Saturday, 17 September 2011

Doctor Who: The Girl Who Waited (spoilers)

"Do not be alarmed, this is a kindness"...maybe this was also the Doctor's justification for putting 'future' Amy out of her misery. 

I came to this episode a little late this week after being told it contained one of the saddest moments in Doctor Who in a long time. Hmm perhaps a little touching but after all the complaints about last weeks ‘Christmassy’ feel good factor, I’m amazed the sentimentality of this episode didn't have those unromantic souls reaching for a bucket especially that ‘Rose-esque’ moment with the hands…bleurgh.

So my first observation this week; Karen Gillan is acting after all? Well older 'future' Amy was far easier to watch, much less irritating, pouty and had lost the awkward fidgeting. Which leads nicely to point number two; why on earth did they save the past Amy? Silly men.

The gnarled fingers and wizened features (miraculously not a grey hair in sight) may not be a patch on the peachy face and manicure in the eye-candy stakes of the younger Amy, but how much more useful would her new found, technical, ‘I made a sonic probe expertise and can kick a few handbots backsides in'  be?

So very simply; Amy ‘future' and Amy ‘past’ are the same except older Amy has grown up, is wiser, independent and no longer hanging out for her doctor in shining Tardis to save her. A little bitter maybe but so much deeper and that all adds some character surely?

With Rory once again, there were flashes of affection returning and this could have led on to some more daring observations in relationships regarding time. Imagine her working in partnership with River Song too, there would be no need for the raggedy man and his outdated screwdriver? Probably as likely as the writers revisiting the idea of a female doctor though.

So we can sit back and muse the tragedy, the ‘lost’ years of the relationship between Amy and Rory and the euthanazing of her older worn by ‘waiting’ self? Lesson then girls, don’t bother waiting.  At the end of the day though, youth and beauty too often wins over wisdom and experience.

Ironically Amy talks of the beauty in Rory’s face, his personality written all over him, a personality partially written, if you cast your mind back, by his own wait for many more years as a Centurian in the Pandorica story. On the subject of beauty, Amy reflects;

"And then you get to know them and their face just sort of becomes them. Like their personality is written all over it. And they turn into something so beautiful. Rory's the most beautiful man I've ever met."

Yet when it came to Amy and her entrapment in another dimension, that part of her was deleted; they effectively rubbed out 36 years of the same from Amy’s face, part of her own beauty, returning to a clean and very blank page that will continue to need to be rescued.

Verdict? I liked it from the interest point of view of how it unravelled into predictability. It wasn’t just teatime entertainment and at times looked like a sad reflection of society and its attitude to time passing with the values of youth over experience. The saddest moment for me was just before the Wizard of Oz ‘show me home’ moment as ‘future’ Amy watched Rory carry ‘past’ Amy over the threshold of the Tardis and remembered how much he had loved her. Perhaps a similar thought ran through her mind as she picked up a lipstick earlier, looked at Rory despondently and returned it to its place.

Was she really giving a ‘gift’ of the years back or just realising that being the same person with a few more years of personality written into your face is too often a  lost battle. Very simply, the Doctor for me 'pulled time apart' and rescued the wrong part of Amy.

Well that’s what I thought when watching with a very overtired ‘festival’ recovering head. Not a bad episode although for now the second half of this series has been a bit 'pedestrian' and I'm hoping for something a little more 'gutsy' and adventurous in the next episodes. Did I see a flash of weeping angel in the trailer for the next episode? Or are they wheeling them out and hoping we don’t recognise them in that beeb cuts way? It was a flash, maybe I imagined it.

Related Post: Doctor Who finale or Merlin opener?

Jump to iplayer to watch again or catch up.

Images courtesy of the BBC.

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