It’s Valentine’s Day! Awwwwwwww (Or ‘Ewwwwwwwww’ depending on how you’re celebrating the day). To celebrate the day, I thought it’s only apt that I review one of the most testing episodes in terms of couples, using one of Doctor Who’s greatest couples, Amy Pond and Rory Williams. This is my review of The Girl Who Waited.
Amy is trapped in a quarantine facility for victims of an alien plague – a plague that will kill the Doctor in a day – as the time-travelling drama continues.
The Doctor can use the TARDIS to smash through time and break in, but then Rory is on his own. He must find Amy and bring her back to the TARDIS before the alien doctors can administer their medicine.
Rory is about to encounter a very different side to his wife. Can he rescue Amy before she is killed by kindness?
This episode is extremely clinical, something that Doctor Who doesn’t seem to do too often. Normally, Doctor Who likes to do grubby, dark, dank, rusty space stations made of cobbled bit of metal (or human parts, but y’know, whatever), but in The Girl Who Waited we see sterile, and it’s eerie.
In Series 5 we really got to see how much Amy meant to Rory, with Rory waiting over 2000 years between The Pandorica Opens and The Big Bang to ensure that Amy was safe. In Series 6, we get the chance to see Amy having to wait for both Rory and the Doctor, which is a really interesting premise as we get to see if Amy is seemingly as selfless as Rory is.
The Handbots are a classic Doctor Who style of monster, making something that is designed to be helpful and polite and altering their normal circumstances making them a lot more dangerous and deadly than intended. I have to admit, this does remind me a lot of The Robots of Death but with a more modern and timey-wimey take.
Admittedly, one of my favourite aspects of Series 6 is Rory Williams, he’s one of the most underrated companions since the revival. He’s funny, sarcastic, sceptical in all the right times and places, loyal and compassionate. One of the most heartbreaking Rory moments is when he finally gets to enter the Red Waterfall Time Stream and discovers Amy a lot older and battle-weary. The idea of Amy waiting 36 years seemingly devastates her husband and in his words “I don’t care that you got old, I care we didn’t get old together.” He’s such a romantic at heart isn’t he? What most people wouldn’t do to get themselves a Rory. Also, the fact that Amy built herself a handless Handbot and named it Rory goes to show just how much Rory means to her too.
The premise in this episode that I think is really stellar though, is the fact that Amy has grown old and now seemingly resents the Doctor for abandoning her for all those years. Personally, I don’t think that this would have had the same effect if it was any other companion, but with Amy’s past, waiting since she was little Amelia for her Raggedy Man to turn up in his blue box and show her the stars, I think it makes the fact that she got fed up of waiting extra poignant. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, Doctor. You should know that.
When Doctor Who deals with the domestic like it does in The Girl Who Waited, it’s normally the small, seemingly insignificant moments that are utterly heart wrenching. The smallest moment that really moved me in this episode was the briefest of moments, when Amy has to put the camera-glasses on and Rory makes her laugh. The look on Amy’s face when she realises that that was the first time she’s laughed in 36 years is brilliantly performed by Karen Gillan and one of the most emotional Amy moments on the show.
Rory is absolutely the best boyfriend/ husband that Doctor Who has ever shown; he is utterly devoted to Amy and is one of the only people who will stand up to the Doctor and question his morals and his actions. Since the revival the only other proper boyfriend we’ve seen is Mickey, who was with Rose but ultimately ended up marrying Martha Jones, who was really a bumbling fool who had to toughen up to try and keep his girlfriend which ultimately failed. Mickey may have toughened up to be a part of the TARDIS crew, but Rory ultimately toughened up to keep his girlfriend safe, as well as being absolutely full of heart. He even cries when he meets his child in A Good Man Goes To War, how cute is that?
I have talked a lot in this review about how loyal Rory is to Amy, and how romantic it is (when this is published, it is Valentine’s Day after all), however I think it’s really interesting to see how Older Amy also decides to change her timeline so she can make Rory happier. It shows that their love for each other is mutual and unconditional. The small spat between Older Amy and Younger Amy is some comic relief that I feel may have been necessary for the episode to appease the younger viewers, as it could have been seen as a bit too soppy to be Doctor Who. Poor Rory though, having to mediate between his wife and… his wife. Nothing like arguing with yourself now is there? Yes there is. No there isn’t. (That’s a joke, make sure you laugh.)
The ultimate betrayal towards Older Amy, especially from the Doctor as he consciously makes sure she doesn’t enter the TARDIS is seemingly so out of character for the Time Lord, as he effectively murders a version of his best friend and companion to save another; what’s even more out of character for the Doctor is the fact that he forces Rory to choose which version of Amy they decide to save. It’s these dark glimpses of the Doctor that gives a good indication of just how selfish and cowardly he can sometimes be; just how flawed this godlike Time Lord is.
The rating system on the Gallifrey Archive is achieved on a scale of 1-10.
For The Girl Who Waited, I will give a rating of: