A Pond Journey
Guest contributor David Selby takes a look back at the Pond era.
Amy Pond and Rory Williams first joined the show back in 2010 – but now, it’s time for them to leave.
Amelia Pond was introduced in The Eleventh Hour as just an innocent 7-year old who dreamt of travel and adventure. This, however, appeared to be what the Doctor was granting her. But we all felt a tear for poor Amelia as she had her childhood cruelly taken away from her that night, waiting for her imaginary friend to return.
The Doctor came back, and met a whole new Amy – one who had had to face up to the harsh reality of what the Doctor had supposedly done to her – so in that sense Amy was unique; she was the first companion to have known the Doctor since she was a child and had made up her own adventures about him.
It was fair to say that Amy lacked a lot of self-esteem in her first story. Her character seemed a little cold at first, and had been reduced to a kissogram with the ambitions in life to achieve nothing. So “the girl who waited” waited another 2 years for her magical Doctor to return, and when he did she was elated (as would I be) at the chance of travelling with him.
However, things could not run that smoothly – as Amy’s boyfriend – or now fiancé, Rory Williams, was left at home, whilst Amy ventured through the stars with the Doctor.
Rory’s character at first reminded me in many aspects of Mickey. He was a little useless; the tin dog if you will, and both he and Mickey shared a huge admiration for the Doctor’s female companion – both of which practically looked past Rory and Mickey and allowed them to take a backseat role. However, both developed considerably in the forthcoming years…
For Mickey, this was of course making his own way in life, but for Rory it was becoming a far more multi-layered character who managed to squeeze a place for himself in the TARDIS. I can’t deny that Amy’s choices towards the end of Flesh and Stone were immature, wrong and quite frankly shameful – yet she later redeemed that reputation where Rory was concerned.
She treated him like a bit of an idiot throughout the events of both The Vampires of Venice and Amy’s Choice – right up until Rory’s first death. The scene where Amy crashed the van really pulled at the heartstrings as we all discovered that Amy didn’t want to live in a world without Rory. If our theories are correct, could this somehow have an effect on The Angels Take Manhattan?
Amy seemed almost insignificant in The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood (apart from dealing with a Silurian emperor), however Rory became a more independent companion in this two-parter, being left to his own devices with a band of terrified people to fend for himself.
His second death had a considerable impact on Amy – despite the fact that she couldn’t remember him, her subconscious was constantly reminding her of this newly-found sorrow which she felt, and this was reflected on in Vincent and the Doctor on several occasions.
But it wasn’t long before Rory came back, and committed his bravest and kindest act of devotion yet – waiting outside a box for 2000 years on the off-chance that Amy might just be better off with him there. These heartfelt scenes reminded us of just how much the boy who waited was willing to give up for his beloved wife.
I started to get a little impatient and cross at Amy in the closing moments of The Big Bang, however, as she seemed to toss Rory aside for ‘her’ Doctor. Rory was left, for a while, another Mickey character, which is specifically what I wanted not to happen from the introduction of his character.
This is why I began to develop a strong dislike for Amy. On many occasions, she forgot about him, hit him, told him he was stupid, told him to shut up, etcetera. Her character was turning into an selfish and insensitive woman who lacked the compassion to understand a unique man such as Rory.
Throughout the sixth series, Rory took a lot of risks for Amy and became a more ‘cool’ character if you will. The last centurion became a TARDIS legend, and Rory made these decisions for – what? An occasional snog? A slap round the face?
No, Amy became more and more rude and frustrating as the episode went on. It was only in the second half of the sixth series where she really started to redeem herself in my eyes. This began in The Girl Who Waited.
Amy’s character was once again influenced by the elongated wait for the Doctor – this time, however, it was 36 years. But she saved herself, not because she wanted to leave, or because she was driven mad by such a dull, isolated life in solitary confinement, but because of her dedication to Rory, as she finally started to appreciate what he had done for her.
In leaving Amy and Rory in The God Complex, the Doctor was, in essence, saving Rory from himself. Rory’s character, as I said earlier, always took to the sidelines, and even in the promotional pictures he always trailed behind them. But in leaving them to have the occasional adventure with him, he was allowing Rory to become a bigger character in Amy’s eyes; so that she could start putting him before the Doctor.
This was reflected a tremendous amount in The Wedding of River Song. When we first met this jumbled-up Amy, she was already missing Rory, who was, once again, a character she couldn’t remember when time changed. But she was still willing to, when she realised, put her life on the line in exchange for the brave acts he had done for her, such as facing up to the Silence whilst in unbearable agony.
During series 7, Amy and Rory’s relationship has stayed mainly behind closed doors, with us only getting snippets of it. Amy redeemed herself even more in Asylum of the Daleks when she revealed that she’s left Rory so that he could live a happy life with his own children, whilst she would most likely remain on her on, infertile, living opposite a playground.
However, because of Rory’s devotion to Amy, they ended up back together, happier than ever, and it became apparent that Rory was now at the same level as the Doctor when it came to Amy ‘ranking’ them.
It was very rarely that Rory ever questioned the Doctor’s actions, even if he was wrong – take A Good Man Goes to War and A Town Called Mercy for example; the Doctor was about to commit two very harsh acts of hatred, and both times Rory stayed at his side – which perhaps, suggests that Rory has a lot more respect for the Doctor than he lets on.
We also finally got to see Rory as a companion to the Doctor, especially in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. Rory’s chemistry with his father allowed him to become a far more open, relaxed and ‘normal’ character, which is what Rory does best. Among all the action, Rory never fails to amaze as a dazzling caring character.
Amy also developed into a similar character throughout the series, suggesting that they progress more away from the Doctor’s influence. Amy began to question the Doctor’s actions in A Town Called Mercy, introducing her as a more sophisticated, mature character with a loveable innocence when it came to justice and morality.
The Power of Three was, in my opinion, too rushed for much chance of emotion. However, it illustrated to us in the short space it had how ‘Doctor life’ has influenced ‘real life’, and that Amy and Rory will continue with the Doctor until the end of their days.
However, very soon now it’s all going to end. The Angels are going to take Manhattan – and perhaps, Amy and Rory. I’ll leave you with the Doctor’s quote from The God Complex,
“I stole your childhood and now I’ve led you by your hand to your death, and the worst thing is – I knew this would happen. This is what always happens.”