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Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Stuff

Review: Amy & Rory’s Last Episode Of Doctor Who & Season 7 So Far


I feel like we’ve been talking about it for ages but last night it finally happened – Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill played out their last episode of Doctor Who as Amy and Rory. Some might say it was emotional, some might say it was scary. My view? I’d say it falls somewhere in the realm of disappointing. A spoiler-filled review of “The Angels Take Manhattan” after the jump. 

I didn’t like it. Or at least, I don’t think I did. Let’s see if I can explain.

I’d been having issues with Season 7 the whole time. I knew Steven Moffat planned for these five episodes to stand on their own. I believe he actually said they could be more or less swapped around because there wasn’t an interconnecting thread, that each episode was its own epic story. And that was to its detriment in my mind. Fans complained Season 6 was confusing because of the centralized plot they kept revisiting, and I don’t necessarily disagree with that, but Season 7 was too far in the opposite direction. Nothing really felt important.

And I think that’s where my disappointment of Amy and Rory’s departure stems from. It didn’t feel important enough. They didn’t really save the world (though I suppose that could be argued), they saved themselves.

Of course they did. Why shouldn’t they? The Doctor didn’t have any genius ideas to save them this time. In fact, he was of the mind he couldn’t save them because of the Melody Malone book, written by River, which detailed this entire adventure. Which is strange considering River changed it pretty quickly. The Doctor was supposed to break her wrist according to the book but he didn’t – River did. So when Rory decided on a plan of action, a paradox that would kill the Weeping Angels, I knew it would work. But that was too easy. It would mean everyone lived happily ever after. At least on Angel survived the ordeal and shot Rory back in time again (we don’t know when), causing Amy to give herself over to the same fate in order to be with him. It was a snap decision, one that needed to be made quickly, and the right one for her character. Though I’m still a bit confused about why it had to be made.

The Doctor claimed they couldn’t use the TARDIS to go back and get Rory for worry of ripping New York apart, fixed points in time and all, but why? Amy’s thought wasn’t to prevent the Angel from taking Rory in the first place (which would cause another paradox) but to simply retrieve him from the past and be along their merry way. Perhaps I’m missing some of that wibbly wobbly stuff here but that bothered me. Don’t get me wrong, I knew the Ponds had to leave. I’m especially happy they lived a full life together and wasn’t wishing they would die some horrible, tragic death, but if they had to exit, I wish it had been on more undoable terms. Or at least on more important ones. I just can’t get it out of my head that their exit was, dare I say, boring?

I think back on the Doctor’s past companions since the series was relaunched in 2005. Rose left after a dramatic two-parter that had real implications for the universe at large. Martha chose to leave after another two-parter that affected the entire planet. Donna’s tenure ended on a similar note. Her work with the “Doctor’s Army” required a sacrifice she hadn’t planned on making but that helped them defeat the Daleks threatening the universe. I could tell at the time it was the end of an era not just for the creative team but for the Doctor’s companions. Technically, they all have the ability to show up down the road but you knew things were never going to be the same.

And they haven’t been. Matt Smith’s Doctor is very different and so are his companions. Not everyone agrees but I really liked Amy and Rory. I don’t think I had the same emotional connection to them as I had with the ones listed above but as far as this season is concerned, I think they got the short end of the stick for their farewell.

Was the episode scary? Sure, I found myself gasping at several bits, especially the first time we saw the oversized Weeping Angel mouth. Those cherubs weren’t anything to laugh at either. But I think a lot of you will agree with me the Weeping Angels effects have been minimized thanks to Moffat’s usage of them. I often wish he had left “Blink” alone.

Was the episode sad? Yes. I did cry a bit at the end but one thing that knocked it right out of me was the lack of time we got to really feel what happened. Much like the audience, it seemed as if the Doctor barely got a moment to really experience the pain of losing Amy. Knowing she was “alive” probably helped and I’m sure we’ll see the reverberations of this in the next half of the season but it seemed cut short. And Moffat seemed to play out his own forgetfulness through the Doctor. “Oh River, forgot you were standing there and also that those were your parents. My bad.”

It didn’t help the emotional impact of the episode to have commercials breaking in at really inopportune moments on BBC America either. There was a message at the beginning of the show that said it was brought to us exclusively by AT&T or something, which led me to believe we might get the finale commercial free. That wasn’t the case, but I’d hope they consider it next time.

I’m not overly critical of Moffat, I’ve enjoyed most of his Doctor Who work and am certainly a fan of many of his other series, but he seemed to be having trouble finishing his thoughts this season. Much like the Doctor, Moffat is a man of clever ideas, but unlike the Doctor, he doesn’t quite execute them. “Asylum of the Daleks” was interesting but rushed through Amy and Rory’s relationship troubles. So much could have and should have been explored there but I finished that episode feeling positive because of the Daleks getting their memories wiped. “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” was the most fun but also skimmed over a great deal, especially the Silurian plot thread that was the basis for the entire episode. I will likely never watch “A Town Called Mercy” again. Why? Besides it not being all that great to begin with, the Doctor used a gun to threaten someone. No one in the show thought it was a big deal and it was never addressed after the fact. The Doctor doesn’t like guns and rarely in his history has he actually pointed one at a character. If you’re going to change that, change it with good reason and make it a specific talking point. Don’t do it and pretend it didn’t happen.

And finally, “The Power of Three” had the most potential to be a classic, epic, Who adventure and completely dropped the ball. Or cube, as the case may be. This episode certainly should have been a two-parter if the finale wasn’t. The Doctor spent a great deal of time on Earth with the Ponds and all we saw was him being really, really bored. They discovered the source of the cubes very late in the episode, treated the mysterious character as if he was someone we should know, and then summarily left several humans on board the ship to die as it blew up after the quickly jumpstarted millions of hearts on Earth (that had been dead for quite a while, I might add). It had a heartwarming Brigadier connection though, so there’s that.

But back to the episode at hand. The more I think about “The Angels Take Manhattan,” the more disappointed I get. I’ve explained pretty much why but there’s still something unsaid nagging at the back of my brain about it and I’m not sure if I’ll ever figure it out. Perhaps it’s because there’s plot holes in every corner. There’s at least one thing that makes me happy. A few months ago I accidentally drove onto the set of this episode filming in Manhattan. I knew they were filming in NYC at that time but had no intention on seeking out the locations. Having lived in the New York area my entire life, I found myself embarrassed when I hit a dead end trying to get to the FDR Drive. When I turned the corner I realized I was on the set of this episode, hundreds of Whovians on the sidewalk waiting to catch a glimpse of the stars and all. It was utterly surreal and I’ll never forget it. Much like I’ll never forget the Ponds. Even if they went out with a whimper.

Previously in Doctor Who

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  • http://twitter.com/Joi_the_Artist Joi

    Just one note: Amy told the Doctor he would “break something”…which he did: the vase, when he entered in the TARDIS. He didn’t see it break, and only *thought* he had to break River’s wrist. Her escaping from the Angel didn’t change the future at all.

  • http://twitter.com/CompassRing CompassRing

    I’m still not sure why, even if 1938 specifically is a time-jumble, the Doctor couldn’t just go and see them from 1939 on? Like, separate yourself from the mess, and then just keep going.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Finally, some one else who has found the latest season to be somewhat lacking. The loss of Rory and Amy should have been earth shattering, universe saving stuff. Them growing old and dying together is, well, dull. Really dull. I’m not sure which removal from the show was worse; theirs or Donna’s.

  • http://twitter.com/JMCanuck Jim

    I too never really “connected” with these companions – I honestly felt more compassion for 9yr old Amelia and evil plaster-work than for grown-up Amy. I think it was the real lack of growth arc. Donna was annoying as hell initially but the source of that was revealed (and eventually dealt with) and the character grew ep by ep giving her departure emotional depth. There was really nothing like that with Amy.

    I also think Moffat is a lazy, lazy writer who’s happy to use a cool idea but doesn’t bother (or forgets) to think how it fits in the scheme of things – hello, Raggedy-Man! You might want to pop home and have a chat with Rory’s Dad, eh?. And if the Angels mostly all died from the

    The cheapest trick of this ep it disposing of the Ponds using EXACTLY the same method used for Sally Sparrow’s friend Kathy in “Blink” – toss’em back in time and let’em live a nice life back there. Honestly, this is so close to being a “Poochy” I gasped when he played his cards.

    In a side note, since Amy died at age 87 and the grave yard appears to be present day, it would appear they landed at about 1950ish.

  • http://twitter.com/JMCanuck Jim

    mostly died from the ‘food” problem, um, missing Statue of Liberty??

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000980670617 Rebecca Ramsey

    It still makes no sense that the Doctor couldn’t go back in time with the Tardis and save Rory and Amy. After all, he send the TARDIS back in time (vis-a-vis Sally Sparrow) to save himself. That makes a bad episode and a lame exit for the Ponds even more bleh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alasdairmurray Alasdair Murray

    As of this episode, I for one am done with Steven Moffat. I’m sick of his ‘timey-wimey’ plots which look superficially clever but don’t actually make any sense, and lack excitement or emotional impact. Bring back RTD!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000980670617 Rebecca Ramsey

    At least Donna’s exit scarred the Doctor in a real, vital way. He walked around for ever appearance for the rest of the show moping about how he’d lost Donna. Moffat’s Doctor is apparently one or two episodes away from forgetting who the Ponds ever were.

  • NakedTrust

    I missed Rory’s father in this episode… he could have added so much more emotional depth…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000980670617 Rebecca Ramsey

    Or 1940. Or 1941. Or 1942…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000980670617 Rebecca Ramsey

    HEAR, HEAR!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000980670617 Rebecca Ramsey

    I loved Amy/Amelia in her debut episode, but once Moffat introduced the idea that Amy was a ‘bad girl’ who was emotionally dependent on the Doctor and needed to marry the normal guy so she could settle down, pop out babies, and grow old with Rory – and the fan girls LET HIM GET AWAY WITH THAT – I tuned out really fast. I loved RTD’s series, but Moffat’s is an anti-feminist mess.

  • Heather

    Agreed. Moffat seems to either drag everything out or rush through it with no happy medium. I miss the pacing of the RTD era. With the exception of a very few episodes, it was just enough to keep me coming back for more without making me wish it would just resolve already. The Weeping Angels were seriously cool in “Blink,” but have been reduced to just another monster of the week.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=718104135 Mark Wintle

    Being able to watch Doctor Who commercial free here in the UK I think the problem US viewers are having is how the pacing is really messed up by commercial breaks. I’m not getting the issues this review discusses. but then I’ve had thirty years of watching Doctor Who from Tom Baker to Matt Smith. Exploring story details was never episode specific like American Sci fi convention, Doctor Who convention was and is drip feeding detail.
    I think we’re seeing the Doctors emotional palette broadened in preparation for the new companion and the semi anonymous change to his notoriety is making this series more interesting than last years Doctor Who which was more like the celeb space and time traveller season.

  • http://twitter.com/ScarletRegina Scarlet

    I didn’t mind this as a send off for Amy/Rory. I thought there scenes together & Amy’s final choice to go with Rory were lovely. I don’t usually like Amy, but I did in this episode. Probably because she wasn’t obsessed with the Doctor the entire time.

    But I think Moffat is terrible as showrunner. He has really great ideas but zero skill at fleshing them out. I don’t think Moffat has this problem over on Sherlock but with Doctor Who, he never manages to get it right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.adkins.77 Brian Adkins

    Yeah,I was a little disappointed too. I think maybe Moffat just didn’t want to see the characters go- I didn’t-and wasn’t sure what type of ending to give them.

  • Fed

    Yes, let’s bring back “The Next Doctor” and “Love and Monsters”!!!!!!! If Moffatt has a bad episode, you all start whining about how he’s the worst writer ever, but you spraypaint over ALL of RTD’s mistakes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.adkins.77 Brian Adkins

    Pfft. Give me a break.

  • TheSquirrel

    I wish the Ponds weren’t in Asylum of the Daleks at all. The sudden ‘oh they’re divorcing’ subplot came right out of left field for me (I didn’t watch any of those Pond Life webisodes, I just didn’t have the time.) And listening to her reason for dumping Rory made me want to reach through the screen and slap her until she slipped back into character.

  • TheSquirrel

    As my husband said: Was NOBODY looking at the Statue of Liberty??

  • http://twitter.com/LJo83 Lindsay Beaton

    I thought they died in 1938–or at least, Rory did that first time in the episode. Which means they actually got sent back to the late 1800s to live out their lives…in any case, I wonder about that, too. Even if their deaths are a fixed point in time, why can’t he ever see them again during their lifetimes? And clearly River can communicate with them, since she gets the book to Amy to publish. I think there was a bit too much timey wimey stuff in this episode for me to not have a bunch of questions that will probably never get answered.
    As for the rest of the one-off episodes so far, I sort of have this theory that Moffat is building up to the Doctor going a bit dark since he keeps traveling alone for long stretches of time (honestly, how old IS he now, anyway?) and the only arc I can see is that they keep making a point to mention that the Ponds are part-time companions, etc. It would explain the gun thing and his weird attitude in Mercy, and maybe his new companion is going to have to deal with the fallout, especially since the last thing River says to him in Angels is that he needs to find someone else to travel with. But…yeah. That’s what I’m going with for now, because surely it’s not going to be a whole season with no thread, right?

  • Laura W

    Trouble is, Moffat doesn’t have “a bad episode”, he has a whole string of them with a rare gem here and there. RTD has some gems, some average, and some stinkers.

  • Laura W

    The Liberty thing threw me right out of the story, though I’d been spoiled for it and thought I was braced. Hel-LO, it’s a hollow bronze shell people climb around in! The other angels are stone, or at least appear to be when quantum-locked (though the woman-and-boy pair looked like a bronze, maybe?). Moffat’s trouble is, he keeps changing the rules in service of story. I’ll suspend my disbelief from the Empire State Building, but you gotta give me a sturdy enough crane to do it.

  • linda petersen

    **spoilers!**This may not be a popular point of view, but I think we are our own worst enemy when it comes to trying to find out plot lines, etc. ahead of time. I think the episode may have had more oomph had we not known it would be the end of the Ponds. I was tossing this about in my head after I watched the episode, and I think that had we not known they were leaving, we may have been relieved to see them come back to the cemetery instead of just expecting it. And when they both left at the end, it would have been unexpected and therefore more powerful. Then the writing would have to have been a bit stronger to explain away why the Doctor didn’t go after them. But as it happened, we knew they were leaving, so any ending for the Ponds may have been judged by whether or not it was worthy of them.

  • http://twitter.com/toranosukev Toranosuke

    I agree… Each of the episodes in this half-season could have been amazing. They should have been amazing, given how we waited for them, and worked ourselves up with anticipation. But, somehow, each and every one of them has had far too quick a resolution, and just seemed to lack depth overall.

    I think, in part, maybe it’s because of the lack of plots that have global impacts. Like when the Master took over the world in that epic two-parter, it felt epic. This latest episode should have, at least, been made to be felt on a city-wide scale, as all of New York woke up to find the Statue of Liberty had moved, as the Angels truly do take Manhattan, doing something to cut off the city from the rest of the world, and presenting a true, major crisis. In this episode, who was really in danger? Just Rory and the rest of our heroes – and, so, who was saved? Not nearly as epic a set-up, and not nearly as big a payoff at the end.

    The Statue should have been a bigger deal. Everything, anything, in these episodes should have been a bigger deal. River turning up, and them just sort of gliding past where she’s been or at what point in her timeline… All the things that were a big deal when they happened in earlier episodes are just not made to feel epic enough in Season 7 (so far). PS, the point about the Doctor using a gun – I agree with you absolutely. I saw that, and thought immediately, this is extremely out of character. I hope that Moffat knows what he’s doing, and has some great payoff for us later in the season, that all of this was somehow a set-up for serious, deep, dramatic character drama.

  • http://twitter.com/JamesSchee James Schee

    I too was disappointed in the episode. I thought it was well acted, but there seemed to be a lot of wasted space. Did we really need that LONG intro with the detective that’s just repeated with Rory? Plus there were plotholes out the wazoo.

    So he couldn’t go get them in 1938, what about every other year but that then?
    A tombstone is a fixture in time? But can’t that be even more easily faked than oh say a robot Doctor?

    I understand that the Ponds time was up, but like you it just didn’t seem important enough. Rose was trapped in another universe saving both universes. Martha gets to save the universe and stand up for herself. Donna saves the multiverse and has the tragic end of not getting to remember any of it. Heck even that singer on the Titanic episode got to die saving Earth. What’d the Ponds save?

    It didn’t even have to be huge, it just needed to be more heartfelt. The Ponds could have decided to stay and live their own lives.They could be on the run for the rest of their lives with the Angels hunting them as the Doctor warned they would be this very episode. Or the big one for me that now we’ll never see. They turn on the Doctor when they discover that not only has he always known when and where River was going to die, he’s done nothing to try and stop it.

    I’ll keep watching and think Oswin is going to be fun, but I’ll always be left disappointed if this is truly the end of the Ponds.

  • http://twitter.com/antiavenger Mike Perry

    This episode was an absolute mess. I liked the ending enough but there were so many plotholes in it that it didn’t take me long to figure out how to get around the ending paradox. And the angels were absolutely NOT scary but I think a lot of that had to do with the commercial break spots you mentioned. Those were absolutely horrible. I think they’re gonna have to figure out a way to air this show without breaks.

  • Kagidou

    For me this was the best episode of this series so far, the rest having felt rushed or just not that coherent and in the spirit of DW in general.

    That being said, there was in my opinion a huge plot hole at the end. Whilst I am appreciative of the fact that due to the paradox and time distortion mentioned the use of the TARDIS to go and save the Ponds was not feasible, there had already been a discussion on this very issue between River and Rory earlier in the episode and a ready solution offer. I.e. Rivers Vortex Manipulator, which allowed her to slip inside the time period despite all the time distortion/paradox stuff. So why didn’t the Doctor just take the Vortex Manipulator, get touched by the Angel, grab Amy and Rory and teleport back to the River and the TARDIS.

    We already know Vortex Manipulators can take three people as one is used in Utopia (S3,E12) to bring Doctor#10, Captain Jack and Martha back from the end of time. I may be missing something here to ruin my thought process but that was my taking :)

    Any thoughts much appreciated!

  • http://twitter.com/ValerieTheK Val K.

    I agree wholeheartedly. If I had gone into this episode not knowing it was the end of the Ponds, I would have been simultaneously devastated and in awe of the plot points. For example: when The Doctor drops the Ponds off at their new home in “The God Complex” I wept during the entire farewell exchange because I did not see that coming! My only complaint with this season is that the hype over-inflated my expectations. I wish I had stayed away from Who news and updates. I am excited for the new companion though. Ever onward!

  • http://twitter.com/ValerieTheK Val K.

    Yeah I really expected the TARDIS to land in Brian’s front yard and have a grim-faced Doctor step out to tell him what happened to his son and daughter-in-law.

  • robothobbit

    It’s very true. I went in avoiding all spoilers, and I was frankly devastated. I’m still in shock, and I’ve been wondering at the very different reaction to it from other fans. That might be the key difference.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Of all his companions, Donna was definitely the one he failed most, since she lost so much time and development…Matt Smith’s total reversal of that brooding leftover by Tennant convinced me that the 11th Doctor WAS “a mad man in a box”…

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I just miss David Tennant.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OD35QQZNBPZJXWTCBY7N4EE7VY Sarah

    My reaction to this episode mostly consisted of, “OMG Mike McShane! From Whose Line!” As much as I anticipated seeing Rupert Graves/Mark Williams/Ben Browder/etc. in previous episodes, seeing Mike just made me smile—perhaps more so because I didn’t know the casting beforehand? (Even though his character was an ass.)

  • Brian

    ” The Doctor was supposed to break her wrist according to the book but he didn’t – River did.”

    Aha, he wasn’t supposed to. He only knows what was written in the book, and what was written happened exactly.

  • Brian

    That’s because at Sherlock, he’s co-runner with Mark Gatiss, who may be a less flashy writer, but knows a lot more about running a show. Jekyll was kind of all over the place, too.

  • Brian

    I don’t see any of what you just said in the show.

  • Brian

    Now that he’s gone gray and shaved his beard, that thing on his head really pops.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=735330678 Christopher Haley

    Just a minor note: The book didn’t say that the Doctor was supposed to break River’s wrist. It just said that the Doctor said that he had to, not that he actually did. The Doctor told Amy to stop reading, so we don’t know that it wasn’t written exactly the way events played out. I’m inclined to think that River didn’t change events at all; that it was written that she broke her own wrist.

  • Jesse

    I utterly hated this episode. Besides the plot holes. How does THE STATUE OF LIBERTY walk threw Manhattan and nobody notices? There is no way it would go without being noticed and seen constantly.

    But yes. The characters really did go out with a whimper compared to any other companion. It felt like Aldric all over again. Senseless. After all The Ponds are longest running modern companions. They needed something bigger.

    And just a pet peeve of mine. The Doctor is ok with using guns. True enough they aren’t his first choice. But it’s not a major character point. He’s not Batman. The 10th Doctor was not ok with using guns. But The Doctor as a whole? Not as much of an issue. This video shows some classic series examples. (I apologize for the language in the song the video uses. But it’s the best compilation to prove my point)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzmnPs64K74

  • Linda

    Do five (it was five? – started and gone so soon) episodes make a season? Not to me. A quarter of a season, maybe? I’m surprised Rory lasted as long as he did because all the episodes I’ve seen over the last few years are the doctor and a female companion. They probably want to go back to that. The current doctor is too geeky for me, I’d rather have David Tennant back.

  • http://twitter.com/ScarletRegina Scarlet

    heh, with Jekyll, I figured that was on purpose to go with the insanity of the title character.

    Great point re: Gatiss.

  • http://www.facebook.com/neal.meyering Neal Meyering

    Why couldn’t the doctor and River go back in time to get Rory and Amy with River’s time travel wrist band? That was how she went back in time originally. That was how she made a beacon which allowed the doctor to travel there with the tardis.

  • Tessa Cavagnero

    Or just land the Tardis outside the city and walk over there. Come on, Moffat.

  • Tessa Cavagnero

    I actually think Amy has been better this season. I agree that Moffat needs to learn how women work (just look at River Song and Irene Adler). But maybe he’s improving slightly?

    Anyway, I’m kind of glad that season 7 has been a mess so far. I’m hoping the ratings will plummet so the BBC will look for a new writer/director for the show. Moffat’s not doing it justice.

  • Tessa Cavagnero

    Agreed. That’s not how women work.

    Also, the prequel made it look like Rory left her. Which didn’t make any sense with the actual “explanation” in the episode.

  • http://twitter.com/Duke_Barclay Duke Barclay

    I would disagree that he changes the rules in service of the story.

    I think that gives Moffat too much credit. The Statue of Liberty being an angel did not affect the story at all. Remove it, and you can still just have people cornered by angels on a roof.

    The story remains intact because the Statue of Liberty/Angel was just a set piece that was only addressed in a few lines of throw away dialogue.

    I think Moffat changes the rules on a whim. “Wouldn’t it be cool if the Statue of Liberty were an angel?” “Yeah, let’s work that in somehow.”

  • Anonymous

    Am I the only one that loved it? Sorry I loved it. I just go “Some things are fixed points and this is the time that Amy leaves the TARDIS” The episode made me laugh, made me cry, and I felt it was a fitting end for the very Wendy like character of Amy who finally grew up and no longer needed her imaginary friend. I think there ARE links throughout the series we haven’t seen and that’s why it seems half finished. Because it is. Waiting until Christmas and looking forward to a new companion!

  • http://twitter.com/sarahamy101 Sarah

    For everybody asking why the Doctor couldn’t have just gone back and picked them up with the vortex manipulator, I just want to draw the parallel to the book. Amy was reading ahead and he made her stop, telling her that if she read that Rory had died, she couldn’t undo it. It made it a fixed point. And when he saw the names on the gravestones, I think that did the same thing. It fixed it. I do agree that it does seem quite easy for him to go along a few years later or land outside of New York to be able to see them again, but taking them back to the future would be too un-doable. At least that’s my interpretation.
    Also, for those saying it wasn’t dramatic enough compared to the other companions leaving, I think that’s actually a welcome change. Once the world needs saving too many times by a companion who then immediately has to leave, it starts to get old. A more quiet, almost happy, ending can be good sometimes. And we know they lived out their lives together.
    But yes, some major plot holes there. I thought they’d use the flickering lights theme that had reoccured to black out the city completely so the State of Liberty angel could move about without being seen, but I guess not. Hopefully the new companion brings about new and enjoyable storylines, hopefully with a connecting thread.

  • Alonso

    “Why? Besides it not being all that great to begin with, the Doctor used a
    gun to threaten someone. No one in the show thought it was a big deal
    and it was never addressed after the fact. The Doctor doesn’t like guns
    and rarely in his history has he actually pointed one at a character. If
    you’re going to change that, change it with good reason and make it a
    specific talking point. Don’t do it and pretend it didn’t happen.”

    Well, clearly you haven’t seen any classic Who. Tennant fangirl much?

  • http://twitter.com/dragonflyautumn AKHost

    Exactly this. It’s all “what a cool idea!” strung together without any nod toward logic or consequence.

  • john h

    I have found the whole series disappointing. The departure of Amy and Rory was the last straw. This series was riddled with contradictions and there are more holes in the plot than swiss cheese and I feel like I’ve had my intelligence insulted. I like Matt Smith’s Doctor, I just don’t like the writing, it has got too obscure. This series leaves more questions than answers.
    I like my Doctor who to have some kind of plausibility. If you can believe the plots, they become more exciting. I feel like I have been hoodwinked. Why cant the doctor go back for them? Stranger stuff has happened and the doctor has always found a way round it. Bring back genuine fear in stead of bamboozling nonsense that is designed to make you lose track of the plot which is tied up with the Doctors tiny-wimy explanations that you just accept but don’t understand. We all loved Amy and wanted her to end in something better than this. I dont think it was stressed to the audience how impossible it would have been for the doctor go back for her. We were all left thinking “any second now he’s gonna think of a way to get back to them’. But no. For god’s sake SM, dont treat us like idiots!

  • Jessica Burchfield

    Unfortunately, I’m quite disappointed at the level of immaturity that Matt Smith has brought to the Doctor. As the last remaining Time Lord (how old IS he now?), I’d have thought that he’d not be receding into childhood… am I the only one who has been a wee bit disgusted at the constant temper tantrums displayed by the Doctor? I get that Amy and Rory were the “parents”, but MS seems to take it to the extreme. I can’t help but compare him to the previous Doctors (Tennant, Eccleston, Baker, etc), what happened to the “grown up Doctor?”

    Maybe the next companion will bring him back to the “adult” that he is.

  • Jessica Burchfield

    Can you imagine? Waking up one morning with the Statue of Liberty outside your apartment window because some kid was watching it all walk night? Seriously?

  • Johnny Clinn

    It’s because their deaths were already fixed. He saw their graves. Once you see it (or read it as he said when referring to the book), it can’t be undone. So there was no way to pop back in time to bring them back. Of course that does leave the question as to why he couldn’t go visit– but I’m going to assume it’s some timeywimey thing and the doctor knows best. I’ve long since given up trying to wrap my head around every shift in continuity. I just throw my hands up and say, that’s the Doctor.

  • Johnny Clinn

    He could send the Tardis back to save himself because it had already been written, by Sally Sparrow, so it had already been fixed in time, just like the events in Melody Malone’s book. When Amy read ahead, she fixed it in time. And when Rory saw his name on the gravestone, he fixed his death.

  • Erin Macdonald

    This. I completely agree. I think Moffat is great at coming up with potentially great story arcs and then doesn’t know how to finish them or tie them together. Us fans all expect a lot when a story arc is presented/hinted at and this season (and the previous one, IMHO) really fell flat, with such great potential.

    I love River Song, and watched Silence in the Library recently and just felt SO disappointed. She’s an awesome character and so much could have been done, and I just feel her story was not well thought out.

    The angels. I love the angels. I really wish Moffat had left them alone. Great villains, but less and less scary.

    The gun. Unacceptable and actually made me angry.

    I don’t quite know what to think about all this. Still processing it and all, but this review did bring up all the things I was concerned about.

    Also, can they please stop saying “Doctor Who”? It’s fine occasionally when it’s a non-regular character, but it’s just so overused and in my opinion was the greatest downfall of the last season.

  • Johnny Clinn

    Upon further thought into the episode, I’m not sure I understand where all this confusion is coming from. The paradox he created was so huge that the Doctor said “I can’t come back to NY for a while” …. a WHILE. Which to him might be quite some time— decades, centuries even? So that would explain why he wouldn’t be able to just pop right in. Also we don’t know how far that paradox extends, it’s likely that it isn’t just limited to the Tardis, but the Doctor and River themselves since they were at the epicenter of the paradox when it happens, if they go back in time, their very presence may rip NY apart because they’re not apart of the established timeline, unlinke Rory who became so when he fixed his death in time by reading that gravestone (and subsequently Amy as well).

    I personally thought it was a brilliant episode. It made me laugh. It made me scared. It made me excited. I loved how little details about River’s pardon from prison changed (remember some points are fixed, others arent, just because she was still in prison during The Time of Angels, doesn’t mean that event is fixed, especially since the that version of reality has now been changed.) Yes, there’s alot of timeywimey stuff in Moffat’s Who, but I love that. I don’t think RTD played with it enough. This was one of my fave episodes cuz it combined all that timeywimey stuff with a real heartfelt goodbye. I’m happy for Amy and Rory, but sad for them at the same time. I’m glad they didn’t go out with a bang. But I’d hardly consider it a whimper. I’d say they went out with an “awwww :)”

    P.S. I dont care what anyone says, that giant weaping statue of liberty made me laugh my ass off. Logical or not. It was flippin’ brilliant. And for those of you who say “wtf its a hollow bronze statue” 1) the who universe is littered with alternate histories and versions of events— just look at its take on the origin of the moon. and 2) I have a feeling that Angels can possess normal statues. Remember that which holds the image of an Angel becomes an Angel. So it’s safe to say that they must have other ways of reproducing themselves. If you listen closely, even River mentions something about the Angels having “taken over” tons of statues in NY. So yeah, maybe a lot of the little details get rushed through and don’t exactly land on our ears before we are forced to confront the next crisis, but I do believe they are there. You just have to listen carefully.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, this! All of this!

  • http://twitter.com/EmberDione Kim Pittman

    Yes because carvings on stone always accurately indicate the body in the grave and people are always buried the exact place they die.

    It’s flimsy at BEST. I mean, the Doctor used the Tessalecta to get around his fixed point, why can’t they just make a tombstone, HEY LOOK, HAHA, okay, back to adventuring.

    Not to mention, that just means he dies at 82 and is buried in NY. What stops him from gadding about with the Doctor for 50 years, then retiring to NY? NOTHING BUT BAD WRITING.

  • http://twitter.com/LJo83 Lindsay Beaton

    Was anyone else hoping for a lot more Statue of Liberty action? Because I was. Seeing the Giant Mouth of Doom was scary and all, but I really wanted her to just take the place down, you know? I’d be pretty ticked off if I had to stand around with tourists wandering around in me all the time, and I’d like to get a bit of revenge going while I was being all snarly anyway. Since they bothered to animate her, I guess I was hoping they’d give her a bigger role.

  • Anonymous

    I loved it as well. This season has definitely not been the strongest, but this particular episode was excellent, and the perfect way to send off the Ponds.

  • http://twitter.com/EmberDione Kim Pittman

    Eccleston’s Doctor also didn’t like guns. Maybe a change from the Time War?

  • http://twitter.com/EmberDione Kim Pittman

    “Remember that which holds the image of an Angel becomes an Angel.”

    And how many MILLIONS OF MILLIONS of pictures and videos have been taken of the Statue of Liberty? It’s even implied in that SAME episode that even a drawing would become one.

    If Moffat was consistent at ALL, then there would be more angels than PEOPLE on Earth.

  • http://twitter.com/LJo83 Lindsay Beaton

    Actually, all three of him (so to speak–Nine, Ten, and Eleven) have made a blatant point to express his dislike of guns on multiple occassions. I blitzed the new series over the summer as my introduction to Doctor Who, and got the impression that the Doctor’s dislike IS a result of the Time War. I haven’t made it to the Classic eps yet, but I would expect to see that he didn’t have that quirk pre-war, like Alonso is suggesting…at least, the’s the vibe I got from the whole thing. I think it’s more obvious if you watched the series the way I did, in quick succession. It makes what he did in Mercy seem a lot stranger, like Jill is suggesting. It certainly stood out pretty strongly for me. I’m keeping it in mind as a possible story arc/character development thing for the rest of the season. *shrug*

  • Thoughtsandwhatnot

    No. Amy specifically read that River says “Why do you have to break mine?” and the Doctor says “Because Amy read it in a book.” The Doctor was talking to River. They were talking about breaking River’s wrist. So yes, they did change something.

  • https://profiles.google.com/115854774365881930956 Taz

    But they *don’t* read that he actually breaks her wrist. That dialogue happens, just as they read, but there was no mention in the book that he did in fact break it. So nothing changed, as I recall. Might need to watch it again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=563223409 Vic Horsham

    I definitely felt the way the Ponds were finally lost was a bit plotholeriffic. For one, as you say all the event-set-in-time has defined is that a- Rory got zapped back and b- Rory (and then Amy) both died in NY in the past. There’s nothing there to say they don’t still get to spend years of their life with the Doctor, just so long as they return to NY for their retirement.

    For another, the excuse the Doctor gave that he could never return to NY was because the event messed up time for the area. But is there any reason he couldn’t go back in time, but turn up say, 20 miles outside NY, park the tardis and take the bus?

    It just would have been nice if they’d been snatched away in a way that felt like it did the characters justice. I know not all fans liked them, but Moff clearly did since they lasted so long, and I’d assumed we’d lose them in a way that did justice to that.

    That said, the episode did have some great moments, like the jump from the roof, even if the Big Angel was a tad silly – if they can only move when not seen, how did that incredibly noisy, large thing get across the city? But yeah, enjoyed it in spite of the plot holes, and if it hadn’t been a finale I’d have expected less and enjoyed it even more.

  • Anonymous

    I’m bailing out. I think Matt Smith is doing the best he can, but the writing is an unsalvageable mess that it’s too frustrating to watch. All the rules get thrown out the window on a whim (or to save Moff from the corner he’s written himself into), scary monsters get overused, muddled, and remade into something less interesting, and some of the characters we’re supposed to love are so ridiculously overpowered that they become cheesy instead of interesting. It’s one thing when the Doctor acts like an overcaffeinated toddler at Christmas, but when the writer behind him is doing it the show loses its focus. Just my opinion, not forcing anyone to see/agree with me, etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=563223409 Vic Horsham

    Yes, this! The Angels taking over a city to “farm” humans could have been a dark, scary, epic plot, but it was reduced into something that spent too much time with irrelevant side characters (collector dude needed to exist and be in so many scenes why, exactly?) and ended up feeling like such a small event.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710321154 Fraser McFarlane

    Yeah, that about sums it up for me. Since Moffat took over, I’ve been going off the show for so many reasons and this season, I’ve finally made the break. It’s just not a show for me any more. It seems to be more fun for the cast and crew than it is for the viewer. I’m sick of the bad writing, sick of the Doctor not behaving like the Doctor, of it being all about Amy, then all about River. It feels like a show that’s pandering to the internet’s screaming fans, who fawn over Matt Smith and accept no criticism, much like Moffat himself. If a new Doctor is cast and a new production team takes over, I’ll try again. Until then, I’m out.

  • whatareyouthinking

    Exactly and what about poor Brian sitting alone at home watering plants waiting for his son and daughter in law who will never return and the good Doctor doesn’t appear to have the guts to go and tell him such?!?!?! Or tell him he has a granddaughter???

    Something is wrong here!

  • http://dustinbarton.com/ Dustin Barton

    For me, the saddest part was Brian, Rory’s father. The Doctor promised he wouldn’t let anything bad happen to the kids and Brian himself said they should go on that adventure with The Doctor, but ultimately Brian will never see them again I assume. Just…sad, you know?

  • http://twitter.com/jamestownefan Laura

    I’m surprised this episode is causing so much frustration amongst fans with Moffat. Last season’s plot holes were much more numerous and glaring. I mean, you had an entire villain organization created around not saying a name outloud? A entire race of scary creatures called ‘The Silence’ that can’t make a spacesuit, so they manipulate technologically inferior creatures on planet that barely has computers to do it? The entire premise of season 6′s overall plot just comes down in shambles once you stop to think it over.

    At least this season doesn’t have those kind of issues, even if there are still plot holes. This season hasn’t been stellar, but at least it hasn’t made me want to yell things about Moffat like last season did.

    The mid-season finale would have been a lot better, I think, if they got rid of the Statue of Liberty being an angel, focused more on the ‘farm’ idea, show the dangers of it, how its bad and hurting people, and how Amy and Rory could stop it like mentioned in the episode. Then, when they leap off the building, emphasize they’d be saving a LOT of people on manhattan by stopping the angels. They’d die after falling off the building. We’d see the Doctor furious and grieving, but their sacrifice would have saved a lot of people and had more meaning. It would’ve been more worthy of a sendout for companions that have been around for 2 and a half seasons.

  • http://twitter.com/jamestownefan Laura

    I couldn’t take that part seriously either- especially since the idea started as a conspiracy keanu meme. :/

    Seriously, Moffat? SERIOUSLY?

  • http://twitter.com/bryesque Bry Kotyk

    How about the option that the Doctor didn’t use any number of potential ways to go back to “save” Rory and Amy (which would likely be risky) *because* of the afterword letter she wrote him, saying goodbye and telling him that they lived long, happy lives together? Ultimately, I like thinking he let them have their happy ending, even if it caused him pain.

  • bookgeek10

    The Statue of Liberty Weeping Angel was annoying as hell. No one in the city that never sleeps saw that thing move? And where the hell was it supposed to be standing? Plus, the whole time Amy and Rory were doing their dramatic leap of faith discussion, I was distracted by the fact that no one was looking at it and yet it was still frozen. It was such an obvious gaff that it distracted me from what I was meant to be feeling. Did they fire all their continuity editors this season?

  • http://twitter.com/seanseger Sean Seger

    **spoilers** It wasn’t my favorite episode, but it was heart wrenching for my 9 year old daughter. Amy is her favorite companion, and she sobbed when they jumped off the building. I mean shoulder shaking, gut wrenching sobs. She was convinced she was seeing them die. Actually it was more emotional for me watching her than watching the episode. Some good points and some exciting moments, but it could have and should have been better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/drtravislangley Travis Langley

    I miss the pre-Internet days when a companion’s departure could catch me off-guard, when they could enter and leave the Doctor’s life at any time, not just in the season (and now mid-season – ugh!) finale. This was especially true when the Fifth Doctor traveled with a whole entourage he lost one at a time.

  • Gnallig

    I agree, x 100, with everything you have just said. The whims. The Muddleness. The characters are just there as plot devices.

    Overcaffeinated is the polite way of putting it, I was trying to figure out if it was crack, cocaine, speed, or meth they were all on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/catherine.j.johns7 Catherine Johns

    I thought the exit was well done actually. Why (seriously WHY?) does every companion need to go out in a blaze of universe-saving glory? It was so extremely predictable in the RTD era, that even without spoilers you knew how Donna was going to go. That isn’t to say it wasn’t well done, because it is brilliant, but not everything needs to be save-the-universe big. When Amy and Rory jump off that building, the repercussions of their actions is MASSIVE. They had to take their own lives, without any help from the Doctor, to remove themselves from a situation where they had no other control. If the episode had ended there (and I think it originally was going to) it would have effectively ended the Doctor’s Golden Age. It would have been similar to Gwen Stacy’s death, shuttling in a new age of Doctor Who Darkness. But this is a CHILDREN’S PROGRAM, they can’t really do something like that and keep it family friendly.
    Secondarily, I believe Amy Pond as a character has grown significantly. Her decisions are more mature, she’s not running around in a nighty, and she’s not mooning over the Doctor. Let’s be honest she hasn’t mooned over the Doctor since Demon’s Run. There are plenty of other perfectly legitimate reasons to dislike Amy, many of my guy friends think she is a high-maintenance twit (I don’t agree, but I get it.)
    Also this is the first episode since “Lets Kill Hitler” where River Song’s presence on screen hasn’t made me twinge.

  • Anonymous

    Moffat hasn’t had a bad episode. He’s had two and a half bad seasons that, not one of them, have managed to surpass any of RTD’s seasons.

    I don’t think RTD’s the best writer, not by any means. But as a show runner, he did a damn good job of making people collectively interested in all the characters, in making you FEEL for the characters and genuinely CONNECT with them. RTD’s Doctor Who had some shitty episodes, yeah. But the seasons have a significantly higher level of replay value than Moffat’s seasons so far. I can’t stand to look at season 5, and the closest to having genuine reply value is the FIRST HALF of Season 6 before shit goes absolutely ridiculously down the drain with the start of Lets Kill Hitler. Season 7 so far is proving to have the same story and character mistakes that the second half of Season 6 had. Moffat’s good at coming up with ideas but bloody hell he’s pretty terrible at fleshing them out and making people care about them.

  • http://twitter.com/Chizwick Charlie

    This might be one of the first times I’ve read an article on this site and agreed with it 100%. What a letdown their departure was.

  • Sarah

    I agree too. Even as one of the ‘internet’s screaming fans’, I can see the quality of the show slowly going downhill. It’s getting painful to watch my favourite show being torn apart.

  • http://twitter.com/Tonks07 Mandy

    ” I think Moffat is great at coming up with potentially great story arcs and then doesn’t know how to finish them or tie them together”

    Exactly! I think Moffat has fantastic ideas but so many episodes on his run feel rushed to me. He doesnt give characters enough time to pause and react to things that have happened to them. *coughtheDivorcecough coughlosingMelodycough* He just seems to be pushing foward and everything is running and fast paced and fun but…it doesn’t quite work overall. It doesn’t give the characters time to breathe and again, react with some emotional realism here. I mean the characters, esp Amy I think, have grown and matured but over all I wanted more pauses between these Big Epic Events and Adventures.

  • Dana

    If they got sent back to the 1800s, do you think that has anything to do with the Christmas special taking place in the Victorian era?

  • Kifre

    Can we talk about the really unhealthy way that marriage (and relationships with the Dr generally) was repeatedly represented in this episode? Especially River’s “never let him see the damage, never let him see you age.”

  • http://twitter.com/Tonks07 Mandy

    I’m actually enjoying the little boy like nature Smitt brings to the role. It’s so interesting to see his running about like a kid then all of a sudden something happens and just Matt Smith manages to act in a way where I can see the old man trapped in this young body. I find it facinating to watch. Also I’d like to share this quote with you:

    “That’s what interests me about The Doctor because, actually, look at the blood on the man’s hands. 900 years, countless very selfish choices, and he’s literally blown planets up. His own race, you know, that’s all on his hands. Which is why I think he has to make silly jokes and wear a fez. Because if he didn’t, he’d hang himself.”
    Matt Smith speaking to The Nerdist

  • Guest

    The Doctor is over a thousand years old now… and he’s had so many companions that he probably needs a large book to keep track of them!

  • Yodel Lightly

    The Doctor is over a thousand years old now… and he’s had so many companions that he probably needs a large book to keep track of them! It wouldn’t be the first period that he’s travelled alone for awhile… not by a long shot.

  • Yodel Lightly

    Just because it’s sci-fi time-travel, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t conform to good drama. If the time/space continuum around that period is too disturbed for the TARDIS to safely land, presumably the Vortex Manipulator (Time-Space Vortex, remember) is no safer. If the Doctor can land outside NY, walk in, meet Amy & Rory in the city, then A)they’ve STILL got to get away from the Angels & B)what’s to stop them walking back out to the TARDIS & returning to their present? If you want to complain about a plot hole, then why not comment on the fact that they could all have escaped by using team-work to get down the stairs, out of the building & back to the TARDIS so that Amy & Rory could say ‘bye & duck back into the house as the Doctor leaves with River. ;)
    Let’s face it, right now the Doctor THINKS that they’re dead… they are not necessarily so (the presence of the gravestones could be because Amy & Rory have SEEN them there!), they may be retrieved in the future (if it makes you happy).
    Personally, I loved the ending of the Rory & Amy saga. There’s been too many cases of “make a big emotional scene for the end of the season” when the companions leave up to now – RTD was particularly prone to it. The Doctor has seen many travelling partners come & go through his travels; while he may be sad to see them go, there’s no need for it to be the gutwrenching agony that he’s apparently experienced ever since the series returned when someone leaves him.
    My biggest problem is seeing the series repeat the errors of the original run. There was a reason why the show-runner, the script-editor/writer & the episode’s director are different people… and the Executive Producer is meant to be there to stop things like over-use of Monsters (Daleks AGAIN, Cybermen AGAIN, ruined the Master, just about right for the sleeping angels but they need to be rested for at least two seasons before we see them again). That plus they still haven’t stopped the TARDIS console looking like it fell out of a junk shop! :(

  • JSGII

    THERE IS AN ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL COMING! Come on people, get that through your heads, and it will all make sense.

  • JSGII

    Exactly. Any criticism hurled at Amy, Moffat, or the last 2.5 seasons ignores how your opinion is in the minority. Seriously, the show has never been bigger and that’s because of Matt, Karen, and Moffat. That’s the truth and everyone is entitled, let’s stop acting as if this “Moffat likes an idea and never pays it off,” is in any way reality.

  • http://blog.ailag.net ailaG

    - If people complain about a plot, and then about a lack of a plot, is there a way of pleasing them?
    (I liked the plot in s.6)

    - Why do Amy and Rory need to save the world in their departure?

    - The Doctor wasn’t supposed to break River’s wrist according to the book. He was supposed to say he’s breaking the wrist, and he did. The book wasn’t rewritten.

    - “The Doctor didn’t have any genius ideas to save them this time” and he was ruthless and violent in previous episodes, all because he didn’t have a companion to balance him out in the 300 years between Lake Silencio take 1 and Angels Take Manhattan. How much did he see Amy & Rory during that time?

    - “when Rory decided on a plan of action, a paradox that would kill the Weeping Angels, I knew it would work”
    Amy could’ve died. It could’ve worked but kill Rory or erase him again. Though then we wouldn’t have the final parting scene which is crucial to the entire plot of Amy Pond.

    - “The Doctor claimed they couldn’t use the TARDIS to go back.. but why?” Because landing in that time was tricky as it was, even with a vortex manipulator. See the traffic & motorcycle comparison.

    - Why do companions *have* to leave after universe-changing events? Why does every exit have to follow the same rules?

    - “But I think a lot of you will agree with me the Weeping Angels effects have been minimized thanks to Moffat’s usage of them. I often wish he had left “Blink” alone.”
    I agree, but I don’t think they were the focus of the episode as much as they were in Blink. They were a tool to toss Rory around like a dog tearing his toy apart and send us running after him until we can’t.

    - “one thing that knocked it right out of me was the lack of time we got to really feel what happened” I totally agree here.

    - “And Moffat seemed to play out his own forgetfulness through the Doctor” throughout series 5-7 the Doctor is Peter Pan, an eternal child with some attempts to snap out of that, but they aren’t good enough. Much like how in the 11th Hour he doesn’t care about little Amelia’s parents missing (“I don’t have a mum and dad, just an aunt” “I don’t even have an aunt!” – speaking like a child). That’s also why he doesn’t like seeing people grow old, because in his Neverland they shouldn’t.

    - “[DoaS skipped] especially the Silurian plot thread that was the basis for the entire episode” how much content can you cram into an episode? In series 7 the aliens are just tools, they’re not the point.

    - “the Doctor used a gun to threaten someone” – YES. A. the Doctor is a round character. 13 years ago I was a soldier who didn’t know what she’ll end up doing in the army, today (10 years after I was relieved) I don’t know if I’d take most of the options I had back then. People change. The Doctor had 300 years of loneliness – it affected him.
    That scene was spot on! It shows us what happens to him when he travels alone. That’s why it’s so important for River and Amy to tell him that.
    Same goes for murdering Solomon.

    - “No one in the show thought it was a big deal and it was never addressed after the fact” – same thing. It was addressed time and again in the closing of episode 5.

    - “The Doctor spent a great deal of time on Earth with the Ponds and all we saw was him being really, really bored”
    No! That was just the beginning. He got bored, then he couldn’t help but go to his previous lifestyle and drag Amy & Rory with him. But then missing them and the problems with him travelling alone took over him and he asked if he could stay because *shyly* he misses them. He wants to live differently because he needs the Ponds.

    But as soon as the cubes do something he’s DELIGHTED – to go back into his old lifestyle. And on he runs into yet another portal and alien encounter and feels like he’s “home” again.

    The cubes are analogous to the TARDIS in a way. The Doctor is forced not to operate the cubes in any way, live outside of his intriguing alien box and look at the little black boxes from the outside without any interaction. “Little boxes will make you angry”.

    THAT SAID -
    I did feel something was missing. I enjoyed the episodes, but especially with Moffat’s episode the chase he often does with my brain was gone. In the 11th Hour, Pandorica Opens / Big Bang, Let’s Kill Hitler and the rest (bar Beast Below) he was playing tag with my brain. I tried to chase him and then I caught him and then I didn’t and then my brain was metaphorically hyperventilating from the activity. TATM was more predictable, and though I had fun seeing the themes playing out, it didn’t blow my mind. Which is fine for a regular show but I expect more from a show that’s on the top of my list and that’s considered the best running scifi show.

    I can’t tell what was missing because I don’t want to change the ideas they conveyed in the background. But some complications were missing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.d.bock Christopher Danger Bock

    I think the reason why he couldn’t go back is because for what happened in New York to happen the doctor needs to read the book and for him to read the book Amy would have had to write the book and the only way she could do that is by writing it in the past which she could do courtesy of the weeping angel.

  • Wayne Boyd

    Just when they went to take the car to get to Rory my 9 year old daughter looked at me and shouted, “Why don’t they use River’s wrist thing, that vortex manipulator, why are they taking that car?” And then, “Ok, this is dumb they could all just use it and jump to another planet way in the future. The Angels would never find them. Wouldn’t that create a paradox?”

    I tried to tell her that maybe the Angel broke it when it grabbed River by the wrist (couldn’t Moff have thought of that?!) but she wasn’t having it. “No look, it’s right there on her wrist! They could all just leave right now!” Needless to say she was taken out of the story by that glaring plot hole. If Mr. Moffat can’t keep a 9 year old invested with his plots then why should I care anymore?
    And did any one else notice the “Um, I’m translating” and the “it’s a gift of the TARDIS” dialog between Rory and River? So after 10 years Rory just now got the gift? Was it a parting gift? Or, more likely, Moffat is trying to fill in the plot hole from ‘A Good Man Goes to War’ when Melody’s name was translated *after* the TARDIS left. Maybe for the 50th Anniversary he can fix all the holes from his prior episodes. Nah, that’d be a 3 parter…

  • cannedrabbit

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

  • Anonymous

    Wait, so admittedly I haven’t watched the episode yet (my growing apathy towards Moffat’s handling is preventing me from watching episodes as they are like I used to). But… Did are you saying that he pulled a ***SPOILER SPOILER KIND OF** Sherlock ***SPOILER SPOILER KIND OF** for this episode? Because if that’s the case,

    http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mb5b7gdUdR1rnpufk.gif

  • Anonymous

    Actually, now that you’ve mentioned it, there are a few parallels. However, unlike Sherlock, that is not the end of the characters’ time in Who by a few scenes.

    I have a hard time believing this is the SAME GUY who gave us that Sherlock season finale. The entire Reichenbach episode had me crying, but this farewell to the two longest running companions in New Who didn’t make me feel anything other than annoyance.

    Moffat’s Who has been a slow motion train wreck and I feel like this was the biggest blunder yet. A part of that may have been all the spoilers released by the production before the season began. I try to avoid spoilers and I knew all the major things that happened this season before the episodes aired. In fact, during the commercial breaks BBC America runs those stupid interviews with the cast that TELL you what’s going to happen! It severely lessens whatever impact those plot points were supposed to have.

  • Anonymous

    The Statue of Liberty thing bugged me too! I can’t believe that there is ANY point in time, even in the 1930s, where The Statue of Liberty isn’t being looked at, and certainly not for long enough that it could wander away unnoticed.

  • Anonymous

    I have to agree with you. Moffat’s biggest downfall on Who is his inability to create those moments of gravitas. One of the things that got me so into this show (back with Nine) was the emotional impact of these stories which on the surface seemed so much like nothing but silly fun. The previous Doctors under RTD’s direction had those moments where you suddenly felt their age or their sorrow or their anger. Big events had lasting impacts and left scars. Moffat, and consequently Eleven, never lets it sink in.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, I hear you. I was -sobbing- during the Reichenbach episode. Like, it took me a good while to pull myself together for that one. But yeah, I think it’s very clear and very evident that Moffat is a far bigger Sherlock fan than he is a Doctor Who fan since he tends to provide far more detail as well as actual hints and throw backs to original material (see here: http://sherlockismyholmesboy.tumblr.com/post/30410139145) where as Doctor Who seems to be a neat little side project he’s picked up because it seems cool and fun. But unfortunately that lack of sincere interest is showing.

    But yeah, I think I’m pretty much done with Doctor Who until someone new takes over because I can’t deal with this anymore. I’m ESPECIALLY not looking forward to the new companion at all. what so ever. ugh.

  • http://twitter.com/jonny6alive jayseeger

    What I’ve never understood about Doctor Who is the idea that The Doctor can move through any point in the history of the universe, yet he still always manages to run into Daleks and Cybermen and he never seems to quite wipe them out. The Daleks and the Cybermen were great for their time, but they need to retire these villains. Look at the Cybermen, they are clearly a remnant from the sixties. They have not changed at all, they look exactly the same, you woud think there would be some evolution of their species; better metal, less goofy face. They look like tin soldiers from Babs in Toyland. How is it that through an infinite universe with an infinite number of problems The Doctor needs to address, it’s always the Daleks and Cybermen that are always the problem and it’s always the same version of Daleks and Cybermen. These villains do not exactly strike fear into people’s hearts. And as for the “Weeping Angels”, why don’t they just get a bat and knock their heads off? Doctor Who villains have always been weak. One of the few villains I do like are the Headless Monks. The reason I like Doctor Who is because, it’s such a great show conceptually. You essentially have an ageless character that traverses the expanse of space and time using a Police Box….how cool is that? I thought the last season, (Rory and Amy’s baby) was excellent. This season was definitely disappointing and I really did not understand the last episode. Way too many inconsistencies and rules that no one follows yet The Doctor keeps repeating them. The last “Angel” survived, but they never explain how. If you look at a show like Eureka, while fiction, there is always a logical explanation and many of their storylines could find their premises in scientific journals even if the application is decades or sometimes centuries away.

  • http://www.facebook.com/schakmakian92 Susan Chakmakian

    I don’t know if anyone else said this already, but the Doctor did break something, even if he didn’t realize it: when the TARDIS was violently landing in 1938, one of the Chinese vases fell and shattered. Amy read that he was going to break “something”, but never specified what that thing was. The Doctor didn’t notice that he’d broken the vase so he assumed that the thing he would have to break was River’s wrist. He still broke something, so River didn’t rewrite anything by breaking her wrist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/schakmakian92 Susan Chakmakian

    Also, in response of your gun criticism in Town Called Mercy, here is a video of Doctors pointing guns at people (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzmnPs64K74). Admittedly, I still think it’s very different to have a Doctor in Classic Who use a gun than to have a Doctor in Nu Who use a gun, because I feel like he would now associate weapons with the Time War and would really rather forget about that. Nevertheless, I think it was a very interesting choice to have the Doctor point a gun at someone and goes really well with the speech he makes in the scene about he’s tired of all those innocent people dying because of his mercy: so many people have died because of him, and that much guilt is going to come to the fore and mess you up at some point. Again, the fact that it very nearly leads to the Doctor actively using a weapon is actually terrifying and jarring, and I think it’s supposed to be. And Amy does tell the Doctor that he shouldn’t stoop to Kahler-Jex’s level, and it was my feeling that his use of a weapon was included in that, even if it wasn’t specifically pointed out. Nevertheless, I can definitely see how you could make an argument that the situation could have been better executed, which might not have been a problem if we’d had more time (say, an entire season with some two-parters) to lead up to the farewell with the Ponds. The team at Doctor Who had to cram an awful lot of stuff into only five episodes: there’s not a whole ton of breathing room there.

  • Corbomite

    I feel like in general Rory and and Amy have a horrible relationship, and am continually creeped out the show wants us to think its cute.

  • lexdysic

    yes, we’re just a bunch of whiners for expecting the majority of our once-favorite tv show not to be “WHOOOOOSH WOW DINOSAURS WOW EXPLOSIONS TIMEY-WIMEY STUFF HERE HAVE A NEW FEMALE CHARACTER SHE LOOKS NEW AND INTERESTING HA HA JUST KIDDING SHE IS EXACTLY THE SAME CHARACTER AS ALL THE OTHERS!! EMOTION?? MORE EXPLOSIONS next week on doctor who” every single episode. our bad

  • http://www.facebook.com/hailey.ferraro Hailey Ferraro

    I know I’m late to the game here, but here goes. Initial reaction to the episode… uhhhmmm, really?
    Second reaction: Very disappointed.
    Now that I’ve let it settle, and my brain is whirring and I think there’s something we’re missing. Melody escaped the Headless Monks and was wandering the streets on NYC in 1970. With Rory and Amy stuck in a normal time stream (poor things) they would probably still have been alive in 1970. So, how did Melody go from NYC to England? Who took care of her… etc…etc… I’m just saying, River Song didn’t seem too overly broken up about losing her parents yet again, and she wouldn’t explain to the Doctor because, “Spoilers!” This theory is pretty much the only one that makes me OK with this episode and losing the Ponds to such a contrived plot.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not been the same after he left. All thanks to BBC kind of forgetting to give him a new contract – how stupid is that?

    Matt Smith is a-OK but the storytelling since RTD has taken a dive. I never liked Pond, she’s a Donna-like character, only worse.

    I miss David Tennant. And Rose. Rose was so epic… sigh.

  • Anonymous

    I just tuned out midway through Season 5… lost all interest. What a shame.

  • Anonymous

    +1 could not agree more. I don’t even know if Matt Smith’s Doctor is good or not. Even the best Doctor in the world couldn’t save this kind of writing.

  • Anonymous

    Even though all the Tennant episodes look like masterpieces in hindsight, he was clearly *too* brooding at the end. I mean come on nothing worse has happened to him in the 900 years he’s lived? Lucky man!

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I didn’t think his mood was soured any more by the loss of Donna than a thousand other things that have happened to him. And he did have a mortal wound to contend with, so maybe he was a bit melancholy since he was about to regenerate. He had a lot on his shoulders…in a WAY, the 11th Doctor was a breath of fresh air, but he’s also lacking in empathy and his eccentricities have sort of played out for me. Hopefully, with the loss of Rory and Amy, he’ll come back down to earth and grow up.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Whenever a character seems totally absorbed by the Doctor, I find it completely believable…that Roy and Amy have attempted to maintain a regular life on the side seems completely unbelievable to me.

  • Amy H

    I do agree that this season felt rushed. I wondered at times if they actually sped up the footage! It’s the first time I’ve had to rewind on my DVR to catch what someone was saying. Sometimes this happened several times in an episode. I am very mixed about their parting. I think what makes them different is that at the end of the day Amy chose Rory. It completed Amy’s emotional journey. Rory was never why the Doctor came back – it was always her. Wendy to his Peter Pan. But the finality put on their parting, and the reasoning feels a little contrived. I suppose if I’m honest, it was always going to. But it just doesn’t have the impact of Rose or Donna’s “reason to never come back.” I feel like if he really wanted to, he could go to them. River certainly can. I know that if Rory hadn’t seen that stone things could have been different. It was that knowledge that locked them into that way of things. Good catch on the Doctor/River wrist breaking! I will pay particular attention to that in the next viewing!!

  • Anonymous

    This was my question as well. To which someone replied, well, they saw the gravestone with Rory’s name on it.
    Um, they saw that at the end AFTER the paradox had already occured. Technically, that stone shouldn’t have existed and the fact it DID, was a huge giveaway that the paradox didn’t work.
    So basically, even though their jumping caused a paradox that was supposed to wipe the Angels out, it apparently didn’t work, and nothing changed. Rory still was going to die after living in the past. The only thing different this time, was that Amy chose to go with him.
    Which begs the question… if they are now living and dying even before they were born, wouldn’t that screw up the time stream as well? And what happened to Rory’s dad? Did anyone even bother going and telling HIM what happened? Or has he been left to wonder where his son and daughter in law are for the rest of his days?
    I might have over thought this a bit.

  • Anonymous

    No, only RORY saw his stone and that was at the very end. The Doctor hadn’t seen the stone, he walked right passed it and never glanced at it. WE saw the stone, because of all the build up with the Doctor saying if it was written and read, it was a fixed point.
    But only Rory saw the stone at the end.

  • Anonymous

    Amy also told him he would break something because SHE read it in the book. And when they landed, he broke a Ming vase.
    So it was the Doctor’s interpetation as to what exactly he would break. He interpeted it to be River’s wrist, but it could very well have been that vase as well.
    It’s a huge loophole that was vastly exploited and open to interpetation.

  • Thoughtsandwhatnot

    Like I said above, Amy was reading a conversation between River and the Doctor. River asks the Doctor, “Why do you have to break mine?” The Doctor replies, “Because Amy read it in a book.” The lines in the book were referring to the Doctor having the choice to break the Angel’s wrist, or River’s wrist.

    I don’t think that’s a loophole. I just think a lot of people aren’t remembering what Amy read.

  • http://twitter.com/Tonks07 Mandy

    I thought it was really unnessassary. Like they just put it in there because they thought it would look “cool.” But I just felt like it was a waste of special effects. Maybe if they were more subtle about it then I would have enjoyed it more as a concept

  • Gabriel Tighe

    I agree completely. And I’ve also found that this series is trying to focus to much on the humour and quirkiness of the doctor.

  • http://shadesofblank.com/ Michi Ligaya

    If your main criticism is the pacing and MOTW feeling I’m kind of surprised you’re not happier. The pacing and MOTW is much more reminiscent of RTD’s era than Moffat’s previous two seasons, which is a huge reason why I have been sort of ambivalent about this season. I love Moffat and his epic storytelling and think he’s hamstringed himself by doing this blockbuster movie thing.

  • http://shadesofblank.com/ Michi Ligaya

    I think the format of this season has really hamstringed Moffat. I loved his Series 5 and 6 but after Asylum of the Daleks, I found myself underwhelmed at Series 7. The plots have been overly thin for my liking though the character moments have tended to make up for it with the exception of Dinosaurs in a Spaceship which was one big ball of fluff. (However, it gets a HUGE thumbs up from my four year old who LOVED seeing her Doctor riding her absolute favoritest dinosaur in the world, a triceratops.)

    What I find interesting is that a lot of the criticism I see about the series revolves around how the Doctor is changing. The 9th and 10th Doctors lived for only a few years; this incarnation has lived for about 300 years, 200 of those traveling alone. That’s a long time.

    Yes, the Doctor with the gun in Mercy was a eyebrow raiser and him letting Solomon die were eyebrow raisers. THAT’S THE POINT. We are supposed to see what the risk of having the 11th Doctor travel alone for too long — he may not be murderous but he’s more prone to being vengeful.

  • http://kooztop5.blogspot.com Kooz

    Has a Weeping Angel’s touch always sent people back in time?

  • http://www.thechildhealthsite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=1 Edcedc8

    I watched not knowing it was the last episode with them proper, and I was just ok with it.

  • Lorena

    I actually prefer Gatiss’ writing on Sherlock, however it should be noted that Sherlock is merely three episodes, whereas Who spans 12-14 (depending on two-parters and if we include Christmas Specials as part of a season). Not that you can’t make 12 episodes function, the US television manages (sometimes) to make 22 episodes function as a one plotline, but it’s much easier to whip out 3 stellar “mini-films” sized episodes than thread together twelve.

    The point of Moffat having great concepts, I fully agree with. His episodes during the RTD era are some of my favorites… I mean, The Empty Child?! That still haunts me. Blink was terrifying and Girl In The Fireplace was so rich and full it’s astounding that it’s so short time-wise.

  • Lorena

    Disappointing! Yes. I need to rewatch. I didn’t even cry!!! I’m the biggest Who crier and I didn’t even cry. The commercials, admittedly, did NOT help one bit with keeping me engaged.

    I’m hoping the new companion will breathe some new life into Who. I
    like her treatment so far and she’s so different than the Ponds (if she
    is in fact going to be Oswin Oswald not in dalek form). I am very glad the
    Ponds are gone now, and I’ve always loved them both (though I did
    secretly hope Rory was really dead in that Silurian episode hehe).

    I’m also really hoping River Song takes an extended leave of absence from the show. My friend and I discussed this and he made the offhand comment that whenever River shows up anything that wasn’t allowed by the laws of time or is irreversible is able to be done/undone… and that she just shows up, screws up everything, says, “Spoilers” when she could actually fix it, and then leaves. Ugh. She’s so frustrating and enables horrible plotholes all over the place.

    I just want anything Pond-related gone. Let the new companion rock it and win our hearts over. Explore new worlds, new species, new pasts, new stories.

    Also, I wish they would stop seemingly trying to cater or market things to Americans. We like the show because it’s NOT American. It’s more rewarding to get some references because they’re NOT American. Sigh. It’s so frustrating, especially with Confidential gone. That was one of the best parts of the franchise. And they replaced it with those interviews with random famous geeky American people? NO! I don’t care what they have to say. I want to hear from the producers, creators, and actors — not random people who are fans of the show. So dumb. We have tons of podcasts to fulfill that role. Just release the episodes on the same dates as the UK and we’re all good over here, thanks.

    Whoever said that RTD era episodes are more rewatchable — DEAD RIGHT. I never, ever crave seeing a Pond episode again. There are some, like Town Called Mercy and the pirate one, that I will NEVER watch again. Probably not Power of Three either. How lame did that end up being? It was all like old times, what with it being on earth, in the companions home, with a UNIT team… and then NO. Total blase fail.

  • Dave Leigh

    Point of order… River did NOT change the future. Amy read to The Doctor that he and River said those exact WORDS… and they certainly did. Nothing was read (to our knowledge) about The Doctor actually breaking River’s wrist.

  • Anonymous

    YES. If he can’t go to 1938 NYC then go to 1939 New Jersey it didn’t make enough sense that they were essentially sealed in 1938 Manhattan. It was weak to me.

    And River seemed so miserable like all she wanted to do was runaway and hide…
    And, yeah. What about Brian!?

  • Anonymous

    THIS “Plus, the whole time Amy and Rory were doing their dramatic leap of faith discussion, I was distracted by the fact that no one was looking at it and yet it was still frozen.”

  • Christina
  • http://www.facebook.com/bruce.cox.357 Bruce Cox

    well the “hidden” arc this season to me seems that the doctor made a mistake when he tried to remove himself from history starting at the end o f last season,clues were dropped on each show that even though he is misunderstood on some planets ,the leagend of the doctor has been good for some planets. the 4th doctor when he had a chance to wipe out Daleks,comment that wars had been prevented due to planets banding together to fight the Daleks. this is much over hyped removal of the Ponds, I can see a twist or two that would make it undone. the very last scene show the very young amy awaitiing out side for the doctor returns, originally he did not . but we hear the tardis in the background,if he meets young amy he can do some stuff toslightly change the time line, either robot ponds or using the goo from a season ago to create copies. and as for the doctor breaking the wrist, a future version could have snuck in broke the wrist,and it was kept quiet from his “younger” self.
    all and all very disapointed with the last two seasons of storylines.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Aunrael Michael Atkins

    The Doctor can’t remove them from their timeline. The gravestone said they died, meaning when and where they died are fixed points in time. Top it all off with paradoxes, apparently, having a cumulative effect on the locale and the Pond’s are doubly screwed on the rescue front. Of course there are plenty of ways for them to live long, fruitful lives peppered with visits from the doctor and mad adventures, but that’s not why they were written back into the 1930′s. It’s the end of their run on the show and this is how they’re locked out of the Doctor’s life.

    IMO, leaving a will saying they were both to be buried in New York at that time (they have time traveling friends, they can be buried whenever they please) would solve any paradox issues.

    P.S. In regards to one of the points made in the article: The previous companions all had big, “important” send offs, it’s true. However, none of them spent two seasons in a Romeo and Juliet romance. Mr and Mrs.Pond had a different dramatic focus than any other companion/s, which is why we got Angels in Manhattan. Rory even pointed out in The God Complex “We’ve been travelling in that box for so long. We’ve forgotten that not all victories are about saving the universe.” It’s a fallacy for writers to try and top the events in their stories. Drama and romance and fantasy are literary playgrounds and should be treated as such. Saving the world or universe is a spectacle, not a band aid for lazy story telling.

  • AALOR2D

    This was a terrible episode. I loved Amy and Rory but their departure was full of holes. The TARDIS was used to save Martha and The Doctor why not this time?

  • Tim Moerman

    Rory and Amy spend an awful lot of time up on that ledge looking at each other (and not at the Big Angel) and no one else is around. At first Rory’s up there and he can keep an eye on it so fine…. but there was a good long stretch there where they could have been stopped. So much of what was terrifying about Blink was the whole take-your-eyes-off-them-for-a-split-second-and-you’re-done thing.

    Also, the locking-in of their fates feels forced. Look, they come to a room where eighty-two-year-old Rory dies. That doesn’t mean he necessarily has to have spent his entire life there. They could have rescued him from whatever past he ended up in, continued on doing their thing for sixty-odd years, and make sure they get him back as an old man in time to die. The OTHER thing that made Blink so interesting was the fact that the Doctor and companion themselves got knocked out of the era where the TARDIS was. Getting forcibly removed to the past when no one else can come get you = trouble. Getting forcibly removed to the past when your wife and her Time Lord sidekick can fire up a time machine = not so much.

  • http://technicalluddite.com/ Hannele Kormano

    This was storyboarded, but not actually made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWU6XL9xI4k