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October 12, 2012 7:42 AM   Subscribe

The BBC have released a narrated storyboard of an unfilmed Doctor Who scene that would have been a postscript to 'Angels In Manhattan' (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry (103 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
Boy, I really, really didn't like that episode. This whole season has been weird, but Angels was so, well, so bad.

I think I'm done with Who until they dump Moffat as the lead writer.
posted by Malor at 7:45 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Really? I thought it was the best companion exit yet, just by virtue of the entire episode being about whether or not the character(s) in question would still be around next week (year, whatever) instead of having it tacked on at the end of an otherwise unrelated adventure.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:48 AM on October 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


As an only occasional Doctor Who viewer who didn't recognize that episode title offhand and confused it for Angels in America, I just came up with the single best Doctor Who plot ever.

Russel T. Davies have your people call my people. Also have them call Tony Kushner's people.
posted by griphus at 7:51 AM on October 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Of course. They have a kid -- a boy, because Moffat doesn't like girls -- and Amy doesn't actually get to say a single word. I might have disliked the episode (it made no sense that they were stuck in New York forever), but this ending would have made it even worse.
posted by jeather at 7:51 AM on October 12, 2012


Angels in America, I just came up with the single best Doctor Who plot ever.

Uh, Griph, the Angel Of The Waters does make an appearance in the episode ( but not to eat people sadly)
posted by The Whelk at 7:54 AM on October 12, 2012


If you don't like it, too bad. Now that you've read it, it's carved in stone and nothing can prevent it.
posted by Legomancer at 7:55 AM on October 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


That episode was a terrible waste of good foreshadowing. Yes, it was sad to see the Ponds go, but really, the writers could have done so much more, so very much more with the themes developed in this season.

Asylum of the Daleks: Themes include sacrificing even a sympathetic Dalek to save the Ponds (and the Daleks).
Dinosaurs on a Spaceship: Themes include killing a villain basically in cold blood in order to protect the Ponds from incoming missiles, and the Doctor seeming to know something specific (and tragic) about the Ponds in the future.
A Town Called Mercy: themes include whether to throw out the small-d doctor whose presence is endangering the town. Amy Pond puts her foot down and says basically, "we don't do this, no matter what."
The Slow Invasion: themes include the Ponds' dual life and how being secret time-travelers is maybe a bit wearing on them. Is the Doctor weaning them for their own protection? This ep. dangles the hope that maybe they will be weaned before the tragic thing happens.

My hope going into this episode was that the tragic end for Amy and Rory would require the Doctor to choose principle (i.e., don't kill the bad guy no matter what, not even to save Amy and Rory) over saving them. I kind of hoped that what we were seeing in these episodes was the Doctor trying to get comfortable with killing the villain to save the Ponds, and in the end realizing that that is not how the Ponds would want to be saved.

The above originally written as a comment on pajiba.com
posted by gauche at 7:56 AM on October 12, 2012 [14 favorites]


I think they should have spent more time in past episodes having Rory solve problems by suicides that got cosmically reset on account of quantum Roryness. It would be his go-to tool for anything, his version of the sonic screwdriver.

DOCTOR: This sealed room we're trapped in is filling up with slow toxin! We've got to get this bulkhead open! Amy, Rory, hang on, let me find my screwdr...

RORY: I've got this! (Pulls out gun with a flourish and shoots himself in the head.)

REACTION SHOTS of DOCTOR and AMY. The bulkhead slides open and Rory steps in from the other side looking smug.

AMY: (wiping red chunks off her face) Goddammit, Rory. Stop doing that. One day you won't come back.

DOCTOR: I still can't find my sonic screwdriver!

RORY: I've got this! (swallows entire bottle of pills)

etc. The episode writes itself!
posted by Drastic at 7:56 AM on October 12, 2012 [36 favorites]


griphus: "As an only occasional Doctor Who viewer who didn't recognize that episode title offhand and confused it for Angels in America, I just came up with the single best Doctor Who plot ever.

Russel T. Davies have your people call my people. Also have them call Tony Kushner's people.
"

And then Steven Moffat's people. You know, so that the guy actually now in charge of Doctor Who can hear it.
posted by Nossidge at 7:58 AM on October 12, 2012


If you don't like it, too bad. Now that you've read it, it's carved in stone and nothing can prevent it.

And yeah, since when does the Doctor knowing something make that something a fixed point? I get that continuity is weird in the whoniverse, but this is plotting by calvinball.
posted by gauche at 7:58 AM on October 12, 2012 [10 favorites]


Where do I start on the Matt Smith run? I'd like to get back into it, but I got sort of burnt out on Tennant.
posted by griphus at 8:01 AM on October 12, 2012


Drastic: DOCTOR: I still can't find my sonic screwdriver!

RORY: I've got this! (swallows entire bottle of pills)


Eponysterical!
posted by Krazor at 8:01 AM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Griphus: First episode of series 5, "The Eleventh Hour." All you have to know going in is that Tennant just regenerated into Smith.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:03 AM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Of course. They have a kid -- a boy, because Moffat doesn't like girls -- and Amy doesn't actually get to say a single word. I might have disliked the episode (it made no sense that they were stuck in New York forever), but this ending would have made it even worse.

I get that Moffat has legitimate issues with women, but I think nitpicking the sex of their child and the fact that Amy doesn't have anything to say to her father-in-law is kind of grasping at straws. Amy wasn't always the best drawn female character, but she was hardly silenced all her life.

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I rather liked this ending. The problem with "The Angels Take Manhattan," to me, was that it thought the relationship I was invested in was the Ponds and the Doctor, when it wasn't. I was invested in the Rory and Amy relationship, so them being stuck back in time, but together, was a happy ending to me. This ending would have given it a bit extra poignancy for me, but I'm also a sucker for companion's parents (with the exception of Rose's mother, but I blame her horrible accent and ill-fitting pants for that).
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:03 AM on October 12, 2012 [11 favorites]


I will say, it was nice to see a companion go without first turning into The Most Important Person In The Universe, which was turning a bit into a cliche.
posted by gauche at 8:04 AM on October 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


And yeah, since when does the Doctor knowing something make that something a fixed point? I get that continuity is weird in the whoniverse, but this is plotting by calvinball.

Don't even get me started. I never imagined I'd say this, but the sooner we're rid of Moffat, the better.
posted by Legomancer at 8:04 AM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


It was an ending so horrible the only thing that can console me is being teased by the possibility that Kylie Minogue is the next companion.
posted by munchingzombie at 8:05 AM on October 12, 2012


It's not any one thing -- it isn't just the fact that they had a son, or that Amy didn't talk, it's that PLUS all the other issues with women since Moffat took over. Amy wasn't silenced, she was just made into the person who was saved, not the one who saved; the object, not the subject. This was just more of the same.

Yes, I'm happy enough that Amy & Rory stayed together, but -- why were they stuck forever in NY? Does that mean that the Doctor will never ever be able to go to NY ever again? If not, why didn't he wait a year or three, then pick them up, or have them travel anywhere else in the world and pick them up from there? (Or have them decide they want to stay.)
posted by jeather at 8:09 AM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I never imagined I'd say this, but the sooner we're rid of Moffat, the better.

I don't think I'm nearly there yet, but I can see it from where I am. In all, I think Doctor Who in general would benefit by cycling main writers and showrunners more often. Give each of them a couple seasons to work with and then bring in new blood.

Right now, my dream event that would never happen would be to force Charlie Brooker to write a full season of it. It would a) be awesome, and b) psychically scar an entire generation of watching children.
posted by Drastic at 8:11 AM on October 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


jeather: "Yes, I'm happy enough that Amy & Rory stayed together, but -- why were they stuck forever in NY? Does that mean that the Doctor will never ever be able to go to NY ever again?"

They got a rent controlled apartment and are too afraid of giving it up to leave.
posted by boo_radley at 8:12 AM on October 12, 2012 [30 favorites]



They got a rent controlled apartment and are too afraid of giving it up to leave.

this is a force way stronger then any time storm or weeping angel
posted by The Whelk at 8:13 AM on October 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


They got a rent controlled apartment and are too afraid of giving it up to leave.

They know everything that's going to happen in the next fifty years. They made a killing in the stock market.
posted by jeather at 8:16 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Drastic: "Right now, my dream event that would never happen would be to force Charlie Brooker to write a full season of it."

The Doctor will be played by Gordon Ramsay.
posted by boo_radley at 8:17 AM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I honestly think the entire purpose of that episode was to completely fuck up the Angels, who were the creepiest, coolest Dr. Who villain ever created.

Moffat has mangled them into a laughingstock.
posted by Malor at 8:20 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I honestly think the entire purpose of that episode was to completely fuck up the Angels, who were the creepiest, coolest Dr. Who villain ever created.

Honestly, I thought that was a bit of a return to form for the Angels, who were worse in that Angels two parter with River Song. At least they brought back the sending you back in time element, which I liked from "Blink."

That said "Blink" was masterful and every Angel appearance since then has been a pale imitation at best.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:24 AM on October 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


Here's the problem with Rory's plan in "The Angels Take Manhattan" (major spoilers, but really if you haven't seen it and didn't want to be spoiled you should know better than to have clicked through to this thread):

Falling from a great height is not a 100% reliable method of suicide. Which we know because people occasionally survive such falls, whether they are suicide attempts or accidents.

As far as Rory knew (or at least should have known), he might have survived the fall—very badly injured, as people tend to be when they survive such falls—then time-traveled and died, elderly and in bed, just as he saw. No paradox, no poisoning of the time stream (or whatever the reason was) to destroy the Angels. For that matter, elderly!Rory's deathbed? Maybe he's been lying in that same bed for ~60 years because he was paralyzed by the fall.

Worse yet is Amy taking the leap with him, since Amy could die in the fall without any paradox.

An entirely plausible outcome of the Ponds' jump would be a) Rory completely paralyzed and spending the next 60 years (of his subjective time) in bed; b) Amy dead from the fall; c) no paradox, which means d) Angels not destroyed.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:26 AM on October 12, 2012


Flawed? Sure. Still, as far as the way the Ponds could have gone went, it was better than expected.

I was wondering who would tell Brian what had happened to Amy and Rory. It had been bothering me for days. I am glad this came to light and it was resolved (albeit unfilmed). A little miffed at the Doctor for not manning up and telling Brian himself, though.

And I don't care. It made me sniffle.
posted by Kitteh at 8:31 AM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Can someone explain to me how any of those angels were able to travel openly through the streets of NYC without being observed?
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:37 AM on October 12, 2012


Moffat has mangled them into a laughingstock.

The Moff giveth, and The Moff taketh Away.

I thought there were some good bits there regardless: River having to break her wrist to get free, the time displacement effect, the creepy angel children. And finally getting rid of two companions who've passed their expiration date.

But I feel you're right. Moffat has had his RTD moment and he's becoming a parody of himself. Considering the job and its relentless production schedule he's done very well. Few could accomplish what he has. However, the successes of prior decades arose out of the large pool of guest writers. In the days of the Bakers* it was common for an entire season to have nearly as many writers as episodes.

Here's the problem with Rory's plan ...

The worse flaw I've been seeing in these Angel episodes is that the monsters remain frozen FOR A VERY LONG TIME after other characters have ceased to look at them. What was The Angel of Liberty doing for that entire minute that Amy and Rory were blubbering into each others' eyes? Having a sniffle?

*Sixth Doctor is Best Doctor.
posted by clarknova at 8:38 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am going to miss My Other Boyfriend, Rory.

I know it was cheesy, but I still had ALL THE FEELS when they were falling together in slow motion.
posted by Windigo at 8:40 AM on October 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


Dr. Zira: "Can someone explain to me how any of those angels were able to travel openly through the streets of NYC without being observed?

Not being observed is the only way they travel.

How am I only now hearing about the Dr. Who videogame?
posted by joedan at 8:40 AM on October 12, 2012


Dr. Zira: "Can someone explain to me how any of those angels were able to travel openly through the streets of NYC without being observed?

joedan: "Not being observed is the only way they travel."


No, I think what Dr. Zira was getting at was more like "New York is so crowded that there is a much greater likelihood that someone could be 'looking at an angel' at any given moment". That's something I've wondered about too - that cherub at Vanderbilt fountain, in particular, would have been spotted every couple steps by random passing couples, tourists, dogs, that Thoth guy who lives under the bridge, etc. and so walking through Central Park would be like some massive game of "Red Light Green Light" for any weeping angel.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:44 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I had to keep not thinking about that when they had the Statue of Liberty move. Is there ever a point in time when someone isn't glancing out a window at the giant statue that can be seen from miles away? Or, for that matter, even if nobody sees them move, that statues are missing from, like, everywhere?
posted by Karmakaze at 8:50 AM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or that the statues are at two ends of a corridor, so they see each other and should be stuck forever like they were in Blink. I'm pretending the "image of an Angel is an Angel itself" story didn't happen so we don't have so many Angels floating around on postcards etc.
posted by jeather at 8:54 AM on October 12, 2012


...Whoa. I just realized something about New Yorkers, that sort of explains how it could be possible for an Angel to get about without being spotted - but also works the hitchhikers universe into the Who universe:

New Yorkers often see the world through a big somebody else's problem field, and we just don't notice things. So maybe that counts as someone "not seeing" an angel?

That's a good question about the angels - do you have to consciously "see" them, or do you just have to be capable of seeing them to "see" them?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:59 AM on October 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yeah. The plot holes and general slapdashery is nested and it's best not to start falling into them. Even if you spot the idea that no one else in the city that never sleeps is ever looking at anything (although, seriously, a city that never sleeps isn't the best possible place for the Angels, it's by definition the worst possible place for a farm. Angel time farms would be right where actual farms are--out in sparsely-populated rural area), the actual on-screen character blocking was really sloppy with the sight lines.

"Blink" was such a marvel because it was tight and carefully constructed--which is something Doctor Who could really use a lot more of. It's an unfortunate system flaw right now (I worry that RTD basically cooked it into the DNA, a Whovian version of the Roddenberry's Box effect that constrained what was allowable for writers to do with Star Trek) that everything has to Go Big all the time. So the Angels have to be a huge universal threat with dubious villain schemes instead of just really creepy predators just out for a lunch. The Silence couldn't just be an equally creepy species with local plots, they had to manipulate the whole of human history. Etc.
posted by Drastic at 9:00 AM on October 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


Honestly, the Angels were an excellent one-story enemy. They haven't made less sense in the further stories; they didn't make sense in the first one. But it worked there because they were creepy and unusual and presented in a way that made you willing to play along. I don't know that there would be any way to bring them back without them getting "worse", even without that stupid two-parter in season five willing to put a lot of time into it.

(But naturally, since their episode was popular, not bringing them back would never be an option.)
posted by Legomancer at 9:01 AM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh NOTHING in Angels made a lick of sense, but it felt right, you know, being completely barking bonkers is fine if I think the emotional notes are hit and earned and again, like every episode this season it's like 90% PERFECT and then a final 10% of WHAT WHAT THE HELL WHY near-retroactive ruining the rest of the episode.

Except for Dinosaurs on a spaceship that episode is FLAWLESS.

And Town Called Mercy is just ...mediocre wobbly flan.
posted by The Whelk at 9:04 AM on October 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


The last two seasons have been full of, "That was fun" episodes that suddenly turn to crap when I stop to think about them. And while I know that Doctor Who is famous for lacking continuity that can usually be chalked up to it passing through so many sets of hands. Moffat can't even keep his own shit straight. Playing Calvinball with the plot, indeed.

Sounds like my attitude has switched from /r/doctorwho to /r/gallifrey.
posted by charred husk at 9:05 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Could it be that Amy doesn't talk because only Arthur Darvill was available to do voice-over work?
posted by pibeandres at 9:07 AM on October 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


That's something I've wondered about too - that cherub at Vanderbilt fountain, in particular, would have been spotted every couple steps by random passing couples, tourists, dogs, that Thoth guy who lives under the bridge, etc. and so walking through Central Park would be like some massive game of "Red Light Green Light" for any weeping angel.

Actually much less so, assuming they move at something approaching the speed of sound, and that they can fly. If so there's always plenty of instants available for zipping above eye level and zooming into a shadow across the square. While there may be hundreds of gazes blanketing a public area, there are always regions that will be ignored. It's fair to suppose angels are highly adept at exploiting these low-observation corridors.

Like I said prior, I think the trouble with the angels is the opposite. The characters have been getting way too many lucky breaks. The angels freeze a lot when only the camera is observing them (okay maybe there's subtle breaking of the fourth wall here for shits n giggles), but then there are moments where they freeze when NO ONE is looking at them. Rory should have never survived that basement. Amy and Rory should have never been able to take that swan dive. And so on.

Or that the statues are at two ends of a corridor, so they see each other and should be stuck forever like they were in Blink.


And that too. There was a lot of that.

I'm pretending the "image of an Angel is an Angel itself" story didn't happen so we don't have so many Angels floating around on postcards etc.

I'm not. I mean, it would explain how Manhattan got colonized in the first place, as well as covering their reproductive biology. I can't imagine they mate, as snogging and banging still involves 'observation', even with your eyes closed.

And that opens up another question: if you can feel an angel does that count as enough observation to make it freeze? Is only the part you can observe frozen or could River have closed her eyes and still expected the angel holding her to be locked in place? If not... if only the parts of an angel you can observe are frozen, does that mean the back of their hair and gowns can still flow about while you're looking them in the eye?
posted by clarknova at 9:07 AM on October 12, 2012


Except for Dinosaurs on a spaceship that episode is FLAWLESS.

Actually, I was kind of....meh on it. Except for one exchange -
BRIAN WILLIAMS (pointing into the distance): What are those big flying things, are those kestrels?

THE DOCTOR (turns to look, then turns around with a big, slightly panicked grin): I do hope so!
Seriously, Matt Smith seemed like he was channelling Tom Baker for that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:07 AM on October 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


While there may be hundreds of gazes blanketing a public area, there are always regions that will be ignored. It's fair to suppose angels are highly adept at exploiting these low-observation corridors.

I'm imagining an overshot of people walking across the Great lawn or something with a weeping cherub doing a red-light-green-light jumping from lamppost to statue to freize cause hey who would notice that there's another cherub there?
posted by The Whelk at 9:13 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Of course. They have a kid -- a boy, because Moffat doesn't like girls -- and Amy doesn't actually get to say a single word. I might have disliked the episode (it made no sense that they were stuck in New York forever), but this ending would have made it even worse.

Well, they already have a girl, who Moffat could frankly stand to dislike a bit more, and Amy doesn't say anything because this would come after her doing her own version of this scene with The Doctor. This is just giving Rory and his dad the same treatment that Amy is already afforded (and as such makes it redundant, hence why it wasn't shot in the end.)
posted by Navelgazer at 9:15 AM on October 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: "No, I think what Dr. Zira was getting at was more like "New York is so crowded that there is a much greater likelihood that someone could be 'looking at an angel' at any given moment"."

They took the subway. No one ever makes eye contact on the subway.
posted by zarq at 9:21 AM on October 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


That's a good question about the angels - do you have to consciously "see" them, or do you just have to be capable of seeing them to "see" them?

So what you're really asking is

"is unconscious observation still observation?"

I'd think it would be a sort of uncertainty equivalent to quantum uncertainty. And a matter of degree. If you're not observing them at all they can move very freely, which, following hints dropped by Moffat, is like unto the probabilistic wave functions that have unobserved particles existing in many places and states at once. Likewise, the degree to which they receive your unconscious attention limits the number of possible positions they could inhabit. If questioned later about the position of a statue you weren't consciously considering you would only be able to account for a rage of places it could have been, and of places it probably wasn't. You could make a heat map or contour surface of zones the Angel could have moved into with lesser and greater ease.

At least that's the line of bull I'd use on a GM if this were a tabletop RPG.
posted by clarknova at 9:22 AM on October 12, 2012


clarknova:
" Likewise, the degree to which they receive your unconscious attention limits the number of possible positions they could inhabit. If questioned later about the position of a statue you weren't consciously considering you would only be able to account for a rage of places it could have been, and of places it probably wasn't."
"Well, I guess the Statue of Liberty MIGHT have been standing in Times Square. I wasn't really paying much attention, though."
posted by charred husk at 9:27 AM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]



I didn't love this episode, either, but I feel the root cause of all the problems was this strange need to make every companion send-off absolutely irreversible.

By my math, this is the 3rd of 4 major companions since the relaunch who the Doctor can absolutely, no-take-backs, never see again. The specific problems with this episode, I think, are just the contortions that they needed to go to come up with yet another way for the Doctor and Companion to be separated.

I suppose it is because the Doctor/Companion relationship since the relaunch is cast as a Romance, even when it is chaste, and the audience won't really accept an amicable break-up. (Or, at least, it isn't particularly dramatic.)
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 9:36 AM on October 12, 2012


well, I'm really curious now how they're going to work the next companion.

(spoilers)





I assume he meets up with her BEFORE the dalek thing? But....she didn't know who he was. And that idea was already played out with River, anyways. I would pretty much love it if she was the companion POST-dalek, because that's definitely a new game to try.
posted by Windigo at 9:38 AM on October 12, 2012


Which we know because people occasionally survive such falls, whether they are suicide attempts or accidents.

I actually said out loud during the episode,"So Moffat, any MORE handsome men you'd like to throw off a building?" After Sherlock & Rory, who do you think he is going to do for the trifecta?
posted by pointystick at 9:44 AM on October 12, 2012


I'm afraid I'm going to have to do something controversial here and say that other than the overbearing violins I found this to be a nice wrap up for Brian.

Worse, I have to admit I've found the last few seasons delightful to watch. I do think Amy and Rory had become less interesting with time but they were never uninteresting, and I think they were ushered out in a particularly graceful way.

All and all I've been enjoying the show and look forward to enjoying it some more after the break.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:48 AM on October 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


I suppose it is because the Doctor/Companion relationship since the relaunch is cast as a Romance, even when it is chaste, and the audience won't really accept an amicable break-up. (Or, at least, it isn't particularly dramatic.)

This is why I think they should make the next Doctor much older (Bill Nighy older, hint, hint), you immediatly dispense with the romantic possibilities and would become able to tell much different stories between the characters.
posted by Omon Ra at 9:54 AM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hmm. Now I wonder lots of things. Does an angel self-observing cause it to quantum lock? You'd assume not, otherwise covering their faces with their hands wouldn't be a viable strategy. But this suggests that an angel in mobile modality perceives the world very differently from other beings: able to enjoy self-awareness of all its possible states rather than just the single reality flesh and blood creatures are consigned to. So then why doesn't this extend to other angels?

Putting that aside and going with the canon premise that angels observing each other cause them to freeze permanently, and the other canon premise that the image of an angel is also an angel, are they in as much danger from mirrors and other reflective surfaces as they are from other angels?

What happens to the angel if you break the mirror displaying its image? What sort of angel do you get from an imperfect reflector like a dusty pane of glass or the distortion of a funhouse mirror? Do you get a transluscent or deformed angel?

Why does the angel's clothing also turn to stone? If an angel took off its gown and headband and went for a skinny dip would these garments freeze into rock when a young shepherd happened by? Are they even removable, or are they actually bodily tissues that only appear to be clothing?

Can an angel send another angel back in time?
posted by clarknova at 9:57 AM on October 12, 2012


I seem to be the ever-forbearing fan here, like Tell Me No Lies, in that I enjoy it most of the time even if I have quibbles with particular stories.

I agree the Angels have been tougher and tougher to handle, storywise, but that's largely because you only want to revisit them if you can do something new with them, and there's some risk in doing that. I'm also not happy that they feel the need to make the companion exits so permanent, especially when they imply that there have been "breaks" taken by Amy and Rory. Part of the problem there, perhaps, is the initial conceit that they are going to pay attention to these companions' home lives and families and other things tying them back to Earth, today (or 20 minutes into the future as it may be). So you have to really work up a slam-bang resolution -- you can't just have them fall for an alien or get ticked off at or bored with the Doctor or some thing. In the reboot, the Doctor has been set up as much more of an agent of his own circumstance and narratively that means a sort of meta-responsibility for tying up loose ends. I think you can tie yourself up in knots if you start doing that all the time.
posted by dhartung at 9:57 AM on October 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


Tell Me No Lies....thank you, I was beginning to hate all the hate in this thread. I personally have loved this season. You could feel the end of the Ponds coming...hell you could feel it during the last one even.
And I would have loved to have seen this filmed, esp after the last line Brian says to the Doctor (which was weirdly cut off in this short) "just bring him back safe"

I actually teared up at a storyboard
posted by ShawnString at 10:04 AM on October 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


I didn't love this episode, either, but I feel the root cause of all the problems was this strange need to make every companion send-off absolutely irreversible.

Hopefully, Moffat will make this actually irreversible. I don't need the companion send-offs to be irreversible, but if they say they are, I want them to be that way and not have another Rose coming back scenario.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:15 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is it terrible that I want to read this thread, even though I'm not going to see these episodes until they are on netflix?
posted by ejaned8 at 10:36 AM on October 12, 2012


Where do I start on the Matt Smith run? I'd like to get back into it, but I got sort of burnt out on Tennant.

Smith's first season as The Doctor (Season 5) was pretty much excellent, so much so I bought the DVDS (something I had not done with NuWho). I'd start there. The real pleasure is Smith's take on the Doctor. One thing to keep in mind: Amy Pond is the plot lynch pin of the Smith run through the next 2.5 seasons.

Season 6 is where things get a little sticky for me. I thought the first four episodes were great, but the River Song story arc running throughout the season just didn't do it for me. If you liked what you saw of River Song in Season 5, then you'll enjoy Season 6, as Moffat basically doubles down on that. Additionally, the non-River Song episodes in this season after episode 4 were a hit or miss affair. A lot of the GRAR! you're seeing in this thread started in Doctor Who threads right about the midpoint of Season 6.

That said, I still think Matt Smith is the best Doctor of the NuWho era and Moffat (and his writers) are able to tug on your heart strings even in their worst episodes, so it's very easy to get caught up in the moment when watching them.
posted by KingEdRa at 10:47 AM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Matt Smith is an excellent, excellent Doctor. I just wish he was in better hands.
posted by Malor at 11:21 AM on October 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


gauche: "My hope going into this episode was that the tragic end for Amy and Rory would require the Doctor to choose principle (i.e., don't kill the bad guy no matter what, not even to save Amy and Rory) over saving them. I kind of hoped that what we were seeing in these episodes was the Doctor trying to get comfortable with killing the villain to save the Ponds, and in the end realizing that that is not how the Ponds would want to be saved."

The problem with that is that Amy has been on the other side of it also. In The Wedding of River Song she also is culpable of "killing a villain basically in cold blood" (Madame Kovarian with the eye drive), and she does it for spite not to save someone.
posted by I am the Walrus at 11:30 AM on October 12, 2012


I actually teared up at a storyboard

Actually, things like this sort of bother me. When looking at making-of shots or rough rehearsals I feel nothing at all for the characters or their situation. In fact I feel the opposite of nothing for the characters: I feel embarrassment for the actors that have to deliver these silly kids' show lines while pretending to have relevant emotions. Without the music and pacing imposed by editing this stuff doesn't work for me at all. Which I fear means on some level New Who doesn't work at all either.
posted by clarknova at 11:31 AM on October 12, 2012


You're all wrong.

Actually, I've enjoyed Moffat's run more than I have hated it, but a lot of that has to do with how much I loved his stories for Russel T. Davies - not anything he's done lately. One reason I enjoy the current Whoverse is watching it with my teenage daughters. They bring a lot of passion and acceptance of the the plots I normally wouldn't forgive so easily. And, they can enjoy the shows on a level uncomplicated by all the history I bring to the show.

IMHO - This was a terrible send-off for the Ponds.

I loved the Ponds, but I was more than willing to let them go. But not like this. This was just stupid. Why couldn't they just choose life without the doctor?

My daughters were invested in the Ponds a lot more than I was (although redheads do hold a special place in my heart - I'm talking about Amelia here), but even they would have been willing to let go if the logic wasn't just so stupid.

The logic for keeping them "trapped" in New York was insulting. The postscript linked above would have only made it worse. Re-using the same literary device of a "letter from the ancestor" from Blink would have just added insult to injury.

And while we're on the subject of plots and bad writing; over the past two seasons I've grown wearily acutely offended bored apathetic and ambivalent about the goddamned sonic screwdriver.

Is there anything, anything it can't do? Watching Matt Smith wave it around like a flyswatter to reverse the cubes' effects in a Power of Three about drove me mad.

I think I would be ready to give up on the Doctor if it weren't for two things - the fun I get watching it with my girls and the very cute Jenna-Louise Coleman.
posted by arkham_inmate_0801 at 12:00 PM on October 12, 2012


The problem with that is that Amy has been on the other side of it also. In The Wedding of River Song she also is culpable of "killing a villain basically in cold blood" (Madame Kovarian with the eye drive), and she does it for spite not to save someone.

Yeah, well, wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey. That was ages ago, and in a different timeline, besides.

No, I take your point. But still, it really felt, to me, like they were building up to some kind of a really tragic exit for the Ponds, and that the Doctor was carrying around all this weighty foreknowledge which was making him act somewhat out of character the whole time, and I remember thinking, "this is all going to pay off when we say goodbye to the Ponds."

I mean, in Dinosaurs, he has that moment with Amy, where assures her that they'll be with him to his bitter end, and she says, "or the other way around," or whatever, and he just looks at her like he knows something. And then the very next thing he does, he goes and flat fucking murders Solomon for killing all those innocent Silurians. It's dark and out of character and he's even a bit smug doing it. What is that? It's foreshadowing something.

And then, the Ponds just get phased out of time by the Angels, which is the equivalent, from a dramatic standpoint, of getting eaten by wild animals. They were just prey. It wasn't personal, it wasn't a great sacrifice or a terrible choice the Doctor would have had to make. They might as well have died of hypothermia. It was sad, but it wasn't particularly dramatic.
posted by gauche at 12:03 PM on October 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


My problem wasn't so much with the smaller angels traveling through the city, but the SOL. I might have been willing to suspend disbelief on that had there not been "What's that sound?" dialogue. Like nobody in NYC is going to take a gander out the window when they hear suspicious booming sounds?
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:30 PM on October 12, 2012


Isn't it the worst of both worlds? It was a hand-wavey way to write off the Doctor's longest running companion (in his personal timeline, anyway), and they'll just be back next year for the 50th reunion splash anyway.
posted by gerryblog at 1:04 PM on October 12, 2012


How I'd've done it, I think: The Doctor comes back again. For him it hasn't been that long, but Amy's been waiting decades. (Bringing the "Girl Who Waited" trope back around one more time.) Rory's dead, she's dying, we get a glimpse of what their life together was like all that time but of course it doesn't really matter. The Doctor and Amy have one last talk (if it's just the coda of an episode) or one last adventure (if it's the whole thing) and then that's it, she dies of old age and he's still young.

Basically, the end of Peter Pan: "When Wendy Grew Up."

Then at the end of the episode the Doctor realizes their memories of the last time they met don't actually align, and he's got one more adventure with the young Ponds still to come in his timeline. So he does his impish smiling-through-tragedy reset and runs off to the TARDIS and that's our hook for the 50th anniversary reunion.
posted by gerryblog at 1:14 PM on October 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


While I think the story needed a few more drafts, it still worked well enough for me emotionally, and I liked playing with the "don't blink" trope by introducing stuff that they shouldn't view at all lest they screw up their future.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:18 PM on October 12, 2012


Huh. I loved this episode, and adored this little postscript. It's probably just because I love Who so much that I almost never find anything to dislike about it, but I thought the send-off for the Ponds was beautiful.

Also, I've said it before, but I mean it more and more: Brian should be the next companion. Or, for the anniversary next year, the Doctor travels with Brian and Wilf.
posted by jbickers at 1:50 PM on October 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


Wow. I had no idea there was so much fan-hate. I think Moffat is doing a swell job. RTD hit higher highs, but he also hit much lower lows... Moffat is consistently good, he hasn't had as many instant classic episodes as RTD but he also hasn't subjected us to farting aliens and Weakest Link parodies that were dated as hell before they even reached America's shores.

The storyboard made me mist up a little (which was weird) but it made me even more puzzled about how Amy and Rory's imprisonment worked. I had the feeling that all the people in the hotel couldn't leave their rooms (or at least couldn't leave the hotel) until they died. But... Somehow they adopted a kid?

The Pond exit was very affecting emotionally, and if there were certain things that didn't quite click logistically, sometimes you just have to accept that stuff with Who. There are times where they get into a jam plot-wise and maybe you have a better idea for how they could've gotten around it, but the show is what it is and you have to make some allowances. Like in Daleks in New York (another very controversial episode that I quite liked) there was the whole thing with the poor guy who got turned into a pigman, and the Doctor was all, "I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do..." Even as I wanted to scream at the screen HOP IN THE TARDIS AND TAKE HIM TO A GOOD PLASTIC SURGEON IN THE YEAR 3000, I knew that the ending was really about the beauty and the beast thing with the pigman and the showgirl. Their bittersweet love story was the real point, and how they got to that point wasn't as important.


As far as Rory knew (or at least should have known), he might have survived the fall


If that idea crossed his mind, I don't think it would've stopped him. It was more likely he would've been killed, and I think he was desperate enough to risk it.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:22 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had the feeling that all the people in the hotel couldn't leave their rooms (or at least couldn't leave the hotel) until they died. But... Somehow they adopted a kid?

Maybe he was a prisoner at the hotel as well? No reason why a child on its own couldn't become a victim of the angels.

I've been wondering then, if they were never able to leave the hotel, who buried them, who placed their headstone? They must have known people on the outside, I cannot see the angels burying any of their victims. How would they know these people except, most reasonably, to have met them outside, as work mates or what have you.

Another vote here for Brian as a companion, even just briefly, for an adventure or 3. I just love him!
posted by zarah at 3:02 PM on October 12, 2012


Wow. I had no idea there was so much fan-hate.

I feel like online Doctor Who fandom is composed of approximately 75% fan-hate at any given time, no matter who the showrunner is. I'm really not certain what people expect out of Doctor Who any more, only that no matter what, they will be dissatisfied. Maybe that's the joy of Doctor Who for some people, but man, I'm one of those "just enjoy it" people with Doctor Who and I'd stop watching if I started disliking it that much.

I'm also kind of annoyed by irreversible companion departures, but I feel like that's something it's hard to write your way out of, given your average Doctor-Companion relationship in Nu Who and casting constraints of actor availability. After all, with Amy and Rory, we know they were considering stopping with the crazy traveling in space-time life. Consider the rest of the season if Amy and Rory had just said, "Doctor, we can't do this any more. We still love you though, so feel free and come by for dinner every so often." It'd be doable: the Doctor drops them off, gets a new companion, and makes the occasional reference to popping in on the Ponds. But that still leaves the story open-ended: they're going to die eventually, and the Doctor doesn't have an infinite number of points in their timestream to drop in on, so some future Doctor Who writer has to address it, or leave it as a dangling plot thread for fanfiction and/or Big Finish audio adventures to maybe take care of. Alternatively, the Doctor's going to regenerate, and when he does, it's another loose end. Either way you're going to end up with a sort of sloppy resolution that's lacking in emotional closure. Keep doing it and you end up with a lot of dangling plot threads of companions hanging around, potentially there to serve the story again, but really not.

As it is, I frequently wonder why Martha, who's the only Nu Who companion who hasn't been brainwiped (I HATE YOU RTD) or isn't in another universe or has their own spinoff, isn't mentioned more often. So I'm not sure what's worse: have companions go out with an irreversible bang and/or heartache, or have them sort of fading away in the background, never to be heard from again.

The best case scenario for a non-tragic, not overly dramatic companion exit is the same as what happens to a lot of single-episode companions: they have some adventures with the Doctor, but then go on to do something more important or meaningful to them that puts them in one time/place, and the Doctor happily leaves them to it. I guess this isn't high enough stakes for a companion who's been around for more than a season in Nu Who, though I do wish it was sometimes.
posted by yasaman at 3:08 PM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I want a whole episode about Brian and Wilf meeting up and having an adventure together. Maybe they meet someplace and realize how much they have in common, and then they realize there's some sort of alien threat to the Earth that nobody else knows about, and they try to contact the Doctor but for some reason they can't reach him, so now it looks like saving the world is up to the two old dudes who'd really rather be home with a cup of tea...

I have to stop before this turns into fanfic.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:10 PM on October 12, 2012 [10 favorites]


I really disliked that episode, and the more I think about it, the more I dislike it. Those poor, poor Angels, reduced to a monster of the week. I want my story about the City That Never Sleeps being a prison for a goliath Weeping Angel, dammit. Such a squandered opportunity.

I wonder how Moffat's going to ruin the Silents? Maybe in the Xmas special he'll make them turn out to be Santa Claus. We see them putting gifts under the tree every year on Xmas eve, but then forget about them by Xmas morn.

...oh god. I can totally imagine him writing that.
posted by painquale at 3:58 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm also kind of annoyed by irreversible companion departures, but I feel like that's something it's hard to write your way out of, given your average Doctor-Companion relationship in Nu Who and casting constraints of actor availability. After all, with Amy and Rory, we know they were considering stopping with the crazy traveling in space-time life.

They more or less have to do this because of the ludicrous emotional investment New Who expects its audience to make in THE COMPANIONS©®™

In Old Who companions came and went with easy regularity. Two's companions got a three minute epilogue as a footnote to the story of his trial and exile. Three had a handful of humans that were more interns with day jobs than companions. Five had cloud of forgettable little rascals that he ferried around like the TARDIS was a schoolbus. Six kept the company of Perry almost exclusively, until such time as he ditched her on some primitive rock so he could attend his own trial on Gallifrey, and acquired Mel through a never-explained accident of . He didn't even bother to pick Perry up and take her home. What's that? She has to marry some bloodthirsty caveman to survive on the brutal planet where I dumped her? Ah well. I have a TARDIS and could pick her up but no matter. She'll make do.

And so on. The point being that human companions were interesting eye candy, and could be relied on the way you rely on a mutt you rescue from the pound on a whim, but they weren't moral superheros, nor brides of Christ, nor causal nexuses (Charity notwithstanding), nor some immortal archetype of the alchemical marriage. Having painted themselves into the corner by making every companion a Mary Sue, Davies and Moffat are more or less stuck with these bathetic send-offs for their glorified sidekicks.


And while we're on the subject of plots and bad writing; over the past two seasons I've grown wearily acutely offended bored apathetic and ambivalent about the goddamned sonic screwdriver. Is there anything, anything it can't do? Watching Matt Smith wave it around like a flyswatter to reverse the cubes' effects in a Power of Three about drove me mad.

Self-created, self-resurrecting Space God solves all problems with dramatic displays of his buzzing metal penis, which gets larger and more erectile with each incarnation. This white savior encounters strange alien race after strange alien race, and dispatches their most unruly, unwashed members with with absolute moral authority. This new phallic, patriarchal dimension is commensurate with his new role as Most Powerful Warrior In The Universe. This re-imagining of the character just happens to occur a scant four months after Britain joins a war of conquest. A war with blatant crusader overtones; waged against a nation of dark skinned aliens of questionable moral character...

Don't tell me I'm the only one who picked up on that shit.
posted by clarknova at 4:05 PM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Personally, I think the one complaint has to do with the other, clarknova. The overarching political theme of New Who is that only the decency of average British citizens can keep the increasingly unlimited power of the state from becoming monstrous.
posted by gerryblog at 4:25 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


The American's should just buy Who franchise. It's pretty obvious that a huge profitable Who market has been discovered over the Atlantic.

Mildly quirky British guy interacts with a panoply of cliched American characters. It's a winner!
posted by mattoxic at 4:37 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Mr. Belvedere reboot is down the hall.
posted by gerryblog at 4:42 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just wouldn't necessarily say it was better that Old Who basically discarded companions on a whim. I personally like having some emotional involvement in the companions. They don't need to be the Most Important Ever, but I do want their relationship with the Doctor to matter, to the characters if not the plot. I guess my ideal for a companion is more in the Donna Noble mold. Though it would also be great to have a full season of shorter term companions, where the Doctor picks and chooses random people he's had an adventure with, like Nefertiti and Riddell from Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. But it seems like Nu Who has fully established its pattern at this point, and I'm dubious about the likelihood of any showrunner being willing to change it.
posted by yasaman at 5:08 PM on October 12, 2012


errr, clarknova - i think you're the only one - but you make a convincing argument.
posted by arkham_inmate_0801 at 5:11 PM on October 12, 2012


I prefer the drawing linked in the last Doctor Who thread.
posted by homunculus at 5:24 PM on October 12, 2012


Martha, Martha Martha. My favorite of the new companions. I would pay cash money to watch a Smith & Jones spin-off series.
posted by KingEdRa at 5:40 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Ponds were not trapped in the hotel. The hotel was destroyed by the paradox thing. They were merely sent back in time by a stray surviving angel to a time period that the TARDIS is locked out from. Why they stay in New York, I don't know, but I suppose they didn't want to mess up the timeline by returning to Britain and accidentally meeting an ancestor or their own younger selves.

I'm not sure who made this, but I thought this was a better coda myself.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 9:36 PM on October 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


I had the feeling that all the people in the hotel couldn't leave their rooms (or at least couldn't leave the hotel) until they died. But... Somehow they adopted a kid?

Maybe he was a prisoner at the hotel as well? No reason why a child on its own couldn't become a victim of the angels.

I've been wondering then, if they were never able to leave the hotel, who buried them, who placed their headstone? They must have known people on the outside, I cannot see the angels burying any of their victims. How would they know these people except, most reasonably, to have met them outside, as work mates or what have you.


Rory's suicide paradox destroyed the hotel. The angel who sent him back was a lone "survivor," according to the Doctor. So presumably, he just got sent back in time where he was, or nearby. Even though there was no guarantee that she'd end up in the same place, Amy risked touching the angel (even though it shouldn't have been able to do anything to her, given that River Song and the Doctor were looking right at her and the angel behind her) and, apparently, got sent back to where (or should I say, When?) Rory was (or should I say, Wherewas?)

On edit view: what rarebit fiend said

(it made no sense that they were stuck in New York forever)

And yeah, since when does the Doctor knowing something make that something a fixed point?


The tombstone was the key. Once Rory saw it and read it, they all knew that he would/had get sent to the past where he will/had die/died. Same scenario as Amy reading the book. The reason why it was fixed was not because the Doctor knew it, but because it was part of his own timeline and he knew it. It's been established before that the Doctor can't (or at least, really really shouldn't) travel back and forth through his own timeline, and that once something occurs within his subjective experience he can't go back and prevent it from happening.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:41 PM on October 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


[Reminder: Please don't add content using "On edit view," and similar – the edit function is just for typos and errors. Quick guidelines are included on the edit window. Thanks.]
posted by taz at 10:11 PM on October 12, 2012


Oh ok, thank you Rarebit & Saxon! This episode has completely confused me and everyone I watch the show with, lol.
posted by zarah at 10:17 PM on October 12, 2012


Rory's suicide paradox destroyed the hotel.

Oh, right. I think I understood that while I was watching, but it sort of got scrambled in my head in the week afterwards.

So yeah, even if the Doctor can't ever visit 1938 New York again, it is a little funky that he can't just go find the Ponds in, say, 1940, and pick them up... Even if the time and place of death is (literally) set in stone for the Ponds, there's no reason why they couldn't go wherever (or whenever) they want before then. If Moffat wanted to set it up so the Doctor could never see them again, he could've dropped in a line saying (for instance) the Ponds themselves had now become a dangerously unstable element in the timestream, and any time travel in their vicinity could blow up New York. Something like that. But again, with the new Who you just have to accept that sometimes an otherwise terrific hour of television has a glaring plot hole that could've been explained away in a line or two.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:55 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Most people seem to prefer the first Doctor they were exposed to, thinking of him as 'the right one', but while I really, really liked Eccleston (my first, at the start of New Who), and didn't like Tennant for a good while after the switch, Matt Smith has completely owned that role from the instant he stepped into it.

I've seen a couple of episodes with Tom Baker, widely considered to be "the best Doctor", and, while he was excellent, I think Smith might be even better. Hard to imagine anyone more suited to the role.

That twigged me, for whatever reason, to River Song's observation that the Doctor was 'removing himself from the records', trying to regain his anonymity. And I just suddenly realized.... Moffat is literally trying to destroy everything Davies did with the series. Everything.
posted by Malor at 11:14 PM on October 12, 2012


Most people seem to prefer the first Doctor they were exposed to

William Hartnell.

All the others have been clowns. (But I still luvs dem)

Watch a Dr Who 1.0 episode to see what I mean.
posted by arzakh at 11:23 PM on October 12, 2012


What about the dandy?

Pertwee forever
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:06 AM on October 13, 2012


My big issue with this episode was that the Doctor couldn't land in 1930's New Jersey and take the train in? I mean, I get the distaste, but really?
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 7:21 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rarebit fiend, thank you for that coda. I love you, internet person who made that.

The coda hit me hard for personal reasons. I cry at international coffee commercials, but I was sobbing by the end of it. As for the episode, it had highs and lows, but overall was pretty good but not great. I was expecting a death, not what we got, but I can see why Moffat and Chibnall made the decisions they made about the Ponds' exit.

I have concluded that my big problem with Moffat is that he fundamentally writes episodes for the old 80ish-minute serial format and crams them down into 45-50 minutes to meet the current show format. It leaves out a lot of material and that weakens the story and the characterization of, well, everybody. This bothers me far more than the sexism in the show, which is not really a Moffat problem (sorry, RTD's treatment of women as all about their romantic relationship to the Doctor is also waaaaaay problematic, and then there's all of Classic Who. 50-year-old show is sexist, film at 11!) because it consistently shorts everything about the show that's good. This is part of why Moffat's two-parters are generally better; they come a lot closer to meeting the platonic form he's writing/showrunning for. I'm still not ready to see him go as showrunner, but I'm glad we're getting a shakeup in the cast. The dynamic had gotten stale.

Also, Smith really owns the role the same way Tom Baker did. I love him. I'm excited to see him with the new companion--no hate here!
posted by immlass at 9:54 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


My big issue with this episode was that the Doctor couldn't land in 1930's New Jersey and take the train in? I mean, I get the distaste, but really?

I think we were supposed to take from the claim that any further paradoxes would blow up New York that the Doctor can't risk doing anything to screw up getting Rory's name on that tombstone. So even if he landed someplace safe and got them the long way, they still have to go back and definitely be buried there.

Why they can't just make the tombstone without Rory actually being underneath it, who knows....
posted by gerryblog at 10:57 AM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've enjoyed this season of Who more than any for a while.

Some of the things I've read in this thread remind me of a book I once read about Hamlet, which pointed out various timeline and logic anomalies in it. But then it went on to say that none of that matters, and it's part of Shakespeare's art that no-one notices any of that while they're sitting in the theater, he just uses it all to work on people in the way he wants.

If I was in overthinking mode, yes, there is really no way I can make sense of the Statue of Liberty being or becoming an Angel. As far as I understand it, the Angels are ancient creatures that have existed since an early point in the history of the universe whereas someone definitely made the Statue of Liberty comparatively recently.

But if I just go with it, it's rather a nice moment.

I liked the P.S. in the FPP a lot too. Like a few other things in Angels in Manhattan, it maybe parallels Blink a bit too much, which might be why they decided to leave it out. But a scene where a father realizes he'll never see his son again, where the son gets to say his last farewells to his father, and a grandfather and grandson meet for the first time, that certainly has the makings of a very strong, moving scene.

Also rather tickled by the idea that in the Pond/Williams family, not only is the daughter older than her parents, the grandson is older than the grandpa. Now that's what I call family viewing.
posted by philipy at 4:25 PM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have to make a correction. I know no one reading this gives a damn at this point, but I'm embarrassed of the mistake I made, as well as terrified to have anyone think that Collin "Carrot Juice" Baker is my favorite Doctor.

Names are something I suck at, so it's no surprise to anyone who knows me that I screwed this up - Tom Baker is my man, er Time Lord, not Collin. I don't know if he was my first Doctor - it may have been Jon Pertwee, who comes in a very close second for my favorite "classic" Doctors.
posted by arkham_inmate_0801 at 7:09 PM on October 13, 2012


I enjoyed PS, a lot.
Not the adopted child bit, but otherwise. I'm sad they didn't use it as a webisode (which I assume it is).

And, if we can't have Brian and Wilf (or Evelyn Smythe), how about The Adventures of Jago and Litefoot?

(Also, I must say: PERI not Perry. That was really bugging me).
posted by Mezentian at 8:00 PM on October 13, 2012


Okay, I really will never understand people complaining about plot holes in Doctor Who.

HE'S AN IMMORTAL WITH A TIME MACHINE. There are many many situations where that can be used to good advantage. You don't have to share information with your past self to solve problems, you can just arrange situations far in advance to work in your favor.

The simplest and most obvious thing in the past few episodes was Dinosaurs On A Spaceship where a) first the Doctor made the fully voluntary choice to board a spacecraft that would be destroyed within hours and b) upon realizing this didn't just bail to a year earlier and program the autopilot to do the right thing at the last moment.

This happens over and over again throughout the series. It's a very rare episode that can't be resolved quickly and quietly by using the TARDIS and a little ingenuity.

So basically the show is one long plot hole. It's nice when they try to maintain internal consistency, but they're building their structure on a bed of Jello.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:19 PM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


What I keep saying to people, and have done for years, is that Dr Who is akin to a religion to me. I love it, even when I hate it.

Not in this way, but in a kind of "it's been there all of my life: FREE PASS".

Even when it doesn't make sense.

I'm not sure why I find Moffat's issues less grating than RTD's issues, but I guess that's hiowe bloody religious wars start.
posted by Mezentian at 4:47 AM on October 14, 2012


I find Moffat's issues less grating than RTD's issues

For me RTD's issues were more story, character, theme issues rather than for want of a better term "logic issues". Things like "I don't believe that character would do that, it doesn't seem like them at all". Or: "Is Torchwood so secret that even the Prime Minister doesn't know about it, or is it something everyone in Cardiff has heard of? Make up your mind."

In the RTD world it seemed like you could have a massive alien invasion of London, and six months later no one there even believed in aliens. So even if he made up some explanation, it just didn't seem to fit.

Also with a bunch of his plots, it's not so much that there were holes in plot logic as it seemed like his approach was to think of a scene he thought would be cool, and throw a bunch of stuff around it to make a story.

Not that I didn't love some of his stuff as well.

But when it comes to temporal anomalies not making sense, I'm very relaxed.

From Shada:

PARSONS: And I don't believe that we travelled hundreds of light years.
DOCTOR: Why not?
PARSONS: You cannot travel faster than light. Einstein.
DOCTOR: What? Do you understand Einstein?
PARSONS: Yes.
DOCTOR: What? And quantum theory?
PARSONS: Yes.
DOCTOR: What? And Planck?
PARSONS: Yes.
DOCTOR: What? And Newton?
PARSONS: Yes.
DOCTOR: What? And Schoenberg?
PARSONS: Of course.
DOCTOR: You've got a lot to unlearn. Ah.


I know I don't know anything about timey-wimey wibbly-wobbly stuff, and I'm pretty certain that Time Lords would point and laugh at my absurdly simplistic concepts of it. So I am in no position to understand why X is possible and Y is impossible.
posted by philipy at 7:55 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've said this before, but what I think Davies really excelled at was making you feel things. When he wanted to make a scene dramatic, for instance, he could absolutely rip your guts out... So during his early run on the show you had a lot of really iffy episodes that ended with an absolutely devastating emotional scene. It seemed like it took him a while to figure out how to really make the show work, and not long after he finally had it all worked out, he left.

Davies did have a few issues that came out in weird ways. I remember thinking he seemed to have a real anti-fat thing, which reached its apex with the whole Andipose story where the fat people would suddenly melt into a pile of cutesy little alien babies. He had a lot of fat, gross aliens and his fat people were often unsympathetic. (Davies himself isn't a skinny boy, so maybe there was a bit of self hatred there.) And I don't know if I could call it an issue exactly, but some of his ideas about romance were really odd to me... He had this thing where there would be two people who were either dating or clearly very smitten with each other, and then a third person would come along, and the couple would break up (without ever quite coming out and saying they were broken up) so that one of them could go off with the new person, and the person being left behind would just look a bit glum and shrug. It was seen most clearly in the Rose/Micky/Doctor triangle, but it came up over and over again. (I liked The Girl in the Fireplace, but I remember thinking it was weird that the Doctor was so ready to throw over Rose, and that Rose seemed so magnanimous about it.) People almost never seemed to feel strong jealousy, or to express it if they did feel it... It was a rare thing when Micky would give Rose trouble for stringing him along, and it was kind of a relief when he finally did.

Moffat has said some really nasty stuff about women, but weirdly enough it doesn't seem to be reflected in his stories. His female characters don't read like they were written by a guy who has Issues with Women.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:51 PM on October 14, 2012


I liked The Girl in the Fireplace, but I remember thinking it was weird that the Doctor was so ready to throw over Rose, and that Rose seemed so magnanimous about it.

I wonder if any of the Doctor's affection for Madame Pompadour was due to the fact that David Tennant was involved with Sophia Miles at that point...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:25 PM on October 14, 2012


So basically the show is one long plot hole. It's nice when they try to maintain internal consistency, but they're building their structure on a bed of Jello.

Well, if they did what you suggested and wrote plots with The Doctor always going back in time to rig events in his favor, every episode would end more or less like this.
posted by clarknova at 7:03 PM on October 14, 2012


Well, if they did what you suggested and wrote plots with The Doctor always going back in time to rig events in his favor, every episode would end more or less like this.

God as my witness it never occurred to me until this moment that they were using a phone booth as a time machine. And one with interesting spacial characteristics given how many people they were able to fit into it.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:34 PM on October 14, 2012


It's been said before but the one thing I really like about Moffat's run is that it's pretty consistent in terms of quality and tone. RTD just flew all over the place and yeah you got some dizzily highs but man did you get some low lows and clashing tones. I know what I'm in for week to week, so to speak and the worst episodes of the Smith era are kinda front-loaded at the start.
posted by The Whelk at 9:42 PM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


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