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Here be spoilers for the first half of season 7 of New Who.

I didn't expect to be so affected by the leaving of Amy and Rory. No, seriously. I quite liked Amy and Rory, loved their relationship to the Doctor and the fact that they were River's parents. But I didn't expect to fall over sobbing on the bed as Eleven begs Amy to stay, and she tells Melody to be a good girl, and how River kissed her hand, knowing that this will be the last time she'll see her parents (or is it? will talk about this later), and how Eleven cries that he will never see Amy again (or is it? will talk about this later).

I pretty much burst into tears and then curled onto the bed in a fetal position. WHICH IS SURPRISING. Because I still don't particularly care for Moffat's vision of Doctor Who.

But I love Eleven and Amy and Rory and River, even if they seem to vary in temperament, personality, and even convictions from one episode to the next. And reluctantly, I have to admit that he did a great job in getting me to care for characters that are, on one level, simply variations of character types he's already created before. There are things I can nitpick about, but overall, he created a fairly strong cast that was able to reduce me to a five year old who's just lost her second-favorite teddy.

I think the strongest part of the episode, for me, was that it was the Angels who stole Amy and Rory from the Doctor. While they've done terrible things and have been terrifying creatures the entire time we've known them as monsters-of-the-week, they've never actually succeeded in destroying something personal of the Doctor's. He's always triumphed and yeah, there are casualties, and yeah, they're important to him, but the disconnect is very obvious. They have yet to steal a companion from him and they have yet to win.

And then he loses Rory, which is horrifying enough, but then they take Amy as well. Sadly, and I give Moffat credit in acknowledging this fact, Amy is almost infinitely more important to the Doctor than Rory; I've seen complaints about the rather ignominious and flat departure Rory got (as in: none) compared to Amy's tearful farewell, but that actually made sense to me. The Doctor loves and loved Rory, but the space he carved in his hearts was largely dominated by Amelia Pond. So of course the tearful departure is all about Amy instead of Rory.

So to actually lose his companions to the Angels is something wholly different. The Angels have turned from something that's terrifying on the surface, with the requisite number of NPC characters going down the script-death path, to something terrifyingly primal. The Doctor has lost companions to the Angels. The ante just got upped.

Ha. Though, I think they've also been written into a bit of a corner; where else can they go? I guess the same thing could be said of Daleks and Cybermen, and we haven't stopped using them.

And then the nitpicks:

1. What the hell happened to Rory's dad, Brian? I can't help but think of him wanting them to travel with the Doctor and Brian telling Eleven to always bring them home safe and then the Doctor never comes back. BBC released storyboards and the voiceover of Arthur Darvill [BBC] telling us what happened to Amy, Rory, and Brian, but I don't think knowing what happened to your child negates the fact that you will never see your child again.

2. Why no focus on River? SHE JUST WATCHED HER PARENTS DIE IN FRONT OF HER. Even if she can jump time streams and still 'see' them, that was effectively the end of them for her. And that goddamn Angel was still there; she had to keep her eyes on the Angel as the Doctor grieves because there's no one else to do the job. Seriously, yo.

And technically, she has that timey-thing on her wrist. The TARDIS can't go to the same time anymore (which, okay, doesn't make sense, but whatever) but her wrist thing is like a battery compared to a nuclear reactor.

3. Um, why can't the Doctor see them again? I actually didn't understand. He has a goddamn time machine. So what if they're a fixed event. It's not like they're dead or removed from the time stream entirely. I know there's some idea that because they 'saved' Rory with a temporal paradox, that the Doctor can never go back to that specific point in time again with the TARDIS, because it would rip New York apart, but hello. They lived until they were eighty-something. Why couldn't he visit, oh, I don't know, in 1955? Or 1938, but in a different place? Like... Philadelphia.

The Doctor can't change the past. I get that. Their deaths in New York are a fixed point now. But that doesn't shouldn't, theoretically, stop him from visiting, or them from finding him. This is probably the most nitpicky of all the nitpickings, because to me, it makes no sense, even in the timey-wimey sort.

4. Aren't Amy's parents alive now? The end of first season of the eleventh Doctor, Amy now has parents. What happens to them?

So there you have it! The mid-season finale was excellent, but not without it's WTF MATE? moments. I think I can watch Sherlock now. I've kind of been avoiding it, because it's a Moffat production. But who knows? Maybe it'll surprise me?

January 2016

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