“Raggedy Man… Goodbye.”—Doctor Who: The Angels Take Manhattan.

Did you mean… “Raggedy man… goodnight”?

Previously on Doctor Who: The Power of Three.

Moffat, stop it with the roofs, will you. You obviously can’t be trusted.

Rory just had to get coffee. Had to get coffee and get himself zapped back in time by a baby Weeping Angel—a concept that is more than freaking me out, by the way. Creepy babies. Great.

This was an ending. The Doctor hates endings. But as far as endings have gone in the past few years, this was… beautiful. There, I’ve said it. Because, in the end, it was that simple. It wasn’t with a big bang, rebooting the universe or ripping time apart, or death. It was a farewell, a choice. The choice that Amy was always going to make. No tears hurt me more than the Doctor’s, but as time goes on he might come to see that, to them, this was kind, a gift. He didn’t fail them, and it wasn’t about saving them. They saved themselves. In the end, he was standing over their grave, but not over their broken bodies. They got to lead the life they wanted, if not quite in their own era, but they got to live it out, peacefully, together. They’re safe; and the one thing the Doctor’s always wanted them to be, is safe. This was the choice between real life and Doctor life; and it is a choice that Rory and Amy can only make together. If they can only have one, they choose each other. Together, or not at all. To save each other, they can do anything. And that is the Doctor’s plight. Everyone’s got lives, and the Doctor thinks they should. But it still hurts when he realises that those that don’t die or get left behind… they leave. In the end, they break his hearts.

It was always going to end this way. The Doctor was always going to have to stop seeing them at some point, because I’m presuming he wouldn’t want to see them wither and die right in front of him, so he was running from it, not wanting to get there yet. But he had to, in the end, he had to read the last page. It was always going to hurt; and the Doctor’s pain and grief in those last moments of seeing Amelia before never being able to see her again are insurmountable. Maybe he had a plan, maybe he was going to live out his remaining regenerations and then, just before dying his last death, visit them one last time. But he can’t do that now. They’re gone. The Ponds are gone. The Doctor wanted to have them around, wanted a place to come home to, even if he never would again after a while, not wanting to see them age.

River: “Never let him see the damage.”

And then, in the end, there is that one last time he can go see Amy, that one last bit that will give him hope; the sound of engines that we have been waiting for for so long, the punch line that Steven Moffat has been waiting for two years to tell. Little Amelia in The Eleventh Hour, in that goddamn shot I’ve been speculating on for an entire series, sitting in the garden and looking up, delight on her face. Tell Amy a story, Doctor. Make it a good one, eh. And listen to her. Don’t be alone.

This is also our goodbye, to Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, who were extraordinary from start to finish, and who have made our first three years with the Eleventh Doctor a magical and fantastic time. I will miss the Ponds, and I will miss them.

Next: Christmas Special 2012.

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One thought on ““Raggedy Man… Goodbye.”—Doctor Who: The Angels Take Manhattan.

  1. Touching, and oh so beautiful indeed. It is Amy and Rory who solve how to bring about the paradox while the Doctor flails around helplessly. It is Amy and Rory who give each other the strength to do what needs to be done. And it is Amy and Rory who live a full life together, as they always deserved to do.

    From the moment Melody (hint, hint) Malone talks of her lipstick being combat-ready (hint, hint, Let’s Kill Hitler, anyone?), this is Moffat at his best. It’s not quite perfect (I’ve been picking holes in the ending for the last few hours), but let’s not quibble. Liberty as Angel, baby Angels, the most beautiful coda which summarised Amy’s high points in her TARDIS travels and linked the end of Amy’s story right back to her beginning. If Moff really did have this planned out right back from the moment he wrote young Amelia’s scenes in The Eleventh Hour, it is an astonishing piece of creative work. An arc which has taken 2.5 seasons to evolve (3 if you want to trace it right back to Silence in the Library). This. Was. Magnificent.

    http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2012/09/29/doctor-who-season-7-episode-5-review-the-angels-take-manhattan/

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