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First Doctor Who Series 8 Photo

The BBC has released the first picture of Peter Capaldi from Series 8 of Doctor Who.

Capaldi, notably in Matt Smith’s costume (presumably so as not to spoil the new costume just yet…) is pictured with Jenna Coleman.

The pair are currently filming the first two episodes of the new series in Cardiff, Wales.

 

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The Time Of The Doctor Trailer

Just because there hasn’t been enough Doctor Who material on here as of late, this needs to be posted. Settle down for the extended BBC America trailer of this years Christmas Special where my favourite Doctor Matt Smith will take his final bow.

 

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Could the next Doctor be female?

I’m sure you’ve heard the news that Matt Smith has made the decision to leave his role as the eleventh Doctor in this year’s Christmas special. After an astounding tenure on the show, he’s moving onto fresh new projects where he can show off his phenomenal talent and boundless enthusiasm. As fans, we can be sad about his leaving but excited at the idea of a brand new Doctor and a brand new actor, bringing something new and interesting to the show.

Speculation as to who will be chosen to portray the next incarnation of this iconic figure began long before the news was made official.  The UK has had a recent explosion in acting talent, with those relatively unknown just a few years ago – such as Eddie Redmayne, Idris Elba, and Tom Hiddleston – all being named as potential candidates.  Others have opted for older favourites, like Bill Nighy, Paul Bettany, or comedian Eddie Izzard.

However, there is a small group within the Whovian fandom who are suggesting rather more… radical candidates.

Why can’t the next incarnation of the Doctor be female?

Now, the suggestion is met with anger and outright hatred in many quarters, but why shouldn’t the twelfth Doctor be female?

But the Doctor’s always been male!

Only so far. Remember, he comes from an alien species capable of re-writing their own DNA sequence so they can avoid dying. There’s nothing to say that he can’t be another race or another gender – or even avoid the whole messy business of gender altogether!  The potential of a Time Lord becoming a Time Lady has been brought up in show and it is possible. Just because the Doctor has been male so far doesn’t mean he can’t be female the next time.

It would ruin the show forever!

This is the same TV show that had the villains for three episodes be farting aliens, a man in a relationship with a face in a paving slab, and the Doctor restored to full health and vigour by the power of belief. Having the Doctor be female is not as bad as you think it is.

Making the Doctor female would upset the character dynamic!

Changing the gender of a character has proven itself to be a really interesting way to explore and develop character relationships in a long established franchise.  Elementary, with Joan Watson, and Hannibal, with Freddie Lounds and Alana Bloom, have both shown that changing a character from male to female provides an impetus for some stellar story telling.

Besides, I’d like to see two women kicking ass and saving people across the universe – wouldn’t you?

 I just don’t want the Doctor to be female.

If the prospect of a female leading character in a sci-fi TV show is so worrying to you, then Doctor Who is not the programme for you. The show has got a long history of women in leading roles who are clever and just as good at taking down invading alien forces as any bloke can be.

Let’s not forget that one of the show’s main messages is that everyone is special, unique, and worthwhile. If you think a woman can’t promote these messages, you might have to consider that you don’t understand how important they are.

Making the Doctor a woman is just a gimmick.

Maybe it might be. But would you label casting Colin Salmon or Idris Elba as ‘gimmick’ casting because of their race? There are no good reasons why the Doctor shouldn’t be female, and if the casting team decide to cast an actress in the role we should all support her and be excited for what she can bring to the role.

Top 5 Potential Ladybros to Play The Doctor

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1. Anna Friel

For this ladybro Whovian, Anna Friel won me over in her portrayal of quirky and funny ‘lonely tourist’ Chuck Charles in Pushing Daisies.  Friel has a wonderful warmth as an actress, and she is as adorable as a button button. However, she is an immensely talented actress, with a wealth of steely reserve that could be called in to play the last survivor of the final great Time War.

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2. Lenora Crichlow

The role of Annie in Being Human has always marked out Lenora Crichlow as a potential Doctor to me. Annie was a difficult character to play, but Crichlow brought such love, such endless enthusiasm, such cool reserve, and such great sorrow, that playing the Doctor would be an absolute piece of cake for her.

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3. Helena Bonham Carter

Wonderfully eccentric, funny, charming, drop dead cool, clever, and oh so capable of potentially destroying a few planets… and HBC is an amazing actress.

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4. Naomie Harris

Harris has shown an amazing diversity in the roles she plays; from the vengeful goddess Tia Dalma, zombie survivor Selena, to Winne Mandela in an upcoming biopic.  Smooth, sophisticated, and smart as hell – she’d bring a touch of elegant class to the sometimes chaotic role of the Doctor.

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5. Rose Leslie

Rose Leslie has become known for her role as fiery and unpredictable Ygritte in Game of Thrones. With her, the Doctor could finally be ginger.

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Sci-Fi Characters You Can Never Defeat In A Poker Match

Sci-fi, or science fiction, is not a big fish in French cinema. Although the country produced some critically acclaimed science fiction films such as Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville and Bertrand Tavernier’s Death Watch, most of the films shown on the French silver screen are dramas and art films. However, Paris became one of the preferred sets for some science fiction films, especially the ones that delve into cyberpunk. In a future as gritty as the cyberpunk version of Paris, the streets will be filled with popular noir elements like smoke coming out of manholes; mendicants and junkies occupying dark alleys, and constant sirens blaring out of futuristic Lamborghini-esque police cars. In a typical sci-fi scene, a dimly-lit bar will be the stop of our beloved antiheroes for information and the outlet of violent tendencies. But before a fight ensues, a poker match first will be initiated by the best card player in the house, challenging the antihero to a battle of wits and patience. But who among the famous sci-fi characters will emerge victorious from a poker match without resorting to violence or cheating? In no particular order, these are the characters that are sure to win the game of cards.

1. Spock, Star Trek
Spock is a logical thinker unlike most of his Vulcan brethren due to him being a hybrid of humans and Vulcans. Aside from thinking from a logical perspective, Spock is also guided by his human emotions despite having an expressionless face. Though be wary of him, the game is most likely probably over when he looks at his cards and says “fascinating.” But if you want the same thrill of being up against THE Spock, you should play games at Partypoker.fr and enjoy fast-paced adrenaline-kicking poker anytime, anywhere.

2. Master Chief, Halo
Halo is one of the most celebrated video games in France; it even has its own e-sports tournament in the country. Trained to become the greatest hero in the Halo universe, John 117 is not your average determinator. He is fast, strong, smart and most important of all, deadly in all ways possible. Master Chief probably doesn’t understand the word ‘tact’. Hell, he might even put his life on the line just to get the Dead Man’s Hand.

3. The Doctor, Dr. Who
Aside from being the most successful and longest running sci-fi television show in the entire television history, it also became a hit in other countries such as Germany and France. Depending on who among the eleven incarnations of the famous renegade Time Lord people are going to fight, The Doctor can be as easy to read as an open book or as hard to crack as an overcooked crème brûlée. Though he acts like a true gentleman, don’t ever think about cheating on him because he will result to violence if he has to.

4. The Terminator, Terminator Series
Whether you fight against the extremely scary T-800 {The Terminator} or the protective guardian Cyberdyne Systems 101 (Terminator 2), there is no way to win against Terminators. Apart from being able to process information quickly, they do not have facial reactions that are used by poker masters to read your cards. And if you are about to face the former, I suggest that you just run away from the match, unless you can lure him to a hydraulic press and crush him there; just make sure you don’t leave the hand.
Since the French are not fond of making their own science fiction movies, maybe this is the right time to begin one, especially with their passionate drive to make cinematic masterpieces.

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Best Cosplays of Sci-Fi TV

There’s a lot of great sci-fi shows out there, kids. Seeing as I limit myself to about seven pictures, I could only pick what I thought to be some of the most creative and interesting cosplays. If I went all out, I’d be spamming you with fifty images, all of people dressed up as the Eleventh Doctor – and there are very few who’d want to look at that!

Those fancy Southern hair-dos from A Game of Thrones must be pretty hard to replicate at home, but this Sansa pulls it off admirably. She also made both these fantastic costumes. It also proves that no matter what form he takes, Joffrey always looks insufferably smug.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better version of Zoidberg. To be fair, I haven’t actually seen anyone cosplay as Dr. Zoidberg before, but I don’t think anyone could really top this!

It is the details that make a truly excellent cosplay, and this is one of the best Zoe’s I have ever seen. Every little detail is perfect, from her distinctive leather necklace to the mud on her boots. Very well done.

Oh, you do know how I love a group shot… It represents a lot of effort, time and devotion to get a group of people together, to make the costumes and to really display the essence of a character. This is a group of Merlin cosplayers, representing those with magic powers in the show.  The costumes are incredibly accurate and they really channel part of these beloved characters. And devotion, as this photo was shot in below freezing weather!

Another picture showing how cosplay is more than just dressing up – it’s about feeling and being a character you love for a day.  Sometimes it’s not about having the most elaborate outfits, but expressing what makes a character relatable – why do you like this character, and how can you show it? That’s why I think this simple and sweet cosplay of Riker and Troi is so effective.

I love group shots and it’s really showing this week.  What can I say? These Battlestar Galactica pilots look like they’re having great fun together!

Remember, the image of an angel is an angel…

Next week, I’ll be featuring cosplays from the world of Sci-Fi movies. That is, if I can escape the angels…

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The Road(s) Not Taken

Have you ever sat down and watched your favourite science fiction drama or fantasy televisions series, and gotten so caught up in the narrative, that you actually find yourself loving these characters?

I think it’s a reasonably accurate statement to say that those who invest in scifi do so wholeheartedly; they attach themselves emotionally with their protagonists (and sometimes antagonists), and we decide, as fans, that we instantly know how their stories should go, how the characters should develop…

It’s probably partly where some writers get their start; we start gazing towards the end of the story… And we find our own plots for the characters to follow…

If you check out my review for Doctor Who Series 7 The Angels Take Manhattan, I’ve been pretty vocal about how I believe the story for The Girl Who Waited and The Last Centurion should have ended… but I’m not Steven Moffat, so it’s not actually my decision… but what if it were…

Dear reader, I’m starting today with a brand new series of articles entitled, cunningly enough… The Road(s) Not Taken in reference to what ways over the years, some of my favourite science fiction or fantasy dramas have taken me on a different journey to the one I envisioned (except Farscape… who could ever predict THAT?!) and I’d like you to get involved… is there anything you’d like to have seen go down a different route? We’ve got a comment box so show me what you got!

I’m starting this week with my other favourite series – the aforementioned…

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Specials: The Waters of Mars/The End of Time Parts 1 & 2

I’ve been pondering something for a while so I thought I’d throw it out into the public domain as an idea…

See, whilst watching The Waters of Mars, one of the Doctor Who special episodes, and the last before David Tennant’s swan song, I remember vividly the ending of that episode.

Adelaide alive. The Timelord Victorious.

I remember him turning around and swaggering back to his TARDIS; confident, arrogant, frightening. I recall Adelaide’s look of shock and horror at what this man had become; she walked back to her house, and then she pulled out her gun, and behind closed doors, killed herself.

Ten fell to his knees, unable to prevent it, the Ood calling him, and suddenly he realised just how far he had gone…

Now stop.

Rewind the clock – because when Adelaide pulled out that gun, not for a second, did I think she was going to commit suicide – this thought literally ran through my brain fully formed because how brilliant would it be if Adelaide, one of the most strong-willed companions yet, would be the cause of Perfect Ten’s death because she was going to shoot him!

This was her way of stopping the man who could change time at a whim; not a poetical death to say that Ten can’t control everything, but a way of showing that he has done wrong.

And the beauty behind this rather crucial thought is that it doesn’t change ANY of the action that follows in The End of Time Parts 1 and 2 – it only changes the Doctor’s motivation – he would straight off be fighting his coming regeneration, but he’d still go to the OodSphere (maybe less of the knocking around and avoiding meeting them behaviour!), and then he’d find out the Master was back, and then he’d find out about the Immortality Gate…

Suddenly Perfect Ten has a potential remedy for his coming regeneration; much like the Master wants to use it to fix his health problems, Ten can use it to repair his body and stop the regeneration!

You’ve now got two Timelords after the same thing, but also every single moment from The End of Time still takes place, but when you reach that crucial moment with the four knocks, Ten is choosing to make his condition worse with the radiation blast rather than cure himself – you’ve got Wilf banging on the glass begging him to help himself.

Does that make Ten’s sacrifice all the more heroic? Does it make Adelaide too much of a villain? Have I come up with absolute baloney? I’m not saying this is better that RTD’s version, in fact maybe it’s too dark for a companion, even a one off, to be the cause of the Doctor’s regeneration…!

Discuss!

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The MCM London Comic Con

The MCM London Comic Con is just around the corner and we’ve been given a heads up of what all you can expect this year.

What’s On At October’s Comic Con?

MCM Expo London Comic Con returns to ExCel London on 26-28 October and we’re bringing a brilliant line-up of special guests, games, sci-fi, comics, anime and cosplay content to entertain the show’s 60,000 plus visitors. Here are the first announcements for Britain’s biggest popular culture festival!

SPECIAL GUESTS

•    Doctor Who’s Matt Smith will be attending the Friday of the show to mark the launch of the Doctor Who Series 7: Part 1 DVD. Matt will be hosting a panel alongside Doctor Who executive produce Caroline Skinner, as well as signing copies of the new DVD.

•    Jeffrey Demunn and Andrew Rothenburg, stars of hit zombie apocalypse series The Walking Dead. Jeffrey plays Dale Horvath, the moral centre of the small community of survivors, while Andrew plays taciturn mechanic Jim.

•    Tony Amendola and Roger Cross from hot new Canadian sci-fi police show Continuum. Tony and Roger both play leading members of Liber8, a future terrorist group, who have escaped through time to present day Vancouver.

•    Tony Amendola is also at the show for fantasy drama Once Upon At Time, alongside fellow cast member Keegan Connor Tracy. Keegan plays The Blue Fairy in the fairytale-inspired show, while Tony takes on the role of Geppetto.

•    We welcome back A Town Called Eureka creator, writer and executive producer Jaime Paglia. He is joined by Colin Ferguson and Tembi Locke, who play Sheriff Jack Carter and Dr. Grace Monroe in the popular sci-fi show.

•    Film, TV, anime and videogame voice actor Ali Hillis, who stars as central character Lightning in Final Fantasy XIII and its sequel Final Fantasy XIII-2.

•    Videogame voice actor Courtenay Taylor, best known for playing Jack/Subject Zero in Mass Effect 2 and Ada Wong in the upcoming Resident Evil 6.

•    Top voice talent Liam O’Brien, whose many roles include Jushiro Ukitake in Bleach; Gaara in Naruto; War in Darksiders and Vincent Law in Ergo Proxy.

VIDEOGAMES

•    Nintendo will be giving comic con visitors the opportunity to try out their revolutionary new Wii U console ahead of its public release later this year.

•    Ubisoft will be bringing the much-anticipated Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, first person shooter Far Cry 3 and Wii U survival horror game ZombiU.

•    Visitors to the Capcom stand will have the chance to get hands-on with Lost Planet 3 and DmC Devil May Cry, the latest in the hit beat-em-up franchise.

•    Namco Bandai will be hosting a Tekken Tag Tournament 2 contest, as well as previewing the gorgeous-looking Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.

•    Iconic games characters Agent 47 and Lara Croft both return as Square Enix shows off Hitman: Absolution and their upcoming Tomb Raider reboot.

•    2K Games will be bringing sci-fi turn-based strategy game XCOM: Enemy Unknown and acclaimed role-playing shooter sequel Borderlands 2.

•    THQ will be demoing their upcoming role-playing game South Park: The Stick of Truth, written by the cartoon’s creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

•    Gamespot UK are back with their dedicated games stage; hosting panels and presentations, and giving show visitors sneak peeks at the hottest new titles.

ANIME, COMICS, COSPLAY & OTHER ATTRACTIONS

•    Best-selling British sci-fi author Peter Hamilton is making a welcome comic con return to celebrate the launch of his latest novel, Great North Road.

•    For the first time, comic con will play host to VidFestUK zone – a celebration of all things online video – with guests including Simon’s Cat and Eddsworld.

•    Our Comic Village shows off the talents of some of the UK’s top comic artists and writers, including Gary Erskine; Rufus Dayglo; Emma Vieceli; John McCrea; Al Davison; Lee Townsend and many others – for the full list of creators announced so far, see www.londonexpo.com/comicvillage

•    October’s show sees a revamped JapanEx area, with the addition of food stalls giving visitors a literal as well as metaphorical taste of Japanese culture.

•    Letraset is hosting a Manga Alley Art Competition, giving artistically-inclined visitors of all ages the chance to win over £120 worth of Letraset products.

•    London Comic Con is easily the UK’s largest cosplay event and the centrepiece of this October’s show is the EuroCosplay Championship Finals, which sees contestants from more than 20 nations competing for the cosplay crown.

•    The MCM Expo also boasts the Totally Cosplay zone, hosting workshops, a photography area and its own stage for panels and performances.

…AND GET THE T-SHIRT TOO!

•    Genki Gear’s exclusive ‘Invasion of the Cute’ official MCM London Comic Con T-shirt is available for pre-order until 25 October from www.genkigear.com

 

Tickets for MCM London Comic Con on 26-28 October are available at www.londonexpo.com/faq/tickets

You can find more about the event at www.londonexpo.com ; on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcmexpo ; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mcmexpo  and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/mcmexpo

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Review: Doctor Who – The Angels Take Manhattan

The Angels Take Manhattan

In Brief:

Detective Noir? Check. Pond Farewell? Check. Emotional? Very much check.

In Depth:

Beware: spoilers within.

At the close of David Tennant’s last episode of nuWho, the trailer for series 5 promised us that “The end is only the beginning” and before long we had Eleven, Amelia Pond, Rory Williams, space whales, Daleks, Weeping Angels, River Song, vampire fish, Dreamlords, Sontarans, River Song (again!), Romans and the list goes on…

And here we are again, at another ending, for now the end of the Ponds’ is nigh…

This is a beautiful episode in terms of setting, look, theme and atmosphere; this is very nicely assisted some more high quality musical scores from Murray Gold, and some brilliant work by returning director Nick Hurran; the production team also made a large portion of the filming for this episode over in New York, and this extra expense really helps to sell the episode as a genuine experience for a heartfelt piece. This is not an episode that uses a handful of establishing shots to say “Look at me! I’m in New York city”; instead the action shot in the real New York is woven gently into the narrative of the story and very nicely bookending (once we are past the opening credits) the episode, you could say.

It helps make the transition into the production team created world of 1930’s New York that much more believable; speaking of which, what a glorious pre-opening credits teaser for the episode. We follow a detective in 1930’s New York as he investigates, for a local gangster, an apartment block inhabited by statues that can move when you’re not looking… The Weeping Angels are most definitely back, and they have regained some of their “Blink” scare tactics, as the episode feels a lot more claustrophobic as Team TARDIS are trapped by fate as it were, and they also get a new twist as Moffat has introduced Weeping Angel Cherubs, who, unlike their silent counterparts, giggle creepily when they cannot be seen…

The Angels have also returned to their original method of murder – transporting their victims back through time and/or space, and feeding off the subsequent temporal energy of the life that would have been lived… and the opening teaser shows us this trait so powerfully, you can’t help but worry for the fate of the Ponds, and when the secret of the apartment block is revealed, oh it’s good…

Launching fresh off the back of last weeks “The Power of Three” was a good move because this episode, for Team TARDIS at least, starts off so warmly; Eleven and the Ponds, picnicking in Central Park with some good natured banter. Rory leaves for coffee, while Eleven reads a story to Amy, from a book he found in his jacket, the adventures of a private detective in 1938 New York, Melody Malone…

As Rory walks back with the coffees, a Cherub is shown to be following him, and as the Doctor reads from his book, he suddenly becomes aware that what he is reading is exactly what is happening to Rory, himself, Amy and now River Song (yes, she’s back but this episode is not about her, it’s about the relationship of the Ponds) at that moment. That story book, then becomes what the rest of the plot builds itself upon; for the more that Eleven and Amy read ahead, the more set in stone (pun not intended) Rory’s fate becomes… it’s another time-twisting, head scratching tale from Steven Moffat (his favourite, I’m sure) as he examines how much time can really be rewritten, and what makes a fixed point in time, fixed.

Actually more than  a few people who have watched this episode have commented on how powerless and almost useless Eleven becomes when he realises what is happening is unavoidable; there’s two scenes in particular that stand out in my mind more than others. First when Eleven tells Amy to stop reading ahead in the Melody Malone book, it might help them find Rory, but what if she reads that Rory dies – once it’s written, once Eleven knows it will happen, he believes it will be unavoidable. The second scene is more powerful, and focuses on Eleven and River Song – trying to get spoilers without reading the full book, Amy suggests the chapter titles; her suggestion saves Rory, but Eleven spies one titled “Amelia’s Final Farewell” – this moment breaks Eleven; and he becomes a creature of impotent rage, powerless, angry, hurting. River serves a gentle counterpoint at this moment…

“I know that face. Doctor, tell me what’s wrong!” 

And the reason is, he is powerless. He knows that sooner or later, all his companions will leave him; the only questions have ever been how and when. But seeing it written down, the Timelord, the ageless God, is out of control of the situation. Well played, Matt Smith.

Let’s talk about River for a moment; this is a delightful return to some of her more flirty roots. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed last seasons story about Melody Pond/River Song, but I’m very glad to see a return to the in and out and companion, that flirts and brings out a new side to the man she loves (I did enjoy the Doctor’s final checks as he goes to meet his wife). She’s not here though for more on her story though; this as much as her saying goodbye to her parents as it is for Eleven saying goodbye to his best friends.

But it’s also the revelations she brings about; she’s now Professor Song (the Library comes ever closer) and she’s also been pardoned, a long time ago, for the murder of the best man she ever knew, because apparently, he never existed. We’ve had some hints of this so far this season (Dinosaurs on a Spaceship) but here it is confirmed that Eleven has been going around and deleting knowledge about himself from databases… 

“You told me I got too big…”

And now let’s talk about the Ponds; oh little Amelia Pond, how you’ve grown. You were a little girl two and a half years ago, then you ran away with a strange Raggedy Man on the eve before your  wedding to the man you love. You saw opportunity and adventure and you took it, and then when you apparently lost the man you love (Amy’s Choice) you chose to risk death because a life without him, without Rory Williams, was too much to bear 

I suppose, thinking about it, the way this story is set up, your choice was always going to be unavoidable.

Rory Williams, from the moment he’s touched by an Angel and thrown back in time, you worry about his fate. When we’re in the apartment block, and Team TARDIS, sees another version of Rory, old and dying in bed, coupled with Eleven turning away from the scene, not wanting to watch even though he’s seen too much already, his fate seems certain. And then Amy Pond, sorry, Williams, steps in – there’s a chance, a slim, near impossible chance, that if Rory can escape this fate, it would create a paradox, which would wipe the apartment block, the Weeping Angels from existence and stop the whole chain of events from ever occurring in the first place.

Like grabbing the hand of the man she loves, she takes this chance and Rory embraces it with her and they escape to the roof (enter the Statue of Liberty as a giant sized Weeping Angel; it’s cute but don’t think about it too much…) and then we get a touching, emotional scene between the lovers… Rory knows they cannot escape, at least not together, the Angels want him, but if he dies now, jumping off the edge of the building, causality is cheated, the paradox is created, and he might live again.

“For you, I can do anything.”

Amy chooses, of course, to fall with him; there are no guarantees, only hope, and she will not live a life without the man she loves 

“Together. Or not at all.”

Success! The paradox is created, everything resets and we find ourselves back in 2012, the whole of Team TARDIS together again. Naturally.

And then divided forever. Naturally.

A lone Weeping Angel has survived the paradox. It has found the team and once again Rory is thrown back in time; no big goodbye, just here and then gone. Eleven cannot follow in the TARDIS. Too many time distortions, a paradox that shouldn’t exist. He is so sorry, Amelia will have to live without her Centurion. But she won’t. She can’t, and much as before, she chooses to follow her man over the edge into the past through an Angels touch where they can live out their lives together…

That scene on the rooftop is really Rory, and by extension Arthur Darvill’s, goodbye scene. He plays it very confidently; he is funny, charming, brave and loving – Rory has always been capable of the greatest feats for his one true love, and his willingness to sacrifice himself for her has always been his best trait. It’s a damn shame we are robbed of a tender/emotional farewell for his character with Eleven and it’s not something I would have call a necessary move either. 

But then we don’t always get what we want, and I think that lack of satisfaction can be a good thing in some ways – always leave us wanting more.

And then there’s Amy’s goodbye; she gets two really.

There’s the moment before she chooses to follow Rory into the past, without Eleven or River, is a powerful one and Karen pulls at all the right heartstrings. It’s very quick, it’s very sudden; she holds her hand out to her daughter, and tells her to look after her husband, she has no time for heartfelt speeches. There’s just a reaction in the heat of the moment – it’s very Amy Pond, and it’s also very right given everything that has come before.

And then there’s her epilogue, her afterword of sorts. It’s very sweet; it’s not a particular long one but it carries long after she’s finished speaking. It’s the last page of the Melody Malone novel (early on the Doctor makes point of ripping out the last page, he doesn’t like endings you see), so Eleven reads it to himself, back in Central Park (bookends, get it?) as she tells him they were happy, and gives him the words he needs to move on, and then we get a very nice call back to the start of little Amelia Ponds journey – another story at an end.

“Hello old friend. And here we are. You and me, on the last page.”

I suppose thinking about it, the fact that this is a story, and this episodes hinges around a book that tells their fate, is what Steven Moffat’s been writing about all along; Eleven was always Amy’s Raggedy Man, he came back to life after rebooting the universe through telling Amy his story as a fairytale that she would remember on her wedding day; and here it is again, in black and white. The last page of this story, of Amelia Ponds story.

And that’s that – it’s not an all out, universe saving, explosion filled affair; it’s a much more emotional and personal story; I loved Eleven’s selfishness at full force as Amy chooses to go back with her husband at the end of the story, he almost begs her to stay with him, and it brings a real sense of irony to their lovely banter at the start of the episode where she jokingly suggests that she needs to get a babysitter for him.

Am I entirely happy with their exit? I know it came at the right time and I’m definitely looking forward to a new companion, and the new story just waiting to be told… Personally I don’t think it thematically fits with what came before; Amy and Rory struggling to adapt to a life half in and half out of the TARDIS… but I suppose there’s some irony in having that choice taken away from them…

For this reviewer, I would have been far more satisfied, if after this last adventure, after surviving against all the odds once more, Amy chooses to leave the TARDIS life to never have to face the chance of losing her husband again. Her sacrifice for him if you like.

It also makes some thematic sense given that, given that we’ve had a few references to how Amy is unable to have any more children due to the events of “A Good Man Goes to War” I thought we might be heading into territory where she becomes miraculously pregnant and chooses not to potentially have another incident where her baby is taken from her… or given that the episode is set in New York and the newly regenerated Melody Pond/River Song from the end of “Day of the Moon” would end up there in the 60’s, perhaps both Amy and Rory would end up in a  timey-wimey shenanigan where they DO end up raising her as a young girl, in the 60s, and are also responsible for bringing her over to England to live in Leadworth with their younger selves! Phew!

Complicated? Yes! But I really thought that’s where we were heading…!

This ending though did give us some beautiful moments; all the aforementioned, but particularly the powerless Eleven scene as he rages against his inability to avoid their fate, and some very quiet but personally affecting scenes as River reveals how badly the Doctor deals with the aging of his friends (did he really not notice her glasses, or was he pretending not to notice to not show how uncomfortable it made him?), and his distaste for endings…

At the end of the day, their ending is now written. I have questions (how does the Melody Malone book get into Eleven’s pocket?!), I have quibbles (why can’t he just go and look them up in New York in 1940?!) but I can also use my own reasoning; perhaps Eleven chooses not to go looking for them, he’s left them behind once for their own good (The God Complex), why can’t he do so again?

What I do know is that I was moved by this episode; it told a very different story to the best episode of this series so far, Asylum of the Daleks, but it was no less powerful, or affecting, if anything it was more so; and I will miss both Rory and Amy, Arthur and Karen.

And I think that’s all I need – bravo Mr Moffat, congratulations Arthur and Karen.

4 and a half last pages sitting in picnic hampers out of 5.

Next Time

Christmas. The Doctor. Jenna-Louise Coleman. How many weeks is that?!

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