This is still the worst death in Doctor Who history

There are many reasons why characters on TV shows die. Sometimes they die for the story. Sometimes they get killed off because the show needs to make room for new characters. Sometimes actors are leaving a show, and a dramatic death is a great way to give them one last hurray. Whatever the reason, a character’s death can be difficult to correct. It needs to feel deserved, it needs to feel meaningful, and it doesn’t feel cheap or contrived, or it will frustrate the viewer. doctor who The show is no stranger to death — its core idea is that the titular doctor is reborn in a new form every few seasons, allowing the show to continue indefinitely.But while character deaths are a big part of the series doctor who Still manages to deliver one of the most depressing and unsatisfying endings on TV to a group of fan-favorite companions.

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For the uninitiated, “companions” are ordinary people (usually human, usually British) who get caught up in the Doctor’s adventures. They travel with the Doctor for a season or two before leaving the show to make room for new ones. They don’t die very often though, usually leaving due to some catastrophe that prevents them from traveling with the Doctor, or more rarely because they choose to leave. The benefits of doing this are obvious-let the former companions live, doctor who Keeping the door open for future appearances, like Sarah Jane Smith (Elizabeth Sladon) is back for an episode (“School Party” in season 2) or coming back soon Catherine TateDonna Noble stars in this November’s 60th anniversary special. but occasionally, doctor who Chose to take a more final approach to the departure of his companion. Such is the fate of Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darwell), two of the longest-running and most popular sidekicks in the show’s modern iteration. Unfortunately, it sucks.

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Amy and Rory Exit Doctor Who Has Potential

Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams in 'Doctor Who', Karen Gillan as Amy Pond
Image via BBC

Amy and Rory’s final episode, “Angels Take Manhattan,” is off to a strong start. Weeping Angels are generally not a threat to someone with a time machine, as they attack by sending their prey back in time to exploit its time potential. This problem is easy to solve if you can go back in time and pick them up. But this time, there’s a twist – the angels are using the paradox to entrap their victims. They send someone back in time and trap them in a hotel where they will live until their younger selves show up to see them. According to the rules established in this episode, if you know that something will happen in the future, then it must happen.

The crux of the episode is that Pond can’t escape what’s to come. The episode hints at this early on by showing Rory’s name on the tombstone, even though none of the characters see it at the time. There is also a book by River Song (alex kingston) outlined the events of the episode so that the Doctor (who was Matt Smith) and Amy could go back to the 1930s, when she and Rory were in trouble. The final chapter of the book is titled “Amelia’s Last Farewell”. By the rules set out in this episode, Pond has to go — or worse.

Team Pond has fought and won against fate before, so it doesn’t feel like this conclusion was inevitable. Rory was once wiped from existence, but eventually returned. Amy was left alone on a planet for 36 years, but they managed to avoid the predicament and save her as a young man. It’s only fitting that their last adventure should be the time to finally catch up with them. Even though the doctors told them it was futile, the moment they decided they were going to fight anyway felt fitting and in character. They broke time together one last time when they decided to jump off the hotel roof together so Rory could never go back in time (creating a paradox that would destroy Angel). It feels rewarding and satisfying. If the episode ends here, it’s a success.

But Doctor Who didn’t work out

Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) and Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) in Doctor Who
Image via BBC

Pond appears in front of the TARDIS with the Doctor and River Song. They came to the cemetery where Amy and the Doctor left in 2012. There’s a moment of celebration, but before they leave, Rory notices the gravestone with his name on it from the beginning of the episode. Seconds later, he is attacked by the Weeping Angel who survived the paradox, and is sent back in time, unable to return, as his name is on the tombstone. Amy begs the Doctor to pick him up, but he tells her he can’t help destroying New York City because time has been tampered with too much. Amy chooses to let the angel who took Rory take her too, hoping to go back in time. The episode ends with the Doctor finding Amy’s last message on the back of a book River wrote, in a final bid to say goodbye.

There are so many mistakes here that it’s hard to know where to start. On an emotional level, the story has reached its climax with Amy and Rory deciding to sacrifice themselves to destroy the angel. Their moment on the roof is exciting and satisfying. But the incident immediately undercut it in a number of ways. We’ve had one miserable ending, and immediately after feeling indulgent and repetitive, slapped a second time. The presence of angels in the cemetery calls into question the validity of their rooftop cults. The paradox doesn’t work if there are still angels here, who still feed on the poor they trick into the hotel. If this paradox did not hold, then New York City circa the 1930s should have been no more difficult to get to than it was before.

The logistical issues will only continue to mount from here. The Doctor says he can’t bring the TARDIS back to 1930s New York City because “the timeline is so confusing,” but what’s going to stop him from going back to the 1940s and picking them up five or ten years later? Tombstones with their names on them would seem to indicate that they died and were buried there, but why couldn’t they buy a tombstone themselves and place it there, eliminating the risk of another paradox? Or why can’t they simply continue their adventures with the Doctor, only to one day end up back in New York City to die and be buried? The more you think about it, the more it breaks down.

Throughout television history, there have been plenty of cheap and unsatisfying deaths, but it’s hard to imagine one that flops as disastrously as The Pond’s. It has everything needed: doctor who At the peak of the resurgence, the series has strong self-confidence and the actors’ performances are also stronger. But the narrative hinges on complex time-travel logic that needs to be tighter than before. doctor who Always had a “wobbly, tight time” approach to time travel, which freed it from a lot of enjoyable high-concept nonsense. But when a story is about finding holes in the logic of time travel, you need that logic to be ironclad. “Angels Take Manhattan” was supposed to give the Ponds’ story a hauntingly tragic end, but instead it gives us a plot that makes you wonder: “Why didn’t they do it?”

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