Published on October 22nd, 2012 | by The Valeyard
The Valeyard Judges The Angels Take Manhattan
When I couldn’t remember how I finally got rid of the ginger winger I presumed it was a side effect of one of the Time Wars or some such. I had no idea it was because it simply wasn’t worth remembering.
It didn’t help of course that Moffat had surgically removed every surprise from this episode by holding a press conference some months earlier and telling the world how it was going to end. So soon after complaining about fan boys spoiling things no less. Seriously, it’s like complaining that there are too many people dressed as Vulcans at a Star Trek convention. Hardly the behaviour one would expect from the future founder of the Moffat Anti Spoiler Agency (MASA).
We all know that Moffat revels in chronologically confused narrative and I’ll begrudgingly admit that it has worked well for him in the past, but surely this takes things to a whole new level?
Moffat’s scripts have always had his fingerprints evident on them, but this time they actually carry a copy of his script around with them. Certainly they try to pass it off as the work of dear Professor Song, but Melody Malone is blatantly Steven Moffat. Now there’s a mental image for you all to savour.
Even spotlighting Rory in a solo adventure isn’t enough to raise the bar here and all the poor boy manages in his swansong is to keep dying, twice from old age. Really, I thought “The Last Centurion” might have gone out in more of a blaze of glory. Aged to death because my floppy haired self can’t work his way around a few time loopholes is no way for Mr Williams the younger to leave this series.
Which brings me onto Mr Williams the elder. Just why was so much of this series’ time spent establishing a emotional connection between him and his offspring if we are not allowed to witness the emotional pay off when my younger self confesses to having lost his son. For all of you idealists out there I can exclusively reveal that I never went back to break the news to Brian. Never even checked in to see how he was doing. I was far too concerned with breaking his granddaughter out of prison on a nightly basis to ever actually tell Brian about her.
You know, looking back on the whole affair I’m puzzled as to why I didn’t just land the TARDIS a few years prior to these events and just wait, picking up the Ponds a few months or years into their exile. I suppose there would have been some terribly convoluted reason that would have had some awful repercussions to the time vortex, but honestly it reeks of bad storytelling to me.
I am so annoyed by the lack of gravitas and emotional follow through that I lock myself away in one of the old console rooms for the best part of the week and refuse to answer any of Cawley’s calls or Emails. With the exception of one small interruption I am left in peace until Lord Stormageddon delivers a video he came across whilst clearing out some of the excess rooms in the TARDIS.
I don’t know when I picked this up, but I clearly never got around to viewing it. Here is the emotional pay off and surprises that were missing from the main episode. The voiceover from Rory lending the whole scene an emotional punch to the stomach and the look on Brian’s face at the reveal of his other chronologically advanced grandchild is nothing short of haunting.
This whole series has been a collection of badly-timed preludes, mixed up running orders and missed opportunities. Nothing hammers that point home more than this missing scene. A missed opportunity here not only for my younger self, but for the series as a whole.