Doctor Who: S7 Ep5 –The Angels take Manhattan

SPOILERS! below the promo pic!

The Doctor, Amy and Rory stand together, the Doctor is covering his face with his hands.  In the distant background is the Manhattan skyline, but immediately behind them are many menacing Weeping Angels

The Angels take Manhattan poster from BBC America

Catch the episode free and legally on ABC-TV iView if you’re in Australia (it won’t be broadcast on free to air until next Saturday). BBC-UK and BBC-America and various agents elsewhere will have similar arrangements.

Two conflicting responses from me in this episode – I liked the noirish atmosphere and the big picture of how Amy and Rory end their travels with the Doctor – they’re not dead and they’re together and there are Reasons why he cannot rescue them and why he will need a new Companion. River’s story arc is filling in nicely. HOWEVER: some of those Reasons? Just how many annoyingly obvious plotholes can one episode have?

I wasn’t quite as annoyed as Tom and Lorenzo are here, but I’m just across the road and considering wandering into that ballpark. Jill Pantozzi from the Mary Sue is keeping a sharp eye on the pitcher and thinking Moff could be more consistent with his signals.

If you want to add your own spoilers in comments, please wrap them in our special Hoyden spoiler tags so that they get that nice bright orange stripe down the side? Then readers can flip past them if they want to.

How do you go from creating such a well thought out monster in Blink and then ruin it by undermining the rules you set up for it the next time it shows up? And then undermine those new rules again the next time? WTF is your major malfunction, Moff?

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Categories: arts & entertainment, fun & hobbies

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22 replies

  1. My brain is not actually capable of noticing plot holes at the moment, because I have just ripped out half my hair and am experiencing more feelings than I thought were possible for a DW episode. FINALLY, something this series that I can actually go back and watch again! Even if I do find plotholes in it and the angels weren’t actually that scary.
    I’m very pleased with the River interaction, though – the moment where Eleven pulls on her hand and she cries out in pain and he has that moment of absolute grief/rage was truly powerful.

  2. I’m in full agreement, esp. with Tom and Lorenzo in that the weeping angels could have done with being left alone. It’s a sad fact that writers (not just DW writers) find something successful and can’t resist repeating it – I guess because it’s easier to do that than to think of something original. I mean, also obviously there’s a lot of potential in having a ‘known’ enemy, as there’s that sense of menace right from the start and you don’t have to spend time explaining why these guys are so scary and what they do and what they want, but then, they did that in this episode anyway! I think that’s what gave the ep such a let-down feel, because it didn’t feel like a development from their previous episodes, despite the fact that we had a familiar enemy.
    (That’s why the daleks were finally scary again in ep 1, I think – because they’ve moved on logically from their ‘normal’ agenda without losing what makes them dalek-y and scary)
    And yeah, Jo, I think River was the best bit of this episode actually. Her interaction with the Doctor was moving, and her understanding of him was the closest I got to tears. And finally, some (albeit shoehorned in) acknowledgement of the fact that Amy and Rory are parents!

  3. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who thought the Angels should have been left in Blink. Especially if they’re just going to bash their rules around so they’re hardly the same creatures. I feel I’ve been really down on Smith’s Doctor, but it’s reassuring to know it’s due to the show actually being disappointing for lots of people, rather than excessive negativity on my part.
    But I really liked the Doctor saying “I love videogames!” even though that was pretty blatantly inserted for people like me to like (instead of actual character development, if that makes sense).

  4. I think a lot of plot holes could have been avoided just by leaving off the whole “yay everything is fine and then Rory got zapped by an angel again thing. I mean, it would have been tragic to have them both just die by jumping off the roof, but it would have made for better story.
    Also, there was another thing that I thought in latin class today of that explained a lot, but now I can’t remember it! Gah.

    • Agreed, Jo. If they’d just died together when resolving the paradox with the roof jump, it would have worked better dramatically. The fancy switch ending just opened up more questions than it answered. It smacks of Moff (or maybe the BBC oversighters) not being brave enough to kill them off.

  5. Yeah, it does.
    Oh, I remembered the thing I was annoyed at! It was all the talk of marriage as this mythical thing that will solve all problems – why marriage? I reall hate Moff’s family politics sometimes.

  6. Well… All the times. All the times.
    He just seems to have all these terribly outdated and sometimes quite misogynistic views on women and their roles and why female characters are cool! Argh, it frustrates me.

  7. I imagine all the continuity editors putting their heads in their hands and saying, “fixed points in time, fixed points in time, WTF???” I dare anybody to explain how those work any more.

    Also, did this episode now put an entire block of time off-limits for the Doctor? Or is it just a time and place? And will the time instability sort itself out at some point? Color me puzzled.
    ‘Course, there’s always rule 1: “The Doctor lies.” Maybe he lied about that time being off limits.
    Amy and Rory had to go, and they really couldn’t die – that is, it’s my gut feeling that their dying would be wrong for the story. So, they had to be put out of the Doctor’s reach one way or another.
    Loved the part where the Doctor finds a book in his pocket and when asked how it got there, he says something like “Who knows why anything happens to me? I’ve stopped asking.” That’s what I like about Doctor Who – that paradox that he both can and can’t shape events – or even understand them. My favorite Doctor was Patrick Troughton because he was always panicking.
    Loved the part where he tore the last page out of a book and said, “I always do that.”
    DISliked the part where River called him a god and also DISliked the part where River tells Amy not to let him see her get old. Somebody is to blame for the Doctor having mainly just young companions, but IMO it’s the show executives and viewers, not the Doctor.
    Liked the previews of the next episode. The return of souffle girl!
    Last note – from the previews of this episode, I was really hoping that the weeping angels were going to empty out New York City so they could get the Statue of Liberty to move. Oh, well.

    Maybe I’d better go watch it again.

  8. Fixed point in time = bodgy plot hole plug, gaffa taped over the universe with BECAUSE written on it in white out. Also, this is only a spoiler if you haven’t watched enough Doctor Who for this spoiler not to actually spoil anything.
    Also, I’ve had enough of the “Who will the writers get Amy to be this week?” question. I want Donna back, they can’t manage to write a family for a half eaten jammy dodger, so I’d be cringing less often if they would stop.
    Also, no matter how long your relationship hs involved mock teasing of playfully licking or nibbling your love’s nose, within an hour of an angel’s episode is not a good time to approach your love’s face in a poorly lit room with teeth bared.

  9. Also, too much also, not enough coffee.

  10. No spoiler tags since I just watched it on TV.
    Not sure if I could have managed if Amy and Rory had died when they jumped off the building. I cried my way through half the episode as it is.
    Is 7 episodes normal, I sort of feel like Dr Who has only just started and now it is finishing again 😦
    I’m going to miss Amy and Rory.

  11. 5 episodes. Ok have caught up now.

  12. I kind of regretted the last time they brought the angels back, but they were much creepier in this one than in the Byzantium episodes.

  13. I wonder if the best thing about this episode was the idea that the angels had babies …

  14. Though the random giggling pissed me off mightily.

  15. Hang on, they breed? I thought they had ridden a plothole through the logic barrier waving a sonic screwdriver and screaming “Consisticus inconsequious, Harry!”, and decided that “They have infected all of the statues in manhattan” or some such fishslap to the brain, which we’ve all been prepped by the last two seasons to consider only natural for creatures that can inhabit Amy’s eyeballs just because. Here was me thinking that they used whatever statues they could find standing around in odd corners, waving torches or hanging about doing whatever flying naked babies do, which makes absolutely no sense when considered regarding the one headed question from the Byzantium, and the total lack of sense is what makes me think the clown doctor in the hotel, and the worship of the dying minotaur? It’s all true,he’s freaked out that his latest girly doesn’t worship him, his mind has gone mobius, and he’s not wearing a fez or a stetson anymore because then noone could see his Y fronts.

  16. lungs, match.

  17. And yet still not as silly and annoying as Spitfires in space…

  18. *Once again, caught up due to ABYMSAL NZ TV* I really felt this episode could’ve been better if they hadn’t tried to blatantly hammer in the sadness of the conclusion. Like, there was MORE than enough there to make me feel sad, Moffat, I didn’t need long lingering shots and desperately melancholy soundtrack to tip me off on that.

  19. I’m not a DW watcher or fan, but found this and thought you would likely appreciate it.
    It is amazing.

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