It’s finally here. On Saturday the mid-series finale of Doctor Who Series 7 aired, and was also the swansong of Amy and Rory Pond. We’ve followed them since April 2010, we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, but it finally came to an end. And what an end that was!
The episode opened with a dramatic introduction to the Angels in New York, and a business man discovering and being horrified at what these monsters can do. Plus, we find out something that has been speculated about ever since we found out the episode would be set in New York: the Statue of Liberty is a Weeping Angel! I thought that aspect was great and freaky, although it seemed very downplayed and I would have liked to see more.
The Doctor, Amy and Rory are having a picnic in the city that never sleeps when Rory leaves to get more coffee, and is zapped back to 1939 by a gang of Weeping Angels. Amy is reading a book by Melody Malone, when suddenly she reads a part about Rory in it. Back in the past, Rory discovers that Ms. Malone is River Song (well duh!) and is leading the Doctor and Amy back to them through this book, which is pretty ingenious.
Soon Rory, River, the Doctor and Amy all end up in the same building, which happens to be the Angels’ ‘feeding nest’. They zap people back in time where they live in the feeding nest for the rest of their lives, grow old and die. And once you’re in it’s nearly impossible to get out. Unless you jump…
The episode plays off the noir setting in 1930′s New York really well and is essentially a cat-and-mouse chase for Rory through time and across Manhattan (and through River’s book), but this is all leading up to the intensely emotional last few minutes. I didn’t legitimately cry, but I was on the edge of my seat and there was probably tears in my eyes. Should I go onto the criticisms?
It’s rushed! The only episode this series that I didn’t feel was rushed was A Town Called Mercy, which left me disappointed towards the other episodes, including this one. The movie would have been way better as a two-parter, which it should have been given it was the Ponds’ departure.
As I previously said, the Statue of Liberty being a Weeping Angel was ridiculously underused and unfortunatelty came off as a gimmick. River’s inclusion in the episode is natural, given this is her parents last episode, but it didn’t come off as so. She didn’t really do much except lead the Doctor and Amy to Rory in 1939, which could have easily been done by the young businessman seen at the beginning. Those were honestly my only complaints about the episode, as I otherwise thought it was fantastic.
And, on to the part you’ve all been waiting for, what did I think of Amy and Rory’s departure? I thought it was one of the most emotional scenes Steven Moffat has ever written. When we’re on the roof of Winter Quay (the Angels’ feeding nest) and Rory finds out that the Angels will hunt him until he’s back in Winter Quay, he makes a terrible decision. He figures out that if he jumps off the roof and commits suicide, he’ll create a paradox, killing himself but wiping out the Angels and stopping this place from ever existing. There is however a small chance he’ll survive.
What follows is a heartfelt exchange between Amy and Rory where Amy fully acknowledges her love for Rory and her journey from where we meet her as a child to her death as an adult, and they agree to jump together. The Doctor of course disapproves and tries his best to stop them, but it’s no use. The married couple jump, destroying Winter Quay and saving New York. But then…
They wake up! Amy, Rory, the Doctor and River Song wake up lying in a graveyard they visited earlier. It seems everything will be a happy ending, until Rory notices a grave. With his name on. Suddenly, he’s zapped back in time by a surviving Angel from the paradox, transporting him to an unknown time (they’re still in 1939 at this point). Amy can’t bare to live without Rory, and comes into agreement with River that touching the Angel will be her best chance at living with Rory again. The Doctor begs her to not do it, but she doesn’t listen and touches the angel. The Doctor looks down at Rory’s grave, and sees Amy’s name on there too.
The next scene takes place in the TARDIS, with the Doctor dropping River off somewhere. I thought it was really strange that River showed absolutely no emotion towards the fact that her parents had just been killed, and even though it was explained during the dialogue I didn’t like it. River says she’ll send the book off to Amy to be published in the past (using her vortex manipulator), but the Doctor can never see them again as the amount of time energy surrounding him and then him being around the paradox would rip apart New York. The last scene has the Doctor reading an afterword set from Amy for the Doctor, explaining that they’re fine and bringing us back to a scene from The Eleventh Hour which we “all missed.”
Now that I’ve finished describing it, you’ll know how sad it was. Overall it was a grand finale and send-off for two of the best companions the Doctor has ever had, but due to some small holes and things I didn’t like my final verdict is…
For the next Doctor Who review visit UTF at Christmas time, where we’ll review and get you set for the 2012 Christmas Special, featuring the return of Jenna Louise-Coleman as Oswin!