Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Doctor Who Review: The Girl Who Waited

Well, Doctor Who tried really hard this week to make me cry again, but it fell just short of the mark.

"The Girl Who Waited" is another rehash... much like "Night Terrors" was a sort-of rehash of "Fear Her" from the Tennant era, "Waited" could be seen as a reworking of "The Girl In The Fireplace."

Look, I like Jim Steinman. So even when it's an obvious rehash, I can't get upset, so long as it's not just a blatant rip-off. And this one didn't feel like it. It deals with two time streams running at two different speeds, much like the ones in "Fireplace." Amy is trapped in a hospital in a room that compresses time, causing her to live out her life in a day, a facility which was built for people who contract a heinous virus that kills them in a day. The Doctor and Amy's husband, Rory, are in another time stream, this one running at normal universal time, but they can communicate with Amy through a type of magnifying glass... one side shows one time stream to the other.

Basically the upshot is the Doctor locks onto Amy's timestream but things go all wobbly and pear-shaped, and they wind up thirty-six years into their Amy's future when they finally arrive to rescue her.

Amy lives in the Two Streams facility all this time, learning how to hack the computers, the robots that want to give her a "kindness" (euthanize her), and she basically becomes a badass warrior by the time Rory and the good Doctor show up. And she is NOT happy.

Even if this ep didn't get weepy towards the end, it would have been one of the most emotionally charged episodes of recent memory. Amy's anger at the Doctor is tangible, and when she interacts with her past self, her love for Rory seems real as well. Karen Gillian gives an incredible performance as young Amy and old Amy, both with radically different worldviews of their best friend and their true love.

At the end, the Doctor has said that he can save both Amy's (Amies?) but in truth he can't. The TARDIS starts to lose its shit as they both get closer... the paradox can't be sustained. Rory is able to carry young Amy, his Amy, into the TARDIS, but as he tends to his unconscious wife... the Doctor shuts the door in the face of old Amy.

That, dude, was cold.

And THEN he tells Rory, who is adamant that they can save both versions of his wife, that he needs to decide himself which one to save. And here come the hankies. The tender moment they share is heartbreaking, as future Amy says her goodbye, so that Rory's Amy can have all the days of Stupid-Face that she never had. It's a tragic moment. And punctuated as the Doctor callously walks off in silence to let Rory tell his wife that he killed her future self.

Frankly I'm starting to wonder why Rory and Amy are still with the Doctor. He's always being a bit of a cunt donkey.

But it was a wonderful episode. Next week?

Oh I WISH it was another Weeping Angels ep. We'll see how much of a role they play this Saturday night in "The God Complex."

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