Review of Doctor Who ‘The Girl Who Waited’
There was more timey wimey mischief with parallel time streams running at different speeds this week as Amy’s timeline took yet another twist.
Critics of the constant tampering with time will not like this episode. However, it is a cracker in terms of time paradoxes and the hypothetical moral dilemmas caused by said paradoxes. There were some similarities to ‘The Almost People’ in relation to who was the “real” Amy. Of course they are both Amy which means that it is a brutal decision that the Doctor forces Rory to make.
This adventure shows how Rory’s character has developed. For the first time we see him really angry at the Doctor for letting something bad like this happen. When the audience initially met Rory, he was insecure about Amy’s relationship with the Doctor but since coming aboard the TARDIS he has grown. There is more a sense of equality in his relationship. He still does let Amy boss him around but when it comes down to the serious life or death situations there is a strong bond between the pair. Furthermore, the dynamic between Rory, Amy and the Doctor is so refreshing when compared to previous series with just the Doctor and a female companion which became a tad stale as the show went on.
The episode also gave an insight into the darker side of the Doctor and showed the risks and danger involved in travelling with him. Both the audience and the characters saw the pure logic that the Doctor has to apply to difficult situations and that the outcome is not always a happy one.
Although Amy may never know what her other self went through, Rory has been affected deeply by the future Amy that he met. He has encountered an older, more cynical Amy who had 36 years of cold, hard reality when her Doctor failed to save her. The truth is that the Doctor cannot save everyone all the time and companions do die in the course of their adventures with the Doctor. A version of Amy did die in this episode but the younger one survived, therefore, the sense of loss was less pronounced.
Away from the doom and gloom of the Doctor’s internal workings, ‘The Girl Who Waited’ was a sumptuous visual delight. The garden that Amy steps into was reminiscent of Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’. The warped topiaries, lush greenery and bright colours were a welcome break from the more industrial and less natural settings that the Doctor is usually seen in. The sanitised and minimalist look of the centre was quite striking, creating a stark contrast to the garden. The look of the centre re-asserted the idea that in the future everything will be sterilised, clean and white.
There were some great moments of comedy this week. In what can only be compared to Wilson from the Tom Hanks’ film ‘Cast Away’, Amy’s pet handbot ‘Rory’ with a drawn-on face, was marvellous. The other more dry and ironic bit of humour came from the handbots trying to administer “a kindness” by firing metal needles. Taking the notion of having to be cruel to kind one step further, the handbots’ kill to kind.
All in all, ‘The Girl Who Waited’ was a tearful tragedy with a time paradox that reminded audiences that the Doctor has a darker side. Next week is the much anticipated ‘The God Complex’ from ‘Being Human’ creator Toby Whithouse that looks set to unsettle viewers.
Image credit: BBCTagged in: Doctor Who series 32, Doctor Who series 6
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