Spoiler resistant Dr Who Review: Angels Take Manhattan
Steven Moffat's Who seems more continental than previous versions, if your idea of continental is New York and a couple of other places in the USA. I get that this is for the American audience, but surely part of Who's appeal to Americans is the fact that it isn't set in all the familiar places, like New York. How about going to some truly exotic locales and setting an episode in Japan or Finland for a change?
This episode has some good bits and some astonishingly stupid bits. The stupid bits include the plot, and the idea that the Statue of Liberty is a Weeping Angel. For the sake of a sight gag, our suspension of disbelief is required to accommodate the idea that a 151 foot tall statue can stroll through one of the busiest cities on the planet and nobody would bother to look at it. I mean I know New Yorkers are famously blasé, but you'd think a few might give it a second glance.
Not as deadly dull as their previous appearance, but this episode does confirm my original view that the Weeping Angels were a fantastic one-off, but are terrible as ongoing characters. Ultimately we learn almost nothing more about them than we already knew, and the little that is added is stupid. They are still scary things that jump out at you in the dark, but that's all they are, and putting them in different settings so they can go boo somewhere else is not character development.
I'd add something about clunky plot devices and the way that once again the rules of time only appear to be unbreakable when it suits the story, but then it would be spoilerish.
Ultimately, it seems like Moffat is trying hard to wedge the Weeping Angels into the Who villain pantheon. But it's not going to work because they have no depth. I predict that they will disappear as soon as someone else takes over as showrunner and will not be seen again for at least ten years, when they will be viewed with nostalgia and reappear for one episode, and unless they are then reimagined with greater depth, everyone will realise why they only worked for the one episode and they'll be dropped again.
1. Seriously, you couldn't do better than reuse a title from two years ago?
2. Plus British actors doing American accents are often as laughable as American actors doing British accents.
3. Not really a spoiler. We find out before the title sequence.
4. Also how is the Statue of Liberty a Weeping Angel? Are they now able to animate ordinary statues? This is a major departure from the characters as previously seen, so it would have been an idea if someone had mentioned it in the story.
Labels: Dr Who