The Angels Take Manhattan
First Broadcast September 29th 2012 @ 7.20pm (7.82m viewers)
All good things must come to an end. The journey of Amy Pond and Rory Williams (Mr and Mrs Williams) was to come to close in the fifth episode of series 7. Location filming in New York was well publicised. The return of the Weeping Angels was also highlighted. Viewers knew this was it. But it didn’t make it any less heartbreaking.
The setup of the story is a very intelligent development to the Weeping Angels. In addition to the creepy cherubs which Rory encounters in the dark basement we see a more calculating side to the ‘silent assassins’. The concept of the Weeping Angels creating a ‘battery farm’ where they can send their victims back in time over and over again, feeding off that time energy, is very smart. We also get a return from River Song in stylish investigator mode as she uncovers the dark secret in Grayle’s collection. Most shockingly of all we see a future and much-aged Rory Williams passing away after being reunited with Amy triggering the dramatic climax.
Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)
“Together or not at all.”
The departure of Amy and Rory is of course, memorable but it involves two particular moments. Having discovered the Weeping Angels’ ‘battery farm’ the TARDIS crew conclude that a massive paradox would poison the well. The whole scene is beautifully done. Rory is not full of macho bravado. He admits that he’s really scared. There’s a self-deprecating line about when doesn’t he come back to life. As the tear trickles down Amy’s cheek she knows what she must do. It is here that Amy makes the bold statement of choosing between the two men in her life that she has loved for so many years. Given that the series began with the couple getting divorced to see them realise that they need each other rounds off their journey exquisitely. Instead of the Doctor it is therefore actually his companions who save the day.
Memorable Moment 2 (Spoiler Warning)
Raggedy man… goodbye!
Amy and Rory live. Hurrah. The plan worked. The quartet are reunited. All be it in the slightly unnerving location of a graveyard. But then out of nowhere Rory is gone. No warning. The performances of Matt Smith and Karen Gillan in these final moments are breathtaking. No doubt with an undercurrent of personal sadness that this would be their final televised scene. If the rooftop scene is about Amy making the choice of Rory over the Doctor, the graveyard scene makes it absolutely explicit. All of time and space, everything that ever happened or ever will, she only ever to be with Rory and that is absolutely beautiful.
Yes, there are flaws. If they can’t return to New York in the TARDIS can’t they land somewhere else and drive? How could Rory see his own grave? Isn’t Amy looking at the Weeping Angel that gets Rory? Do River and the Doctor just get into the TARDIS and leave that Angel loose in a New York graveyard? And surely someone would’ve had eyes on the Statue of Liberty making it impossible for it to walk across the city? Also Karen Gillan seems very pale throughout the story. But to pick at these threads is to forget the purpose of the tale.
‘Angels Take Manhattan’ writes out Amy and Rory in a deeply emotional manner. It leaves the viewers and the Doctor completely devastated, causing his miserable demeanour for the upcoming Christmas special ‘The Snowmen’. But more than that it gives two beloved companions a thumping good send off and cements the Weeping Angels as a terrifying force once again.
The Doctor – Matt Smith
Amy Pond – Karen Gillan
Rory Williams – Arthur Darvill
River Song – Alex Kingston
Grayle – Mike McShane
Sam Garner – Rob David
Foreman – Ozzie Yue
Hood – Bentley Kalu
Old Garner – Burnell Tucker
Photoshoot – PA Zac Fox
Writer – Steven Moffat
Producer – Marcus Wilson
Director – Nick Hurran
Also First Aired On This Day…
- City of Death: Part One
- The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Last Sontaran: Part One