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Doctor Who mid-season finale


Well-Known Member
SPOILERS ahead. These spoilers concern every episode in this season up to and including episode 5 "The Angels Take Manhattan".

Okay, so when Matt Smith took over as doctor I mentioned about the unusual dates in the first episode, we've now come full-circle to rhet rather obvious and foreseeable "departure" of Amy and Rory. The first episode this season, Asylum of the Daleks, I knew right away Oswin Oswald was a dalek; and it bothered me all episode long that a dalek is projecting a human voice. I would have preferred it if Doctor Who heard a Dalek voice all episode long. Supposedly Jenna-Louise Coleman is the next companion for the doctor, and so Moffat probably thought he could "pull the wool over our eyes" by revealing that the specific character we meet in this episode can't be the future companion of the doctor. That said, it was still a decent episode, it just didn't have that "unexpected" twist element that Moffat thought he could deliver.

In "A Town Called Mercy" the Doctor arrives and reads the town sign. The observant of us will note it has "80" crossed out and "81" written in next to residents, so from this point on we know that an "outsider" has already arrived in this town. A few minutes later Doctor Who calls him "resident 81" and asks to see him. Kahler-Jex is the outsider, and once again I quickly worked out that he's going to be the antagonist of this episode.

It's safe to say that "The Power of Three" so far represents the closest we have had so far to a multi part episode. The main point of the episode is actually to re-introduce us to UNIT. And the moment that they storm the Williams residence I reasoned it was probably UNIT. Once again, Moffat has failed to deliver the element of surprise. Brian, that's Rory's father, asks the Doctor "what happened to the other people that travelled with you?" He answers "some left me", "some got left behind", "and some, not many, but some died"; "not them, not them Brian, never them". It's at that moment that I knew for certain that Moffat would kill Amy and Rory off in their final episode. It was cemented even further at the end when Brian says "just bring them back safe". Way to ruin the "big twist" in the very next episode.

I didn't realize that "Angels Take Manhattan" was the mid-season finale until partway through the episode. In fact, I had assumed there would be 6-7 episodes before the break (after all it's a 14 episode season, and 5 episodes isn't anywhere near half). It became pretty clear early on that this was the final episode for Amy and Rory, and for me that moment was when Doctor Who reveals that He, Amy and Rory are in the book written by River. It's set on Sunday 3 April 1938, Manhatten (New York City). The date is a possible reference to the crucifixion of Christ that some believe occurred 3 April 33AD. The false-ending didn't fool me either, I think Moffat is just not trying hard enough.

Their ages are engraved on the toombstone. Rory Arthur Williams aged 82, Amelia Williams aged 87. Since we already know Rory dies in 1938, Amy dies in 1943. We also know they told Doctor Who they believe they’ve travelled with him the equivalent of 10 years. Since Amy is 21 when they begin travelling, we can conclude that Amy and Rory are approximately 31 years old (possibly 32 or 33) when they are sent back in time to be captive in Winter Quay. So they had to be sent back to 1888 (or a later date if they are older than 31). This is another clear reference to the crucifixion of Christ since Jesus was aged between 31-34 when he died.

Think back to the very beginning of the episode where the private detective, Mr S. Garner is sent to Winter Quay. You see some of the residents looking out their windows, the first one you see is an old woman that appears depressed and lonely staring out her window, and she looks about 82 – the correct age for Amy if she is sent back with Rory. Then you see another old woman from a different window, next you see a young child 5 or 6 maybe playing “peekaboo” out her window. Garner is then lead to his own room (room 702), where we meet the fourth resident (so far). The only other resident we meet is Rory when Rory is lead to his own room (room 802) the same way that Garner was. This implies that it is on the 8th floor of the building, and also Rory and the others (Amy, Doctor Who and River) all take the lift to get there. Yet the old woman we see at the beginning of the episode – which we suppose is probably Amy – appears to be on the ground floor (although it could be anywhere from the way it is framed). This clearly is intended to be ambiguous, to allow the audience to decide whether they believe Amy and Rory end up together or not. Although she writes the afterword while captive (probably in 1938 when River instructs her to) and claims they are together.

River and Rory are taken by Grayle, the same character who at the start of the episode sends Garner to his fate. Her parents’ fate is actually her fault for being an investigator looking at the Angels.

The Doctor states that he “can’t” go back (due to the time distortions) but we already know this isn’t true. Firstly, River did it with a vortex manipulator. Secondly “Daleks in Manhattan” takes place in 1930, showing clearly that the time distortions didn’t keep the TARDIS out at that time. And thirdly, River goes back to get Amy to write the afterword. Moffat should have just had the Doctor say he can’t recross his timeline and leave it at that. While I did like the ending, I saw it coming a mile off and I still believe it was a dead giveaway in the previous episode mentioning companions that had died. It was a good use of the Angels, despite my reservations that they would no longer be menacing after their use in Flesh and Stone where they are shown moving and talking. Actually they did work well in this episode. I would have liked to have been fooled and taken by surprise, and I hope Moffat does better in this regard with the series finale. You should never know a character is going to die until they actually do.
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Interesting analyzation.
But didn't it kinda have to end after 5 episodes since the other ones are going to be written by someone else.

I really hope Drwho hasn't passed its prime
Interesting analyzation.
But didn't it kinda have to end after 5 episodes since the other ones are going to be written by someone else.

Not that I'm aware, Steven Moffat is still the senior writer and the producer of the series. I liked the episode, but it would have helped the element of "surprise" if a couple of things were removed from the previous episode, and a couple of things were changed in "Angels Take Manhattan".

Is it past its prime? Possibly. They should not have let Tennant go so soon, he was a far greater Doctor than Eccleston or Smith.