River, ameliorated by Amy’s Afterword in Melody/River’s 1930s detective novel.

A powerful ending, but something was still missing. Rory’s dad, Brian, who I had grown to like as character, willingly sent them off on their travels with the Doctor. And the Doctor had, perhaps foolishly, promised he wouldn’t let Rory and Amy die. Technically he didn’t, but the the effect on Brian would have been the same. There is no acknowledgement of Brian’s loss in The Angels Take Manhattan.

There was an alternative ending, written by Chris Chibnall, in which Rory sends a letter to Brian through a very special messenger. It’s difficult to see how this could have been worked into the ending of The Angels Take Manhattan alongside Amy’s Afterword, but I wish it had. Enjoy.

7 thoughts on “Television Review: Doctor Who – The Angels Take Manhattan (7.5)

  1. I saw this storyboard a while ago, and I loved this ending! I’m so disappointed they decided not to go with it. I was one of those who never really took to Amy, but Rory improved things enormously by his presence and his dad even more. I would have liked to have Brian resolve the problem of never seeing them again by meeting his grandson, but I suspect it’s a personal taste for time travel paradoxes that leads me to this preference.

  2. I loved Amy. My favorite is The Eleventh Hour when he meets her as a young girl and then comes back for her. She is my favorite companion. I thought it was Rose but it’s not it’s Amy. Rory however was like an extra appendage. He was cool as The Last Roman and his speech to the Cybermen in A Good man Goes To War is awesome but I never grew to like him. I just felt like he messed up a good duo. (At least he died a lot)

    After Rose I can see how the Doctor would want to stay away from any possible romantic entanglements w/ his “pets” but I wanted it, gosh darn it. I wanted it. And now it can’t happen because she’s gone.

    Having said that I feel like this entire shorten half season was more of an epilogue to last year and when they come back it will be more like the beginning of the seventh season. It was almost like they added 5 more shows just for the Amy & Rory demise when it only needed one or maybe a two parter. Of the five I only thoroughly enjoyed the first episode. 2 & 3 were fun but lacked substance. 4 was not good at all & I hated this last one.

    But as far as I’m concerned they were just a 5 episode epilogue for Amy & Rory and the season begins with the Christmas Special.

    • Oh no, how can you say that about Rory! But I actually agree with you about the season and the interminable demise of Amy and Rory. Just let them go! I yelled at the screen. Bring on River! Anyone! But then, I’m still in mourning for David Tennant so I don’t see things too clearly. I did like Brian, though. Why couldn’t he have been the Doctor’s companion? Interesting thought.

    • I agree with you and Catherine about the first half being an epilogue.

      I like Rory. He’s the Everyman to the Doctor’s brilliance and sometimes says things that must be said. Amy is everything I want a companion to be. I think their marriage provides a necessary tension in Amy’s relationship with the Doctor.

      But my first love is the luminous Rose. The new series reset Doctor Who with a blunt Northern Doctor and a companion from a South London council estate, with loads of family and boyfriend baggage. That was an inspired move, and I’m glad they at least kept the idea of family involvement. For the rest, it’s all gone a bit middle class again.

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