Saturday, September 10, 2011

It's Not Rocket Science. Just Quantum Physics

Oh gosh, I've been catching up on my writing and blogging all day today.  I hope I can do this the justice it deserves.  Review of "The Girl Who Waited" - Spoilers ahoy!

I honestly could not think of a good video to act as a spoiler cut for this review. So, I went with the song that's been stuck in my head all day. Somehow, I feel that it's appropriate (if you want the music video-type version with Jon Schmidt and Steven Sharp Nelson performing - and a cute dedication at the end - go here).

This will probably be a shorter review than you're used to seeing from me, but I'm actually stunned by this one.  The last little while, "Doctor Who" has been so focused on plot lines and humongous reveals.  I'm not upset about this at all - I enjoy the wild and crazy rides and all the guessing and theorizing and avoiding spoilers and the eternal cursing of Steven Moffat's name (good naturedly, of course).

But after watching "The Girl Who Waited," I realized that I've missed the character development.  I've missed the deeper relationships and the consequences companions face when they travel with the Doctor.

I figured this episode would be Amy's time to shine and I was not disappointed in the least.  Even though it was Old!Amy who saved the day and Young!Amy won't ever remember that - I think it still speaks to Amy's character that, in an alternate timeline she was able to survive and fight for 36 years.  She has that potential and the ability to equal and possibly exceed the awesomeness that we've come to appreciate from Rory the Roman.

Another thing I thought of while watching this episode is that this could be an insight to how the Doctor may view his past selves.  There has been talk ad nauseum about a possible multi-Doctor story for the 50th anniversary in 2013 - and Traveling the Vortex did a whole big run of classic multi-Doctor story reviews right before the season started up again - and it's got me to thinking how does the Doctor feel about meeting his past self?  Usually he has some snarky remark to make about his dress sense or how he went about doing things back in the day.  But then that got me thinking - how would I feel about meeting a past version of myself - what would I say about myself if I met me from middle school?  How about the version of me that was a freshman in college?  What would I say?  Would I do anything to change how my life turned out?

Something important to think about, wouldn't you say?

Of course, the emotional sap in me definitely surfaced in the scene where Old!Amy and Young!Amy are talking about Rory and that they would bend time and space for him.  Though I've grumbled in the past about how we get that Amy and Rory love each other, they're married, they've got a kid (sort of) and we get it already so would you please stop killing one or the other off to showcase it - this was that idea done right.  It wasn't just a cheap way to score drama points - it was sincere and heartfelt and I don't think it was overdone here at all.

A few loose ends -
- For such an awesome episode, there were surprisingly few memorable one-liners - the only one I could think of ended up being the subject line, so there you go.
- I guess this could be the Doctor-lite episode, though the Doctor's presence was certainly everywhere.  The Doctor didn't show up in many of the scenes in the Apalapucia quarantine facility - he was mostly in the TARDIS.  The whole point of Doctor-lite is so the production team can have some of the cast in one place and the rest in another and they can film more than one episode at once.  This is a new way of doing it that doesn't set "Love & Monsters" alarm bells ringing and it still feels like an episode of "Doctor Who"
- I will probably never look at the meaning of the word "kindness" the same way ever again.
- How cool is the name "Apalapucia"? Had to look it up on the TARDIS Wiki to know how to spell it, though.
- The bigger story arc of this season was never actually mentioned or even alluded to in this entire episode, making this a 100% stand-alone story (the only one of Series 6 thus far, if I'm not mistaken).

As far as I'm concerned, "The Girl Who Waited" and "The Doctor's Wife" are tied right now for best episode of Series 6.  And they both deal with relationships between the main characters.  This is not a coincidence.  This does NOT mean I don't like the plotlines and story arc in "Doctor Who" and I really don't relish the idea of there being this kind of sentimental story every week.  But every once in a while is good - just to change things up a bit.

Bottom Line - "A Girl Who Waited" gave Amy some much-needed character depth and showed Amy and Rory's relationship more than we've seen before.  That can never be a bad thing.

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