Sunday 30 September 2012

The Angels Take Manhattan

Amy is gone. At last; I don't know why they took so long about it. Amy was possibly the worst companion since Adric. A flirt with zero characterization, who can do anything that lazy writers need her to do. I don't get the people who think she looked attractive; she was far too skinny and waif-like to be pretty, not to mention those vacant stares.

In order to prepare us for the delight of Amy's exit, we are served up one of the worst stories that Moffat has ever given us. The Angels Take Manhattan is an horrible, thoughtless mess. It's a story that takes no time to generate a believable plot that makes any sense, and which attempts to bombard us with a sentimental emotional overload wrapped in Murray-Gold. We also get a return appearance from Moffat's Mary Sue, River Song, who only serves to get in the way of the presumed objective of giving Amy and Rory a good send off, not that I care. We get some moments of emotional drama with River, but these fall utterly flat because her character is too thin and undeveloped for them to stand on.

Moffat has a particular obsession with plots involving the mechanics of time travel, a trope horribly described as 'timey-wimey.' Such plots seldom make any sense and here this kind of story fails abysmally. The Doctor tells us that once they have read what will happen to them (he assumes the paperback is gospel truth and not fiction or an elaboration), it cannot be rewritten. That is in itself a great idea. I have always liked the Hartnell-era idea that time cannot be rewritten. But has not everything Moffat given us before attempted to make us believe that time can be altered at will? It is as though he has realized the dead end that 'time-wimey' plotting leads us to and made an half-hearted attempt too late to put the breaks on.

Weeping Angels were a delightfully scary idea. Unfortunately, they are an idea that gets old quickly. Hence, this story tries an whole load of new ideas with the Weeping Angels which fail to show any of the original power of the concept. The Angel babies were a little too silly and lacked the power of the proper Angels to terrify. The Angel Statue of Liberty was simply daft, as so many reviews have pointed out. Weeping Angels are great as a silent, unseen killer, but the idea of the Angels creating a battery farm of displaced humans just doesen't have the same impact. Do the displaced humans spend the rest of their lives in an hotel room? Do the Angels provide room service?

I'm just dreading what the next Christmas special will bring.


  1. Worst Murray Gold abomination in the long history of Murray Gold abominations. You are right too, the Angels were only ever good as a one hit wonder, but I am beginning to think that so is Moffat as a writer. From The Empty Child onwards it has been one basic concept, toned in a few shades of essentially the same colour, with an ever increasing percentage of fake emotional sludge and or action, both treated in the same offhand, ridiculous way-the yin and yang of puke perhaps. When I start looking forward to the Chris Chibnall episodes it is a good indication things have gotten bad. On a positive note, I don't think Doctor Who could possibly be any worse than it has been with the Amy, Rory, Moffat trio of doom, so even getting rid of two of the three of them fills me with some hope.

  2. I liked the weeping angels from their introduction, but since then they seem to have lost their potency. In ".. Manhattan" you apparently only need to glance at them to stop them, rather than the fixated stare that Sally Sparrow had to employ.

    I also think that Mr Moffatt wimped out on the ending. When Adric died, even though most of us hated the character, the ending was utterly suprising and shocking, and left you feeling numb when the titles came up in silence.

    The Ponds didn't actually die - that's the point. From the "last page" stuff, we get that Amy and Rory lived well, and died in old age, a happy couple. It was a cop-out just like Peri's exit at the end of Trial of a Time Lord.

    The idea of lulling us into a false security, and then seeing them zapped was very clever, but didn't have the impact, because we were all expecting it. Maybe there should have been mis-information making us THINK that the Ponds were going in the 5th episode, and then making it happen in the 3rd. That might have made more impact.

    I love Stephen Moffat's writing on the whole, but somehow, I thought that this story was let down by a desire for a happy ending. I think that today's audience is a bit more grown-up than that, and can handle genuine sadness. It's part of life, after all, along with the joys.

  3. I disagree with this review at every turn. The only problems are the useless characters of Grayle and the Statue of Liberty Angel. You just seem to hate TV in the modern age. My guess is that you only like the William Hartnell, Colin Baker, and Sylvester McCoy eras, and a few other episodes plus the Audio Adventures. You just seem to hate Steven Moffat and Karen Gillan for unknown reasons.

    1. I don't watch television and don't own a t.v so possibly I do hate t.v. in the modern age. There probably are some good programs on.

      I hate the Moffat era because the writing is terrible and the concepts so banal.