RecapReviewTV

Doctor Who: The Angels Take Manhattan Review [Spoilers]

Maddie Tudor ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff

Matt Smith as The Doctor in “The Angels Take Manhattan.” Courtesy of BBC.

In this penultimate episode for season 7 of Doctor Who, Steven Moffat strikes all the right notes as we all sadly say goodbye to Amy and Rory, two of the most beloved companions in the series, and the only companions for Matt Smith’s Doctor so far. This episode brings us to New York, and under the threat of the Weeping Angels, arguably the most terrifying Doctor Who monster since the 2005 reboot. The episode was shot in the actual city, which lends an authenticity and realness to it that could not be seen in that past adventures in “New York.” The Doctor starts out reading a book, which turns out to be written by River (Melody) Song (Pond/Williams) that predicts their future. Rory is sent back it time by and angel, who is only one of millions that have now infested New York City because why not? And we find out that he is sent to what is essentially a farm to the angels (also, the Statue of Liberty is an angel, proceed to never look at it the same). We then follow Amy as she seeks out her husband and they are caught in a series of time paradoxes. This eventually leads to their departure, as an angel sends them back in time, together, while all other angels are obliterated.

The role of the Doctor, who is grieving for an inevitable goodbye with one of his most dear companions, is impeccably acted by Matt Smith, who shows the Doctor’s fury at the fact that his hand has been forced in this situation, and also his distraught at the thought of losing them. Most notable is the final scene, in which the Doctor reads the afterward of the aforementioned book, written by Amy to him, consoling him and telling him never to travel alone. Smith shows emotions that understandably could overwhelm or overshadow any other actor, and handles them with deftness that he had not before displayed. In addition, Karen Gillan brilliantly displays the anguish Amy feels at the thought or having to choose between a life without Rory but with the Doctor, or a life with Rory but without the Doctor. In her final scene she gives a true sense of the sorrow she would feel if Amy were without her husband, and the sorrow she feels about leaving the Doctor.

Overall, the episode is a tearjerker, but also one of the most emotionally complex ones to date (ranking among Rose and Donna’s farewells). Moffat brilliantly pulls you in and then lets you down gently once the tears subside. It is a must-see episode not only because it feature the departure of two amazing characters, but also because it is an example of television at its best and should inspire the generations of writers to come.

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