The Angels Take Manhattan…And Dear Friends Too

*Warning* If you have not already watched the midseason finale of Doctor Who, I would suggest doing so. Spoilers ahead.

Why is the TARDIS BLUE?

Rose went away, and Idris did too…

Ask Donna “Where’s the Doctor?” to which she’ll say “Doctor who?”

Sarah Jane and Martha (and those dearly-loved Ponds)

Had their fun with the Doctor, but now have all gone.

So ask me again, why the TARDIS is blue…

I’ll talk of a Time Lord, with both hearts torn in two

  I found the original version of this poem on Reddit earlier this evening, as I chewed down most of my fingernails waiting for tonight’s episode of Doctor Who.  I’ve made so subtle changes to the prose, trying to add a little bit to it, so if the OP should ever see my edits, hopefully they won’t get too incensed with me.  I realize that this is a blog post on the internet, and that in and of itself warrants provocation from an opposing point of view, but with all things related to the good Doctor, I’m hoping we can all keep calm and carry on.

  However, after tonight’s mid-season finale, I find myself unable to keep calm, and I promise, there was a fair amount of carrying-on.

  ‘The Angels Take Manhattan’ finished a little over an hour ago, and I’m just now settled down and getting to this posting, having spent the last hour reflecting over what it has meant to me.

  Going into the episode, I have to admit, I selfishly drug my children into the living room with me for the broadcast.  I knew full well that tonight was a farewell to the Ponds; however my kids had only been introduced to 11, Amelia and Rory just the night before.  In fact, we’re still treading through Series 5 together when I made the executive decision to switch over.  In that regard, watching the Doctor plead with Amy in the closing minutes of the graveyard, I felt a little like the Doctor myself, in that I was asking them to sit with me through this powerful goodbye, if for no other reason that I just didn’t want to see it alone.  To their credit, they sat through it, wrapped up in the story.  While to Danny it was more a matter of laughing at the Weeping Angel cherubs (which, mind you last night, he fell asleep on the couch, while hiding his face from the site of them) and being stunned at the sight of The Statue of Liberty (come on, we *KNEW* that was coming), to Andrea it ran much deeper.

  Andrea’s been with Who for a while now.  She claims the 10th Doctor as “hers” (a fact that she claims rather proudly), and will still tear up over the scene where The Master refuses to regenerate at the end of ‘Last of the Time Lords’.  We rewatched ‘The End of Time’ last night, so Danny could see how one Doctor becomes another, and Tenant’s delivery of “I don’t want to go” still crushes her.  However, as much as she loves 10, and I’ll always be partial to the Ninth Doctor, I gotta say…Matt Smith keeps becoming more and more fantastic each time I watch him.

    With that 500+ word lead-in, it brings us back to the story at hand: ‘The Angels Take Manhattan’.  Hail and Farewell, Amelia and Rory.  The noir setting was perfect for the story to be told.  When Andrea pointed out that the Statue of Liberty was closed for most of 1938 for renovations, I wondered to myself how that would play out.  Five minutes in and there it was.  Given that as I write this, the Statue has been closed for renovations since October of 2011, and that the “improvements” are scheduled throughout the remainder of this year, I can’t help but to be relieved I have no business in the Big Apple this fall.

  Beside the great setting, the noir atmosphere, and a literal “big bad” afoot, I loved that Steven Moffat made such a beautiful closing chapter.  At the heart of it all was love, and family (River!) and yes, marriage.  There were two moments that the actor’s actions, I felt, captured such a beautiful symmetry; I hope other people caught them.  The first being after the realization that they had just watched Rory ( a much, much older Rory, that is) die in bed an old man.  Amelia’s reaction, her instant presence at Rory’s side, was a subtle yet powerful way to show very clearly that it would never be about choosing for her, their fate was together.

Amelia (Karen Gillan/ @KarenGillan2) standing by her man, Rory (Arthur Darvill/ @RattyBurvil) from ‘The Angels Take Manhattan’

  The second image, that of the Doctor and River together, as he realizes that Amy and Rory’s paradox was working, made me quite hopeful for the Doctor, that his fate to be alone have the tiniest spark of hope.  Grabbing river by the hand as the paradox took form, and their subsequent conversation in the TARDIS, may just be the hopeless romantic in me.  But changing the future?  That’s called “marriage”.

The Doctor (Matt Smith) and River Song (Alex Kingston) witnessing the Paradox created by the Ponds.

  I loved this episode, everything about it.  From the way the Doctor explained ripping the last page out of the book, to the actions taken (yes, even hand-holding), to that final, beautiful image of the girl who waited, this was a beautiful way to say goodbye to dear friends.  Even if it made me cry.  A LOT.

This is the story of Amelia Pond…and this is how it ends.

There’s a little girl, waiting in a garden. She’s going to wait a long while, so she’s going to need a lot of hope. Go to her, tell her a story. Tell her, that if she’s patient, the days are coming that she’ll never forget. Tell her she’ll go to sea, and fight pirates. She’ll fall in love with a man, who’d wait 2000 years to keep her safe. Tell her she’ll give hope to the greatest painter who ever lived. And save a whale in outer space. Tell her, this is the story of Amelia Pond. And this is how it ends…

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About obiwentz

Just a geek dad trying to make his way through an ever-expanding geek world, while trying to share nerd culture with his kids, and make his mark on the digital landscape.
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