I love Doctor Who and why not it's better then most of the crap written here the so I'll always give it a 10 until the day it really turns to crap. Honestly I thought the whole Statute of Liberty thing was really cheesy to say the least. I also think it's sort of crappy Rory and Amy couldn't just live happily ever after. We've had Doctor Companions leave happily ever after before. Why not now ?
Of course I feel for the doctor. He has just looss so much. But honestly, this was a loss he need not suffer. I don't see the sense of bringing them back miraculously time after time only to have them die one last time so as to write out there characters.
The tears are out. I promised myself I wouldn't cry at Amy and Rory's demise but I couldn't help myself. But the point of this episode is mis-direction. Admittedly, the plot twists could be seen a mile off and I predicted it the moment the trailer was released. But, it was wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey at its best and it was good to have River around without her stealing the show or being stupidly important to the plot, whilst still having some good hints towards her demise, which for her at this point, is close. Likewise, the Angels themselves, back to basics, at their best and most dangerous. But the real trick of this episode is not the fact that you're crying or why you're crying, its WHO you're crying for. When it was revealed this episode would be heart-breaking, he didn't say who for. And you expect it to be tragic for Amy and Rory, but it isn't. Just one episode previously, they were considering giving up. Now, they get to. Happy. No, this episode has you crying for the Doctor. The man who has lost so many friends, loses two more. And the moment where he is practically begging Amy not to leave him is as sad and poignant as anything this show or any have produced. Top quality but predictable entertainment.
Aw, we're back to this stuff now, then? Man, I hate this stuff. I hate Moffat when he decides that Doctor Who is not about plot or pacing or, you know, good writing, and he just comes up with random cool ideas and images and smears them all over the script.
See, under Moffat the Doctor goes beyond the usual silly Deus Ex Machina and into the realm of masturbatory non-storytelling. Who cares if the plot doesn't make sense, or if there is no buildup to the emotional payoff? It's Doctor Who! You can do anything!
But... you can't. You can't spend two seasons getting abusing time travel plots and then come up with arbitrary restrictions to time travel when it suits the need to write some characters off. You can't spend several minutes on inconsequential characters only to gloss over what is ostensibly the plot. The plot, by the way, is that a demented collector mob boss is seemingly feeding people to Weeping Angels who in turn have set up a human farm in an apartment building that can only be wiped out by paradoxing it out. I'd say that takes a bit more than a quick, confusingly shot chase and a dramatic declaration to resolve, right? You can't just jump straight to the end from the beginning with no middle in between, no matter how timey wimey you get.
Or, well, you can, I guess, but then you get a half-assed episode. It's telling that the one saving grace I found here were those nice fancy glasses that actually give some personality to the Doctor's costume (and that keep very deliberately sliding down Karen Gillan's nose in a disturbingly cute way).
This episode gave me emotional whiplash. I've been trained by the episode Blink to find the weeping angels really terrifying, so seeing one always makes me jump and squeak. A Weeping Angel Statue of Liberty? Nearly had me on the floor laughing from the ridiculous. Um.. okay. No. Just no.
Rory dies again! At at least the freaky aspect of being stuck in a building full of moving statuary really gave me then creeps. But then the Doctor ruined it by saying that Rory never left that room. Which made me think.: "Wait, how did he get food then? Unless you're trying to say that the statues go to the market."
I enjoyed seeing River and I like how well she just gets the Doctor. And her reaction when he used some of his regeneration energy on her? Perfect.
Oh, I'm so going to miss the Ponds. I adored them being with the Doctor but I'm also content that they got to live their lives out together although I will always be questioning the fact as to why the Doctor can't pop over for a visit.
I had a lot of problems with this episode. The Doctor doesn't do anything, he doesn't solve any problems except River's wrist, he just gets whiny and angry and scared, he just reacts to the things around him and gets his mind stuck in what he can't do rather than all the possibilities of what he can or could. He doesn't try anything, he just accepts that they're screwed. Of course, Rory barely gives him time to try much of anything before deciding it's go-time.
The idea that writing in a book makes it a fixed moment seems a little constricting, we've seen timeline changes before in this series going back to 9, and it's such an arbitrary thing. We've had Amy Pond most recently turn old and die in front of them without it becoming a fixed thing, yet Rory does it and all of a sudden it's impossible to change, "sorry sport, you're toast, enjoy the next 50 years here". The Doctor not finishing books also seems like a cheap conceit to this story rather than true to his personality.
That actually gets me on another tanget, the Doctor's recent inability to face the state of change in the universe, all of a sudden he's incapable of letting go of things precious. The Doctor has had children and grandchildren come and go, the Doctor has watched companions age and move on and die and survive without him, but all of a sudden in the last season he's gotten incredibly immature about such things to the point where it's a driving force in this episode and it rings incredibly false.
Rory and Amy's leaving was such a cheap-out. For this season we've been watching them grow closer to wanting a real life, to struggling with the idea of living the lives they had against travelling with the Doctor, and they were nearly ready to give it up last episode until at the last second they didn't. Here, they're back to where they were last season except not really obviously since this is "it". And what a cheap out it was, too, like Radar bursting in and letting us know that Col. Blake's plane was hit and spun in. What happened with wanting to have a normal life? And why would Weeping Angels from the past magically appear right where they need to in the present to zap Rory? Wasn't their plan to zap them to the hotel? That's gone now, it never even happened, so this is a random Weeping Angel. The ending also smacks of a copy of what happened to Rose Tyler - beloved companions are forced by circumstance to go somewhere that the Doctor cannot ever follow.
River shows up out of the blue, it's a fun surprise but it has no substance, there's no reason for her appearance there, so she's just there because the shoddy script says she should be. The episode introduces us to 3 characters - the detective, the crime lord, and the thug - and none of them get any time to be anybody, they're just cardboard characters there to set the plot in motion and then disappear. The crime lord is given a token piece of character-business but it goes nowhere. Then they all disappear, leaving just our heroes and some statues. I'm also disappointed lately in how little action the TARDIS gets, under Moffat lately it's become a mere one-room conveyance and nothing more, there's barely a thought given to the fact that it was challenging for the TARDIS as well.
The weeping angels also really are on my last nerve now, they've become peek-a-boo zombies, all they really are are monsters playing 'red light, green light' to little effect. In Blink they were horrifying, yet every instance since has taken away more and more of what makest hem unique. What was the point of the giant statue of liberty? That should have been something awe-inspiring yet instead it is just a backdrop, it just walks up, looks scary, and threatens nothing - towards the end it doesn't even obey the angels' rules, as no characters are looking at it yet it still just stands there enthralled by Rory and Amy having a soap opera moment. There's also not enough thought put into the torturing of a captured angel, shouldn't something like that resonate with the storyline, or at least piss off the Doctor who hates stuff like that even when it's done to his enemies? Instead it gets a grimmace and a vengance ending and is forgotten.
Revisiting early 20th century Manhattan didn't really use the city well, there was a street, a bridge, the crime lord's house, and the hotel, but almost nothing about being in the 1930s or in New York mattered to the story at all. Streets and buildings were empty, there wasn't much period-specific activity, and once we were back in time there wasn't that New York flavor, so why were we there? This felt like yet another dropped intention to do something more.
So what does work here? Aside from a no-parking sign they should have removed, the 1930s setting looks good and is fun to play with. The real Manhattan looks great and adds flavor to a Doctor romp. The acting was full tilt, even if they did pair off characters too often.
This episode began brilliantly with a beautiful take on film noir and a use of statues that made Manhattan feel alive with danger even before anything had happened. It was one of the best beginnings to the show I've ever seen.
Overall though, there were problems in the qpisode. The show had odd inconsistencies and plot holes, and it felt like some general time concepts were added just to make the episode work.
My feeling is this episode was brilliantly directed but haphazardly plotted, resulting in something that was entertaining but that kept me spending too much time saying, "but wait, if that were true, then wouldn't that mean ...?"
I also feel that, in terms of companion goodbyes, this one was weak, both because there were logical inconsistencies and because it felt like a very arbitrary way to end what had been a key part of a very long and elaborate story arc.
I did enjoy the episode, but I didn't feel it lived up to that wonderful pre-title-credits sequence.
Rarely would I call something perfect, but there's no doubt about it. The Angels Take Manhattan is an absolute masterpiece and is easily the best episode of series 7 part 1. The only minor problem was to do with the Statue of Liberty. But this, by no means, ruins the episode as everything is perfectly paced. It was scary, creepy and superbly acted. Poor old Rory dies three times in this episode and I loved the scene with him and the babies in the cellar. Also, River returns as Melody Melone which I thought was a brilliant addition to this episode. Matt Smith does a fantastic job as does Karen and Arthur. I absolutely loved the music that played when Amy and Rory fell down the building. Also, I found the bit where we last see Rory before he's sent back into the past, extremely unexpected and shocking. While first watching this episode at the part where Old Rory dies, I had extreme goosebumps and I was thinking, "Please let the paradox work." Luckily, it did but then the next twist comes when Rory sees his name on the gravestone and then the Angel appeared behind and his name appeared on the grave stone. To be honest, I loved this part as it scared me so much when I saw the Angel behind Rory just as he was about to go.
In conclusion, The Angels Take Manhattan was easily the best of series 7 part 1 and may even be the best Matt Smith episode! Even better than The Doctor's Wife! It was just beautifully written and excellently acted and the pacing was flawless. An absolute masterpiece! Well done Steven Moffat. I wish you or Matt Smith would never leave the show.
We all knew it was coming. We knew the Ponds were leaving, we just didn't know exactly how (even if it could have been suspected once the Angels were in the picture), and River's novel was quite a clever way to acknowledge this, one that makes foreknowledge work FOR the story instead of AGAINST it. The chapter titles were obviously a bit of a red herring, but it was interesting to see them play out anyway. The book and the gravestone were also fitting metaphors for fate ( yes, "it is written" or "it's carved in stone" are easy metaphors, but the script makes them work really well in context ).
The anger and desperation of the Doctor, battling against a fixed point in time, gave Matt Smith a chance to shine ( and I somehow hope he keeps Amy's glasses for a while as a tribute to her ) , and at the same time, the usual banter between him and River ( who gave us the best definition of Matt Smith's Doctor I've heard : "an ageless god with the face of a 12-year old") showed his more comedic side.
The Ponds were the first Companions I've met, so I liked that the episode was a love letter to them, with references to many previous episodes. The graveyard scene was a cruel joke for those ( like me ) who thought for a second that the Ponds would just quit to have a normal life ( I should have remembered last week's ending, "normal life" wasn't an option any more) but it was fitting that, one last time, Amy chooses between the Doctor and Rory, and the ending on little Amelia, closing the loop that begun with "The Eleventh hour", was a sweet note.
I honestly think Moffat's lost his touch. This episode was doing alright until the jump and then it was all downhill from there. Too many 'wait, what' or overly-dramatic moments at the end of this episode shattered the suspension of disbelief and completely destroyed any of the emotions the Ponds' farewell should have entailed. It really felt like a two-parter crammed into one episode.
Also, seriously, there were moments when neither Amy nor Rory had their eyes on the Statue of Liberty and it SHOULD HAVE MOVED (also, how did it get there in the first place?) and didn't. I understand it was a background rather than an actual prop, but still. Don't bring it in and then not utilize it. That's just sloppy.
The abandonment of subtlety surrounding foreshadowing was equally disappointing. So many clues in this episode pointed to the end of River Song's time on the show - the device on her wrist (she has in the library when she meets 10), the fact that she's a professor (her title when she meets 10) and that she was wearing a startlingly similar dress to the one she wore during her introduction to 11.
Hopefully they've been saving all the magic for the introduction of the new companion.
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