14 October 2012

Doctor Who - The Angels Take Manhatten

We come to the last of the pre-Christmas Doctor Who episodes. As a Brit I'm used to short series, however I am not used to things having weird gaps of several weeks/months in the middle* and I can't say I approve of this trend in Doctor Who the last couple of years.
I don't like that I'm uncertain about what season of  certain US shows I'm watching because there are odd gaps in the middle that seem to be there so that viewers have time to find something else do to and stop watching, in order for TV executives to then cancel the show because not enough people are watching anymore.**

Anyway, on with the episode.
In Rory and Amy's swansong we see that the couple have allowed the Doctor to take them on a trip across the Atlantic, but as it seems to be modern that is more or less a very convenient holiday and not necessarily at odds with their desire to live ordinary lives. Except that they have visited New York with the Doctor, so stuff is going to get complicated.

River is back and so are the angels. It occurs to me that though they are truly terrifying to an ordinary individual, and they're still creepy as hell in the way they hunt, for a time traveller they aren't as much of a problem. Yes Rory gets zapped back decades, but there's no doubt that the Doctor and Amy will go back to rescue him. Also if you've been travelling with the Doctor you've probably had to face the idea that you might be stranded somewhere in space and/or time, 1930s New York is a better option than most.

The use of River's detective novel as a guide and possible spoiler is clever. Reading the 'present' is helpful, reading ahead locks you in to certain actions. Is forewarned forearmed, or is it a kind of predestination? Although I wonder how the book got published (Amy must have some real pull in the past) as it surely wouldn't make a lot of sense to most readers, and the afterword is just perplexing.

The angels are as creepy as ever, and their babies are deeply unnerving too. The idea of the angel farm is interesting, it makes a sort of sense as long as you don't think too much about it. The Statue of Liberty being an angel looked impressive but was clearly empty spectacle. It's got to be one of the most looked-at things in New York, and if it starts booming along the streets of a very busy city, people will look and it will be rendered motionless. It was a nice idea, and the inverse of the end of Ghostbusters 2, it just didn't make sense within the context.

The goodbye worked emotionally. Due to the time turbulence and something about a paradox and fixed points, etc. etc. it feels pretty final. Amy makes her choice, she will risk getting sent back in the hopes of being with Rory. The afterword was a nice touch, linking Amy's last appearance with Amelia's first one.
Of course there's no reason that Rory and Amy have to stay in New York, and even if they do they'll eventually pass out of the bad time, so the Doctor theoretically could meet up with them again. This means that the ending is as much the Doctor's choice as Amy's, he knows he must move on and let them get on with the rest of their lives.

* Unless there is sport on, but that just gives me another reason to dislike sport.
** This version of how TV works in the US may well be wrong and is deduced largely from my own irritated observations.

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