“I’m a mess!” gasps Katy Manning, dabbing her eyes, as The Angels Take Manhattan draws to a close. She’s been silently sobbing from the moment the Doctor cured River Song with his regeneration energy. “Urgh, that was the first tear, goddammit! When he fixed her wrist.”
And while we watched an ancient Rory dying in bed, his younger self jumping off a roof with Amy, and then the two of them being dissolved into the past for good, “I had tears flowing down right under my scarf,” says Katy.
Forty years ago, Katy Manning was the quintessential Doctor Who girl. Her character Jo Grant – a sort of intrepid, accident-prone, self-sacrificing sexpot – was the Amy Pond of her day. For three years, she too shared an inseparable bond with the Time Lord, then played by Jon Pertwee. And millions of young fans (myself included) were inconsolable when Katy/Jo left the series in 1973.
How will the children of today react to the tearjerking, irrevocable departure of Amy and Rory after their three series in the Tardis? And, I wondered, how would Katy react to the episode herself?
Two weeks ago I invited her round to my house for a special preview and to deliver her verdict for Radio Times. Already a fiend for twitter (@manningofficial), she’s fast becoming an RT blogger! She recently reviewed Asylum of the Daleks for us. Of course, there’s journalism in her genes: her father, JL Manning, was a respected campaigning journalist.