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Sean McDevitt said on October 1st, 2012 at 12:12 am

Or, you know, just wait a year and take the Tardis to 1939 and catch up with the Ponds then.

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Gustopher said on October 1st, 2012 at 1:21 am

The Statue of Liberty would have made a great prison for an angel — there is always someone watching it.

Trudging through Manhattan though, that was just kind of dumb.

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@Sean McDevitt: My take on that is that it’s similar to the Time War: The whole sequence of events is now “locked” due to the rickety structure of paradoxes, interference, and closed loops so that trying to clever your way out of it just isn’t possible. (Unless the plot demands it. Pretty much every rule of time travel in Doctor Who’s fifty-year history has the caveat “unless the plot demands it.”)

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Eric TF Bat said on October 1st, 2012 at 2:14 am

I suspect the problem is this: he can take whatever risks he likes with the timeywimeystream, but he needs to be completely certain it’s not going to stuff up and accidentally edit the western spiral arm of the galaxy out of existence. He’s not quite arrogant enough to take that chance (though Ten might have been, in his latter years; I really didn’t like Ten).

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Eh, it’s been established you can’t kill an Angel. The cracks in time were a one time occurrence. So he could go all ‘Angry Ten’ and torture one for eternity…or he could move on and consider the Angels a more hated foe.

@Sean McDevitt: I’m pretty sure Rory and Amy are the paradox, not New York. The Doctor interacted with the end of a timeline where they both were zapped back to New York having never seen him at the moment that timeline was created. It doesn’t give him any wiggle room.

Think of the graveyard as being when Ten showed up as Rinette’s carriage went away. Which considering how similar Amy always was to Madame de Pompador, makes sense.

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I agree with you, John – as we’ve already seen, the Tenth Doctor couldn’t simply go and take the TARDIS and see if Joan Redfern was OK, but had to ask Verity Newman because Joan’s death had already been ‘fixed’ and couldn’t be altered.

Similarly, Eleven was about to go and visit Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, but he had only to be *informed* that the Brig had died to know he couldn’t go back and visit him – otherwise the nurse would have said “He was so glad you visited that one Christmas”.

He’s got the evidence of Amy and Rory’s death right in front of him – the gravestone – and it’s likely that the time energy displaced by the Angel zapping them both back to 1938 would do as much damage to the TARDIS as NY in 1938 itself could.

ANYWAY. Apart from all that, my personal theory is that as punishment, River and the Doctor scoop up that particular Angel and imprison it on a planet some time in the future…a planet shortly to be visited by the passengers of a luxury cruise-starliner before it begins its’ next ten-year journey. After all, they say the captain of “The Byzantium” loves collectibles…

(This would also explain why that particular Angel was so intent on Amy in “The Time of Angels”.)

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Bryan Rasmussen said on October 1st, 2012 at 6:55 am

“When you’re doing a story about Weeping Angels set in Manhattan, how the fuck do you not make the Statue of Liberty into a giant Weeping Angel?”

The statue of liberty did not work as used, that is not to say they could not have found another use for it.

How about, but where are all these angels coming from.

Well, as you know Rory, the angels are basically hive entities, so somewhere around here there has to be a queen. She will be largely sedentary, but of course extremely dangerous if you take your eyes off her. She would have to be huge to have this many angels.

Rory: Actually I didn’t know that.

Dr: So the question is, where do we find a very big statue in this city.

Rory: nods with his head, does one of those you are dense aren’t you time lord looks.

Dr: Oh.

Then there could have been a blackout sometime, and she could have moved some when they were near her.

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Ah yes, the Statue of Liberty thing. Again, personal theory: “Winter Quay” had a low-quality perception filter around it to keep bystanders from realising it was filled with old people and policed by Angels. This filter gets extended into a corridor between the building and ol’ Lady Liberty, so that the instant that anyone makes the roof, the Statue can zoom over there in the blink of an eye, and an illusion of her is left behind on the podium.

The field is extremely difficult to keep online, though – and the Angels are more the sort to steal and/or drain away technology than use it efficiently – so they can only keep it around Winter Quay and that corridor.

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Bryan Rasmussen said on October 1st, 2012 at 8:56 am

Good use of a perception filter. They should really have suggested that since everyone else has gotten hung up on it.

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My wife asked the same question; “Why doesn’t the doctor just go visit them in 1940 or something?” My answer; the 11th Doctor is Peter Pan, Amy is his Wendy. She doesn’t need him anymore, she wants to grow up, and finally, definitively, chose Rory over him. That’s why the Doctor was so upset. Amy was abandoning him.

And she’s getting OLD. Peter Pan doesn’t want to see Wendy as an old woman.

What I want to know is what was the significance of the plaque in the Tardis? Rolls Royce Motors England Crewe? Sure seemed like they drew attention to it.

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I like your take, John, but it just doesn’t ring true that this Doctor, who made a laughing stock of a general’s life just for assisting in the kidnapping — and care of! — Amy and Melody wouldn’t even threaten that specific Angel, and the Angels as a race, for what they did to him this time. Everybody was written to get him to move on way too soon.

And make no mistake, this became a slap at him in the end, because with River in and out of his life at her leisure, he just lost two of the arguable handful of people who still remember who he is. This might be what Moffat is driving us to eventually — that in protecting his identity, the Doctor is going to find himself without a legacy.

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With regards to why the Doctor can’t go and get the Ponds, (Rory and Amy Williams my ass! That gravestone should have totally read Rory and Amy Pond) I agree with Jacob, the Doctor can’t handle seeing them getting old (Hence the bit with the glasses and the wrinkles at the beginning of the episode) but I’m also willing to say that the reason the Doctor tells himself that he’s not going to do it is that the the Time-Space-wibbly-wobbly around New York in the 20th Century is now so full of holes and weak spots that it’s not safe to go there in a Tardis, he might just blow up half the Milky Way if he does.
Though Jacob I think the plaque was just there to show how hard on the Tardis fighting the Angels is. So the Doctor has a plausible excuse for not going after them. I’m much more interested in how much knowing how her parents die was blown off by River/Melody. It was very much more of a “Eh so that’s how it happened” then seemed right to me. But then his name is on the title card so I guess it is all about the Doctor isn’t it.
And as for the Statue of Liberty Angel, well I’m just gonna go with the Kung Fu Monkey blog mantra and “Get on the Fun Bus”! Really it takes a massive amount of fanwankery to even come up with any way to make it make sense how it got there, but it was such a cool visual that I’m gonna let Moffet have the mulligan, and go “Oooo”.
All in all I thought it was a good send off to the Ponds, my second favorite companions in NuWho, and really cemented the Weeping Angels as serious foes of the Doctor. Once Moffet moves on I do hope other show runners pick them up and use them again. I’d love to see someone else use them and hope that reach the upper echelons of good Doctor Who Villians.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on October 1st, 2012 at 1:31 pm

What kept bugging me was when we’d see Angels frozen in place BEHIND people when nobody in-universe was looking at them. This happened like four or five times, including TWICE with Lady Liberty herself. WEEPING ANGELS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY.

Remember when we learned that “an image of an Angel… IS an Angel”? How many photographs/postcards/reproductions of the Statue of Liberty are out there?!?

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The audience counts as an observer, that’s how it worked in Blink (there’s a bit where sparrow blocks the view of one for a bit and it moves).

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Angel One: “Let’s sneak up behind that guy and make scary faces.”

Angel Two: “Umm, he’s not turning around…”

Angel One: “Just hold it! He’ll turn around in a sec. Man, this is gonna be GREAT…”

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Scavenger said on October 1st, 2012 at 2:20 pm

The episode doesn’t make any sense no matter how you shape it.

The Doctor doesn’t know Amy and Rory died…he knows there’s a gravestone.

There is no reason he doesn’t go to New Jersey and pick them up and take them home, then leave a gravestone at the cemetery. (or have River do it, since she a) knows where they are and b) they make a big point about her Vortex Manipulator being able to go places the TARDIS can’t.)

THIS temporal semantic weasling, after all, was the WHOLE PLOT RESOLUTION of last season, where it’s a Doctor-bot that dies and not the Doctor himself.

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Scavenger said on October 1st, 2012 at 2:23 pm

And I forgot to mention things like the SoL is made of metal, not stone…that Angels can not look at other Angels without freezing them, and how do you chain a super strong rock creature than can move at super speeds?

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I can accept the lack of temporal weaseling that Scavenger describes due to the criscrossing timelines that riddle New York City thanks to the angel infestation. However, there’s less of a hard, physical reason why the Doctor doesn’t arrive before the temporal shenanigans begin and wait for Amy and Rory to arrive, or land on the other side of the planet in 1938 and travel the hard way.

This is where his mercurial natural becomes something of a tragic flaw. The Doctor hates living second to second. He’s so impatient and incapable of dealing with linear time, a la Vincent and the Doctor and The Power of Three, that he doesn’t even consider taking the long way to get to his friends.

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It isn’t that he CAN”T get them back… he chooses not to. The Doctor is in many ways a child. His reaction to Amy choosing to get zapped back in time to find Rory isn’t out of concern that she’ll die, but THAT SHE IS LEAVING HIM. He’s having a tantrum. River recognizes this and explains the truth to Amy; the Doctor is lying and she totally can/should go back and by with Rory. And so the Doctor writes them off FOREVER. How many times has he done this to other companions in the past? A lot. He left his OWN FUCKING GRANDDAUGHTER on some hick world when she fancied a boy (in the old series).

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on October 1st, 2012 at 3:08 pm

In a way, it’s funny how the real-world constraints of running a TV show (actors moving on, not staying the same age forever, having contract demands) can conspire to make the Doctor such a colossal dick.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on October 1st, 2012 at 3:17 pm

I thought another neat ending could have been the Doctor allowing himself to get zapped, and then moments later he walks onto the cemetery and says hello to River. When she asks what happened, he explains, “It’s not easy for a young couple in the 30s with no money, no job, nowhere to live. I went back, helped them get on their feet, helped them find their way. Got them nice and settled. Then I went for a walk for seventy years or so, and here I am.”

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Scavenger said on October 1st, 2012 at 3:42 pm

See…^^^ I’m tired of the “Doctor is having a tantrum” “Doctor hates waiting” crap that RTD and Moffat have been spewing out. I’d like to see a return to mature Doctors or G-d forbid, the Doctor as Time’s Champion, playing a chess match across the centuries.

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@Scavenger: Re: Girl in the Fireplace.

The minute he saw the carriage with dead-Rinette drive away he was locked out of her timeline. He didn’t have to read her note for that to happen. If it was the words, and not the intersection of timelines that matter, then Ten never reading the note Madame de Pompador wrote is all it would have taken to allow him to have wacky adventures with her. In the same way, him seeing a gravestone didn’t just mean ‘someday there must be a gravestone here with Rory and Amelia’s name on it’. It meant that he had connected with the end of their timeline like…a second after they were zapped back, leaving him no wiggle room to go visit.

tl;dr Amy is Madame de Pompador spread out over like 3 seasons.

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@Scavenger: Except that you have to remember that when the Doctor plays a chess match across the centuries, he gets to skip all the dull bits. :)

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Gordon Lyons said on October 1st, 2012 at 9:01 pm

I’m loving that third possibility right there.

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@Scavenger; I kinda agree, but I’m also committed to seeing how this over-arch plot plays out. Plus I like Matt Smith a lot.

I’m pretty sure the Doc’s decent into darkness and selfishness is calculated. Something is stripping him of his friends, his reputation, his legacy, etc, bringing out his rage, his insecurity and his guilt. SOMEONE is playing chess across the centuries, and my money is it’s him, two regenerations from now (as the Valeyard).

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The Doctor is in many ways a child.

This isn’t really an artifact of the modern series, as some have claimed. This is something that goes all the way back to One.

Part of it is the structure of the show, and to an extent in the old days it wasn’t intentional, but the Doctor, even in his role as Champion, can be very self-centered and childish. The most obvious manifestation of this is the way he just chops people completely out of his life when he decides he’s done with them.

Real people, grown-up people, don’t get to do that. They don’t WANT to do that.

And I know everyone is all ‘oh man, they have to do the other side of the Valeyard at some point, right? RIGHT? We’ve been waiting thirty years for it and it’s getting closer!’ but 1) they don’t have to a damn thing, and 2) I guarantee you it won’t be ass awesome as you think it will be if they do do it. I was all psyched for something along those lines after Waters of Mars and instead we wound up with The End of Time.

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@Marc: If you’re looking for the Valeyard, what did you think “Amy’s Choice” was? If anyone’s suited to play that character – no matter what his appearance or name – it’s Toby Jones…

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My second question would be, “How do they keep their prisoners alive for fifty or sixty years without ever letting them leave the hotel room?” I ask this question only so that I can answer it by depicting the hotel kitchen, entirely staffed by Weeping Angels who pay very close attention only to their own work

One might even ask where they got the milk…

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I partially agree with Jacob. It’s not that Doctor was unable to get them back. He chooses not to get them back. But I don’t think it was a decision of malice. He knows that those two had a good long life together.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on October 3rd, 2012 at 9:30 am

I think the episode wants us to believe there is no way for the Doctor to get Rory and Amy out of 1930s New York.

Though this show plays so fast and loose with rules they could easily do it if they wanted. Land the TARDIS in 1910 New York, wait for Rory and Amy, then say “well I couldn’t fly IN to the temporal disturbance clusterfuck, but we can fly OUT of it just fine” and voila.

Or even quicker… the TARDIS is a living thing, so get in the TARDIS and fly it over to the Angel, get zapped directly to Rory/Amy, and leave the 1930s using the same logic as above.

But we skipped over the scenes where the Doctor says “that won’t actually work because of the temporal fabric kablooie” I guess.

Hope that Rory/Amy sent some letters to Rory’s Dad from the past.

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“Thank you for watering the plants.”

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