Sep 25, 2012

Amy Pond: The Girl Who Waited [Amy Pond Week]

The Girl Who Waited
Amy Pond, travelling companion to the 11th Doctor on Doctor Who, is defined by many things: Her wit, her wide eyes, her gung-ho attitude, her hair of indeterminate redness. But what really sets her apart from other companions is that Amy is constantly being left behind. She is the Girl Who Waited, but only insomuch as the other people in her life are the People Who Leave. Abandonment (and the ensuing loneliness) is actually a huge part of Steven Moffat's Doctor Who, and it's not just Amy that experiences it. Still, since it is Amy Pond Week at Tableau Your Mind, let's explore Amy waiting, and what that means for her as a character.

"Five Minutes"
Amy gets her nickname primarily from her first encounter with the Doctor, in which he promises to be back in five minutes but is gone for 12 years. She waits, day after day and year after year, surrounded by people telling her that she is crazy, that her imaginary friend is only imaginary and there is no such thing as the Raggedy Doctor. Also, living with a time crack in her wall, Amy's mind is completely effed up, losing her memories of her mother, father, and basically tons of other things in her life. And it's not just that she forgets, it's that the things in her life that she treasures are actually zapped out of existence, her life completely warped by the Doctor's inability to save her. She grows up emotionally fragile and unstable. She's unable to trust people or depend on people because deep down she knows that everyone has slipped away, even if she can't quite remember how.

Amy being occasionally deserted results in her being a bit more self-sufficient than the other companions in the Doctor Who-niverse. Sure, she screams "DOCTOR!" at the drop of a hat, but she's also more willing to venture out on her own and get into her own trouble. She and the Doctor are very alike in many ways. They can feel alone when they are surrounded by people, their whimsy masks a barely veiled sadness, and they are independently minded people. Still, it still completely destroys both of them each time they are left behind. But the Doctor can regenerate, leaving behind his old self and starting over, not exactly new but at least fresher, with a renewed hope. Amy has to keep living the same life, with the same problems and complications. She's like a vase that keeps breaking. She gets put back together over and over again, but you can still see the cracks.

We've seen Amy lost and alone for days, years, and decades, and each time she finds it a little harder to get back into the groove of things. In the beginning of Season 7, her fear of being left by Rory makes her cast the first stone and throw him out first. The relationship is repaired rather quickly, but that only speaks to her emotional instability. She’s become more reactionary than before – she's vulnerable, and that vulnerability can turn volatile As we head towards Saturday, we’re not sure what the final chapter in Amy's story will be, but we know that it will be interesting to see what she does when the Doctor leaves her for the last time.

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