S33 (7) 5 – The Angels Take Manhattan

Home Forums Episodes The Eleventh Doctor S33 (7) 5 – The Angels Take Manhattan

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    Craig @craig

    Once again, an old topic from March so there are already plenty of comments below.

    Repeated on BBC3 on 22 March. The Doctor’s heart-breaking farewell to Amy and Rory. New York’s statues come to life as the Angels return.

    You can watch it here until 29 March: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01n70f3/

    Here’s what you originally thought: http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2012/sep/29/doctor-who-angels-take-manhattan

    Anonymous @

    I loved this episode. The Angels were a bit past their sell-by date in it and I truly hope that that is the last we’ve seen of them but it was the perfect end of Amelia’s story. I was far from convinced by Karen Gillan at the beginning but Amy and Rory have become my favourite companions of New Who and I still feel pangs for them.

    Some great Doctor and River stuff here too and Matt really sold the Doctor’s pain at the end of the episode. The only other weak point in the episode I thought was Mike McShane’s Grayle. One of the most forgettable Who villains we’ve had I thought but then he didn’t really have much to work with, I suppose.

    Also just rewatched The Power of Three and it was even more awful than I remember. It seemed like a pastiche of the worst excesses of the RTD era. Kate Lethbridge-Stewart was the only highpoint of the entire episode for me.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    The one thing I did giggle at in Angels Take Manhattan is that it seemed very obvious that Amy’s reading glasses had in fact been sized for Matt. Karen Gillan kept having to push them back up her nose.

    But yeah, a lovely story. It stands a re-watch very well.

    I know you don’t like Power of Three, Jim, but if you watch it and Angels back to back, one thing you really notice is how The Doctor is being played as the Ponds’ ‘teenage’ son. Very evident in Power of Three, with the Wii and the short attention span, but still carried on in Angels. Not just the reading aloud but also the ‘babysitter’ joke.

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip — good point about the Doc in these stories. It’s interesting to note that in Manhattan especially just how ‘helpless’ and persistently ‘wrong’ the Doctor is. I think I’d be hard-pressed to find an episode where he seems to take quite such a backseat or is portrayed in such an ineffectual light… and compared to River, Amy and Rory in this episode he is the ‘child’ — full of knowledge but hopelessly out of his depth and uncomprehending of the emotions of those around him.

    Craig @craig

    This episode had a coda which was never filmed. Is pretty good.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    The coda was lovely. I remember speculation post-show on the Guardian comments that went very much in this direction. Nice to see the people involved with creating the programme thought so too. Also think it was right decision to include as extra, rather than in main episode. It’s for the people who what to think about it more deeply – ie it adds resonance rather than plot.

    Anonymous @

    Despite having seen that before, it’s just made me shed yet another (manly) tear. It’s probably a good job they didn’t film it, Manhattan makes me a bit sniffly by the end anyway. If it had ended like this I would have been wailing loud enough to disturb the whole street….

    Selesniac @selesniac

    Raahhhhh I hated this episode.

    I mean, I had to go out, find a forum, create a profile, and log in just to whinge about it!!

    If they needed a paradox so badly, why didnt the Doctor just send Rivers book back, with the inscription “Dont go for coffee godammit!!! You will be eaten by angels!!!”

    Or why did they just not send the book back at all? That way none of it would have happened.

    Anonymous @

    Well, @selesniac, well done you for putting in that effort.  😉

    What effort have you put in for the rest of the Doctor Who episodes?  Because if you have bonkers theories about what’s going on, what has gone on, what might be going on, what will be going on … then you’ve found yourself the right forum!

    We’re at an odd place / time currently, what with the final episode of this [half-] series soon to air, so the Nightmare in Silver thread perhaps isn’t best representative of what we’re all about.  I suggest you look at the Crimson Horror thread or one of the earlier series 7b threads, and I think you might be amazed at what this community finds in each episode that relates not only to previous Doctor Who episodes / series, but also to an amazingly wide range of literary, film, and TV references.

    There are also jokes aplenty and a caption competition, plus non-Doctor threads to dive into.  Enjoy!

    Selesniac @selesniac

    Hello @Shazzbot

    First thing is first: There is no difference between what has been going on, what has gone on, what will be going on and what is going on. I was under the impression that this was the point of the whole show =/
    Secondly, Unfortunately I havent watched all too many. Although I am a huge fan of what I have watched, I never get the chance =/ But I definitely will in future! You can have no doubts on that.

    ShitfaceMcGee @shitfacemcgee

    Technically, couldn’t Rory and Amy stayed with the Doctor as long as they were burred in New York with that gravestone? The gravestone could be incorrect. Right? Right? I know they ended Amy and Rory’s story perfectly, but they beat they were my favorite companions since Rose.

    dalekim @dalekim

    I definitely was not ready to say good bye to the ponds, I cried… and cried….then went into denial.

    It was a great ending for them though they finally got to be together. @shitfacemcgee thats what I was thinking! Can’t the doctor just visit them in the past?

    also Hi everyone one I’m new c:

    RoachRevolt @roachrevolt

    I have to disagree with everyone who says the Angels aren’t as frightening as they used to be. I just think what makes them frightening has changed.

    It’s true they’re so familiar now that they don’t have the strangeness that made them so effective in their first appearance. However, I thought the concept of the battery farm was a brilliant one and showed the Angels can still be used in frightening new ways. It’s frightening in a more oppressive, disturbing sense, whereas Blink was more suspenseful and toyed with the viewer’s perception. It’s a different sort of horror but still effective.


    The Statue of Liberty was completely idiotic though.

    Anonymous @

    Hello @dalekim and @roachrevolt ! – it’s interesting that you shipped ashore here on a long-dead thread.  There are so many wonderful aspects to this forum, not least the blogs to discuss the history of the programme, the ‘bonkers theorising’ ™ for which this site is famous, and of course the caption competitions.

    It’s an awkward time to be sure, now that there are no new episodes to dissect, but please give your tuppence to the ‘SIDRAT’ ( http://www.thedoctorwhoforum.com/category/sidrat/ ) and ‘The Doctors’ ( http://www.thedoctorwhoforum.com/category/the-doctors/ ) blog categories.  I look forward to hearing your own theories ‘more insane than what’s actually happening’.

    Anonymous @

    I cried at the end of this episode. My husband could not have cared any less, since he did not care for Amy and Rory at all. But still, whether you appreciate the characters or not… It was just heartbreaking. I loved seeing the Statue Of Liberty as an angel. That was classic. I also loved the banter between the Doctor and Amy when they were reading the book after Rory disappeared.

    Anonymous @

    As it was on BBC3 yesterday, I’ll offer a few thoughts/opinions on this episode.

    On first viewing, I quite enjoyed this one. Although the initial ‘fear factor’ of The Angels has diminished, it’s still a joy to see them and I was pleased that they’ve gone back to transporting their ‘lunch’ back in time instead of ripping out their spinal columns. Karen and Arthur gave fantastic performances as the soon to be doomed Ponds and I must admit to being a bit misty eyed on more than one occasion. It goes without saying that Matt and Alex were brilliant as well.

    A few gripes though which I hadn’t really thought about till yesterday.

    1. Grayle, quite sensibly, has his Angel chained up yet he allows the ‘babies’ to wonder freely in the basement, really? Ponder this scenario – one of his henchmen goes into the basement and just happens to blink. Babies zap him back in time and are able to get out of the basement due to the door being unlocked. They free the Angel and take a most unpleasant revenge on Grayle. He’s supposed to be the most feared Crime Lord in New York. More like the most stupid person in New York 🙂

    2. Was River breaking her wrist the only way she could free her self from The Angel? When being observed, The Angels turn to stone. Stone can be broken. All The Doctor had to do was have a rummage in the TARDIS and find a hammer and chisel and use them to chop the Angels fingers off. Given the deteriorated condition of said Angel, it wouldn’t have been too difficult.

    Alternatively, River could have just made a deal with the Angel. Perhaps a bit like this…

    River: If you let me go, I’ll bring Mr Grayle to you and you can wear his spinal column as a necklace.

    With the faintest smile on it’s lips, The Angel releases her.

    Regardless of how River freed herself, I don’t understand why The Doctor was so annoyed with her. It wouldn’t have changed the ultimate fate of Amy and Rory.

    3. Tenth Doctor “Whatever you do, don’t blink. Blink and you’re dead.”

    New York is ‘the city that never sleeps’ and judging by the traffic on the streets, there were plenty of people about so how exactly did the Angel Of Liberty manage to get from Liberty Island to Winter Quays without being seen (I’m ignoring how she managed to get across the harbour)?

     When Rory’s on the ledge of the ‘Winter Quays’ rooftop, Amy has her back to the Angel of Liberty and Rory is blinking madly like he’s got something in his eyes. The AoL has just heard Rory tell Amy his plan but does nothing to stop him carrying it out! She’s obviously not to bothered about The Angels’ farm being closed down.

    How did the Angel in the graveyard manage to get Rory? Amy saw it appear and from that moment on doesn’t blink at all so therefore it wouldn’t have been able to move!!!

    Despite these gripes, I did like the episode and yes, I did shed a few tears again at the end. It was a nice touch to have the final scene focus on Little Amy. I’m not a big fan of kids in sci-fi, they usually come across as annoying brats (Star Trek:TNG’s Wesley Crusher and Voyager’s Naomi Wildman/The Borg Children are prime examples) but Caitlin Blackwood was a joy to watch which, considering she’d never acted before, is remarkable.

    A little-known fact about Amy Pond





    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Okay, I’ll have a go.

    1. I suspect the henchmen normally go down to the basement in pairs – either with the next victim, or a fellow henchperson. Note that the henchman taking Rory down stays on the stairs. As to why he keeps unchained baby angels down in his basement – any self respecting crime lord needs the equivalent of a shark pool. He keeps them down there to scare people.

    2. The Doctor couldn’t get a chisel because he knew (from the book) that he didn’t get a chisel. I did a blog post about this and other time problems:


    basically, it’s the zig-zag diagram where the Doctor goes to Blackpool and breaks an arm. He couldn’t change the future without creating an unstable paradox. Later, Amy and Rory DO create an unstable paradox – and blow enough of a hole in the time-stream that it kills all the angels. However, at this point, the Doctor doesn’t realise that a paradox is desirable.

    3. Yes, I wondered about the Statue of Liberty being able to move. I suspect it’s really a case of ‘Rule of Cool’ 🙂

    That said, the problem that Rory and Amy aren’t looking at the Statue once he’s got on the ledge and announced his plan is explained by the very nature of where he is and what his plan is. Namely, wobbling on a ledge and about to fall off – at which point he’ll die before his death in the hotel room, creating a paradox.  If he falls off, he creates the paradox; dying is winning.

    However fast she moves, she has to touch him to send him back in time. Will she be able to touch him gently enough to stop him falling? Suppose he doesn’t give her quite enough time with his blink, will the shock of seeing her move make him jump – and, err, jump?

    Amy isn’t so important from the Statue’s point of view – but they do have an entire conversation where they forget about looking at the Angel – and it’s an entire conversation where she’s climbing up on a ledge with Arthur Darvill doing a lot of ‘barely keeping my balance’ acting. It’s not the blinking that is keeping her still – it’s that she doesn’t know how to get to Rory without his jumping.

    The Angel in the graveyard gets Rory because Amy’s looking at Rory – I seem to recall that the Tennant Doctor’s advice included don’t take your eyes off it. She took her eyes off it (mainly because she didn’t realise it was an Angel). It got Rory in that split-second.

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip – yep, you’re right, Amy did briefly look away from the Angel. Regarding the other points though:-

    Although the odds of 2 people blinking at the same time are astronomical, it’s still possible so you’d still get baby angels running around the place. If you wanted to scare someone who’d crossed you, you could just as easily hold a gun to their head or threaten to take them ‘swimming with the fishes wearing concrete shoes’ without risk to yourself or your henchmen.

    I understand the points you made in your blog (sort of, thinking about timey-wimey stuff gives me a headache) however, because The Doctor stopped Amy reading any further, he only knows that he’s going to have to break something but doesn’t know what that ‘something’ is or whether he did actually end up breaking it. Therefore the outcome of that event would still be in a state of flux. As it turns out, The Doctor didn’t break River’s wrist – she did. The Doctor even told River to find a way out without breaking her wrist so he must’ve known/thought it was possible.

    According to ‘Blink’, the Angels are incredibly fast. Given the length of the Angel Of Liberty’s arms (plus her torch), she could’ve reached Rory while he and Amy weren’t looking at her and before they fell. Even if she didn’t quite manage to get to him in time, we know that the Angels not only displace you in Time but in in Space as well, Kathy Nightingale was transported from London to Hull. Providing AoL got to Rory before he’d gained enough momentum, all she’d have had to do was make sure that he was no more than a foot or two above ground at his ‘drop off point’ and he’d be fine. The Angels are going to be careful about where/when the displace you – they wouldn’t want ‘lunch’ to re-materialise in front of, say, a steam train or a very hungry T-Rex 🙂

    Right then, over to you – if you’re in the mood for it, I’d love a game of ‘plot hole ping-pong’ but having never played before, I’m sure I’ll be easily defeated 🙂

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip – I’ve just had a thought about how Angels can move. Maybe, it’s only if their intended victim sees them that they freeze? That way, they’re able to move about freely.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @fatmaninabox– yes, you could hold a gun to their head. But while that’s scary, it’s an understood sort of scary.

    What Grayle wants is ‘Melody Malone’ s knowledge of Angels. River is being a hard boiled woman detective in 1930’s New York; Grayle will probably have guessed that a successful female P.I. in that place and time is unlikely to be scared by the mere threat of instant death.

    Other things I can think of – he’s got Mummy Angel upstairs, and he’s been torturing her. It’s possible that he thinks the babies are sufficiently scared of him to stay downstairs in the cellar – especially when lunch is provided on a regular basis.

    The outcome is in a state of flux until River says ‘are you going to break her wrist or mine’ (or words to that effect) – and the Doctor then knows exactly what she’s going to say next.

    If he changes things so that she doesn’t say it, he creates the zig zag paradox – she can’t then write it in her book, he can’t read it, so how does he know she said it? As to why he’s so angry with her; that’s marriage for you. What he’s really angry with is himself, for not daring to change time to prevent his wife getting hurt; he can’t yell at the Laws of Time, so he yells at his wife instead.

    Yes, the Angels are incredibly fast. Which would you rather do? Risk your own death and everyone else’s by relying on your speed – or keep still and rely on the time-stream reasserting itself? As the Doctor pointed out earlier; creating a paradox needs an immense amount of power. Angel Liberty quite possibly has that amount of power; Angel Liberty would need to be careful not to do anything that might create a paradox.

    But what Rory has is Amy – Amy, who had a crack in time pouring through her growing brain. Amy, who reset the universe. Amy, who then brought the Doctor back. We’ve seen it a few times; Amy is powerful enough to change time itself.

    Unfortunately, the Angel Liberty doesn’t know that. What it sees are two powerless humans, fighting against their inevitable destiny. And for someone who’s supposedly going to jump, Rory’s really not terribly enthusiastic about it – until Amy goes with him.


    Anonymous @


    The Angels were a bit past their sell-by date in it and I truly hope that that is the last we’ve seen of them

    I’d like to see them one more time, because I think there’s still a major unanswered question about them. When we first meet them in Blink, we’re told that they’re also called “the lonely assassins”. But “assassins” implies an employer (otherwise they’re just murderers). So who are they working for?


    The Statue of Liberty was completely idiotic though.

    I agree. The SoL is copper, not stone, so how could it be an Angel?


    Ponder this scenario – one of his henchmen goes into the basement and just happens to blink.

    I think that, eventually, the baby angels would figure out that they could escape by laying an ambush at the top of the stairs. Just reach out and touch whoever opens the door & they’re free.


    If he changes things so that she doesn’t say it, he creates the zig zag paradox – she can’t then write it in her book, he can’t read it, so how does he know she said it? 

    Just because it happened a certain way, it doesn’t  mean it has to be written down the same way. The Doctor could just tell/show River what’s in the book & she’d write it that way. The writing of the book is the only event that truly becomes fixed by reading it.

    Anonymous @


    yes, you could hold a gun to their head. But while that’s scary, it’s an understood sort of scary.

    All the babies are strong enough to do is transport their victims in space but not in time. That doesn’t seem like a particularly effective way of dealing with his enemies.

    It’s possible that he thinks the babies are sufficiently scared of him to stay downstairs in the cellar

    Yes, it’s possible that he thinks that but the babies might think differently. I really don’t think they’d be scared of him.  If  they escaped, he (or his henchmen) would only pose a threat if they were seen. Taking the ‘ambush’ point made by @madscientist72 , all they have to do is keep out of sight and then zap him at the first opportunity. As I said above, they’re not strong enough to send him back in time but, as seen with Rory, they’re capable of transporting him a few blocks away giving them ample time to release ‘mum’. She’s to weak to have any spatial/temporal effect on him but, by hiding and waiting for him to return, she could certainly snap his neck. Like I said, I think Grayle is quite possibly the stupidest man in New York for not chaining the little ones up as well.

    The outcome is in a state of flux until River says ‘are you going to break her wrist or mine’ (or words to that effect) – and the Doctor then knows exactly what she’s going to say next.

    Yes, he knows that at some point River will say ‘Why do you have to break mine’ and that he will reply ‘Because Amy read it in a book’ but that’s all he knows, he’s still in the dark regarding what happens after that point so, therefore, the solution to extricating River isn’t fixed. Had Amy continued reading, for all The Doctor knows, it could have said something like ‘The Doctor began to walk out of the room in dismay but then stopped and turned back to River and, with a gleam in his eyes, said “Hold on love, I’ve got an idea!” ‘.

    Which would you rather do? Risk your own death and everyone else’s by relying on your speed – or keep still and rely on the time-stream reasserting itself?

    Erm, yes, I’d risk it. I wouldn’t want to let my survival or that of my species depend on the hope that Rory decided not to jump after all. As we’ve seen, the AoL did wait and it proved to be the wrong choice.

    From the moment Amy and Rory stopped looking at her to the moment they jumped, she had a full 33 seconds in which to move the 40 odd feet in order to throw him back in time, thus ensuring the survival of the ‘farm’.

    Even after they’d jumped, AoL still could’ve moved to the other side of the building and caught them (if an Angel can hold Father Octavian in a neck lock without any time displacement happening, then they can hold people as well). Once in her grasp, they’d have had to keep looking at her in order to stop any displacement occurring. Just one synchronised blink and poof! Gone!

    As a final note, whenever I try to engage some of my friends with questions like ‘in that film last night, why did that bloke do this? Surely this would’ve been better’, I’m met with replies varying between ‘dunno’ and ‘cos that’s what the writer decided’. It makes a refreshing change to interact with someone who offers more than one sentence replies and can I say you make a formidable ‘sparring partner’. Thank you 🙂

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    All the babies are strong enough to do is transport their victims in space but not in time. That doesn’t seem like a particularly effective way of dealing with his enemies.

    They get transported to Winter Quay, never to be seen again. Sounds pretty effective to me 🙂 Also, Grayle’s trying in this case to scare Melody Malone, who knows about Angels. So throwing her friend/partner/Dad to the Angels – probably more effective. And another also, it means you don’t get blood on the floor. Blood is hell to get out of floors.

    As to the wrist: Amy says ‘Page 43, you’re going to break something.’ Then she foretells River’s later line. Yes, technically, the Doctor could get an idea. The point is that he doesn’t. Throughout the episode he’s trapped by his training (so is River); he’s been carefully and extensively trained in the idea that once you know your own future, you’re stuck with it. We’ve just been doing the re-watch of The Impossible Astronaut; that’s the whole underlying premise in that episode as well. Amy, Rory and River can’t tell the Doctor he’s going to die – because you don’t tell people their future. Changing a known future can blow a hole in the universe.

    And while Amy points out that the Doctor’s has already done just that, Rory points out that yes, he has – but the universe did blow up. 😈

    Amy and Rory, on the the other hand, don’t really understand exactly how dangerous changing their own future is – so they manage to change it. The Doctor, throughout the episode, does understand exactly how dangerous this is – and doesn’t dare. The only reason he dares in The Big Bang is because the universe has already been destroyed, so how extra dangerous could changing the future and creating paradoxes be? The worst has already happened. 😉

    (River, I suspect, knows where and when her parents ended up – she certainly acts as if she does in the final scene with Amy.)

    Erm, yes, I’d risk it.

    You’d risk it – the Angel Liberty wouldn’t. That’s not bad plotting, that’s just characterisation. 🙂 As I say, as far as she knows, Rory has already died. Therefore he now can’t escape – his future’s already happened. And he saw himself die; the only reason he’s on the roof in the first place is because he saw his own future. Dying now will create a paradox, and paradoxes need enormous power to create them. Rory doesn’t have that amount of power.

    Unfortunately for the Angels, Amy does.


    Anonymous @


    Blood is hell to get out of floors.

    Agreed, which is why Crime Lords tend have their adversaries driven to nice, quite, dark alleyways.

    They get transported to Winter Quay, never to be seen again. Sounds pretty effective to me 🙂

    Yes, put like that it’s very effective. However, neither Grayle or the Cherubs – I’ve finally remembered what baby angels are called 🙂  – can guarantee that the streets will be deserted when the ‘victim’ arrives there. In Rory’s case (and the Detective, whose name I’ve forgotten) they were, but that doesn’t mean they always are. Then, of course, there’s the inhabitants of the various apartments in the neighbourhood who, I noticed, tend to look out their windows a lot, specifically at the Angel guarding the entrance to Winter Quay – a ‘Guardian Angel’ if you like 😉

    There’s nothing to stop any previous/future transportees just walking away or hailing a passing taxi and going back to Grayle’s mansion to ‘fill him with lead’. Of course if the would be assasin kept getting caught and thrown to the Cherubs, after a few attempts he may think ‘sod it’ and go down the pub instead 🙂

    You’d risk it – the Angel Liberty wouldn’t. That’s not bad plotting, that’s just characterisation. 🙂

    I can’t argue with that.

    Yes, technically, the Doctor could get an idea. The point is that he doesn’t.

    Or that 🙂

    As I made 3 points in my original post and I’ve conceded on 2 of them I guess that means you’ve won – this time 😉

    Of course, I was doomed the moment I wrote this…

    I’d love a game of ‘plot hole ping-pong’ but having never played before, I’m sure I’ll be easily defeated 🙂

    Thank you again for participating, it was fun and I promise not to sulk (leaves room, wipes tears from eyes and sulks for a few hours)

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    We seem to have discussed this one quite a bit – so I’m going to not exactly live-blog my rewatch (because frankly, we’re about five minutes on by the time I’ve typed one sentence, and I’d miss half the episode), but certainly pause the DVR and record thoughts as I’m watching. This will be in two parts, I think, because Atlantis will happen before I finish.

    Part One:

    Rob David does a really good job as Sam Garner (presumably a cross between Sam Spade and James Garner?), essentially starring in his own little pre-credits movie. AG Who has had a lot of these pre-credits mini-movies in the Moffat era; it deals with the perennial Who problem. Namely, we could be anywhere and anywhen, and we’d appreciate some help in knowing where the heck we are this week.

    So it’s a bit of a shock, post credits, to discover that we’re in modern New York. And they finally got ‘Englishman in New York’ into Who. Well, really, they had to do that.

    Aaahnd they’re carrying on with the ‘teenage son’ gags for the Doctor and the Ponds. Poor Doctor; having his parents-in-law kissing in public is so embarrassing.

    And the sudden River reveal really is sudden. Okay, that’s why we’re in Thirties New York. But how did Rory get there? Oh, Angels – and Rory’s the only one of Team TARDIS who hasn’t met them before.

    Space couple! Those two can even bicker with each other when one of them’s in a book. And a nicely arrogant moment for the Doctor as he demonstrates why the TARDIS is going to have problems landing in 1938. Meanwhile, it’s established that River’s vortex manipulator can probably let her visit Amy and Rory any time she wants.

    Ooh, and there’s Chekhov’s Angel! In the graveyard at 0:11. And Rory’s gravestone. Written in stone.

    “Early Chin Dynasty?” Is there no end to Moffat’s chin jokes? And you can tell that River knows what’s going to happen – she doesn’t even try and stop Rory being put in the cellar. But she is scared when the Angel grabs her wrist – she knows what happens to her parents, but not her own future.

    Yeah, she knows what’s going to happen to her parents. And how much it’s going to hurt her husband. That’s why she pretends her wrist isn’t broken; so the Doctor doesn’t have that pain until it happens – because he’s still got some hope that the future can be changed. It’s the whiplash mood changes that are characteristic of Moffat’s writing; from the ‘three friends spending time together’ in the modern New York scene to the grief and anger we have here.

    And on a lighter note, Karen Gillan is really struggling with those glasses.

    “Never let him see the damage.” He’s seen too much, hasn’t he? It hurts him too much, to know the damage he’s doing to his wife and his friends.

    And Grayle gets his well deserved come-uppance.

    So, Winter Quay, The Snowmen, there’s a sliver of ice in his heart. Definitely a pattern in these references – the Doctor is about to enter his Winter. Winter is before Spring? Again, it’s that hint that this is a giant and ever repeating circle – Winter is (possibly) about to change to Spring.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @aaand Part Two! Reusing Arthur Darvil’s old age make-up. It’s a very sad and scary scene – and River’s quite frightened, you can see it in the way Alex Kingston is playing it. Frightened for the Doctor and also, I think, generally a bit ‘and now I don’t know what’s going on’. She’s out of focus a lot in the exposition scene following, as if they decided that her reactions gave away a bit too much.

    Following River’s thought patterns here; that’s why she can realise Rory’s right – that he can create a paradox. If she knows her parents lived out their lives in Manhattan, from 1938 onwards, then – from her point of view – he’s got to be right. She already knows he didn’t die here, so his death here must be part of the paradox.

    Angels, angels everywhere. Winter Quay, judging by the shot of the water in the background, is on the Harbor. Quite why Angel Liberty doesn’t prefer to nip over to Jersey City for a quick snack is unknown.

    No way down but a way out. And I do so love Rory’s self-depreciating humour. He’s going to die; twice, in the same building, on the same night. As he says, “Who else could do that?”

    Umm… that single tear really makes me think ‘tear stick’. It’s not that Arthur and Karen aren’t doing some nice stuff, it’s just that the single tear is too ‘clean’.

    That jump is very, very stylised, but I expect it had to be – otherwise you really would get hysterical five year olds. I think the music really adds to the scene; it somehow adds to the feeling of inevitability.

    I note that River only grabs the Doctor’s hand when the paradox is starting. Wants to make sure she’s with him wherever they end up?

    And back on Checkov’s Angel. It seems to be raining; everyone’s hair is visibly wet – did they have to say ‘oh, sod it’ and do multiple takes in the rain? Possibly travelling through a resetting paradox causes condensation or something.

    Nice touch – I hadn’t really noticed, but you see Arthur Darvill clock the ‘Rory Arthur Williams’ gravestone as he’s going up to the TARDIS.

    The Doctor and River – the Doctor calls Amy ‘Amelia’, and River calls her ‘Mother’. The moment’s too serious for nicknames. The paradox involved in rescuing Rory would rip New York apart – his grave is here. Rory’s place and time of death is fixed; note that the gravestone, however, has no date, just an age. And they don’t really know their ages any more; that was made clear in Power of Three. The gravestone, deliberately, doesn’t give the Doctor any information he can use – it doesn’t allow him to risk a paradox – to rescue Amy and Rory and simply return them to New York before their deaths. Similarly, both Amy and Rory carefully make sure that their future is fixed. The Doctor is told he didn’t rescue them – and they both know from events at the beginning of the story that the act of telling him something didn’t happen means he can’t then go back and make it happen.

    So there’s the Doctor, as he said in The God Complex, standing over their grave. He couldn’t stop taking them on adventures; they couldn’t stop travelling with him – and it was, truly, the inevitable end. They all knew it.

    And then River refuses to travel with him. And while she says it very brightly and cheerfully, immediately afterwards she looks like it was the hardest thing she’s ever had to say. Like she’s close to bursting into tears. And then she changes the subject.

    “This is the story of Amelia Pond. And this is how it ends.”

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    To be honest I hadn’t really kept up with to to-ing and fro-ing on this thread, so coming back and reading the comments show a more mixed reception. Especially from someone called @Anonymous.

    Personally, I think for the closure of the end of the Ponds era this worked on a pretty fundamental level. I don’t see why the aspect of the Doctor’s inability to go back is so troubling to many. He knows how the story ends because he ignores his own advice and reads Amy’s words. That makes it real. He knows she lives, has a happy life (without him) and dies. Some things can’t be rewritten. You could ask the same about Adric – why couldn’t the Doctor jump back and save him from his fate? It would have ruined my evening – that’s why!

    As @bluesqueakpip s latest post say – everything is set-up in the episode and the sweep of the story is great. Also some great performances although I think Smith takes a step back for most of this, it definitely being a showcase for Amy and Rory. His howl of anguish at the end is really chilling though. Agree wholeheartedly with @jimthefish on that one. Above all – its fun, dramatic and emotional. Lovely Ms. Kingston vamping it up in a noirish way, and whatever you think of the Statue of Liberty just acknowledge this was Who doing what it always has – taking something iconic and “feel good” and holding up a distorting mirror to reality to make it scary. Lovely stuff.

    Borklaydoctor @borklaydoctor

    well sad ending meaning a happy starting

    Anonymous @

    My thoughts on this episode mirror those of @phaseshift.  There is little left to add that hasn’t already been said, but I have one bit Re the baby angels. I believe that they behave like other dangerous animals when they are young. Although they have the power to injure or kill, they don’t really know it yet.  They are just having fun and playing, instead of intentionally inflicting harm on their prey.  That could also be the reason they aren’t chained up. They don’t realize that they are in captivity so they don’t attempt to escape.

    Though it is high praise from one of the lowest squires, I want to extend my sincerest gratitude to @bluesqueakpip (a better champion of justice could not be found in all the kingdom) for such a stellar defense of my favorite episode.   While I also Doff my cap to the worthy @fatmaninabox for his valiant efforts. 😳

    😳  That’s definitely the worst way to ever express them, but I hope my intentions are received.  🙂

    EchoOmega @echoomega

    I need to go and cry in a corner right now, screaming “HOW COULD YOU?” and cursing Steven Moffat in every language I know, but I still loved this episode. :'(

    Anonymous @

    Did the Doctor ever go to Brian and apologize??? Did any one ever question Amy Pond’s disappearance?? She was kinda famous and stuff… WHAT THE HECK

    Anonymous @

    I don’t normally cry at television, but this broke my heart. I mean, HOW COULD YOU RORY! Why did you have to look at the grave?! You killed yourself AND your wife. But one upside is that now they are old enough to be River’s parents. (sorta, kinda)

    ThePapalMainframe @thepapalmainframe

    @DW1716231163. I don’t know. But Brian did tell the Doctor that he trusted him with there lives so… But it is really sad episode, especially  when Amy and Rory are going to jump off the roof together.

    Anonymous @

    Really, the people I feel most sorry for are Brian, and Amy’s mum and dad that she just got a few episodes ago, (thanks to the Doctor), because they supposedly never find out and so are left wondering about their children for the rest of their lives. Unless the Doctor tells them, which I highly doubt because he’s already super depressed.

    Anonymous @

    Just watched this one. In a way I think this was a pretty good ending for a companion/companions. I mean, compared to Donna getting all her memories sucked out of her, traveling on and off with the Doctor for over ten years and then getting sucked into the past rocks. But it was still so sad! and like all you said, what about their parents? the parents get it the worst. And if you watch the coda,  Amy and Rory basically just  lived 50 years from the 1930’s onward, which doesn’t sound all that bad to me.

    samiamuc @samiamuc

    There’s one major plot hole that I don’t understand. The Doctor said that he couldn’t go back to 1938 again and rescue Amy and Rory.  What I don’t understand is why he couldn’t have gone to 1939 or 1940 and rescued them.  If he was worried about a paradox, he could have left given them a vortex manipulator or something like that so that when they had lived a long, happy life together in their time and were about to die, they could travel to the 1970s or 80s or whenever it was that they were supposed to die and live out their last few years, still dying there and therefore not creatign a paradox.  Even if one of them did die in the twentie frst century, the other could have taken their body back and buried it, then stayed there and had their body buried there later when they died.  That way they could keep traveling with the doctor for around 10 years more.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    He could have rescued them – except he can’t, because he knows he didn’t. The gravestones are themselves a message – they have no dates that he could zero in on, just an age.

    And Amy and Rory had already said in an earlier episode that they don’t really know their own ages any more, because of all the time they’ve spent travelling with the Doctor. They can’t travel to the time when they’re supposed to die, because they have no idea what date those ages represent. The Doctor has no evidence from the gravestone about when they actually died – and as soon as he goes to find an obituary, he’ll find details that tell him ‘you never came back’.

    So he goes and reads the final page of the novel. At least that way, he’s going to hear it from Amy, just as Rory’s father was given the news directly in a letter from Rory.

    samiamuc @samiamuc


    Yes, but I’m sure the Doctor and/or the TARDIS has/have/had some sort of device that can scan someone and tell their age?  He could have gotten them in 1940, scanned them to see how old they her so her could calculate their death years, then just make sure they get back to new york in time to die in the right year, and there woudl be no paradox.  Since he didn’t know their death dates, just how old they were when they died, the exact dates of their death would still be in flux.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    He may have some way of telling their elapsed age if he picks them up again, but he has no way of telling whether the ages on the gravestone are the right elapsed ages. As I said, the gravestones – by giving an age, not a date – are giving him a message.

    The message is ‘we are not giving you our final address’. Final address in time, that is.

    And that is a message that figuring out some way of picking Amy and Rory up and flying off in the TARDIS with them, until he returns them to their date-of-death in New York – just didn’t happen.

    Mind you, I’m not saying they didn’t do exciting stuff in the States (we know that Amy became a good enough writer that her children’s books are still popular in 2012), and River was pretty specific that her vortex manipulator could slip through where a TARDIS couldn’t. River obviously knew damn well where her parents ended up; it’s quite possibly why she was hanging around in 1930’s New York as a detective.

    But the reason the Doctor was so grief-stricken at their graves was that he knew it was their graves; his prophecy in The God Complex had come true.

    They couldn’t stop travelling with him – and the only possible end to that was him standing over their graves.

    BowTiesAreCool @bowtiesarecool123

    This episodes is one of the saddest episodes of the series but one of the bad things of the episode is that on an episode called let’s kill hitler before this episode it says river song regenerated as a child in Manhattan. It does show that in this episode but I think that they should have shown this episode before let’s kill hitler but Amy and Rory would of died in let’s kill hitler so the episode timeline would of made sense.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    River’s regeneration in Manhattan takes place in the 1960s in Day of the Moon, not this episode.

    so the episode timeline would of made sense.

    As the Doctor himself says: you’re gonna need a bigger flowchart!

    Kraeusen @kraeusen

    How did that get on my bookcase?

    I forgot how fast they are

    (referring to profile pic)


    @kraeusen Please tell me you didn’t blink…

    Kraeusen @kraeusen

    Actually by the time you read this I will already be dead….they sent me back to 1943

    Master @master124

    The only weeping angel’s story in the show not to be scary or good, for that matter.

    Kraeusen @kraeusen

    True, they could have done more with “the babies”.

    They did not even explain them in the life cycle of an angel

    They just seem to be a “throw away”

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