Doctor Who Blog

Killing With Kindness

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimeyness, some emotionally powerful scenes, and Amy Pond as a hot, robot killing 55 year old. That’s only some of The Girl Who Waited.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Sound off in the comments section.

Our TARDIS file went through the Red Waterfall door and will be up in a couple of days.

54 Comments...

Loved this one. Thought it worked equally well on both a sci-fi conceptual level and with respect to character/emotion.

Posted by Luca  on  09/10  at  05:33 PM

Re the Girl Who Waited: Nice one Karen - really excellent! Mind you, it was a bit much old Amy going on about having to wait a mere 30 years for Rory to come and fetch her - surely a drop in the ocean compared with how long he had to wait around for her to pop out of the Pandorica.  I was surprised he didn’t think of pointing that out.

Posted by Scifiphile  on  09/11  at  09:59 AM

Wow.  Yeah really, wow.  I was all ready to go ‘meh’ to this one (not exactly being the biggest Amy fan on the planet lol)- but it blew me out of the water.

Some fabulously emotional (and beautifully played) scenes by all 3 of our main characters, and I admit to being brought to tears on no less than three separate occasions.  Even once when the sad little Rory-robot was trying to help.  Really.

I do agree with Scifiphile above, I too was waiting for Rory or even the Doctor to point out Rory’s 2000 year wait.  However, most of all I don’t understand why not one word was mentioned about Melody/River.  Was this episode another one originally supposed to be in the first half?  If not, it seems unbelievable that neither Rory nor Amy seemed to have any thought for the fact they’d had a child, and that she was still out there somewhere.

And I’m still not quite sure what’s going on with the Doctor.  He seemed somewhat detached again, actually more like he was holding a lot inside and refusing to acknowledge some of the issues at hand, instead being overly manic on the outside (which I admit is trying my patience a little).  Perhaps he’s finding the realisation of his effect on those around him just a little too much to take - especially with the way Amy and especially Rory threw it in his face.  Or maybe he really is another Doctor, and too preoccupied with what will happen by the lake to let himself get too far away from his ‘plan’ - whatever it may be (because I’m sure he has one). 

Nevertheless, this was a brilliant episode.  Unfortunately with all the love expressed lately between Rory and Amy, I can’t help feel that we are on our way to seeing his demise…I mean for real this time.  Hope I’m wrong.

Posted by Julie  on  09/11  at  10:59 AM

This was a brilliant episode. Karen Gillian gave an exceptional performance as Amy “the elder”. Rory’s character isn’t going to mention his 2000 year wait in comparison to Amy’s “36” year wait because she did it as a human - she got the rotten end of the time stick and Rory knew it - a young woman became a senior citizen during the wait - no Christmas office parties - no quiet bicycle rides in the country - no “afternoon delight” - no beer and pizza and bad television nights - just battling goofy “handbots” for 36 years. Rory did his time as an animated chuck of plastic - he didn’t age - he had no needs - he was immortal - time wouldn’t have the same meaning to him as it would to a flesh and blood human. All he had was his human memories of Amy so how else is chunk of plastic (Auton) going to spend his time?
I think that Moffat has a great love for the Rory character - he’s an awesome “every-man” I think he’ll have the Doctor set his future in-laws up somewhere safe in the country (somewhere in time and space) - while the Doctor and River get to know each other. Worrying about Amy and Rory keeps our interest in these characters.
It’s great to see the lack of nastiness here that can be seen on the other blogs

Posted by Craig Moorhouse  on  09/11  at  01:38 PM

I guess this week episode is brilliant. Amy Pond is tremendous in this episode. Really enjoyed this episode. Thanks smile

Posted by Shane Warne  on  09/12  at  12:00 AM

This was great, I haven’t really watched it much since David Tennant left,as I just didn’t feel anything for the characters.

This reminded me of the sad parting of the doctor and Rose…and the aged Amy character reminded us how dangerous/alien the doctor is.

Rory and Amy are why I would watch it again though, still not convinced by the new doc….

Posted by Jazza  on  09/12  at  04:30 AM

Loved this one, and surprisingly wasn’t disappointed about the absence of River Song (who I’m actually quite fond of). This one seemed like a bit of a break, and I could imagine the Doctor off-camera saying, “We’ve had a hard time lately. Let’s take a short breather.”

One thing I have to add, though: that was one hell of a makeup job on Amy. Normally when makeup is used to age someone it never looks quite convincing to me, but I honestly found myself wondering if that was Ms. Gillan’s mother playing the older Amy.

Posted by Christopher  on  09/12  at  08:04 AM

I think this is one of the better episodes of the season. We get some really interesting emotional aspects that are not usually touched on.
That being said, I wanted to note that it was rather annoying to have another “two Amys” plot. First it was child Amy vs. regular Amy, then ganger(sp?) Amy vs. regular Amy, and now old Amy vs. regular Amy.
That’s way too much Amy for me and shows a lack of creativity on the writers’ part.(I won’t even get into the repetitiveness of the “Rory dies” episodes)

Posted by SpeakerofOne  on  09/14  at  10:11 AM

I don’t seem to remember an Amy ‘ganger - just a doctor ‘ganger.
I respect your view but I don’t share it - I welcome more Amy more Rory and more River in states of duality or what have you. The stories of these companions are the complex and dynamic story of the doctor.
The doctor comes to earth after destroying the Time Lords and the enemies of the Time Lords for the sake of the Universe. He’s a manic and angry man who often gives angry speeches about how stupid humans are but it seems he needs humans. He transforms into a cocky know it all who begins to bring humanity closer to him and then pushes it away - he’s a very lonely figure who is often tempted to step apoun the “God” pedestal that is constantly placed in front of him. He then regenerates into his present state - a person who is more comfortable with humanity close to him - he needs his friends now to help him keep his universe together. Seeing Amy’s story unfold gives me a better understanding of the mind of the Doctor.

Posted by Craig Moorhouse  on  09/14  at  03:41 PM

I don’t seem to remember an Amy ‘ganger - just a doctor ‘ganger.

There was an Amy ganger, just that we didn’t find out she was a ganger until the very end of Almost People with the implication the Amy ganger had been there all along that season.

That said, that hardly makes it ‘Ganger Amy vs. Regular Amy’ either, though the use of duplicates does appear to be a recurring motif this season.

Posted by Graeme  on  09/15  at  03:31 AM

Oh yes - sorry, don’t know where my mind is, had a killer migraine this week and it won’t go away. For some reason I was thinking in the context of that episode and Amy’s ‘ganger was a kind of sidebar thing tact on to the end of the story and her ‘ganger was an actually projection of Amy where the others where separate individuals but still - it’s kind of like forgetting your child’s name.

Posted by Craig Moorhouse  on  09/15  at  05:13 AM

Finally got around to seeing this one a couple days ago (delayed by being out at TIFF all week).  For me it suffered on two fronts…

1/ Over hype.  Too many positive tweets likely led to an unfair expectation of quality, but worse

2/ No surprise.  The episode, start to finish, played out exactly as I would have expected.  Right down to in some cases (ie, the TARDIS door) to exactly the scene dialogue and structure.

It certainly wasn’t Night Terrors bad, I was mostly just bored.

Posted by Andrew  on  09/18  at  03:19 AM

Well deserved, positive tweets doesn’t diminish this story in the slightest - the best who episode will play out with a certain pattern that can be predicted when one is following closely - when they don’t it is usually the fault of flaws in the script - who can figure out a story line when it goes off in an unrealistic and daft direction. This episode ranks with the best of Moffat’s “well-oiled machine” stories!!!

Posted by Craig Moorhouse  on  09/18  at  04:25 AM

> Well deserved, positive tweets doesn’t
> diminish this story in the slightest

Agreed.  And to be fair, I saw more than enough negative tweets that it should have balanced out the upfront expectation. 

Without question, the fault was mine for assuming there would be more than was delivered.

> the best who episodes will play out with
> a certain pattern that can be predicted

While that’s true, that wasn’t the quarrel I had with the episode.  A lot of things play out with a certain pattern, and can still be outstanding.  Anytime anyone says “it’s like a Greek tragedy…” they are really saying they knew where it was going.  it then becomes the interest in how it gets there.  This didn’t have that latter part…

Posted by Andrew  on  09/18  at  02:56 PM

I could see where things where going - with the promotional material with language like ” Rory will have to make a choice” or “Rory’s choice” most people could clue into the fact that this is where the story was heading. I was fascinated with Amy’s story - the fact that it continued on for 35 years - what did she do for all those years? Since the Tardis was so far away from her in time what was doing the translations for her (I figure that the hotel’s software would have 21 century English because there was so many earth objects in the lobby). Where did Amy get the sword she was using - perhaps she stole it from a suit of earth armor that was on display in the lobby.
There was a multitude of little questions like that threw out the episode that the writers seem to ask themselves - came up with possible answers and only hinted at answers when the story played out. When a writer challenges me like that they keep my interest.

Posted by Craig Moorhouse  on  09/19  at  12:47 AM

I was fascinated with Amy’s story the fact that it continued on for 35 years what did she do for all those years?

Posted by Andrew symonds  on  11/03  at  09:27 PM

Surprisingly well-written and informative for a free online atrlice.

Posted by Suzyn  on  11/19  at  09:08 AM

I have to chime in on the whole ‘what a crybaby she is, Rory waited 2000 years’ debate. There are several important differences in their situations.

First, Rory: he’s a mechanical construct, he might get bored but time is otherwise irrelevant; he knows going in it’s going to be a couple thousand years; he can walk away whenever he wants.

Then, Amy: she’s a living, breathing, AGING being; she has no idea when or even IF the Doctor and Rory are coming; she’s trapped in a peopleless world full of robots whose only purpose in (non)life is to “help” her, which would kill her.

Under those circumstances, is there a human alive who could /not/ feel betrayed and abandoned? So, in 36 years and some months and days, she’s come to grips with the fact that this is her life. Is three and a half decades of isolation (mind-bending under the best of circumstances!) going to evaporate in 5 minutes when (still young!) Rory shows up? I don’t think so.

My $.02..

Posted by christine  on  12/05  at  05:17 AM

That is exactly the point Christine. If the character of Amy really was spoiled and whiny she wouldn’t of kept herself alive in such an environment for very long let alone 35 years.
Given the choice between living in isolation for 2000 years as an animated chuck of plastic that doesn’t age - that has no real way of valuing pasting time - and spending 35 years in a hostel environment- isolated from human contact - in a human form that ages - a form where the pasting of time takes a toll - I would take Rory’s 2000 years and anyone who says that they would take Amy’s time would be an idiot.
I get the feeling that the people complaining just want to throw mud at   Karen Gillan for being a much better Who Character then other resent Who companions.

Posted by Craig  on  12/05  at  05:39 AM

But Rory doesn’t walk away, go off to the pub. He does nothing but guard Amy in the Pandorica and that only and does so for 2000 years. Yes, he doesn’t age, but he waits for 40 times longer, a duration that would make most people insane.

And The Big Bang establishes that there’s something beyond software, that this is *Rory* and not a mechanical construct. And as established in the Big Bang, Rory also remembers the two thousand years of waiting and his life as the Last Centurion, thanks to the Doctor using Amy’s memories to reset the universe.

The issue for me isn’t who waited more, and that it makes Amy look selfish in retrospect. Waiting decades is waiting decades. It’s just that one character who clearly did wait longer *doesn’t ever mention it*, which frankly seems bizarre under the circumstances (if anything older-Amy and Rory would have something to bond about) and closes off a lot of avenues for drama.

I think Karen Gillan’s performance is amazing in this story and praise it to the highest degree in the TARDIS file but I think it’s nonetheless hugely inconsistent to not at least *mention* the fact that Rory waited. I don’t think anyone who simply brings up a criticism is guilty of a giant Karen Gillan-hating agenda.

Posted by Graeme  on  12/05  at  08:51 AM

The Rory who waited might not have been a “real human”, but he FELT like one inside his own head, so his self-appointed wait was certainly a major one & for him not to mention it is seems a glaring omission.  Perhaps it was a line that got cut in editing? That said, he CHOSE his wait, knowing it would eventually end, & he had a purpose in it: to protect the woman he loved. Amy’s wait was more like a date standing one up—one waits and waits, going from thinking the date is just running late to accepting they are never going to show up & feeling abandoned. And it was a pretty crappy place to be stranded; nothing to do except fight to stay alive.

And I wish for once someone would think of securing a strange door open for retreat before blithely going through it!

Posted by Gail  on  12/07  at  11:17 AM

This episode made me kinda mad she only had to wait 36 years Rory waited 2000 dragging that Pandorica around and protecting it its like woman get a grip wait another 1964 years and come back and we can talk about it.

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