“This is a kindness.”
Science Fiction Television shows always have that one episode, Star Trek had Yesterdays Enterprise, the Mirror Universe(s) episodes, Stargate(s) had them, that one episode where an alt.reality version of the main character meets the main cast and for the rest of the show you either hate it or enjoy it.
The Girl Who Waited was enjoyable because it comes back to the main thing with the Doctor’s Companions: What happens once he leaves them? Or, they leave him. And, so on. While School Reunion brought the Doctor and Sarah Jane together, this time Rory fails to save Amy in time.
This block of episodes appears to be stand alone episodes so there ticking clock that is the Doctor’s death at Lake Silencio (ha, yes, we get it) is silenced for a time and we get another ship in the bottle episode that touches on many ideas but focuses on one: What happens when Amy waits for 36 years for the TARDIS to catch up with her.
Doctor, Amy and Rory arrive at the second best place in the universe, Appalachia, the first being a planet full of coffee shops and are greeted by a waiting room inspired by the Apple Store or the Star Trek Enterprise Bridge without the lens flares. It turns out Appalachia is under quarantine by a plague that can kill races with two hearts and with the group split in two waiting rooms they find out the painful truth: One waiting room time stream is moving faster than the other.
This time event is done so people can stay with their loved ones and enjoy their lives before the end comes. A simple idea could have imploded this episode but instead they kept the focus on Rory and Co.
Like last season’s The Border, Amy and Co are separated, the Doctor stuck in his TARDIS for fear of getting contaminated and Rory going after Amy only to find his wife is now a katana wielding, cynical, burgeoning technophile, bad ass, MILF. I almost regret having the Silence brainwash Melody, waiting for the line I can see where River gets it from never arrives.
The great thing about the surviving science fiction shows on the television is you can do this type of episode, make it believable and the audience won’t call bullshit. Even with the giant magnifying glass that looked like it belonged in the Batcave. Which is why I still love to show…when it’s working on all thrusters.
The SFX, both practical and CGI were pretty good as opposed to the odd morphing from Let’s Kill Hitler. Amy’s latex didn’t look too unnatural and the robots while generic didn’t look like Cyberman ripoffs. I mentioned previously with The Black Spot the last medical bay they did looked like they ran out of money for props but the set designers managed to make use of a lot of nothing into looking believable.
Rory brings up a good point: You’r trying to make me into you (Doctor). Sometimes you have to make the big choices and live with them. Doctor did it with the Time War (something I hope we swing back to again just for fallout sake) and now Rory is getting more story time.
Thankfully, the Tin Dog, er, Last Centurion is growing up.
Next Week: Ship in the bottle, again with facing your fears it looks like. 3 episodes to go.