doctor who recapping: the angels take manhattan

Oh, Ponds. The mid-season finale of Doctor Who gave the girl who waited and her Roman soldier a tearful (and at times terrifying) send-off. Almost before we could blink, Amy and Rory were gone forever, out of the Doctor’s reach – and out of ours.


  • Rory accidentally stumbles upon the weeping angels (arguably the scariest monsters in Who history – if only because no one cares to remember the Silence) and gets zapped back to NYC in the 1930s.
  • He gets swept up with River Song on her way to a notorious crime boss. River is supposed to help the crime boss solve the mystery of the invading angels while Rory (deemed unimportant as usual) is thrown to the “babies” – infant angels who give the toothy child monsters from Galaxy Quest a run for their money in the creepy department.
  • The Doctor and Amy come to the rescue, TARDIS-style – crashing and bashing their way through the tricky timey-wimey traffic – but Rory has already been touched by an angel (not at all as funny as it sounds).
  • The Doctor, Amy, and River meet up with Rory at Winter Quay, a spooky hotel full of the victims of the angels. Instead of just zapping people back in time to feed off of their time energy, the angels now contain their victims in one place, zapping them back in time again and again and again until their life runs out.
  • In one of the rooms, the Doctor and company discover an old man on his death bed. The man calls out to Amy, and the group realizes – mere seconds before he passes away – that the old man is Rory.
  • Our Rory and Amy, shocked by the apparently “fixed” nature of Rory’s demise, decide to create a paradox that will destroy the Winter Quay and stop the angels’ invasion. The Doctor thinks this means the couple will run try and run away. Rory and Amy decide this means committing suicide by jumping off the hotel.
  • As the Doctor and River stand by helplessly and an angel-ified Statue of Liberty gnashes its teeth, Rory and Amy step off the building, arms entwined, accepting their fate…
  • …before waking up, bright-eyed and without any broken bones, in a cemetery outside of the city. Apparently, the Doctor informs them, committing suicide did create a paradox that set everything back to normal. Hooray!
  • As the gang prepares to pile back into the TARDIS, Rory notices something strange, a tombstone with his name on it. As he beckons Amy over, he suddenly disappears, leaving behind only a hideous angel with its arm outstretched.
  • The Doctor begs Amy to come back to the TARDIS, pleading that if she lets the angel touch her he’ll never get to see her again. Amy has already made up her mind, though, from the moment she realized the angel had taken her husband. With a final “goodbye, raggedy man”, she turns, locks eyes with the Doctor, and disappears.
  • Devastated, the Doctor finds some solace in a letter from Amy. She urges him to never be alone and to remember how much she and Rory will always love him – however out of reach they may be in the fixed pocket of time the angel sent them to. She reminds him of the girl who waited for her “raggedy man”, the girl who would fall in love and fight pirates and save a space whale and give hope to the greatest painter of all time. And finally, painfully, she tells the Time Lord who hates endings that this, at last, is the end.

Talking Points


I feel . . . sad. Though as a strong and unashamed advocate of seasons 1-4 of the rebooted series, I have to admit the emotional toll of this departure paled for me in comparison to Rose Tyler trapped in a parallel universe, Donna forgetting everything, and David Tennant dying (oh, you know what I mean). I think everyone has their “golden age” of Who and mine has obviously passed. I still enjoy the show, clearly, but the departure of the Ponds doesn’t hit me quite as hard as I know it will for others. Plus, Amy and Rory are together and that makes the romantic in me happy.


Why does Rory’s name appear on the tombstone before the angel touches him, but Amy’s name appears only after? How can River deliver a manuscript to Amy but not visit? If seeing old Rory die triggered young Rory to kill himself, how could any Rory ever be killed in the method the angels intended? What in the world is a “fixed event”, writers of Doctor Who? (I’ve had serious problems with this concept since the Pompeii episode — which incidentally featured Karen Gillan). And, perhaps most importantly, what will I have to look forward to watching every weekend now that Who is on hiatus?

What’s Next?

Well, Jenna Louise-Coleman is coming on board as the next companion. However, there are some messy problems with her character that were established in this season’s premiere. She’s a Dalek and dead, to put it bluntly, but we’ll get to see how Moffat and co. start to iron out those wrinkles in the Christmas special. Till then, Whovians, we can unite in our shared sadness over the passing of the Pond era.


Grayle: What’s that? What’s happening? Is it an earthquake? What is this?

River: Oh, you bad boy. You could burn New York.

Grayle: What does that mean?

River: It means, Mr. Grayle, just you wait ‘til my husband gets home.


River: Turns out the person I killed never existed in the first place. Apparently, there’s no record of him. It’s almost as if someone’s gone around deleting himself from every database in the universe.

The Doctor: You said I got too big.

River: And now no one’s ever heard of you. Didn’t you used to be somebody?

The Doctor: Weren’t you the woman who killed the Doctor?

River: Doctor who?


Rory: Could someone please tell me what is going on?

The Doctor: I’m sorry, Rory . . . but you just died.


Amy: You think you’ll just come back to life?

Rory: When don’t I?


Amy: Well then, I just have to blink, right?


The Doctor: You are creating fixed time! I will never be able to see you again!

Amy: I’ll be fine. I’ll be with him.

The Doctor: Amy, please! Just come back into the TARDIS. Come along, Pond. Please . . .

Amy: Raggedy man, goodbye.


Amy: Tell her this is the story of Amelia Pond . . . and this is how it ends.


Hayley has other interests besides just nerdy TV shows. She also is a big fan of thinking. She ponders the great mysteries of life, like how more of her time can be devoted to watching those nerdy TV shows.

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2 thoughts on “doctor who recapping: the angels take manhattan

  1. Emily Morita says:

    I like the first picture of the three amigos! And all the behind-the-scenes videos of them. And your words 🙂

  2. […] Previously on Doctor Who: The Angels Take Manhattan […]

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