Dr Who Review: The Girl Who Waited

Dr Who The Girl Who Waited Amy Pond Karen Gillan

Dr Who Review: The Girl Who Waited

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Amy, Rory and the Doctor travel to a new planet, but when Amy returns to the TARDIS to grab her mobile phone (for picture-taking purposes) the Doctor and Rory go on ahead, leading to Amy being trapped in a separate time stream from her companions.

Best Moment: Tough call. This was an episode with a lot of “best moments.” I loved seeing the older, bitter warrior Amy. I loved that Older Amy tells Rory not to let her in to TARDIS. She knows herself well enough to know that she will fight to get in if she can, but she also knows that she needs to let the Younger Amy survive. Easily the funniest line has to be the Doctor’s comment about updating twitter.

Verdict: I think it’s interesting to note that Star Trek: TNG did a similar storyline with Commander Riker, with a much happier outcome. Being Dr Who, you almost assume that this one will also be a happy, easy outcome, but such is not the case. Rather than have the very simple decision to rescue Amy the Younger, thus making 36 years of trauma never happen, which seems like a no-brainer, the writers take a different tack. What if the older Amy isn’t so willing to give up her life? After all, as hellish as it is, it’s life, and she is, understandably, terrified of the alternative.

We are then presented with the idea that the two Amy’s can enter the TARDIS and be rescued, which would have resulted in a more TNG outcome. The only difference is the two Amy’s really can’t exist together, and so to save Amy, the Doctor lies, knowing full well that only the one Amy can be rescued. I tend to be in agreement with the Doctor. It makes sense to rescue the Younger Amy before she is forced to live for 36 hellish years, and yet I can totally sympathise with Rory. The older Amy is still his Amy, and it’s simply not in his DNA to abandon her.

This episode tells us a great deal about Amy and Rory’s relationship. Sometimes when you watch Dr Who, you get the impression that Amy doesn’t love Rory nearly as much as he loves her. Certainly, many fans still believe there will be a Doctor-Amy love story. I hope this episode quashes that theory. It’s clear that Amy loves Rory. And while some might argue that she is a little too bitter and angry at him for making her wait (he did protect her for 2000 years!) it’s still Rory that she loves. In fact, her feelings towards the Doctor change quite considerably. The Older Amy blames the Doctor for her predicament. And, once again, the Doctor is confronted by a companion whose life he has managed to wreck.

Dr Who The Girl Who Waited

I can’t say enough good things about the performances of both Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill. The characters of Amy and Rory have been through so much together, and both actors are able to show that emotional journey and give it a great deal of believability. I also loved how resourceful Amy becomes in the ensuing 36 years. Not just for surviving, but that she is able to construct a sonic screwdriver/probe and reprogram a robot. Amy really becomes a badass in this episode.

I loved the whole idea of the planet with the time streams so that you could watch a loved ones live out their lives in the course of day. What an interesting idea. What’s also interesting is the way that this supposedly kind and humane service becomes the Older Amy’s own private hell.

Kudos to the design team for this episode. I loved the gardens. You could easily understand why that was an option for a dying patient to visit. I also really loved Amy’s older makeup. I have to say I’m not usually a fan of aging young actors because it never looks any good. This actually did look pretty decent.

Overall, yes, this wasn’t an arc episode (personally I’m okay with a non-River story), but it’s a clear winner nonetheless. This, along with the wonderful, Neil Gaiman penned episode, The Doctor’s Wife has to be my favourite episodes of season six.