Scanners indicate an absence of spoilers
So then, here we are at the mid-series finale, or rather the the mini-season climax as I think of it. After this, there's no more Doctor Who until Christmas. But what a fine choice of adversary for this final episode! Following in the footsteps of both the Muppets and Jason Voorhees, the most iconic of monsters that new Who has spawned, the Weeping Angels, return for a third momentous outing!
Now I must confess, in what seems to be a somewhat traditional fashion for this series, the title did give me pause for thought. For this isn't the first time, that the TARDIS crew has visited the Big Apple. However the last time was the less than fondly remembered Daleks in Manhattan. Of course, considering their previous appearances, Blink and The Time of the Angels/Flesh And Stone, some the better adventures the series had delivered since its triumphant return in 2005, I really shouldn't have worried.
Well, not about that at least...
...What I should have been fretting about is how in the name of Sutek am I going to review this without spoilers! For, of course, this final episode sees showrunner Steven Moffat returning to scripting duties. And as long-time readers know, his episodes always give me a headache reviewing sans spoilers!
So then what can I tell you? Well, the Angels are on top creepy form as per usual, New York looks fantastic, the performances are great and the scripting is Moffat on good form... And that's it, thank you and goodnight!
What you want more? Who do you think you are? An extra in Oliver! ?
Oh alright then... but be warned...
POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR ANYONE WHO HAS SUCKED BACK IN TIME BY ANGELS, IMPRISONED ON A PYRAMID ON MARS OR OTHERWISE BEEN OBLIVIOUS OF WHAT IMPORTANT EVENT THIS EPISODE CONTAINS
Still with me? Ok then...
... This episode sees the return of River Song!
Right that'll teach you to skip ahead, oh impatient one!
ABSO-FLIPPIN -UTELY LAST SPOILER WARNING FOR ALL THOSE LIVING IN A CAVE WITH THE TRIBE OF GUMM AND HAVEN'T SEEN A SCINTILLA OF WHO NEWS IN THE LAST NINE MONTHS
Right then, no messin' about, in this episode we bid the Ponds a fond farewell. And this departure has been billed by all concerned as 'heart-breaking'. And indeed, judging by the amount 'ahm fine... I jus' got somefink in mah eye...' style twitterings on my time-line, I think it's fair to say that this was no mere hyperbole!
Of course, the big question is HOW they go and one I won't answer here. However what I will say is that I thought is was a very satisfying departure. It's a very fine, and yes rather touching (look I jus' got somefink in mah eye...), conclusion to the whole of Amy and Rory's story arc. Definite thumbs up (and hanky in the other mitt) from me.
And I also think it's fair to say, that in that light, it does seem like that this has been a little complete series on its own, rather than a half-season. Furthermore, having got the conclusion, I do think my initial suspicions were correct - namely, that this set of stories are as unconnected as we were lead to believe.
Now then I know many of you have been missing the spoilerific second reviews I've done for series past of Doctor Who and so therefore I've having a marathon rewatch of this quintet of adventures in the coming week and will deliver a suitably epic, no spoiler left unturned, end of season round-up, and test the above hypothesis... probably to destruction!
But for now, I'll round this off by saying that this series has been a rather strong run. It may not have been biggest, or best, and it may have been rather light-weight much of the time, but it's certainly been fairly solid, without a single episode I've not enjoyed. The show's been ticking along nicely, and while some may feel it's been idling, I would point out that next year is the big 50th anniversary and I suspect they are saving the really big guns for then...
JIM MOON, 29th September 2012