Sunday, 30 September 2012

Doctor Who Review: The Angels Take Manhattan

So this is it. After two and a half years on the job, it's finally time for companions Amy and Rory to leave the Tardis. This is a big moment. They're the longest running companions of NuWho, it's the first farewell written by Steven Moffat and it's the first change of the cast since the Eleventh Doctor era began. But the question isn't 'is this an important moment?' but rather 'is it any good?'. And I'm pleased to say, yes it is.

First before this review gets overshadowed by talking about the departure, let's look at the episode's plot itself. And surprisingly, it's actually pretty good. Most of the recent 'leaving' episodes have been emotion heavy, plot-thin, but this one seems to walk the line quite well. The 1930s detective setting is stylish and effective, giving this episode a lovely period feel to it. And, of course it looks fantastic. That's something I've said every week, like "it's a bit rushed", which for once, I won't say. It was fast-paced, but not to excess. It pacing worked well with the race against time story it was telling. Of course this meant that the supporting characters weren't very well fleshed out, but they were enough for this story's need, seeing as it isn't really about any of them. Fast paced stories also aren't the best for the Weeping Angels, but while this lowered their scare factor, their plans were creepy and at points it seemed like they were specifically created just for the Ponds' exit. But, the less said about the Statue of Liberty and how the Angels built a big hotel, the better.

So yes, not a perfect episode, a few plot holes and the Angels weren't on their top form, but with a face moving story, great performances and a very tight and witty script, it would definitely be a 4/5 effort. But what really pushed it to the big 5 for me was the ending. Obviously, if you hate Amy and Rory, you won't like it. But that's not really the way you approach a review. Also, I love them. So this really is a heartbreak. From Rory's sacrifice and last minute i-always-die jokes to River's stoicism to the Doctor's face to Amy's note. If you loved it, you know. If you didn't, there's no way to explain it that will move you as much as it did the ones who loved it. So yes, I would boldly claim this is the best leaving story of NuWho, which I expect is a statement I shall receive harsh criticism for, but I stand by. Very good, slightly flawed story, but with an ending to end all endings, the show's definitely in tip-top form.


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