Saturday, 12 January 2013

Doctor Who 'The Angels Take Manhattan' Review

Amy and Rory are prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice.

‘The Angels Take Manhattan’ starts with the Doctor, Amy and Rory having a picnic together in Central Park in modern day New York.  Whilst the Doctor is reading a pulp novel about the detective Melody Malone to Amy, Rory goes to get the three of them some coffee.  The Doctor stops reading suddenly as Rory appears in the book, talking about the Doctor and Amy.  Rory, now in 1938, meets his daughter Melody Pond/River Song, who he discovers is Melody Malone from the Doctors book.

The Doctor and Amy rush to the Tardis and try to reach Rory and River, who have been taken to meet with the crime boss Mr Grayle.  Melody explains to Rory that he was sent back in time by a Weeping Angel, and that they are swarming all over New York, causing a number of time distortions that will prevent the Tardis from landing.

Using the information provided by River in the book, Amy and the Doctor manage to break their way through the time distortions in time to rescue River from Grayle and the Weeping Angel he has locked up in his home, unfortunately tough Rory has been given over to a group of Weeping Angel young kept in the basement and is displaced across New York to a building beside Battery Park.

The Doctor, Amy and River must find Rory before he falls victim to the Weeping Angels and stop the deadly creatures from completing their dastardly plans.
The Angels deal the Doctor a heart breaking blow.
‘The Angels Take Manhattan’ is the final episode of the first half of series seven of the revived series and the final appearance of Amy Pond and Rory Williams as main cast members.  It also sees the first appearance of River Song in series seven.

There are one or two little things wrong with this episode, things that detract slightly from the enjoyment as a whole, but are not major enough to affect the overall feelings of the episode.  My biggest gripe with the story is the use of the Statue of Liberty as a giant Weeping Angel. 

When I first heard rumours of this happening I was shocked and impressed, I thought that it could be an amazing concept, unfortunately though I felt that it was not used to its best potential in the episode.  The simple fact of the matter is that I find it hard to believe that the Statue of Liberty could move around the way it does without someone seeing it.  And it does this not once, but twice in the episode.  I thought that the Angel’s main plan was going to be to do something huge to free the Statue of Liberty Angel, to draw all of the eyes in New York away from it so that it could return to life.  Instead it was just another ordinary Weeping Angel that was able to move around at will.
The slightly over the top Statue of Liberty Weeping Angel.
 Fortunately the Statue of Liberty Weeping Angel does not take up a lot of screen time and is not the main focus of the story.  Instead this is a story that looks at the relationship of the Doctor and his family, how they love each other.  This makes the loss of Amy and Rory particularly poignant as we get a sense of the loss that the Doctor and River feel once they loose them.

The Angels once again prove to be a very creepy foe and help to ramp up the tension as they stalk our heroes.  We are also introduced to two other types of Weeping Angels.  We see two Angels that do not even look like Angels, but just normal statues.  These ‘undercover angels’ are particularly creeps as it builds upon the idea that the Weeping Angels can be any statue, not just statues of angels.  We also see young Weeping Angels, cherub like statues that scurry around in the dark and giggle creepily. 

The final scenes of the episode are where the story really shines though, as we loose Amy and Rory to the Weeping Angels.  It begins with the sudden loss of Rory, who’s gone before you realise it.  But then we’re forced to watch as Amy says her goodbyes to her best friend and her daughter, all the while the Doctor begging and pleading with her not to go.  In one final tear filled moment she allows the Weeping Angel to touch her, sending her back through time to her husband, and forever from the Doctors reach.
The Doctor tries to stop Amy from leaving him forever.
This episode has one of the most emotion filled  goodbyes to a companion we’ve had in the new series, and we can plainly see the pain of the Doctors face when he looses people that have literally become family to him.

I can’t wait to see the Weeping Angels come back yet again, to see how the Doctor and River will react to them now that they are responsible for the loss of Amy and Rory.  I am sure this is something that will carry on for a while in the series to come and that the Doctor will be feeling the pain of loosing two of his most beloved companions for a long while.  8/10


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