One of those episodes that you definitely don’t want to analyse too deeply, in case it falls apart as much as you suspect it will, The Angels Take Manhattan is an appropriate end to the complicated saga of Amelia Pond, bringing it full circle to the little girl waiting in the garden for her raggedy man to come and take her away. Stylistically showing the series at the top of its game – some wonderful use of the New York locations and the many film noir homages in particular – it manipulates the emotions successfully, and (supposedly) brings an era to its end.
Not since the Eccleston stories has the Doctor been quite so impotent, and there’s a startling contrast between the Time Lord Victorious of The Waters of Mars and the man who rails against Amy’s final decision. We know that there are plenty of ways that he can visit Rory and Amy if he chooses to (and for those who say that Amy would have mentioned them in her afterword if they did, there’s no way she would, after all that’s gone before in this episode). That doesn’t alter the power of Rory’s sudden disappearance, or Amy’s deliberate turning away from the Angel to make her ultimate choice.
“That’s an episode of Doctor Who I won’t forget,” was my ten year old daughter’s reaction as the closing titles faded away. For all its failings, she hit the nail on the head – not necessarily the most enjoyable of this season, but certainly the most affecting.
Verdict: Time for a clean slate after three years – but the Ponds go out on a high. 8/10