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Doctor Who Episode 6.10: The Girl Who Waited

by on September 12, 2011

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Okay, caught the latest episode of Doctor Who only 90 minutes after its Eastern United States debut. And I have time to blog about it the next morning. Pretty solid.

So, the latest Doctor Who episode is called The Girl who Waited, a play on the original name given to Amy by The Doctor and the happenings of the episode, which brings in a classic sci-fi paradox dilemma.

Let’s dive in

Quick Synopsis

  • The Doctor, Rory, and Amy arrive in the TARDIS to visit the planet Apalapucia, that supposedly has amazing views and scenes. But when they arrive, it’s a plain white room with a door and two buttons, one green and one red.
  • While Amy goes back to get her phone. The Doctor and Rory press the green button and enter one room. When Amy to the door, she presses the red button.
  • In the red facility, Amy’s time is passing faster than for Rory and The Doctor. This is a kindness facility, as the planet is dealing with a plague that affects creatures with two hearts (like the Apalapucians and Time Lords). The time difference allows those with the plague to experience the lifetime of their family, during the time they have left.
  • The Doctor and Rory return to the TARDIS, where they punch through the time to get to Amy. But only Rory can go after her, due to the plague.
  • Amy is being attacked by robots who want to disinfect her, which would kill her. So she waits in a section where they can’t see her.
  • When Rory finds Amy, she has been waiting for36 years, and she has turned bitter towards Amy and Rory. When the Doctor comes up with a solution to save younger Amy, the older Amy refused to be erased from time.
  • Eventually, both Amy’s work together, after not wanting to leave Rory without Amy. And the Doctor allows both Amy’s to exist in the same time frame.
  • They all head towards the TARDIS, but only one Amy can exist in the TARDIS . The Doctor locks out the older Amy, forcing Rory to choose which Amy he saves. The older Amy tells Rory to choose the younger Amy. Rory cries as he curses the Doctor for doing this to him.

Quotes

The Doctor: Beautiful word. Beautiful world. Appalapachia. Voted number two planet in the top ten greatest destinations for the discerning intergalactic traveler.
Rory: Why couldn’t we go to number one?
The Doctor: It’s hideous! Everyone goes to number one. Planet of the Coffee Shops.

Amy: Rory. I love you. Now save me. Go on.

The Doctor: Ha ha! How do I look?

Rory: Ridiculous.
The Doctor: Glasses are cool, see? Oh yes. Hello handsome man.
Rory: Hello.

The Doctor: That’s the spirit. Now smashing through a time wall could get a bit hairy.
Rory: Is it safe?
The Doctor: Dunno. Never tried. Best hold on to something.

The Doctor: Amy, I just need to borrow your brain a minute. It won’t hurt probably. Almost probably.

The Doctor: I’m so sorry, but Rory.
Rory: No! This is your fault! You should look in a history book once in awhile, see if there’s an outbreak of plague or not.
The Doctor: That is not how I travel.
Rory: Then I do not want to travel with you!

The Doctor: Perhaps. Maybe if I shunted the reality compensators on the TARDIS, recalibrated the Doomsday bumpers and jettisoned the karaoke bar, yes. Maybe, yes. It could do it.

Rory: This isn’t fair. You’re turning me into you.

Questions:

Q1.    Did The Doctor know that both Amy’s couldn’t exist from the moment it was mentioned, or did he figure it out when the TARDIS started phasing.

Q2.     Why did Amy never see any other people. I get that she was on a different time frequency, but still she should have bumped into ‘someone’.

Thoughts and Asides

  • This was definitely Karen Gillian’s best episode as an actress. She very effectively portrayed the true bitterness that someone would feel by being alone for 36 years
  • What separates good science fiction from bad? Bad science fiction creates clichés that runs through the same tropes associated with the cliché. Good science fiction creates new perspectives on the same clichés. Amy’s refusal to help her younger self, was new.
  • The bitterness of Amy was good to see, especially against the Doctor. But she had soooo much more ammunition against the Doctor than just the pieces from this episode. He made her wait twice before. He caused their daughter to be kidnapped by an army. Rory has been killed and unwritten from time four times already. I’m disappointed that they didn’t go there.
  • It has taken a while for Rory to be Amy’s equal in the show. This episode showed why Amy loves Rory, the spark, the impetus. And it was really really nice to see. Could have called it, “Why Amy loves Rory.”
  • That said… When I heard the name of the title of this episode, I really expected to learn something new about Amy Pond. Learn what makes her different. Even given the ‘plot’ of the episode forgetting the title, I think that this was a wasted opportunity to really delve deep into who is Amy Pond. And it was left on the table.
  • The Doctor said before, “A good man doesn’t need rules, Now’s not the day to find out why I have so many.” So, as many of us know, he’s not necessarily a good man. This episode showed that. He makes the decisions that have to be made. But it doesn’t always make him good. It’s important to remember this.
  • I’ve been watching British television (from Doctor Who to Absolutely Fabulous to Coupling), so I have an ear for it. However, between the accent, the speed, and the technobabble, there were whole sentences that I didn’t catch last night.
  • I think BBC America cut something out of the episode, as it cut to the sneak preview for next week right after Amy asked “Where is she.” Either that, or they left no moments for the emotion to set in.
  • No death of The Doctor details or hints that I could catch, kindof curious to be honest with you.
  • I was really hoping for some better consequences to the group, but it really felt like the relationship between the Doctor, Amy, and Rory was somewhat unaffected. That is a disappointment.

Review

Karen Gillian’s work on this episode raises it up from a standard science fiction cliché. I would have liked to have seen a little more than just a ‘reset to normal’ ending, but I can live with it. And I certainly felt the emotion coming from this story, and it was effective.

B

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