About fifteen months ago, I was sitting at my desk, glaring at the stack of readings that had piled up next to my laptop. I was feeling pretty vulnerable too, having just left my parents behind in Canada for my final year at university. Needless to say, I was casting around for something to help me procrastinate. On a whim, I decided to (finally) start watching the British classic Doctor Who.
I never expected to get attached to this series. I spent much of “The Eleventh Hour” confused. My eyebrows were practically stuck at the top of my head, I was so surprised by everything in the episode. But there was one character that charmed me from the first second she spent on screen:
Amelia Jessica Pond, better known as Amy, is a little girl who meets the Doctor during the Easter holiday. In her first scene, she’s praying to Santa about the crack in her wall, through which she can hear voices. The Doctor and his TARDIS crash into her backyard and what does Amy do? She helps him figure out what he wants to eat. Over fish fingers and custard, he gains her confidence and trust, and finally she confides that she’s scared of the crack. He helps her close it and promises to take her with him on a trip in the TARDIS after a “quick run to the moon.” She runs upstairs to pack and waits outside with her suitcase.
He doesn’t return.
Twelve years later, the TARDIS materializes in her backyard once more and the Doctor is frantic. An alien criminal is hiding out in the house but as he runs up to warn little Amelia, he takes a cricket bat to the head. Innocent Amelia is now Amy, a woman who dealt with four psychiatrists telling her that the Doctor was nothing more than an imaginary friend. They have twenty minutes to save the world, the Doctor insists, and there’s no time for disbelief.
Amy’s adventures with the Doctor mirror the audience’s own experience: we are all incredulous, confused and enchanted by everything in space and time. Amy is the companion I respect the most, because no one seems to respect her for who she is. Saying she’s not a strong female character is like telling me a pony can’t kill anyone. If that pony decides to kick your head in, you’re dead. Amy isn’t afraid of life. She’s fun and sassy and she doesn’t DO clingy.
It’s not even her relationship with the Doctor that makes her so likeable for me, but her entire personality. She adores art unconditionally, and it comforts her—she seems to take solace in the beauty of the Musee d’Orsay. She and I both have issues dealing with people leaving us. Despite this, she believes. She believes in the things and people she loves: the Doctor, Rory Williams and her parents.
I’m writing this post because tomorrow, we will find out what happened in the twelve years between the Doctor’s first arrival and the night he takes her away for a flight in the TARDIS. “The Girl Who Waited” is rumoured to be a heartbreaking episode and one that will help the audience to understand the paradox that is Amy Pond.
I’ve long wished for a character like Amy in the YA novels I read. As teenagers, we all go through pockets of doubt and self-loathing and that seemingly endless wait for something to happen. It’s hard to keep believing in the things we used to love, and Amy’s story showed me that it’s possible.
Two episodes ago, the Doctor was poisoned. He begged the TARDIS to show him a way, any way, to stave off the death that was coming so he could save Amy. The ship creates a voice interface with Amelia Pond’s image and informs him: “You will die in 32 minutes.” Despite the apparent inevitability of his death, the Doctor rails against it when the voice interface says, out of nowhere:
Belief is a powerful thing. It carried Amy through twelve years of doubt, carries the Doctor into one last determined fight and ushers us into worlds we could only imagine. Tomorrow, I’m going to watch “The Girl Who Waited” with the rest of the Doctor Who fandom and I’ll probably cry buckets, but who cares? I believe in fairytales, just like Amy.
(All images found on Doctor Who Official Tumblr. I do not own nor did I create any of these images.)
Categories: Show Updates