The Lonely Space Whale was an obvious metaphor for the Doctor, and Amy's empathy for the Whale was an obvious metaphor for Amy's empathy for the Doctor and Amy understood the Whale better than the Doctor did to show that Amy understands the Doctor better than the Doctor understands himself.
The Weeing Angels aren't, in that sense, a metaphor for anything. They aren't anything at all. They are villains without motive or personality or clearly defined powers, almost an absence in a story which is about the relationship between three main characters: the Doctor, Amy and River Bloody Song.
Everyone talks about the Buffyfication of Doctor Who, and by everyone I mean "me", obviously. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a show of great underlying integrity. You could accept evil alien Buddweiser that literally turned frat-boys into cavemen, or a school swim team that were mutating into Deep Ones because you always and absolutely believed in and cared about every one of the characters. Every bit of teen angst was followed through to its achy breaky conclusion. Davies "got" that the monsters in Buffy were mainly metaphors, lights to shine a torch at the hopeless doomed love affairs between Buffy and Angel and Buffy and Spike and decided that this was how modern Who would have to be.
I still don't know if this was the right decision. I don't know whether everything really does have to be all touchy-feely. When people say that the the Boys' Mountaineering and Boxing Society isn't attracting many girls and should therefore do less mountaineering and boxing, I'm inclined to say "But what about the boys who liked mountaineering and boxing but aren't nearly as keen on knitting and watching Glee?" Good thing to drop the "boy" bit though. Apparently girls can join the Boy Scouts but boys can't join the Girl Guides. Or maybe "don't". There's nothing wrong with girls wanting to learn how to kill and cook wild squirrels and boys wanting to bake cookies. But I'm not at all sure that there isn't room in the world for an all male space where boys can talk to other boys about their periods, so to speak. There really are a lot of socially awkward males in the world and Doctor Who really did used to be place for them to retreat and talk about Thals and Neutron Flows, and I am not sure if making it about dating, weddings, mothers and showing your emotions was an improvement, given that there are one or two programmes on TV which deal with that stuff already.
But given that we are committed to making Doctor Who a soap opera, at least lets make it a good soap opera. Once we had passed Bad Wolf Bay -- which I increasingly think was the moment when Russell had done what he set out to do and said what he had to say -- both we and him stopped caring, and that's the one thing that can never, ever happen in a soap.
Steven has made me care.
He's made me care about the relationship between the Doctor and Amy, and as long as I'm doing that it really doesn't matter whether this is a different kind of relationship to the one which a different Doctor, a long time ago, might have had with Jo Grant or Adric.
Me and Jon have recently seen a lot of movies we've quite liked, like Avatar and Iron Man; and a couple that we liked an awful lot, like Kick Ass; but we keep finding that we don't have very much to say to each other about them. But we've been talking about the Phantom Menace, which neither of us liked nearly so much, for years and years. (We agreed to differ about the abomination.)
Why, says Jon, is it so hard to talk about good movies?
I think the answer is that in a real sense you don't actually see good movies. As long as the movie is good, you aren't watching it: you are inside it, sharing the characters' experiences, seeing their world through their eyes. If you are in that state of mind, you can put up with almost anything, even the plot of Avatar. In the same way, you never actually see a good special effect: what you see is a spaceship or a sword fighting skeleton or a big blue willy. Only if the special effect has fundamentally failed do you have a chance to think "I wonder how they did that?" When a movie goes wrong something wrenches you out of it and you are looking from the outside: commenting that such and such an actor is doing this thing well, and that thing badly, noticing structure and shot. Sweet is the something which nature brings / our meddling intellect mis-shapes the beauteous form of things / and he that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of knowledge, as the fellow said.
Criticizing Kick Ass would be a non sequitur. The only correct reaction is "Like, wow. Wow." Or as Jon said: "I never need to see another movie ever again."
The relationship between the Doctor and Amy is a relationship between two characters, between two people, not between two actors saying lines at each other. That's all that matters. Matt Smith gives us a panicky Doctor; an improvising Doctor; a Doctor who knows his own reputation and isn't quite sure if he can live up to it; a Doctor who knows that he is going to do something incredibly clever but hasn't thought of it yet; a Doctor who won't know what his plan is until he's finished talking; a Doctor who is concerned about being the Doctor.
"I'll do a thing. I don't know what thing yet. It's a thing in progress. Respect the thing."
Possibly maybe arguably perhaps a Doctor who is aware of his own Doctorness points to a show which is still not quite at ease with itself; a show which still thinks of itself as a revival of an old programme; a bit too post-modernist for its own good. "Doctor Who, based upon the BBC TV series 'Doctor Who'." But I honestly don't care. I haven't enjoyed the company of a TARDIS occupant this much since...I don't know, Logopolis, probably. From time to time David Tennant used to deliver lines which you wanted to take home and put on a tee-shirt because they defined everything you loved about this daft old silly TV programme. Matt Smith seems to do this every time he opens his mouth.
"There's something here which doesn't make sense. Let's go and poke it with a stick."
When a character is this mad, this endearing, this compelling it honestly doesn't matter if he's too like, or too unlike, the ten actors who previously played a character with the same name. (Have you noticed that Moffat keeps face-checking the First Doctor, as if to remind us that this Young Man is the same person as the Old Man who he is almost completely unlike?) I think I might be in love with the Eleventh Doctor if I had never seen another episode of Doctor Who in my whole life.
The scene where he leaves Amy with the clerical soldiers, warning her to keep her eyes closed and telling her to trust him ("But you never tell me the truth" "If I told you the truth you wouldn't need to trust me") seems to matter more than any Doctor / Companion scene has mattered since.... Well, since Bad Wolf Bay. But that wasn't about the Doctor and his companion, it was about the Lonely God and Dark Phoenix, over-the-top, overwrought, out of the range of normal human emotion, I'm burning up a star just to say good bye to you. This was the young old traveller and his human friend; the old young traveller about whom the question has never really gone away: can you trust him?