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12 September 2011

Comments

Craig Robertson

Nicely written and well thought out. Having never seen even one episode of Doctor Who, I can still understand what you're getting at. Since I don't have a TV, I'm not likely to watch it, but I do have a laptop and I do read your blog. Probably not religiously, I don't do anything religiously, especially not religion.

What was I saying? Never mind. Good blog.

chelsea g. summers

Thanks, Craig. Dr. Who is streaming on Netflix, so you need not condescend to owning a television.

kissy-kiss,
chelsea g.

Pete

CG,
As a longtime Dr Who fan, I can see your point. I do remember a few strong female characters over the last 30 years, but most either died or were on as short term characters. Dr River Song at least has staying power, and yes she is "hot" as well as brainy.
Pete

Teresa Jusino

Thanks for the shout-out! I think you know my feelings about this current episode from my review, and I don't subscribe to the idea that doing something that supports love is any less powerful, or any less an act of agency, or any less feminist.

However, I did want to comment on your thoughts about River Song. You seemed surprised by her love of shopping, her weighing herself, and her concern about looks, and it seems like you haven't been paying very much attention to the character. I agree that she's an AMAZING example of a strong, confident middle-aged woman. It's why I love her. And yet a lot of that confidence is sexual confidence, and that confidence has to do with her care for her looks. This is a woman who has always been dressed impeccably, even when breaking out of jail. This is a woman who always carries poisonous lipstick and puts it on luxuriously at every turn. The traits you mention seeing in "Let's Kill Hitler" aren't new at all. They've been there since we first met River Song in Series 4. In "Let's Kill Hitler", we see the beginnings of those traits. Or, rather, the continuation of those traits. As Mels, she was just as concerned with appearances as she was with being a juvenile delinquent. And she threw herself at The Doctor the first chance she got.

What's great about River Song is that she isn't one thing or the other. She's sexy, and takes care of her looks, and can also wield a gun. What's great about Amy Pond, is that she's assertive and can take care of herself, but is also strong enough to admit when she needs someone, and she DOES need Rory. I think the wonderful thing about the women currently on Doctor Who is that they're going for a balance. To me, there's something anti-feminist about thinking things like "shopping" or "clothes", things that women (stereo)typically enjoy as intrinsically less powerful, or less important. I think a "strong" female character is a nuanced one, and I think River Song is one of those.

Teresa Jusino

Oh! The other thing I wanted to mention was the thing about her getting younger. I mean, obviously that was a joke about the fact that when we met River Song in Series 4 it was a younger Alex Kingston, and they had to explain the fact that her "younger" selves will now look older. :)

chelsea g. summers

Gosh, Teresa, I didn't drop the "f-bomb" once. I also never suggested that there was anything wrong with looking good or taking care of yourself.

You've met me, sugar. Tell me whether I look like a woman who thinks that taking care to look sexy is incompatible with being brainy.

That said, River Song has always had a balance, as you pointed out. "Let's Kill Hitler" pushed into thought-free territory.

If I didn't love Dr Who, I wouldn't consider it worthy of critique. And, really, let's face it. Amy Pond has spent a great deal of season 6 knocked out one way or another. Let's see her pick up the fucking sword already.

kissy-kiss,
chelsea g.

ps. Oops, and now I did drop the f-bomb, though not the feminist one.

Teresa Jusino

Well, exactly! I have met you, and I've never met someone as close to River Song in real life as you, ever! Which is why I was so surprised! (Seriously, was she based on you? At least in part?)I also just meant that I thought that you were calling out things in "Let's Kill Hitler" as inconsisten, faulty writing that I think have been there throughout, that's all.

Amy HAS spent a lot of time knocked out. However, when she picked up a sword for the sake of picking up a sword, it looked ridiculous. I mean, of course, the travesty that was "The Curse of the Black Spot." Or as I call it, "The Curse of the Crappy Episode." Pirate Amy? Pfft. This arc has been wrapped up in her motherhood, which is a first for Doctor Who, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes.

chelsea g. summers

You flatter me, Teresa. Don't stop.

And I was more speaking of a metaphorical sword. I'm just tired of Amy off damselling in the corner while Rory swoops in to rescue her. Stephen Moffat is highly enamored of hewing very close to conventional narrative tropes. And while I'm all for the motherhood line, the rest of it is tiresome.

I will agree with you that The Curse of the Black Spot was extra special lame.

kissykiss,
chelsea g.

Jayz

River Song is a type straight out of British pantomime. Always was. With all that metaphorical thigh-slapping and the ridiculous little moue every time she declares "Spoilers!" it's hardly likely she was ever going to turn into anything more than a 2-dimensional character. Hence I have no feelings of disappointment, other than at the general decline of the show towards convoluted geekiness in this season.

geoff

But we're seeing River's story in reverse. Her fixation on what she looks like isn't really a new development in her character. She grows from that shallow personality into the woman we see in series 5, and the one we see die in The Forest of the Dead, at which point she is exactly the sort of woman you are championing.

Also, she didn't exactly have the most stable childhood. She was raised by the Silence and trained to kill the Doctor. She was almost a sociopath in Let's Kille Hitler. The fact that she survived to be a normal person at any point in her lifetime is a miracle. So is her fixation on her appearance really surprising when she's already exhibiting such an unhealthy personality? You could even say that it's a symptom of that unhealthy personality, and that Steven Moffat feels the same way you do!

Daan

Good points, but I think an important question is wether River Song in Let's Kill Hitler actually *is* a middle-aged woman. I read her performance as a teenager. One with a brand new body, nonetheless. For me the point was very much that she wasn't the River Song we've come to know, which I thought was a great thing to experience. For the first time the doctor was the one thinking 'you're so young'.

If anything, her performance in LKH adds to the character, because we now know how she will eventually grow up. A strong character, to me, is even stronger when you know the journey it took to become that strong.

OMO

An interesting and well thought-out piece.

I would agree that Amy this season has been relegated to "damsel in distress" all too often, and this has done her character a disservice. That's why I enjoyed seeing the woman she could become without someone to always rescue her. But then of course, that's saying that women can only mature and become multi-faceted when there isn't a man around to save them.

Regading River Song; I saw her character in "Let's Kill Hitler" as less of a problem. Let's not forget, she hasn't matured into an SCMAW, she's suddenly regenerated into one. Emotionally she's still very much the obviously self-obsessed younger woman that Mel portrayed. Her inherant vanity stays with her, but in later incarnations (in previous episodes) we've already seen how she has matured emotionally, and uses her wiles to get her own way, but without any loss to her strength.

Jane

The thing about Melody's exploration of her "obvious" aspects after regenerating is that it's very much in line with how the *Doctor* has reacted after regeneration, especially in the Classic series. The line about the teeth was lifted directly from the Fourth Doctor, who considers himself sharply in the mirror after regenerating, then dives into the TARDIS for a variety of wardrobe changes. Unlike the Doctor, though, River uses the regeneration trope as a ruse, giving her the opportunity to prepare her poison.

As to Amy Pond, well. This is the woman who saved a Star Whale, kept Dr Bracewell from blowing up, defeated an Angel, zapped a vampire with her mirror (her *compact*) to save her boyfriend, negotiated with Silurians on the behalf of the human race, inspired Vincent Van Gogh, did research in the Lodger (a bit Willow if you ask me), and brought the Doctor back to life through the power of her memory and her ability to solve a *riddle*.

This season, though... she's become even more like the Doctor. She is now actively fighting monsters, and becoming like the monsters she fights (which is what the Doctor does up until the end of A Good Man.) She shoots the Apollo, slashes pirates, rallies against the Flesh and is revealed as Flesh, takes a Cleric's gun, sics Antibodies on the crew of the Tesselector (which *depicts* her emotional dissociation about losing her baby), fights and becomes a Doll.

In TGWW, she dons the armor of the robots she fights. She makes her own sonic, understands time streams, even uses the same dialogue as the Doctor: Eyes front, Soldier. Rory complains that the Doctor is making people like him, but it's Amy who's really been transformed.

It seems like the Choice has been taken from Amy's hands, but it's not. *All* of the characters have a choice. First is the Doctor, who shuts the door, behaving as a Threshold Guardian. He then gives the Choice to Rory, and Rory is about to let Older Amy in (he's turning the knob) when Amy wrests the Choice away from him. That's powerful. She wasn't given a choice, she *took it*.

Young Amy? She already made a choice, the choice to sacrifice her older self for Rory's sake. She made, in essence, a choice of self-sacrifice, which is the sine qua non of the Heroic Journey. Her choice isn't entirely selfless, of course... she's just avoided four decades of solitude. That's *smart*.

And isn't it interesting that Rory and both Amys are rendered unconscious at some point. All three of them. Rory goes down first, and he's saved by Amy. Amy goes down next, and she's saved by Rory. And then Amy goes down for the count, in an act of self-sacrifice, and her death is presented with the visual imagery of salvation. She has saved herself, her younger self, saved her from a self-described hell, a life devoid of relationships.

Rachelle Gonzalez

Alright here is the thing. We cannot just assume that everything with a woman in it will be taken as a feminist empowerment women are equal bull that we see in every other television show out there. This episode was meant for us the audience to see a different future for Amy. One where she is to forced to live and through that solitude of hers she begins to hate the man who abandoned her in space. We see a woman who was already strong, who put up with losing her daughter, who put up with losing her husband who put up with and successfully helped the doctor save the world, become weak. But through that weakness she prevails, she is able to live and survive on her own. More to the point, just because we do not see River Song all the time does not mean that we will not in a different season. If you recall we first met Professor River Song in the fourth season, in the Silence in the Library. At this time and in the following episode The Forest of the Dead we see that this is how River dies. As has been explained many times before, the doctor and River have a mixed up time stream, he meets her on the day that she dies, and she meets him on the day that he dies. River is not meant to be in the doctors complete time stream just yet and to think that she is, is completely ignoring any of the previous versions of doctor who. Any true fan would see the differences in both Amy and River, mother and daughter, oh and if you were presented with a new body suddenly wouldn't you want to check your weight? And do not tell me that you do not own a mirror, everyone owns one and everyone looks in one at least twice a day. A woman is a woman and a man is a man and we are all vain, by using our vanity in episodes with River, the Doctor, Amy and Rory shows how the writers want us to see how real these characters are. Than again, I am not a single childless and seemingly bitter middle aged woman.

chelsea g.

Well argued, Jane, and though I do see you points as you present them, I still disagree with the upshot.

It feels to me that Moffat has increasingly shifted the series along a very conventional narrative line. As I said in response to Teresa earlier, I applaud the motherhood line. It's fascinating and new in this context. I thank you for pointing out that everyone in the episode has a choice, but I disagree about your main argument of Amy's self-sacrifice. How much cooler would it've been if it had been Present Amy who chose to leave the door locked when Future Amy told her to?

It's not always about love for another. Sometimes it's about love for self.

But what do I know? As another commenter points out, I'm clearly a bitter middle-aged woman and not a true fan.

kissykiss,
chelsea g.

Clayton


"for after Mels regenerates into River, the character is preoccupied with only one thing: her looks."
And whenever The Doctor regenerates what is HE preoccupied with? Yes, his looks. It is not a woman thing it is regeneration thing.

Chris

Did you really write this entire article about an episode of Doctor Who? You know, the television show...for children.

chelsea g. summers

Yes, Chris, for as we learned from Grimm's Fairytales, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, The Christmas Carol, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, His Dark Materials, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Little House on the Prairie, nothing worth thinking about is written for children.

It's all rubbish, really.

Thank you for opening my eyes.

kissykiss,
chelsea g.

Tom

Sorry Chelsea, but having young Amy make the choice would have been a dramatically terrible idea. Looking at things from her perspective, the choices would be: 1)traveling the universe, having wonderful adventures with the man she loves and her 'imaginary' bff OR 2)36 years of solitude that her future self described as "hell". Not much of a choice there.

Without that choice, there's no drama, and no reason to watch the show.

I also think Jane was dead on in her comments above.

chelsea g. summers

You misunderstood me, Tom. To have it be Present Amy's choice not to unlock the door would've been cool. Like wearing a fez or glasses. Glasses are cool.

Kissy-kiss,
chelsea g.

Loki

Well written. You've got a real point about happiness and independence. Can they not go hand in hand? At the least, the Present Amy definitely has, with her personality, the potential to be the "woman with a sword". Though for the record, Tom MacRae wrote this episode, not Steven Moffat. I think that this story is probably more reflective of general views in society rather than Steven Moffat (who shares these views).

After all, youth is glorified now and women still have that general stigma of "get married and be a mom". That's why all commercials selling kid's food have a happy at home mom to make them their favorite breakfast cereal. Yes, Steven Moffat has a bad view about women. It's not sexist in the typical way, but skewed nonetheless.

chelsea g. summers

Thanks Loki.

It seems to me, and maybe I'm wrong in this reading because I admit I only watched the episodes once (except for this one) and the first half of the season while I was living in Italy and half-crazed with a mixture of love and culture shock, but I feel like Moffat's story line has been pretty regularly toeing the conventional normative heterosexual party line. I find this troubling.

While I hesitate to aver this point strenuously (see above: watched episodes only once) it feel like since Amy got pregnant, she has been increasingly knocked out (as well as knocked up). The last handful of episodes feel like there's a lot about saving Amy, and very little about Amy doing much other than waiting to get saved.

That said, I'd like to address a couple of other issues. I don't recall the running gag about The Doctor being preoccupied with his looks each time he regenerated (see above: Italy and half-crazed). And as I said in my post, I've no issue with River Song getting excited about her body. It was only the weighing and the shopping that I took umbrage with. These actions just feel so stereotypical.

I don't look to Sci-Fi for stereotypy. I look to Sci-Fi for inspiration. Which may be my extreme bad, but there it is.

One more thing. I never, not once, talked about the show in any way that wasn't deeply personal, and I own that stance. I am a feminist, but this wasn't a feminist argument. It was a personal one, and while the personal may be political, this was personal. I am an attractive, intelligent, single middle-aged woman. It's exciting to me personally to see attractive, intelligent, single middle-aged women. I struggle with my age, my femininity and my singleness. I'd have liked to see Present Amy awake and compassionate to her alternate self's struggle with same.

That's where this post came from. I love Dr Who. I really love it, and when it let me down, I wrote about it.

Thanks again for the ups, Loki. Given the razing here and other places, I very much appreciate it.

kissy-kiss,
chelsea g.

Ken Y

Steven Moffat may not have written this episode, but as showrunner, he has considerable influence over it.

I think Alex Kingston's Mels in "Hitler" is comically exaggerated to contrast with the River Song of episodes prior. Whether that comic exaggeration was successful, well, it was, perhaps, amusing, but it also ends up making Mel's saving the Doctor a bit unbelievable. Where's the bridge from vain Mels to someone who would drain all her regenerations for someone she's been brought up to despise? Unconvincing.

charliejane at Io9 has pointed this out and better, but there was something off about the budding archaeologist saying she wanted to "find a good man." Hello, stalker!?! I mean, she's *still* obsessed with some guy, the Doctor. Yeah, it's all Doctor Doctor Doctor Doctor Doctor Doctor with her, isn't it? I wonder, does she ever do anything for herself?? It's weird, at the end of her character's life "What, can't I have a career?" as she ends up fried, though "saved" to a fate of being, of all things, a mom to a cyborg and a couple of CGI kids. Is this the career that someone with mad skillz like a River Song should have? Or is there another alternative, say, being euthanized like the elder Amy Pond?

There were so many things off about The Girl Who Waited. Amy Pond's question, "Where is she?" for one, is left hanging. Will there be consequences to the elder Pond being left to die? Are we supposed to care about the answer to Amy's question, does it even matter she asked it? As much as TGWW is supposed to be about Amy and Rory and their relationship, it's as if their child never existed in this. How can their daughter occupy so little of the emotional lives of these characters?

Or is there something about Amy as a mother that the writers haven't come to grips with? Is it going to take buggy nanogenes and a gas mask for Amy's motherhood to be a matter of any importance in this show?

Damien

Now quite obviously by the name i'm not a feminist in the trustest sense being that I don't quite have the appropriate plumbing. I wonder if you are reading far too much in the subtext that its a concept of how Moffat views women.

There are moments within Amy where she is sometimes weak or the girl who needs saving, but in many episodes I've watched Amy is strong brilliant brave where many would falter in a corner and cry.

The bitterness you saw in Amy would most likely happen to anyone male or female after 36 years alone battling medical bots destined on killing you. Placing the banner of it is a statement of anti-feminism I think is perhaps a stretch.

All of the doctor's female companions have been brilliant strong women who sometimes falter and expose their weaknesses. Who doesn't have them?

On the subject of River Song, Humans are children for 18-20 some odd years to learn grow and mature. Let's all remember she is part Timelord so I would imagine that maturity factor is somewhat elongated. When she was Mels and for the time after she was though appearing a full grown woman for all intents and purposes she was a child.

I am pro strong brilliant women, which is why I've always loved Doctor Who. The female companions have always talked about what strong female characters the Doctor brings with him.

It just seems to me point after point that you are reading things out of the context of the character or storyline or reading way to much into subtext to prove some sort of implied sexism, which in all honesty I find disturbing.

We are living in a time where women are getting top billing in films, at the major Tennis championships women now get equal prize money as the male players which until the last few years was not true for a long time. I'm sorry I just feel this article is a tad convoluted and skewed to a point its trying desperately to achieve.

Bret Vyon

I stopped reading because she couldn't even get the episode title right...

chelsea g. summers

Ken,

I get what you're saying about motherhood, and I wonder if it'll be explained by timey-wimeyness or wether it'll get addressed in a future episode. Let's hope for the latter.

Damien,

You too can be a feminist. It's a political framework, not a biological function. And, yes, as I started out stating from the beginning, I wrote a very personal view of the episode. Finally, women continue to make 72 to 78 cents for every dollar a man makes. Women, top billing and prize money aside, are still a long way from equality.

Bret,

Thanks so much for pointing out the error of my writing ways. I wrote this post in a hurry for myself. I didn't expect IMDB would pick it up and Reddit'd run with it. Even if you didn't read on, your comment aided me, so double SCMAW kisses to you, sweetie.

kissy-kiss,
chelsea g.

Mary K.

Hello! Really interesting take & well-written - but I don't agree with you on a lot of interpretations.

I think that young Amy is already sane, capable, and proactive, and doesn't need any kind of assistance from Older Amy to do that. After all, she IS Older Amy. She eventually did become that woman, and nothing will stop her from becoming her again - she just won't be as lonely or as bitter (...I mean, in Moffat's world, all single "un-saved" women seem to be lonely and bitter, but that's a different story).

Amy is in fact a perfectly intelligent person, it's pointed out time and time again that she's clever, a quick thinker, she's great at avoiding danger... she IS that woman. She's not inherently weak. She just always seems to end up in situations where she gets overpowered - not mentally, but physically. (i.e. "replaced" by the flesh or, you know, killed.) It's not the characterisation that's the problem so much as the plots. Amy as a character seems to be stronger than the writers. Rory also ends up nearly dying in half of the episodes, so it doesn't seem to be any woman-is-weak idea so much as an inability of many of the writers to create tension unless someone's in blatant mortal danger.

Older Amy sacrificed herself for "true love" - but don't forget that SHE had that choice as well. She wasn't some poor lost lamb in need of guidance who everyone took advantage of. She could have probably broken through that door if she tried; she could have chosen not to believe The Doctor when he said they could both come. But she chose to believe him, she chose to let them leave and chose to sacrifice herself. Isn't the whole glory of being able to make our own decisions, as women, that we're free to make stupid ones as well? And noble ones? And brave ones? I think you're actually undervaluing both Amys without realising it.

And also, I simply must defend River at this point. I think it's lovely to have a woman who's, of all things, excited about her appearance, and her weight, instead of one who is constantly worried that someone won't like her if she has a zit or if her hair's too straight or too curly. I don't care if it's realistic: it SHOULD be. Women (and men! Look at the Doctor, he's not ginger and he has "bad skin" but he's excited to have a mole on his back!) SHOULD be excited with how they look. I only wish I could be as good at that one day as River is. It certainly does not belittle her in any way.

By a Time Lord's standards, she's still a teenager. She spent who knows how many years in a teenager's body. I think it made perfect sense that she's running after clothes. I thought Alex Kingston was brilliant at portraying a teenager in a grown woman's body.

She doesn't really "go shopping" - she doesn't just waltz in and buy things; she threatens people with a gun. It's not about the clothes, it's about the power. She's a power-hunter. It's just a game she plays.

What the Doctor does (indirectly - and yes, that transition isn't very well done, but I choose to accept it) is to soften her around the edges a bit - give her a bit of empathy. And it'll be fascinating to watch her (...one can only hope we get that chance) evolve from a strong, courageous, funny, self-centered and close-minded girl... to a strong, courageous, funny, brilliant woman - the woman she becomes.

Actually (I've only just realised this, so bear with me) what happens to River is exactly what you wished could happen to young Amy in "The Girl Who Waited": River's older self comes back to her (through The Doctor, his memories) and those memories basically tell her that she not only can, but WILL be, a better person. The Doctor is like the magnifying glass. And through his words, young River realises who she will become, and makes the choice to, essentially, sacrifice herself (the exact things she values - her power, her youth, her immortality) for her older, better self.

But if young!Amy had chosen to stay on what's-its-name instead of old!Amy, she would have simply become her older self, in another 36 years, just as bitter and just as lonely, knowing that Old!Amy was off with Rory somewhere. She'd be like a duplicate, a clone. There'd be nothing new for her. The "Kindness" world is too limited, there's only so much you can do - survive or not survive. Young!River, though, will now have a chance to grow and become old!River - not turn into a parallel person, but actually become that person through hundreds of decisions, so much new knowledge, so many possibilities. And that's exactly what young!Amy will now get to do. She'll have her own life.

Old!Amy's death is still awful and tragic, but I can't think of another way the episode could have ended. Left alive on the planet, Old!Amy would have had nothing. Left behind, Young!Amy would have had nothing. Taken, Old!Amy would have had a life, but a much shorter one... and Young!Amy, at least, will get to live longer, and also become a happier version of Old!Amy in the process. It was the best decision for everyone... still very sad, though.

Brad

Who's Dr Who? Is he similar to Doctor Who?

Ken y

We can have two Spocks. Two Slayers ("No waiting!"). I trust in the abilities of writers, but here the choice was one Pond.

Is anyone else creeped out by the juxtaposition of the older Pond's death with "This is a kindness?"

Barton

This a very well written and thought provoking peace but alas i can not see where you are coming from. As a long term fan of Doctor Who with a few exceptions in the past the show portrayed females in pretty poor light, the companions were little more than damsels in distress, looking hot while they were doing it. Thats about it. However under Steven Moffat not only do we have River Song, a strong, capable, playful, violent and something that you dont normally see on US tv, a middle age lady action hero. as someone has already pointed her obsession with looks is not a female thing but a Time Lord/regeneration thing.

I think Amy has been the best companion of the new series. Unlike Rose and Martha this isnt a girl who is head over heels in love with the Doctor. She is independent, capable of much courage and at the same time has moments of feminine softness (that is soooo not the right word). She compliments the Doctor in every way and even better the relationship between her and Rory is really deep and unconventional.

In "Girl Who Waited" i saw the fact that middle-age Amy wasnt chosen was nothing to do with looks or age but more to do with the fact in some senses she wasnt 'their' Amy. Sure there was some playful jokes about middle-age Amy but for me the power of the script wasnt about that Amy but how torn Rory was, this story and decision was just as much about him as her. Hes the one the one that unlocks the door to save her, but she knew that entering the TARDIS would kill them all. Her staying outside to die had nothing to do with the fact she was middle aged or dare i miss-use the word feminism, it was a HUMAN sacrifice that went beyond sex.

Thats what Doctor Who has always been about... male or female characters, being true to yourself and in time of need or peril sometimes to save/help others you need to selflessly sacrifice a part of yourself

Once again thanks for a brilliant read!

chelsea g. summers

One more time. I am not upset that Future Amy wasn't chosen. I'm upset that Present Amy didn't get to make the choice.

How lovely and how much more poignant would the final scene have been if it had been the two Amys' hands flat against the TARDIS window. And how great if Future Amy had handed Present Amy her sonic probe? The fact that it was Rory who made the choice felt expected, flat and uninspired. Of course he would choose the hot, young, unthreatening version of Amy, the one he was familiar with, but how interestingly it would've complicated the story if Present Amy had had to contend with killing off her own self.

As to the larger Moffat issue, I think that since Amy got knocked up, she has increasingly been knocked out. More damsel, more distress, and less inspiration--at least for me. Maybe I'm wrong, and believe me when I say that I hope the remaining episodes in this season show me to be wrong.

You are, of course, welcome to your opinions, and I thank each and every one of you who commented thoughtfully and respectfully. I never intended this post to go viral; I merely wrote about something that touched me and made me angry.

kissy-kiss,
chelsea g.

ritch

I really appreciate this blog. However, I think its demeaning to primarily define older Amy by her age without the complexities given to her character by what the last three decades have been like for her. I think its demeaning in the same sense that making all LGBT characters heroes inherently because they're LGBT is demeaning (that's why I love torchwood's occassional "evil gays").

Melody Pond was sooo not our River. I didn't like her much. She was, basically, River when she was in her 20s. Despite her age, she's still a young woman there. She's clearly got years to go before she becomes Dr. River Song (she at least gets a doctorate in archeology). So Melody in Let's Kill Hitler, I think, isn't representative of the mature older woman at all. She's only played by an older woman, the same way the Doctor, a 909 year old, is played by a 28 year old.
So I don't think "Let's Kill Hitler"'s Melody is representative at all of a mature woman at all. That's not our River.

I also think the comment that she makes about her age is meant to inform us that the fact that she looks a couple of years older than she does in "Silence in the Library" and will continue to age in future appearances, is meaningless. Just to keep the story intact =)

I know how you feel though. Its not an easy thing to approach Moffat Who with a feminist lens. I miss RTD's Who at times like these!

SRF

your review was interesting but takes the episodes out of context. Future Amy had to die not because the young version had to live but also because it would have meant the good guys abandoned her and left her to suffer for 36 years, in sci fi the heroes don't leave people behind especially when they are told it is the only outcome. Not to mention alternate reality characters often die for shock value with no impact on continuity. I could sight 2 episodes of American sci-fi in Buffy the Vampire Slayer where alternate reality dopplegangers died even though reality was going to change back to normal.

As for River thing, the weight line did seem poorly thought out and unrealistic. Although all of her movements and comments were over the top distractions for her failed assassination attempt on the main character her future victim/possible lover. They are time travelers who meet out of order she is his lover and his killer. She kills him when she's young while discovering how much he cared for her and keeps finding ways to spend more time with him but only finalizing her timeline that she and the doctor will never be on the same time and place in their relationship and they will both see each other die and not be able to prevent it. I also found it great that everyone kept praising the future River as their loyal friend and in his dying moments the most important name the doctor kept repeating "River help me, River Help" She was his equal and who he turned to in his moment of need and she still saved him. Though she will still kill him someday and he will invite her to his funeral after making her watch the day she kills him again but this time with the emotional attachment. It seems like he wants her help to stop his own murder. River is not some insane shallow girl she is a planned killer biding her time until she makes the mistake of falling in love with her victim.

lolelo

one episode later, amy and rory are wrote out of doctor who xD

chelsea g. summers

Oh dear.

I think we can all agree that The Doctor bidding Amy good-bye by pointedly calling her "Amy Williams" is fetid with feces.

Really, Moffat. Can't a girl become a woman without losing her own identity?

What did you all think?

cheers,
chelsea g.

Ken Y

ugh, hated the "Amy Williams." It's all about the Doctor, isn't it, transferring ownership to Rory, and, very little about Pond defining her own choices. If the Amy character had been written to, say, correct the Doctor repeatedly over previous episodes, it would have been less rude. And this is ironic, in an episode where the point is made explicitly about how the Doctor, because of his "God Complex" has kept Amy infantilized ever since he dropped in on her from out of the sky in "Eleventh Hour," and how his ego, his fuckups have led to the death of so many.

The throwaway line about Amy's daughter was appalling. I wish, in episodes other than the exposition episodes, would actually act like she had a daughter who was taken from her. I"m hoping this is explained by the Silence somehow, because otherwise, it's just shallow characterization, sloppy character writing.

Anne

I dont think the line about "amy williams" was meant to be taken in that context of transferring of ownership or loss of identity. Cause I really do think they all know that Amy is the dominant personality in the relationship. I think it was more of a realization on the Doctor ( and a bit on Amys point of view) that when he called her Amy Pond, he still saw her as Amelia, as the little scottish girl. But amy's married now. She has taken the step to be a grown up and it does mean that she has this new identity of being Rory's wife. Its all part of growing up and if the Doctor is going to give her the room he has to say something shocking enough for Amy to understand. That's the way i took it.


And the thing about the daughter, I think they probably made it a bit of a throwaway line that they are going to, well hopefully, address in the "wedding or river song."

sam

this 'dr. who' sounds like a really great show. i'll have to see on what channel i can watch it here in the states. thanks for turning me on to this show

Al Salazar

Uh, did you not realize that, at that point in time, River Song is not a middle aged woman, even though she may look like it? She is still very early in her timeline, young, and naive, and acting like a teenage girl would. She obviously grows out of that based on what we see of her in her future (past episodes), as she matures.
Unless Matt Smith somehow got older than David Tennant, Christopher Eccleston, Tom Baker, Jon pertwee, William Hartnell, etc..., then obviously the way a Time Lord looks has no basis for their age.
Therefore, I must say, either you are not an actual Doctor Who since you don't understand the timeline, or are just looking for something to whine about. Either way, this was a horrible article and anyone who liked you rant, falls into one of those two categories as well.

Jane

Thanks for clarifying, Chelsea, about what you wanted from the end of The Girl Who Waited. Now that I think about it, it's the sort of ending I would have loved to see. It would have made for some intense mirroring and amazing depth into her character. As well as making the choice solely and consciously hers.

Because, here's the thing: Amy has been following in the Doctor's footsteps, fighting monsters and becoming a monster in the process. The Older Amy is another aspect of this Nietzschean reflection -- she wears the armor of the robots she fights. When she begs, "Don't let me in," it's like she's finally learned to let this "monster fighter" go, just like the Doctor did at the end of A Good Man, seeing himself in the mirror of River Song.

Have you noticed all the damn mirrors this season?

Having Young Amy unconscious... hmmm... it makes this a subconscious choice rather than a conscious one. I dunno, with so much subconscious imagery in the show, it makes sense to me. I think Amy's mirroring of monsters hasn't been consciously chosen.

And it's true, that Amy's "monster self" seems to have dissipated once we enter The God Complex. She doesn't mirror the monster she fights -- well, except for the Doctor. Who she isn't fighting, not consciously. Huge mirroring -- the reflection in the door plate, the reflection of the hand on the doorknob, the single-eye shot...

Re: Amy Williams. Yes, arrgh. Big arrgh. But not total arrgh. The arrgh comes from my conventional reading of drama. From the logic of *myth*, on the other hand...

At the end of The Big Bang, the Doctor named Rory "Rory Pond." So he's done this before, using the power of names to create reality. Invoking "Pond" for Rory establishes Rory as a part of Amy's world, a world that's a fairy tale. Invoking "Williams" for Amy banishes the fairy tale, and returns the couple to conventional reality.

And this whole "Pond" business, a body of water, a reflective surface, "nature's mirror," as it was put in the pirate episode... it made the Ponds mirrors to the Doctor. Both of them, both of them become like the Doctor. Revoking "Pond" breaks the mirror.

Williams, that's a name that derives from "will-helm," literally "protection of the will." It's a good name, not because it's Rory's, but in the fairy-tale sense that it implies the protection of one's ability to choose.

What did you think of the Doctor's claim that he stole her childhood? Subtext?

chelsea g. summers

Jane,

I think I love you. Let's elope and keep our own names.

kissy-kiss,
chelsea g.

Jane

But changing names is so much fun! You get to go to the courthouse, explain to the judge that you've chosen the last name of Campbell, that's how people know you now, it's not the name of a relative or a spouse or anything, but reflects a love of mythology and tomato soup; it's *who you are*. Pay your fifty bucks and voila! The ritual is complete.

Well, and then there's getting all the credit cards changed, the driver's license, the address labels... pain in the ass.

Anyways, getting back to Amy and Rory. I think they should change their name to Bardolino, after the red wine out of Venice. It was their first travel together, and the metaphor of red wine is, I think, perfect for their union.

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