7X05 The Angels Take Manhattan (Grading/Discussion) (SPOILERS!)

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Samurai8472, Sep 29, 2012.

?

Grade "The Angels Take Manhattan"

Poll closed Oct 30, 2012.
  1. The girl who waited

    100 vote(s)
    64.5%
  2. Something borrowed

    35 vote(s)
    22.6%
  3. Average

    10 vote(s)
    6.5%
  4. Is it bad that I really miss this?

    3 vote(s)
    1.9%
  5. You're Scottish, fry something

    7 vote(s)
    4.5%
  1. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    I was thinking about how extremely mournful River reacted when meeting Donna in the library, when she had this bollocks already to help her define being buggered by fate.
     
  2. Wereghost

    Wereghost Part-time poltergeist Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Ireland
    Average.

    This may be Moffat's weakest story, which admittedly is not saying a lot. It felt more like a collection of (sometimes really good) moments than a proper narrative, especially given the many plot contrivances and anomalies. I got the impression that Moffat thought it was more poignant (and perhaps cleverer) than I did. But then, maybe advance knowledge of certain things was a bad thing.

    Liked the banter between the three at the start, and the River/Doctor interaction was nice. I guess this episode won't prove to be Kingston's swansong, as River probably turns up at the Fields Of Trenzalore and learns the Doctor's name. (I'm also a little surprised that Moffat didn't take the obvious narrative decision of letting the Williamses find out about River's fate and the Doctor's dissimulation in keeping it secret. That seems like drama gold right there.)

    The transfer of regeneration energy feels like it's a setup for something. Could it be that River now has enough to regenerate, or that the Doctor doesn't? (The Ten-to-Ten regeneration should count as one or part of one, leaving Eleven with not quite two regenerations initially.)

    All in all, I think Chibnall and not Moffat is this season's best writer so far, and it's starting to look like he's the heir apparent to the job of showrunner.
     
  3. Plain Simple

    Plain Simple Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2001
    Location:
    UK
    I enjoyed this episode quite a bit. Unlike some here, I hadn't been keeping up with all the news and spoilers and whatnot, so I while I was aware that this would be the Ponds' last episode, I didn't know how it would happen. In the first few episodes of the series, they made it look like Amy and Rory would just choose to stop traveling with the Doctor, but the ending of last week's episode seemed to kill that option. Which made me hope it would be a double bluff and they would still go that (or a similar) route, but I thought this combined happy/sad ending worked well too.

    Weeping Liberty worked well just for the visuals, but once you start thinking about it, it all falls apart. I guess that fits well with a time travel episode and an Angel episode (I never understand from an in-story pov, why the Angels don't move around more, even when no one's looking. I get it from a scary tv production pov, but there is usually no reason in the story itself).

    Coincidentally I also finished watching all the classic Who available on Netflix just a few days ago, so I'll be going cold turkey now. I hope withdrawal is mild on me.
     
  4. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2001
    Location:
    Sac, Ca
    Thought it was pretty damn good. The angels might not be quite as scary or interesting as when we first saw them, but they were still used well here. Especially since we got to see a few different versions this time.

    And the way the detective novel played into it I thought was really clever and inspired too.

    The only thing that brings it down a bit is the time travel issues people have already talked about. After 3 seasons of watching this Doctor play incredibly fast and loose with time travel, it's a bit strange to suddenly see him talking about "rigid rules" again and about events that "can't be changed no matter what." The idea that he would just abandon Amy and Rory to the past and not at least TRY to bend the rules and bring them back is a bit hard to believe.

    Plus this ending with the Ponds (good though it is) just can't help but feel a bit superfluous, given that they already HAD the perfect ending last season. I'm still frankly a bit baffled as to why Moffat wanted to bring them back again. As much as I love the characters, it just doesn't feel like their presence was ever truly justified this time around.
     
  5. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 1999
    Location:
    Switzerland
    RE: The Statue of Liberty thing.

    Every image of an angel becomes an angel. Maybe this wasn't the actual Statue of Liberty.
     
  6. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Location:
    Germany, Earth, the Solar System
    Why the Angels are not moving once no more characters are looking at them sometimes just shows that they are innately sort of meta characters themselves. The audience in front of the TV counts as an observer. YOU are still watching them until the camera cuts away of course.

    If not for that mean an-image-of-an-angel-becomes-an-angel-trick this would be a way to imprison them effectively.
    Point a videocamera at them and leave it running. At the end of the day watch the whole day in fast forward. Even though no real person was watching it at the time, you are now and the Angel shouldn't be able to move because of that.
     
  7. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2000
    Location:
    Godsown.
    ...and then they died. Having lived the majority of their lives in another country (presumably), in their past, without their families and friends, their daughter (rarely as they ever mentioned her) or the Doctor.

    For me, that isn't an entirely positive scenario. They had each other (which I really like - I'd envisioned one or the other dying and the other living miserably ever after so this was something of a plus), but they lost pretty much everything else. And regardless of timey wimey wibbly wobbly stuff, they're effectively gone for good. The Doctor made it clear he'd never see them again and I'd be surprised if that didn't apply to River as well (never mind everyone else). So...yeah. Not happy, Jan. But as ever, to each their own.
     
  8. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2001
    Location:
    Sac, Ca
    Or leave a message for them in an earlier year. Or send someone else to pick them up...

    Although I guess it's possible that even interacting or communicating with them in some way could be dangerous and could upset the timeline.

    Well this could be an ability that just recently developed in him, or that he just recently honed. Or maybe it's because River once had the same Timelord energy herself, so she's more conducive to it.
     
  9. ROBE

    ROBE Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Remember their was an image of the Statue of Liberty in the lift that the victim rides up in, it could be a projected image of the real Liberty?
     
  10. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    That's exactly it. I really don't know how so many people aren't getting this, considering the Doctor was ranting about it the entire episode. It's why he got so upset about Amy reading ahead, why he was angry that River broke her wrist, and why he was devastated when he realized what room he was in where Rory died. He also went and flat-out told us that causing another paradox would be disastrous...

    I mean, what more did they have to do to make you (the collective you, not you personally, davejames) understand this? They already beat you over the head with it.
     
  11. ROBE

    ROBE Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    He was able to give 10 years of his life to the TARDIS in the Cybus Universe.
    Maybe it only works for TARDIS and Timelords?
    Also he may have knocked 10 years or more from this current life.
     
  12. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2001
    Location:
    Sac, Ca
    Yeah, but as we saw before, when the angels are a projected image they appear more like a ghost or hologram.

    I'm almost certain that Moffat intended the Statue of Liberty in this episode to be the actual Statue of Liberty.
     
  13. ROBE

    ROBE Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Maybe it can teleport and then walk around the building?
     
  14. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Loved it. The setting in stone is probably my favourite example of time travel rules done wonderfully, and the most sinister bit in the entire episode. The concept felt as realistic as hell, yet truly frightening, which made it all the better. And it's the way I always imagined time travel dynamics, although I guess one might call it too simplistic.

    Oh, and it's my favourite appearance of the Statue of Liberty since Cloverfield.

    Excellent sound work as well.
     
  15. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2001
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    Just finished watching. Certainly an emotional moment there at the end when Rory and Amy take that leap, and the Doctor trying to convince Amy not to blink... but I'm not sure how I feel about it all.

    I definitely think it was more style over substance for the episode, and a lot of it was filler to get to the final five minutes, which is something I have an issue with when it comes to Moffat's later offerings here; Too, I'm not sure I buy all the logic in the episode.

    It's kind of like when Spike was incinerated in the series finale of Buffy The Vampire Slayer -- we all basically knew he'd be back on Angel the next season, so it didn't really carry much weight or have me on the edge of my seat. And while the Doctor says he'll "never be able to see them again," I think that's just code for "...unless we come up with a nifty idea!" (which is of course the purview of every writer)... still, I don't know that I see the need for the Ponds' exit to have been manufactured the way it was.

    Another major issue obviously centers on Rory being so much of a lesser companion in the eyes of the writers, very obviously marginalized throughout his tenure. Yes, he was on for most of Amy's run, but just like last week, this episode wrapped up Amy's story. "This is the story of Amelia Pond, and this is how it ends." -- as if the Doctor shouldn't also go back and see Rory, or tell Rory's dad what happened or as if Rory doesn't even deserve a send-off after the last 32 episodes.

    Ironically, the presentation of Rory and Amy, now that I think about it, isn't too far removed from how the Star Trek fans doing fan films write their characters -- mostly as reactive instead of proactive. Sure, Rory's predicament was the crux for his ultimate fate but also Amy's - it wasn't anything they did or didn't do that got them in the situation, Amy's fate ultimately boiled down to Rory's fate by extension. And yeah, you can chalk it up to Amy "choosing love" over the Doctor, the same emotional and story points could have been hit in much less clumsy ways. What if the whole thing had been inadvertently caused by something the Doctor did? And instead of him running around like a manic fool trying to solve it, he could be trying to solve it to make up for his error and his asking Amy to stay and to wait would have been a real nail-biter for her (and for us.) And then in the end she still chooses Rory over the Doctor, that would have been something. As it is, she chooses Rory and they get to live their lives out, but she also gets to have the Doctor come and visit her as a child (which to our knowledge previously hadn't happened.) And while all this "I choose love!" can be done well dramatically and in a way I can believe (I'm looking at you, Jin and Sun Kwon), I just didn't really buy it in this episode beyond their leap off the roof of the Winter Quay. (EDIT: I mean, come on. I just re-watched that video from LOST and I haven't seen it since the DVDs came out two years ago, and I'm already more of a wreck at that than anything I saw tonight in "The Angels Take Manhattan.")

    In many ways, the "fairy tale" arc from series 5 was perfect and could have been a great little exit for Rory and Amy, but I get why they didn't do that... after the unevenness of series 6 and the hodge-podge usage of them in these five episodes, it just seems like it wasn't altogether well thought out. :shrug:

    Pluses:

    -River Song managed to not irritate the shit out of me in this one, and managed to also not utter her now tired tag-line "Spoilers!" like she always does.

    -River revealing that she's been pardoned and thereby not sitting in prison for no reason any more. At least there's that.

    -The writers managed to not have Amy say "Glasses. I wear glasses now. Glasses are cool," playing on the Doctor's bit about bow-ties from series 5 (and which fandom has whored out endlessly since)

    -Mike McShane! Friar Tuck was fucking around with the Angels! THat was a nice bit of casting. :lol:

    There were some great one liners in this one too, among them:

    I've had my issues with them, and I'm sorry to see them go, but Rory and Amy deserved, I think, a better exit than this.

    In summation: Filler till an overly manufactured (and if we're nitpicking, nonsensical) final five minutes. Some emotional stuff, absolutely, but almost unearned.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  16. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Behind enemy lines
    Contrived, didn't completely make sense, basically ended how I'd imagined it would and was effectively Blink 2...

    And I absofuckinglutely loved every second of it :D (Except maybe the Liberty bits, which were cool but made no sense on any level!)

    Didn't cry but came close and dang if I didn't have shivers going down my spine during the fall, and then the end.

    I guess now we'll have to wait and see whether Moffat has more courage in his convictions over Amy than RTD did over Wose.
     
  17. VDCNI

    VDCNI Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    Location:
    London UK
    Because it's technobabble and essentially meaningless and Moffatt has gone to the time travel well too many times and every time the 'rules' seem to be different.

    Probably why pretty much every other writer in Who history has kept the time travel vague and stayed away from making it the centre of the plot but Moffatt can't help himself.
     
  18. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Location:
    Germany, Earth, the Solar System
    Just rewatched it.

    I looked for why Rory went back to the gravestone.

    It wasn't so arbitrary as some people here make it out to be.

    He walked past the stone and he seemed irritated by something he saw out of the corner of his eye and went back there because it kept bugging him.

    I can easily imagine doing the same thing if I walked past my "own" gravestone, or even just one with my exact name on it, without realizing it right away.
     
  19. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Behind enemy lines
    ^Yeah I don't see why people have a problem with this. Time itself kept drawing them back to the graveyard, why is it such a stretch that time itself would draw them towards a particular gravestone?
     
  20. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    And even if the TARDIS can "never visit NY again lest it bugger the timelines" even though the paradox got rid of the distortions - there are regular modes of transport to in and out of the city... Easy enough to set up an appointment elsewhere!

    "Come on Rory, get those gravestones set up, then we've got to catch the boat to London, and we'll send him a postcard..."

    And they never did say where the book came from.
     

Share This Page