Review: The Angels Take Manhattan

Yesterday, the mid-series finale of Doctor Who’s Series 7 aired. It featured the appearance of the Weeping Angels, one of the scariest monsters we’ve seen so far, and the return of River Song. This was also the last regular appearance of Amy and Rory Williams, who had been in Doctor Who since the start of Series 5 and the debut of the Eleventh Doctor. I’ll go through some main points in the plot and share a couple of my thoughts.

The opening scene shows a man walking to an apartment block in 1938 New York called Winter Quay where he was told by a sort of mafioso character, Mr Grayle, that ‘statues move in the dark’. He finds a room with his name on it, and when he goes inside he discovers an older version of himself. He then gets touched by an Angel and lives the rest of his life in the room.

We then see Amy and Rory with the Doctor in present day New York. They are having a picnic in Central Park. The Doctor is reading a book written by a Melody Malone and Rory was gone to get coffees when Rory is zapped back by some baby angels and the Doctor gets to a point in the book where their story starts. They learn about Rory through the book and get in the TARDIS to get him. I liked this whole Blink-esque forwards and backwards in time information. It was a bit of a throwback and yet it was done with enough new ideas that it was still exciting and surprising.

Rory meets with River in 1938 and they are taken to Mr Grayle’s house and kept there. Rory is taken to a cellar with baby angels and River is held down by a broken angel. Still in 2012, Amy continues to read from the book, but the Doctor snatches it from her, telling her that if she keeps reading then the events become fixed points.

Because of the time energy in the vicinity of the Angels it is difficult to get the TARDIS to Mr Grayle’s mansion, but eventually the Doctor manages it. They decide that chapter titles don’t have enough spoilers to create fixed points, and they learn that Rory is in the cellar. Unfortunately the Doctor sees that the last chapter features a farewell from Amelia. The Doctor tells River to get out of the statue without breaking her arm (though she breaks it anyway), while Amy discovers that Rory is gone. They locate Rory near Winter Quay and follow him there.

The four of them are in a room with Rory’s name on it, and they discover an older Rory who dies in the room. To create a paradox, they decide that Rory should run forever. Eventually, since he doesn’t die, the paradox would poison the Angels. But Rory goes to the top of the hotel and decides to kill himself, thinking it will create a better paradox. Amy says that they must do it together, and they jump just as the Doctor discovers them.

The paradox works, and it’s just as if nothing happened. But just as they are all about to enter the TARDIS, Rory spots a gravestone with his name on it, and creating a fixed point, he is zapped back to the past by an angel. Amy decides that her best bet for seeing Rory again is to get touched and despite the fact that she’ll never see the Doctor again, she lets herself be touched. The tombstone changes to show that Amy dies along with Rory at an old age.

River and the Doctor then fly away, then River says that she still needs to write the book, and that if he’d like, she could get Amy to write an afterword. In the afterword, she tells the Doctor of the great life she’d had, and tells him to find a new companion. She also tells him to tell her younger self of the great life she will have, and the episode ends with the TARDIS landing near a young Amelia Pond.

I thought Amy and Rory’s ending was great. It finishes the story of the Ponds’ with no chance of them ever coming back (such as Donna’s ending) and it was just as sad as Moffat claimed. I also thought the zapping-back-in-time angels made a nice comeback; I didn’t like the angels in The Time of Angels and Flesh and Stone as they were just like any other monsters. The wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey storyline of Blink really returned in this episode and I thought that was the way it should be with the Weeping Angels.

What did you think? Did you like Amy and Rory’s farewell? Also, are you excited for the Christmas special? Tell us in the comments!

Watch: The Angels Take Manhattan

Tonight, the mid-series finale of Series 7 of Doctor Who will air. It will feature the return of the  Weeping Angels and River Song. It is also the last episode with Amy and Rory appearing as the regular companions. Here is the synopsis from the BBC Press Office:

The Doctor’s heart-breaking farewell to Amy and Rory – a race against time through the streets of Manhattan, as New York’s statues come to life around them… With Rory’s life in danger, the Doctor and Amy must locate him before it’s too late! Luckily, an old friend helps them and guides the way.

I’ll write a review once I get a chance to see the episode and once I recover from Weeping Angel shock! Are you excited for the episode? Tell us in the comments!

Review: The Power of Three

Last night, the penultimate episode of Amy and Rory’s story with the Doctor aired. As this has quite a lot to do with the Ponds’ story arc, I’ll go through some more important plot points and tell you what I thought.

The story starts with Amy saying that this was the year of the slow invasion, and that the Doctor came to stay. I thought that the idea of a year-long invasion was awesome and it was funny to see the Doctor try to cope with everyday life. All in all the idea of this week’s episode was pretty solid.

The episode begins with Rory’s father, Brian, calling upon the Ponds to tell them that black cubes had fallen overnight over the whole world. They all then find the Doctor and he tells them he wants to stay over to investigate the cubes. The house is soon invaded by armed men and a woman from UNIT. This woman is revealed to be Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart’s daughter. I am a New Who fan, but I have seen a couple of old episodes and I liked this homage to the Brigadier, especially since his actor’s death last year.

Back to the story. UNIT subjects the cubes to rigourous testing, and the Doctor does some testing of his own. After four days of waiting for something to happen, the Doctor proclaims, ‘Patience is for wimps!’ and takes off. So the Ponds’ life continues as normal. Rory gets a full-time nursing job and Amy agrees to be a bridesmaid for a future wedding. By doing these things, they have finally commited themselves to life on Earth.

Mid-year, at the Ponds’ anniversary, the Doctor takes them away for seven weeks for a honeymoon. When they return, no one realises they were gone except for Brian, who express concern for the Ponds’ safety. The Doctor, guilty, decides to stay with them. As the Ponds continue on with their lives, the Doctor manages to entertain himself. Brian diligently keeps a daily log of the cubes’ behaviour.

Finally, on day 361 of the cubes’ arrival, every cube in the world activates in different ways. Brian’s one moves around, Amy’s pricks her and takes her pulse, and Rory’s scans the vicinity. There is a funny moment when the Doctor is vigourously playing Wii and his cube starts shooting laser beams at him. They decide that Rory and Brian should go to the hospital to help victims, and Amy and the Doctor are called upon to go to the Tower of London to meet with UNIT.

Suddenly, all the cubes display the number seven and begin to count down. (There is a humourous moment when the Doctor claims that the number seven is significant because a cube has seven sides – counting the in-side!). At the hospital, Brian is tricked into entering a portal to an alien spaceship, and Rory follows.

When the cubes reach zero, everyone in close proximity of a cube dies of cardiac arrest. The Doctor survives, because he has two hearts, and realises that the cubes were there to scan the limits of human technological power and now the alien power knows all their weaknesses. The Doctor gets to Rory’s hospital and gets defillibrated by Amy. They then find the spaceship, which is revealed to belong to the Shakri, some sort of universe pest-controller.

This is where the brilliant episode goes downhill. The Shakri has a speech about extinguishing the human race before they get into space. He says that he is planning another wave of cubes, then disappears. The Doctor then, with deus ex machina, uses his screwdriver to reverse the cubes’ shock, then escapes the ship before it explodes. Finally, Brian gives Amy and Rory permission to go with the Doctor, realising how wonderful the adventures are.

I thought the episode was amazing (very like the old Tennant earth invasion ones), if it had been longer. The pace of the story was more that of a two-parter, and had they ended with the cardiac arrest, and then had the whole second episode to develop the Shakri’s plans, it would have been much more sinister and scary. The Shakri could have been extremely terrifying, but as we only saw him for two minutes at the end, there just wasn’t time to develop his character.

In conclusion, I would definitely say this was the best episode in the series so far, but I really don’t like this new no-two-parter format. Asylum of the Daleks could have been great if it were a two-parter, and so could this episode. This would have Amy and Rory departing closer to halfway through the series and we would have more character development (like the sort we got in this story) before their farewell.

What did you think of the episode? Do you agree with my opinions? Tell us in the comments!

Watch: The Power of Three

Tonight, the fourth episode of Series 7 of Doctor Who will air. Here is the synopsis from the BBC Press Office:

The Doctor and the Ponds puzzle an unlikely invasion of Earth, as millions of sinister black cubes arrive overnight, almost like presents falling from the sky. But what are they, what’s inside them and most importantly, who sent them? With the international community at a loss, it’s left to the Doctor to unearth who is behind the mystery.

I’m really excited for this one. There hasn’t been much hype surrounding it initially and it was actually the episode we knew the least about, but I’m looking forward to seeing UNIT again. What do you think? Tell us in the comments!

Review: A Town Called Mercy

Yesterday, the third episode of the current series of Doctor Who aired. This was the rather anticipated Western episode and was rather action-oriented. It wasn’t really important to Amy and Rory’s story so I won’t go through every event in the plot.

Although we’ve already seen the western United States last season, I quite liked the idea of a Doctor Who Western episode. The feel of the setting is realistic and the effects were impressive. One thing I noticed was that the accents were a little exaggerated and fake, but this is overshadowed by the western townspeople’s acting.

The first antagonist we meet, the Gunslinger, got a lot of coverage in trailers, and I don’t think he was disappointing. He was intimidating and yet he had depth in his character. I like that he still has some of his unaltered gentler side left (as shown when he disengages when an innocent person is there), but will still do anything to kill Kahler Jex.

Speaking of Kahler Jex, I didn’t like him quite as much. I found it a little annoying how the story couldn’t figure out if he was the bad guy or not. I didn’t really like when he sacrificed himself, because I thought he should have been the real antagonist of the story to the end.

After last week’s silly episode, it was fitting to have something a little more serious. We saw a more serious Doctor when for the second time in the last two episodes he decided to kill someone. It was nice to see Amy remind the Doctor of his morals, as it really shows that the Doctor needs humans just as much as they need him.

All in all, this week’s episode was pretty solid, though I was disappointed a little just because there was a lot of hype around this one. Personally I thought this was the worst episode of the series so far, but I believe the best is to come in the form of ‘The Power of Three’.

What did you think of the episode? Are you excited for the next episode? Tell us in the comments!