Haven't really talked about my favourite Time Lord since I started this blog. Kinda too bad that it's a bit of a pan for the latest episode which saw his representative companions leave.
As a preface though, I have to say that I haven't caught any of the 2nd series with Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor...just the opening year when it was just Amy Pond with him, and then the last couple of episodes of this 3rd series, including the aforementioned "The Angels Take Manhattan". For the past several weeks leading up to the broadcast of "this very special episode of Doctor Who", much was said that there wouldn't be a dry eye in the house of any Doctor Who fans by the end of the ep. Well, I caught it yesterday through the SPACE website here in Canada, and I gotta say that I was somewhat more frustrated than saddened by the Pond swan song.
The technical stuff like the lighting and the backdrop of New York City was gorgeous, and of course, The Weeping Angels always come off as scary. However, all of that leadup with the film noir detective in the overly long pre-credits sequence was just one big useless red herring. And I'm not usually the sharpest billiard ball on the table when it comes to detecting plot holes, but the one with the Statue of Liberty slowly "sneaking up" to the building rooftop took the proverbial cake. Lady Liberty's stroll up Manhattan made more sense in "Ghostbusters 2". And then the entire cheat at the end where the Ponds have the major scene of jumping off the building to save everyone only to survive the paradox then only to end up dying (in a way) after all.....that struck me as being very manipulative....cue tear ducts. Sorry, Moffat, you ain't getting any of my brine.
But the worst thing about "The Angels Take Manhattan" was that the all-mighty Doctor ended up being emasculated. He was just a cipher in this one for all of the existential sturm und drang.; he got slapped by his wife, kept wringing his hands at every dire chapter heading written in the special novel, and finally ends up selfishly begging for Amy to stay when it was obvious that she would (and should) join her husband in the past. He did absolutely nothing. River Song ended up driving the TARDIS while he pouted on the steps. Speaking of whom, I just found Song to be not all that appealing in this ep. Certainly, she had never been meant to be written as a perfect character (Doctor Ten and her were bickering in their first meeting) but for some reason, she was even haughtier than usual in this episode....as if she were sticking it to Eleven that she could still visit the Ponds and he could not. However, the one insightful thing she did say was that phrase insinuating that the two of them were psychopaths.
It was a rather sad coda when compared to the rip-roarin' start that was "The Eleventh Hour". Giving the Doctor about as close to a real family traveling with him in the TARDIS was fine, but perhaps it's time to get him back on his horse and solve the problems of the universe with that new companion at his side. It's one thing to give the Doctor some rough edges and flaws to well-round him but I think enough is enough after watching this latest farewell to companions. Not every companion has to leave as a tragic basketcase.