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Doctor Who XXXIII(7).5: The Angels Take Manhattan

September 29th, 2012 (08:08 pm)

Where, I wondered, was all this going; and it was going to a small, emotional moment between the Doctor and his best friend. Small was the word - the Big Apple became almost the scene of a chamber piece, literally given the Angels' battery farming at Winter Quay. Sentimental fellow that I am, I appreciated the Doctor not being left alone and distraught at the end; and it was that dawn materialisation of the TARDIS from 'The Eleventh Hour' which was the loose end to tidy up, suggesting that it Amy had a degree of foreknowledge all along.

So much for not blinking; there seemed to be moments when the Angels were inactive despite nobody looking at them, not even the viewing audience. I'd imagined that the farewell would be much as we saw it, thanks to reading of filming reports, and so it transpired.

Presumably the Doctor's transfer of regenerative abilities will have consequences; and are there still books with his name in in the Library? If not, then...?

Matt Hills, in his review of the episode, was left cold by the 'frenetic to-ing and fro-ing', which I found to be a chillingly inevitable circularity. He does express more clearly than I did the oddness of an episode about the establishment of fixed points in time when so much of what has gone before has been unwritten. If there is a chain of causality relative to the Doctor, which is consistent from the point of view of his experience - the remnant, perhaps, of the 'Gallifreyan Mean Time' which meant that encounters with the Master, the Rani and the Time Lords in general were always in sequence - what does this mean for other characters whose lives are bound up with the Doctor? Amy has had several different pasts; and if River must die in the Library, are/were/will there (be) any books there for the Vashta Nerada to read to learn of the Doctor's power? (Runs to shelves to check Target books haven't dematerialised.)

The Doctor's farewell to Amy, reminding her that he would never be able to see her again, was phrased and performed in such a way to support the impression that the Doctor was substantially expressing his own dependence on the Ponds. He exists, in the sense that he functions as the ageless god with the face (not necessarily a physical one) of a twelve-year-old, because there is someone looking at him who believes in him in this way. Like the Eternals in Enlightenment, without human company (or, allowing for Romana, company which allows him to demonstrate his humanity), he loses definition.

Onwards to the Dalektable (groan) Ms Coleman.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/544659.html.

Comments

Posted by: sharaz_jek (sharaz_jek)
Posted at: September 29th, 2012 08:21 pm (UTC)

So much for not blinking; there seemed to be moments when the Angels were inactive despite nobody looking at them, not even the viewing audience.

Just how aware is Sexy of her environment?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 29th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC)

Very, but not in a linear fashion, or in a way which perceives the Angels in such a way as to stop them moving.

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: September 29th, 2012 11:46 pm (UTC)
Liz & Pertwee

Not having read filming report, I quite liked the farewell/resolution (and also the finality of their departure, which at the same time was more complex than just a shocking death). And while it was sentimental, to me it stayed (just) on the right side of getting annoying.

So much for not blinking; there seemed to be moments when the Angels were inactive despite nobody looking at them, not even the viewing audience.

Yes, some of the angels were so blatantly inactive that I for the first time I started to notice that the viewing audience counts as "looking". This has probably always been the case (especially since we've had large numbers), I just never had cause to think about it, and it is sure not a good thing that it stood out so much I realized it *while watching*.
I got seriously annoyed when the Statue of Liberty was commented on on the roof, and Amy explicictly made to look at it, only to disappear from our view when Amy turns round, without proceding to interfere in any way
- which is a pity, since overall, the Angels were just starting to get scary again.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 30th, 2012 12:21 am (UTC)
SarahJaneSmith

Agreed on the disappearance of the Statue in the double suicide scene; it should have remained in vision somewhere, as its threat seemed to evaporate a little too soon.

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: September 30th, 2012 11:43 am (UTC)
Eleventh Doctor

the finality of their departure

Unless, as the time distortion was in New York, the Doctor TARDIS-travels to New Jersey in 1938 (or wherever the nearest undistorted place is) and gets a train to go and see them.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 30th, 2012 12:10 pm (UTC)
MattKarenPlain

I wonder whether the Doctor might try that at some point, just to watch, from a distance.

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: September 30th, 2012 03:03 pm (UTC)
Liz & Pertwee

Good point...one can but hope that Karen Gillan sticks by her resolve (mentioneed in an RT interview) not to come back - ever....

Posted by: king_pellinor (king_pellinor)
Posted at: October 1st, 2012 08:06 am (UTC)
P Knight

Or, given that the distortion is at a fairly localised point in space-time, visits them in New York at any point after their arrival in the late 1800s, rather than waiting until they're 80-odd.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 1st, 2012 10:47 am (UTC)

Thanks for the reminder that we don't know when Amy and Rory arrive after being despatched by the Angel - it could be the late nineteenth century, or some time in the twentieth. The typography on the gravestone suggests the latter to me, but typography was not one of this episode's strong points (Times New Roman at Winter Quay, for example - I'd have ideally used hand lettering, or an American typeface like Goudy).

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: October 2nd, 2012 10:24 pm (UTC)
Liz & Pertwee


For the "farm" to work, they'll need to be sent back repeatedly, so I doubt it is possible for anyone to figure out when they are at any given point.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 2nd, 2012 10:53 pm (UTC)
MattKarenArthur

I think the farm has been destroyed as far as Rory and Amy are concerned, if I have a feel for the thinking behind the paradox.

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: October 2nd, 2012 10:57 pm (UTC)
K9

Hmmm yes...my mind just ain't up to this...:-)

Edited at 2012-10-02 10:58 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 2nd, 2012 11:12 pm (UTC)
Pertwee

I suspect it was a bit much for Steven Moffat's!

Posted by: Matthew (emperor)
Posted at: October 3rd, 2012 10:56 am (UTC)
Phoenix

There was a dawn materialisation of the TARDIS in the eleventh hour? I've obviously completely forgotten that...