I like the format that Liz and Rudy use to review episodes over at Timey Wimey TV, so I’m incorporating elements for these thoughts on The Girl Who Waited. As always, there are spoilers.
Monsters and Wank
- Monsters – yes, sort of. They’re kindly robots but they will still kill you by mistake. I don’t think Reebar would find these particularly monstrous.
- Emotional wank – probably 9 on a scale of 1 to 10. Maybe even 10.
The TARDIS crew are off to scenic and hospitable Apalapucia, but find themselves in a white indoor environment. The men go on ahead, as Amy retrieves her camera phone, then enters the same room to find them gone. Once communication is established via a timeglass, a huge sort of lens, they discover that she’s been quarantined into a separate timestream for people with a deadly plague. The Doctor locks onto her timestream and attempts to pilot the TARDIS into it. Because the plague affects two-hearted people, he cannot go outside with Rory to retrieve her, but stays in contact via camera-enabled spectacles. Amy must wait for them, being sure to avoid the handbots – robots that sedate with a touch and administer medications. Because she’s an alien, their medicines will kill her.
Rory takes the timeglass and finds Amy, but due to an error in the lock-on process, he’s gotten to her 36 years further down the timestream. By this time, she is bitter and furious, and quite adept at fighting and technology. Using information from the Two Streams Facility’s voice interface, she’s learned to hack the computers, sabotage the handbots, and build a sonic probe. Using the spectacles, the lens, and the voice interface, The Doctor and Rory figure out how to use the temporal engines to intercept Amy at the start of the timestream, asking her older self to help carry it off. Older Amy refuses, because she would cease to exist. Rory has her confront younger Amy through the timeglass, and younger Amy persuades her to yield.
At the last moment, older Amy refuses to assist further unless The Doctor and Rory create a way for both of them to be rescued. The Doctor says that it is difficult but possible and arranges for both instances of Amy to exist in the timestream Rory is in. The three fight their way back to the TARDIS, but younger Amy is touched by a handbot before reaching it, so Rory carries her unconscious body inside. The Doctor closes the door before older Amy can arrive, confessing that he lied. Rory struggles with him, so The Doctor leaves it in his hands to choose which Amy may stay as both cannot be in the TARDIS at the same time without causing destruction.
Older Amy finally realizes the situation and although she is begging to be let in, she tells Rory that he mustn’t actually do it. After a tearful farewell, she lets a handbot sedate and medicate her, and the TARDIS departs.
- Apalapucia is much easier to say than Raxacoricofallapatorius. It’s rather fun.
- “Raincheck on the soaring silver colonnades.” I think that may be my new “aw, hell” phrase.
- Fight scenes – fantastic. I forget who described the bits from the trailer as a fight in an Apple store, but that’s a pretty bang-on description.
- Bad-ass Battle Amy, Techno-Goddess. Except for the bitterness, I would love to grow up to be her. Or date her. Dude, she makes her own armor, katana, and sonic probe.
- Rory-bot. Awfully cute.
- I like a civilization that is not only cultured but also friendly and kind. Being nice is an aspect of beauty so it never seems right whenever lovers of art and music and whatever aren’t creating beautiful feelings and interactions as well.
- I glimpsed it rather fast, but I think that sonic probe is made out of Amy’s cell phone.
- “It’s hardly rocket science. It’s just quantum physics!”
- Monsters and Wank – huge wank score. I like a good tear-jerker but this episode might have had too many tear-jerking moments in it. I could take the two-Amy persuasion scene or the farewell, but both together’s a bit overpowering.
- The hands on the handbots. Ew. Nevermind sedation, I wouldn’t want them to touch me on general principle.
- She hasn’t laughed in 36 years? With all that culture and entertainment on hand, there would have to be some way for me to amuse myself. They don’t have some kind of Apalapucian Three Stooges or something? I get the feeling Amy doesn’t have a “make the best of it” mindset.
- I know it’s natural for older Amy to be so nasty over what happened. Doesn’t mean I like it.
- I am way not cool with The Doctor’s deception. I know why he did it but that doesn’t make it right. It’s his MO to help others rise to the occasion; he should have done it here.
- What happens to all the other people in their various timestreams when the time engines get tampered with? That seems a bit reckless for everyone. If it were perfectly safe for them, I’d appreciate some mention of it.
- The word probe. Makes me feel protective of tender body parts. And even when not, the connotation is of poking something.
- Have always hated the use of paintings as weapons. They just seem to tear harmlessly over someone’s head. How’s that supposed to knock you out?
- I hope I look that good when I’m 60. I’m in the 40s now and older Amy looked my own age to me.
- The Doctor was so wounded when he found out what happened to Amy and was faced with her unfettered hatred. I sympathized there. Still doesn’t get him off the hook for that deception.
- The dorky glasses are better than a fez? Absolutely no way!
- Really tough choice. I could feel Rory loving older Amy for everything she is, even though he doesn’t know her for most of it. However, I can see the choice also as a matter of keeping his word or breaking it. If he saves younger Amy, he keeps his word and doesn’t fail her. If he saves older Amy, he does break his word and does fail her for years and years. I can see it as an aspect of his commitment in the marriage that he has to rescue Amy the soonest possible.
I don’t think there’s much in the episode that says anything about the overall arc, unless time acceleration plays some part in the big mystery surrounding The Doctor’s death.
There’s an awful lot of deception and secret-keeping this series, which I suppose is what the theme “Trust Your Doctor” is all about. I do not like it, and it had better jolly well resolve somehow.
There you have it. Screencaps will be significantly delayed, due to technical difficulties, alas.