Doctor Who 7.05 “The Angels Take Manhattan”

The final episode of this half of Series 7 is the ending of an era, with the departure of Amelia Pond and Rory Williams, and as promised Moffat delivered a tear-jerker of an episode, set within the impressive landscape of New York, and featuring the creepy, frightening Weeping Angels.

It’s no secret that the team spent time filming scenes in New York, and this episode looks visually brilliant. I also particularly liked the film noir style to the episode, including the musical score provided by Murray Gold, the stalwart composer of the show. I thought it was fitting that the Ponds’ exited with a monster with some importance in the Whoverse and I think it can be argued that the Angels are still one of the more terrifying monsters in the show.

Let’s move on to the main focus of the episode – the acting and the departure of the Ponds. Let’s make no secrets here – I definitely shed a few tears during this episode (along with half the country I’m sure). The episode was wonderfully written by Moffat, particularly the final ‘suicide pact’ style scene with Amy and Rory and the graveyard ending, Of course the writing was also beautifully acted by all four of the main players in this episode: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and Alex Kingston (returning as the fabulously secretive River Song).  Matt Smith does a fantastic job throughout the episode, conveying the emotions of losing Amy – delivering a heartfelt but ultimately quite selfish plea for Amy to stay with him. Alex Kingston also gave a solid performance, particularly when it seemed the Doctor forgot that River was about to lose her parents for good – one of my emotional moments of the episode. The Doctor and River are also reunited for the first time since they married, and its brilliant to see their banterous and flirty relationship again – Smith and Kingston do a great job especially with the lovers tiff they have  when he fixes River’s wrist.

Stellar performances yet again from Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill as well, indeed they have been on point throughout the series-particularly Darvill. I’ve loved his progression in his acting and in Rory from when we first saw him in The Eleventh Hour – as soon as he marched through those doors and uttered “Where is my wife?!” in A Good Man Goes to War he instantly became a hero.  Gillan has also done a wonderful job as Amy – as the girl who waited and who spent the first episode running round in a sexy police uniform, the character has flourished and grown and the series has launched Gillan as a fabulous actress.

Both actors have successfully moved on from Doctor Who –Gillan has done a couple of tv shows including We’ll Take Manhattan which was great (well worth a watch if you can find it online) and Darvill is currently starring in the West End play Our Boys alongside Matthew Lewis and Laurence Fox (I saw this last week and also fully recommend this!)

Yes, there were tears at the end of the episode, but overall I think it was a great ending for the two characters – they did get killed off, but I felt the real tragedy was the fact they weren’t allowed to see the Doctor again as they lived out the rest of their lives – a man who had become so a part of theirs. I think it was perfect that they got to spend the rest of their lives with each other though. Their relationship was as much at the heart at the series and I think it’s fitting that they were together and got their long and happy lives together.

On a personal note, I’m really going to miss Rory and Amy (and Karen and Arthur) I think it’s clear from Doctor Who Confidential episodes and any press that they’ve done together that the three of them have got a real bond and it definitely came across on screen. The dynamic of the three of them on the TARDIS worked, Gillan’s Amy was strong, sassy female companion –often sarky and fiercely loyal. I’ll definitely look back at their time on the TARDIS with fond memories. However, Christmas now approaches and I’m looking forward to the special and what Jenna Louise Coleman brings to the show, and how the Doctor copes with their departure.

Amy and Rory…we’ll miss you!

Hmnph what will I possibly do with my Saturday nights now?

Oh wait Merlin starts this Saturday at 7.45pm –excellent

“I always rip out the last page of a book. Then it doesn’t have to end. I hate endings.”(The Doctor)

Doctor Who 7.04 “The Power of Three”

The penultimate episode before the series takes a break until Christmas, this story is set on Earth – the first to be set there for a while, and focuses on the Pond’s real life, and how the Doctor manages to fit in with it. The mystery of the small, black cubes that fell from the sky one day is a lighter episode from the previous one, and has a feel for the Russell T Davies era again.

I must confess I wasn’t particularly interested in the cube storyline, although I did find them creepy enough – they way they had adapted slowly and silently into everyday, modern life seems like it could be a potential reality for the future. But this episode primarily focused on the Ponds. As it was based entirely on Earth, we start to see that they have in fact grown up from when we first met them in The Eleventh Hour –they now have each other, but jobs, commitments and lives to lead. I picked up on it other episodes but in the sequence when the Doctor lived in Amy and Rory’s home you definitely start to realise that the Doctor is like a big kid – he needs to be constantly occupied, shouting for Amy to witness him doing kick-me-up’s and playing on the Wii.

But he genuinely cares for the Ponds’ we see this when he whisks them off to the past for his version of an anniversary present, and in the emotional and poignant scene between him and Amy at Tower of London. It was a beautifully written speech by Chris Chibnall and acted exquisitely by Karen Gillan and Matt Smith. It’s made all the more poignant because the line “You were the first face this face saw” can also relate to Matt and Karen themselves, as they both started their Doctor Who adventure together. It’s tender and one of the best moments in the episode.


Brian is also back – hurrah! He was my favourite part of Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and he does have some comic moments in this (his cube video diaries are a treat) but the conversation he shares with the Doctor when he realises they’ve been gone for longer than a few hours is heavy, haunting and foreboding.  “Not them, never them Brian” carries the level of importance these characters hold with the Doctor, and also perhaps gives a glimpse to the level of baggage that the Doctor carries-after all, this incarnation has yet to really lose anyone, whereas during David Tennant’s time his Doctor experience many a heartache.

Could this change in the next and final episode of Amy Pond and Rory Williams. We march ever closer to the Ponds exit from the series and I’m looking forward to seeing the tear-jerker of an episode that Moffat has no doubt written.

 

Rory: There are soldiers all over my house and I am in my pants. (The Power of Three)