REVIEW: Doctor Who - "The Angels Take Manhattan"


We’ve all been wondering about this episode for a long time -the final appearances of Amy Pond and Rory Williams. After two and a half series and plenty of adventures, the writers of Doctor Who saw fit to let the Ponds go. And since the show’s dynamic hinges on the Doctor’s companion(s), we’re about to see Doctor Who go off in a totally new direction.

We all knew this story would be sad, but I was surprised at how fitting it was to Amy and Rory. In their last adventure, the Ponds face off against the Weeping Angels – creatures with even more patience than the Girl Who Waited and the Last Centurion. We couldn’t have asked for a better match-up. While “The Angels Take Manhattan” is a slightly sloppy episode of TV, it’s still a satisfying goodbye for two beloved characters. Read on for my full review.

The episode opens in New York City, where the Doctor, Amy and Rory are relaxing in Central Park. Amy is reading a detective novel and Rory goes to get coffee, when some baby Weeping Angels (cherubim?) zap Rory into the 1930s. The Doctor and Amy fly off to rescue him, and find themselves in a New York City filled with Weeping Angels – it seems like every statue has been turned into one. And yes, that means that Lady Liberty now has a taste for time energy as well.

The Doctor meets up with his enigmatic wife River Song to tackle the problem, only to find that he is fated to lose his best friends to the Angels. Once again, the Doctor has to grapple with the loss of his companions, and wrestle with the fact that his adventures take a heavy toll on the people he travels with.

Of course, all the die-hard Whovians know what’s going to happen going in. The question is, “How will it happen?” I won’t reveal any precise details, only to say that it’s well-executed; the scripting and performances are strong, as always, and there’s plenty of banter (even some of flirtatious kind) to lighten the otherwise panicky mood.

The problems with “The Angels Take Manhattan” lie in the mythology. Even through the episode was scripted by Steven Moffat, the episode appears to contradict a number of previous stories, and includes quite a few plot holes. Normally, I wouldn’t mind, because it’s Doctor Who, after all. But in such an important episode, it’s a shame to have its impact reduced by silly mistakes.

The biggest issue for me was the use of the Weeping Angels. The creatures are fan-favourites, and some of the creepiest villains to spring from the minds of the Doctor Who creative team. They’re frightening because they only move when you aren’t looking at them. In “The Angels Take Manhattan”, however, the Angels seem able to move whenever they like – they don’t even seem afraid of looking at each other, which is supposed to be the only way to kill them.

As a result, the Angels became very ho-hum villains in this installment – even the revelation of the Statue of Liberty as a Weeping Angel was diminished. After all, how does a 28 storey Angel move through New York without someone looking at her?

If it weren’t for the tearful goodbye at the end of the episode, and the brutal reminders of the Doctor’s isolation, “The Angels Take Manhattan” might have become a rather underwhelming episode. But because it marks such an important milestone for the Eleventh Doctor, it likely won’t be forgotten.  “The Angels Take Manhattan” gets three and a half stars out of four.

What did you think of the fifth episode of Doctor Who Series 7? Like/Dislike? Did you feel like Amy and Rory’s last goodbye suited them? What are your predictions for the rest of the series? Sound off in the comments section below! If you liked this review, share it with your friends and followers, and catch up on the rest of this my reviews of this series here:


Series 7 Reviews:

Ep.1: Asylum of the Daleks | Ep. 2: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

Ep. 3: A Town Called Mercy | Ep. 4: The Power of Three