Doctor Who: Season 7, Episode 5

The Angels Take Manhattan (29 Sep. 2012)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Family
9.0
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Ratings: 9.0/10 from 2,706 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 15 critic

The Doctor takes Amy and Rory to New York, where the Weeping Angels are waiting for them. River Song returns.

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Grayle (as Mike McShane)
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Sam Garner (as Rob David)
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Hood
Ozzie Yue ...
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Storyline

The Doctor, Amy and Rory are in New York City on a beautiful summer's day. Rory sets off to get coffee and walks into a 1930s film noir where daughter River Song is a private detective, Melody Malone. Actually, Amy and the Doctor have the whole story written down in a cheap paperback but the Doctor forbids her to read too far ahead because once they know what happens, it cannot be changed. As for Rory, he finds that the Weeping Angels are there. Several attempts to travel back in the TARDIS are unsuccessful but they manage to break through. They find that the angels have taken over New York and the only way to stop them is to create a paradox - but not everyone will survive. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

29 September 2012 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Matt Smith and Karen Gillan got very emotional filming the final graveyard scene. See more »

Goofs

When the Doctor tears the page from the book, he puts it in the basket twice. See more »

Quotes

The Doctor: I always rip out the last page of a book. Then it doesn't have to end. I hate endings!
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Crazy Credits

The Doctor Who nameplate bears an episode-appropriate design, in this case, a motif featuring the Statue Of Liberty. See more »

Connections

References The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Blink (suite)
(uncredited)
Written by Murray Gold
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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User Reviews

Season 7.1: Plays for the easy episodes and family viewing – works as light entertainment but nothing more (MAJOR SPOILERS)
8 October 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I have always watched Doctor Who but for me this means that I watched the stuff from the Sylvester McCoy era and onwards – not really the periods that fans consider to be classic. I'm sure at some point I'll go back through the early episodes – after all, I just watched the original Quatermass and was very impressed, so time doesn't affect the quality of good ideas. Having said that, I'm sort of glad that I'm not a Doctor Who fan with the classic episodes because it must be hard to see what the show is doing now. Personally I have still enjoyed the way Doctor Who has gone because to me it has always been nothing but Saturday evening light entertainment for the family.

This season (or half-season) continues this trend and, if anything actually goes back to being more and more accessible and focused on the moment. Gone is the messy season long plot of the last season or two and, in fairness, given that none of them ever really came together logically or in ways that really satisfied so no great loss there. Instead what we have are specific episodes which only need to really work within the context of that episode and no more than that. This it can mostly do and there wasn't really an episode I didn't like in this first part of the season – certainly nothing as bad as the Doctor, Witch, Wardrobe Christmas Special anyway.

So, the half season produces some solid entertainment by bringing out great creatures (angels, daleks) for reasonably good turns, while also having some good stuff with dinosaurs (on a spaceship) and small black cubes on earth. Even the episode I didn't really care for (the gunslinger one) at least had a bit of meat in the plotting. Sadly none of the episodes really get better than being OK and family friendly (ie aimed towards being accessible for kids at all times). The big finale is of the course the removal of Amy and Rory from the show – an event that some appear to have gotten quite emotional over but for me personal is not a problem as it has been a long time coming. This episode really sums up the weaknesses of the show as a whole because it doesn't really have any consistent tone or impact; absolutely it has good bits that work but it also has silliness, moments that lack even internal logic and moments that are meant to be emotionally impacting but lack it. So, for example, Rory dying stopped being emotional after the 3rd or 4th time so the Pond's exit from the show was actually pretty lacking in emotion considering how long they have been in it.

Part of this lack of punch though is also down to the acting. Gillan is the main problem – she is very limited. Playing the feisty redhead is no problem, but she cannot "feel" things without making it feel forced and unnatural. The only thing consistent about her performance through the seasons has been her inability to step up to the emotional plate when the script gives her the chance; so it was in The Girl Who Waited and so it is here. Darvill on the other hand continues to be good and it is ironic then that the scripts often give him so much less to do. Smith is a solid Doctor for the direction of the show but he doesn't have the gravitas on tap the way the previous two did – Tennant in particular could find a darkness within himself but also make it seem like it was something always there; with Smith it just seems fleeting and a bit more like temper than darkness. He does the silly stuff and light-entertainment family stuff just fine, but no more than that this season (again surprising considering the Pond's leaving).

Overall what this first half of season 7 leaves is the feeling of a show that is focused on hitting the market as hard as possible and getting as much as it can from it. The stand-alone episodes seem to work better than the intertwined ones, but this is mainly down to how messy the season-long plots used to be, plus it does mean that each episode is a new day – so there is no audience buy-in to help "forgive" a weaker episode, it stands or falls on its own. I mostly enjoyed this half season though, and the clearout of characters will mean that this light-entertainment feel can be free of baggage and clutter in the second half. I still long for intelligence and genuine impact in the stories but the show isn't looking for that anymore and I'm not sure the cast are even up to it – I'll watch it as Saturday night telly for the family, a show that stands out from the game shows and talent shows around it, but not one that would survive outside of this environment for long if it was plunked down where "proper" television lives.


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