An anecdote (which I promise will come around to the point … eventually):
A family member who is a fervent recent convert to nu-Who, but who also is very much at arms-length to classic stories was finally persuaded to watch a classic story all the way through. The story I picked was The Caves of Androzani, a favorite. She immediately turned the DVD case over and started reading the liner notes and there she read that this was Peter Davison’s last story.
I really wish she hadn’t done that as it completely spoiled that surprise. RTD had the same lament regarding Eccleston’s regeneration in The Parting of the Ways, but even in 2005 with the intense focus on the reboot it was going to be impossible to keep that information quiet. Fast forward seven years and with the going of the Ponds the build-up, both in production and publicity, it was going to be impossible to bury the surprise.
That’s not to say I wasn’t moved by the multiple goodbye scenes for Amy and Rory, but sadly much of the impact I had been drained away by simply knowing too much. That’s the knife-edge fandom runs in wanting to know everything and still hoping to be surprised as well. It also doesn’t have to be that way. The End of Time Pt II wrecks me every time. So does episode 4 of Caves. Just not The Angels Take Manhattan.
Which is not to say there’s a lack of imagery for this story. Far far from it. The Angels Take Manhattan, as all the stories have been of late, was impeccably directed. The (small) cast was on great form too. The Angels work well as they have before, but isn’t there a little voice hoping this is it for them for awhile?
The Tour recently celebrated the first story to cross 1000 images. Thanks primarily to the New York filming, The Angels Take Manhattan enters the Tour with over 1100 images. Yowzah. The caps aren’t too shabby either. Images and caps for The Angels Take Manhattan are (finally) online.