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28 September 2015 @ 08:11 pm
NuWho Rewatch: The Angels Take Manhattan  
The Angels Take Manhattan is Amy and Rory's last story in which the Weeping Angels have taken over all the statues in Manhattan and have, in particular, occupied an apartment block. They then trap people in time loops, someone enters the apartment, witnesses their own death of old age, and is then sent back in time. The episode is mostly very good with, sadly, a massive makes no sense at the end.

To deal with the ending first, Amy and Rory get sent back to New York in 1938 and the story has established fairly clearly that the Tardis can no longer go to New York 1938. What it has failed to establish is why the Doctor can't go to Chicago 1938, or possibly New York 1941. I believe Moffat has since explained that this is because timey-wimeyness which I think amounts to because Moffat says so. However, to be honest, if you go into the story aware there is going to be a large unexplained plot hole at the end, its actually a lot less irritating than having the ending sprung on you.

The Angels work a lot better here than they did in The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stome. It's working harder with lighting and the inherent creepiness of something that can only move when you are not looking. It also takes them back to their roots as creatures of time-manipulation, and leverages the idea of bootstrapped time loops rather than just having them kill people and steal their voices. It also ignores the "image of an angel is an angel" stuff which I didn't think worked particularly well. It's not as good as Blink, but that is a pretty high bar to clear. The moving statue of liberty is more than a little on the silly side, but given quite how ludicrous it could have been, I think the story just about gets away with it.

NLSS Child was devastated by the ending, even though she already knew how it played out (her "How to be a Time Lord" book again). I then showed her P.S. thinking this would help provide some resolution. This was not a terribly good idea, especially since we checked the DVD extras first, before looking online for it, and so she had watched her way through Pond Life by this point and was no longer in absolute floods of tears. By the time P.S was over the tears were back with a vengeance. So anyway, if your pre-teen is terribly upset by The Angels Take Manhattan, P.S. is not going to help matters.

With some reservations, I think that the run of stories from Asylum of the Daleks through to The Angels take Manhattan is one of the most consistently good in Moffat's tenure, if not the whole of Nu Who. I think the Ponds' story, towards the end, could have used a little more space, in particular to allow the break up and reconciliation to happen more slowly, and to give them more time travelling with the Doctor after deciding that this really was the life they wanted but given, if memory serves, the stories in the next half of the season are mostly rather disappointing, I'm glad they got the one's they did.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/172379.html.