Air Date: 29th September 2012
Writer: Steven Moffat
This is it. The end of Amy and Rory.
And what an ending for them! Heartbreaking doesn't cover it. We've seen them as children in the playground, we've seen that awkward realisation of love, we've been there every step of the way with Amy and Rory Pond (Williams) and that's what makes this such a new experience. Never before have we been a part of the companion's life, their own personal life, like we have with them. The line "Together or not at all." as Amy says, well, that's them in a nutshell isn't it? Amy has and will always choose Rory, likewise Rory has and always will choose Amy.
The re-appearance of River Song in this episode is extremely fitting, one last hurrah for the Pond family, even if they are a somewhat unconventional one. This River is older, closer to the River we see in 'Silence in the Library' and it shows.
So the episode itself, because I can't just talk about the characters however much I'd like to. Well, there are tears, there are laughs, there are teary-laughs and a fair warning to anyone, if you don't want to be seen as a mad person who cries at tv... better watch this one alone. From the beginning their farewell is looming and unlike most Doctor Who finales, there's no silliness here.
Parting of the Ways - You had Nine's little quirks that made you laugh.
Doomsday - The Tenth Doctor's playfulness.
Last of the Time Lords - The Master's little moments.
Journey's End - Donna and the Daleks.
The Big Bang - The fez.
The Wedding of River Song - River and the Doctor's flirting.
Here, in 'The Angles Take Manhattan' there's no moments that seem deliberately there to tone down the tension. Everything is ramped up to eleven from start to finish. Of course, it's not a finale, not really. It's the middle of the season and the only reason it feels like the end is because we're losing the companions, something which has never been done in the middle before.
The Weeping Angels are as terrifying as ever, if 'Asylum of the Daleks' made the Daleks scary again, then this just added another layer of scary to the Angels. This won't just make you scared of them though, you'll hate them because of what they do (I can't say any more than that I'm afraid.)
I know, so far I've just been saying it's brilliant but it's the truth. Sure there are some flaws and some little tiny plot holes but in the grand scheme of things they don't matter. Not here. Not now. The focus is on Amy and Rory and how strong their love for each other really is, it's not about the monsters not obeying their own rules or about how little the Doctor does. None of the little things take away from the impact of this episode, it's impossible to get through this dry-eyed.
As a goodbye, it's the best thing to have given them. And now we can mourn before welcoming Jenna-Louise Coleman to the TARDIS at Christmas time.
To Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, good luck in everything you do and thank you for over two years of laughs, tears and heartwarming moments. It's been a wonderful time and we will never forget you.
For a write up on a bit of filming for this episode:
"Why did you lie?" - Scene with Amy and River