aK

[email protected] (Ken Arromdee)

22/10/2012 10:05 AM

Angels take Manhattan plot holes

I wrote this just after seeing the episode, and before reading any Usenet
messages or other messages on the subject:

-- Exactly what do the Angels gain by sending someone to the past and keeping
them locked up? They gain energy by sending someone to the past. Keeping them
locked up only does any good if they send them to the past again a second time
once they lived the decades back up to the present.
-- You can't go back to 1938? What? First of all, you can always go back to
1937 and wait. Second, the Doctor has clearly been able to go back to that
general time period before without noticing there was a big section of 1938
that was off limits. Third, if you just can't go to 1938 Manhattan but can go
somewhere else, travel to England and take a boat.
-- Since when can a human being hurt an Angel? That made nonsense out of past
appearances, particularly Flesh and Stone where a mook is caught by an Angel;
if you can hurt Angels, why couldn't he escape? And you'd think that nothing
a 1938 human can do would beat shooting one with a ray gun or a missile, so
people should have been destroying them right and left in previous appearances.
-- Regeneration energy to fix River Song? What? Really, that was totally out
of left field (and raises the question of why the Doctor never did that to
help anyone else, including people who were actually dying).
-- Also, exactly why couldn't they break the Angel's wrist? It was never clear
whether they weren't willing or weren't able, but I see no reason for either
one; it was self-defense, and we've just established in the *same scene* that
people can hurt Angels.
-- The book was written by River Song. River Song is, you know, there to talk
to. There is no reason to expect bad things from the book to come true--just
tell River "okay, when you get to this part, write some lies in the book".
-- You don't need to kill Rory to cause a paradox. Cut off one of his
fingertips. Painful but it beats death. If you don't have the tools for that,
then let him get taken, then go back and rescue him, then knock him out, *then*
cut off one of his fingertips.
-- The Statue of Liberty being an Angel makes no sense. First of all, everyone
knows that it was built. It's not like a random statue in the street whose
history nobody knows. Second, we were reminded *in the same episode* that New
York is the city which never sleeps--there's always going to be someone looking
at it.
-- Why in the world does the one Angel left attack only Rory, and then Amy,
but doesn't even try to do anything to the Doctor or River? (If you say that
they were looking at it, remember that everyone had to look away for it to
attack even one person.) For that matter, why is there even one Angel left
at all (especially in walking distance)?
-- It wasn't clear whether the Doctor couldn't go back to get Amy and Rory
because saving them would cause a paradox or because he can't even visit the
time period.
1) If he can't even visit the time period, see previous remarks about 1938, but
worse. Not being able to visit a decades-long period that begins in 1938 would
even retroactively erase Totter's Lane in 1963. (Did it retroactively
erase The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe? If not, go to England in
Christmas 1938, and take a boat.)
2) If he can't save them because saving them causes a paradox, the only
thing we actually know about what happened to them is the book and the
tombstone. Both of those could easily be faked (and again, tell River to write
some lies in the book.) Furthermore, Amy getting taken already changed things--
it added a name to the tombstone. Removing a name from the tombstone is no
more causing a paradox than adding one. And if saving them causes a paradox,
that wouldn't prevent *visiting* them, or even visiting them and taking them
on Tardis trips, as long as he returned them to the same time period again.
-- We've established that the future has great medical technology; that should
mean that there should be no problem with 1) infertility, or 2) companions
aging. (How many years did Cassandra live before becoming a piece of skin?)

And by the way, what's this Steven Moffat has about 1938? There are *three*
stories he wrote that take place in that year, at least partly.
--
Ken Arromdee / arromdee_AT_rahul.net / http://www.rahul.net/arromdee

Obi-wan Kenobi: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes."
Yoda: "Do or do not. There is no 'try'."


This topic has 10 replies

YY

[email protected] (Your Name)

in reply to [email protected] (Ken Arromdee) on 22/10/2012 10:05 AM

24/10/2012 9:44 AM

{Waves hand in the air} These are not the plot holes you're looking for. ;-)



> -- Regeneration energy to fix River Song? What? Really, that was totally out
> of left field (and raises the question of why the Doctor never did that to
> help anyone else, including people who were actually dying).

River Song is a special case. She was conceived in the TARDIS and has /
had her own regeneration energy. None of the others do (except of course
The Master). All the Doctor did was top-up her supply enough to fix the
broken bones.

aK

[email protected] (Ken Arromdee)

in reply to [email protected] (Ken Arromdee) on 22/10/2012 10:05 AM

23/10/2012 4:21 PM

In article <[email protected]>,
James Kuyper <[email protected]> wrote:
>> -- Regeneration energy to fix River Song? What? Really, that was totally out
>> of left field (and raises the question of why the Doctor never did that to
>> help anyone else, including people who were actually dying).
>A) she's his wife. B) his entire current supply of regeneration energy
>(which is apparently sufficient to support at least a couple of
>additional regenerations) came from her; he was appalled that she gave
>it to him, and is looking for excuses to give some of it back.

That raises its own can of worms: we assumed that the regeneration energy
she gave him was used up. If it wasn't used up, and all he had to do was
wait until he got well enough that he could give it back, it wasn't even a
sacrifice.

>It's a fixed point in time - no matter what you attempt to do to change
>things, something will normally happen to interfere. We've seen what
>happens if you're unfortunate enough to be clever enough to find a way
>to break a fixed point in time.

What's a fixed point in time? They didn't know she broke her wrist. They
knew there was a book where she writes of breaking her wrist. No reason to
believe she wrote the truth in the book (her name certainly isn't Malone).

Furthermore, when the Doctor thought that she got out without breaking her
wrist, his reaction wasn't "oh no! Look what you did! You violated a
fixed point in time and that'll cause a disaster!"
--
Ken Arromdee / arromdee_AT_rahul.net / http://www.rahul.net/arromdee

Obi-wan Kenobi: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes."
Yoda: "Do or do not. There is no 'try'."

gg

"gerard.morvan"

in reply to [email protected] (Ken Arromdee) on 22/10/2012 10:05 AM

22/10/2012 10:44 PM

"James Kuyper" <[email protected]> a écrit dans le message de news:
[email protected]
> ...
>> -- The Statue of Liberty being an Angel makes no sense. First of all,
>> everyone
>> knows that it was built. It's not like a random statue in the street
>> whose
>> history nobody knows. Second, we were reminded *in the same episode*
>> that New
>> York is the city which never sleeps--there's always going to be someone
>> looking
>> at it.
>
> That bothered me too.
>
Not me. After all, who said that it was the _real_ Miss Liberty (who, as we
all know, is made of Copper, not stone) ? Maybe it was an Angel who took her
form (or a colony of Angels, that could work too). After all, unless I
missed it, we never saw the statue missing from her platform.

Gérard Morvan

"Kentoc'h Mervel !"

JK

James Kuyper

in reply to [email protected] (Ken Arromdee) on 22/10/2012 10:05 AM

23/10/2012 10:00 AM

On 10/22/2012 10:44 PM, gerard.morvan wrote:
> "James Kuyper" <[email protected]> a <UTF16-FFFD>crit dans le message de news:
> [email protected]
>> ...
>>> -- The Statue of Liberty being an Angel makes no sense. First of all,
>>> everyone
>>> knows that it was built. It's not like a random statue in the street
>>> whose
>>> history nobody knows. Second, we were reminded *in the same episode*
>>> that New
>>> York is the city which never sleeps--there's always going to be someone
>>> looking
>>> at it.
>>
>> That bothered me too.
>>
> Not me. After all, who said that it was the _real_ Miss Liberty (who, as we
> all know, is made of Copper, not stone) ? Maybe it was an Angel who took her
> form (or a colony of Angels, that could work too). After all, unless I
> missed it, we never saw the statue missing from her platform.

It doesn't matter if she was the real Miss Liberty. All that matters is
that she was HUGE. I've no idea if she was the same size as the real
one, but she was big. Because she's so big, there will almost always be
a lot of people watching her at any given time - not because they're
interested in her, but just because she happens to be in their field fo
view. As a result, under the rules of the Angels, she could almost never
move. And, the minute she started walking, her unexpected location would
draw a LOT of attention, making it even harder for her to move.
A densely populated city like New York that (famously) never sleeps, is
generally a bad area for Angels; they need to remain unobserved for
significant amounts of time, in order to be dangerous. Modern day Hong
Kong or Tokyo would be even worse.
--
James Kuyper

dT

[email protected] (The Doctor)

in reply to [email protected] (Ken Arromdee) on 22/10/2012 10:05 AM

23/10/2012 10:07 AM

The Statue of Liberty a Stone Angel. Could be that
a Weeping Angel did take the Statue over until the paradox
came into place.
--
Member - Liberal International This is [email protected] Ici [email protected]
God,Queen and country!Never Satan President Republic!Beware AntiChrist rising!
http://www.fullyfollow.me/rootnl2k
USA petition to dissolve the Republic and vote to disoolve it in November 2012

JK

James Kuyper

in reply to [email protected] (Ken Arromdee) on 22/10/2012 10:05 AM

22/10/2012 8:17 PM

On 10/22/2012 10:05 AM, Ken Arromdee wrote:
> I wrote this just after seeing the episode, and before reading any Usenet
> messages or other messages on the subject:
>
> -- Exactly what do the Angels gain by sending someone to the past and keeping
> them locked up? They gain energy by sending someone to the past. Keeping them
> locked up only does any good if they send them to the past again a second time
> once they lived the decades back up to the present.

In terms of real-world science, there's no obvious reason why they
should be able to gain energy at all. It has to be accepted as
"sufficiently advanced science", i.e. "indistinguishable from magic".
The writers are free to choose to define that the angels can absorb
additional energy from every year that the prisoners spend in the wrong
time period - but only if they're held prisoner (possibly because they
must remain within a certain minimum distance of the angel in order for
that angel to absorb the energy). That's not inconsistent with anything
that's been said elsewhere - with one caveat. If it were a lot of
additional energy, farms like this one would be their normal mode of
existence, which would be (mildly) inconsistent with our previous
encounters with the Angels.

> -- You can't go back to 1938? What? First of all, you can always go back to
> 1937 and wait. Second, the Doctor has clearly been able to go back to that
> general time period before without noticing there was a big section of 1938
> that was off limits. Third, if you just can't go to 1938 Manhattan but can go
> somewhere else, travel to England and take a boat.

That's the question I raised in my "ground transport" thread.

> -- Regeneration energy to fix River Song? What? Really, that was totally out
> of left field (and raises the question of why the Doctor never did that to
> help anyone else, including people who were actually dying).

A) she's his wife. B) his entire current supply of regeneration energy
(which is apparently sufficient to support at least a couple of
additional regenerations) came from her; he was appalled that she gave
it to him, and is looking for excuses to give some of it back.

Still, I basically agree - the idea that he can do this makes him look
retroactively uncharacteristically selfish on every previous occasion
where he failed to do so, when there was sufficiently good reason for
doing so.

> -- Also, exactly why couldn't they break the Angel's wrist? It was never clear
> whether they weren't willing or weren't able, but I see no reason for either
> one; it was self-defense, and we've just established in the *same scene* that
> people can hurt Angels.

It's a fixed point in time - no matter what you attempt to do to change
things, something will normally happen to interfere. We've seen what
happens if you're unfortunate enough to be clever enough to find a way
to break a fixed point in time.

...
> -- The Statue of Liberty being an Angel makes no sense. First of all, everyone
> knows that it was built. It's not like a random statue in the street whose
> history nobody knows. Second, we were reminded *in the same episode* that New
> York is the city which never sleeps--there's always going to be someone looking
> at it.

That bothered me too.

> -- It wasn't clear whether the Doctor couldn't go back to get Amy and Rory
> because saving them would cause a paradox or because he can't even visit the
> time period.

We don't even know what time period they were sent to. There were no
dates on the tombstones.

> 1) If he can't even visit the time period, see previous remarks about 1938, but
> worse. Not being able to visit a decades-long period that begins in 1938 would
> even retroactively erase Totter's Lane in 1963. (Did it retroactively
> erase The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe? If not, go to England in
> Christmas 1938, and take a boat.)

That's another issue already raised in my "ground transport" thread.
--
James Kuyper

JK

James Kuyper

in reply to [email protected] (Ken Arromdee) on 22/10/2012 10:05 AM

24/10/2012 9:47 PM

On 10/24/2012 05:40 PM, Ken Arromdee wrote:
> And another thing: Amy tells the Doctor to go talk to young Amy. If he
> does that, isn't that going to cause a paradox? We already know that Amy
> was upset at waiting for the Doctor and not having him appear. If the
> Doctor goes back and meets young Amy, that will change the past--
> young Amy will no longer be disappointed by the Doctor not showing up.
> And of course we don't know the effect this will have on other events.
> Worse yet, Amy wants the Doctor to hint at future adventures that young
> Amy hasn't had yet. What if Amy remembers one of those hints and derails
> the adventure completely?

Of course she remembers those hints - that's why she tells him to make
that visit. The won't derail her adventures - those stories were part of
her history from the very beginning. The scene at the end of "The Angels
Take Manhattan" came straight from "The Eleventh Hour", where she was
dreaming a memory about the Doctor's visit to tell her those stories -
though we didn't know that's what was happening at the time. The Doctor
had just arrived to take her away on her first adventure, and the sound
of the Tardis is probably what triggered that dream memory.

I'd always thought that her childhood obsession with the Doctor seemed a
rather extreme reaction to his visit. It makes a little more sense now
that I know he reinforced it with a follow-up visit. "The Girl Who
Waited" didn't wait quite as hopelessly as we originally thought, not
the first time.
--
James Kuyper

aK

[email protected] (Ken Arromdee)

in reply to [email protected] (Ken Arromdee) on 22/10/2012 10:05 AM

24/10/2012 5:40 PM

And another thing: Amy tells the Doctor to go talk to young Amy. If he
does that, isn't that going to cause a paradox? We already know that Amy
was upset at waiting for the Doctor and not having him appear. If the
Doctor goes back and meets young Amy, that will change the past--
young Amy will no longer be disappointed by the Doctor not showing up.
And of course we don't know the effect this will have on other events.
Worse yet, Amy wants the Doctor to hint at future adventures that young
Amy hasn't had yet. What if Amy remembers one of those hints and derails
the adventure completely?
--
Ken Arromdee / arromdee_AT_rahul.net / http://www.rahul.net/arromdee

Obi-wan Kenobi: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes."
Yoda: "Do or do not. There is no 'try'."

dT

[email protected] (The Doctor)

in reply to [email protected] (Ken Arromdee) on 22/10/2012 10:05 AM

24/10/2012 4:16 PM

River Song was conceived as Melodie Pond-Williams.
She was conceived in the TARDIS and grew up to be River Song.
--
Member - Liberal International This is [email protected] Ici [email protected]
God,Queen and country!Never Satan President Republic!Beware AntiChrist rising!
http://www.fullyfollow.me/rootnl2k
USA petition to dissolve the Republic and vote to disoolve it in November 2012

JK

James Kuyper

in reply to [email protected] (Ken Arromdee) on 22/10/2012 10:05 AM

23/10/2012 8:36 PM

On 10/23/2012 04:21 PM, Ken Arromdee wrote:
> In article <[email protected]>,
> James Kuyper <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> -- Regeneration energy to fix River Song? What? Really, that was totally out
>>> of left field (and raises the question of why the Doctor never did that to
>>> help anyone else, including people who were actually dying).
>> A) she's his wife. B) his entire current supply of regeneration energy
>> (which is apparently sufficient to support at least a couple of
>> additional regenerations) came from her; he was appalled that she gave
>> it to him, and is looking for excuses to give some of it back.
>
> That raises its own can of worms: we assumed that the regeneration energy
> she gave him was used up. If it wasn't used up, and all he had to do was
> wait until he got well enough that he could give it back, it wasn't even a
> sacrifice.

I never assumed that. I don't have a recording of the episode, so I
can't be sure what exactly was said - but my impression was that she
gave him all of her regeneration energy, enough for several
regenerations. I think it's reasonable to assume that the transfer of
regeneration energy is lossy, so that he received less regeneration
energy than she lost. A lossy transfer would also explain why she
objected to getting some of the energy back; and if we assume it was
lossy, it was definitely a sacrifice, even if some of the energy could
be returned.

>> It's a fixed point in time - no matter what you attempt to do to change
>> things, something will normally happen to interfere. We've seen what
>> happens if you're unfortunate enough to be clever enough to find a way
>> to break a fixed point in time.
>
> What's a fixed point in time? They didn't know she broke her wrist. They
> knew there was a book where she writes of breaking her wrist. No reason to
> believe she wrote the truth in the book (her name certainly isn't Malone).

I'd never claim DW is a model of consistency. This episode made it much
easier than it should be to create a fixed point in time, and the rules
governing such creations are far from clear, and probably inconsistent.
But the Doctor said that a fixed point in time had been created, and I
don't think there's anyone who's a better authority on such matters than
he is. Of course "Rule 1: The Doctor Lies", but there doesn't seem to be
a reason for applying Rule 1 in this context.

> Furthermore, when the Doctor thought that she got out without breaking her
> wrist, his reaction wasn't "oh no! Look what you did! You violated a
> fixed point in time and that'll cause a disaster!"

Agreed - another inconsistency. That breaking a fixed point would result
in the defeat of the Angels, rather than the destruction of time itself,
is inconsistent with previous episodes.
--
James Kuyper


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