DOCTOR WHO: THE ANGELS TAKE MANHATTAN – A REVIEW

Stephen Moffat made no secret that, as well as no over reaching story arc, the latest series of Doctor Who was to be, in effect, five, individual short movies.  This run of stories began, with an earthquake, in the Asylum of the Daleks and attempted to work its way up to the climax that was The Angels Take Manhattan.  This path upwards may not have been a smooth steady climb but the final episode is very much at the top.  Full of Moffat’s time twisting, paradox skirting signatures the story moves along at enough of a pace to blur the unavoidable plot holes.  These holes are remarkably few and most of the strands are tied up neatly.

It is important that not everything is explained, not every I dotted, nor every T crossed.  Since the beginning one of the delights of Doctor Who has been the stories untold, the gaps left for fans to fill in and, in the age of the internet, debate for all eternity.  How the Angels came to take Manhattan is left deliberately blurred, why no one spotted the Stature of Liberty on the loose downtown is sidestepped, and the lives lead by Amy and Rory in New York left to the imagination of the viewer.  On the whole the story is better for these gaps as it allows it to breathe.

With mostly just the core cast the acting is excellent across the board, with Mike McShane’s Grayle a neat addition.  Arthur Darvill is again particularly on form as Rory resigns himself to his fate.  The emotions raised by the cast feel genuine and unforced unlike similar season finales from Doctors past, while the weeping angels prove yet again why they are one of the most feared of the good Timelords foes.  So often the Doctor’s companions are returned to as near a normal life as they left, or shifted sideways out of view.  The Angels Take Manhattan gave the Ponds the send off they richly deserved and ultimately their full lives as the Williams too.

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