Rate & Discuss: The Girl Who Waited

September 10th, 2011
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

Amy is trapped in a quarantine facility for victims of an alien plague – a plague that will kill the Doctor in a day. Rory is about to encounter a very different side to her. Can he rescue Amy before she’s killed by kindness?

It’s Saturday night, and we’ve just watched another new episode. Was it worth the wait?

As suggested by the title, The Girl Who Waited – that’s Amy Pond to you and I – took centre stage in this week’s trippy tale, as she found herself trapped within the confines of a quarantine facility for victims of an alien plague. Unfortunately for her, the plague was deadly to a Time Lord (and we all know the Doctor has already had his fate signed, sealed and delivered), so she was left to face the Handbots’ kindness all on her own.

It was Rory to the rescue as he embarked on a desperate mission to save his wife from the evil grasp of the alien doctors, but he was about to encounter a very different side to his beloved other half, one that would ultimately leave him facing an impossible choice…

So, what did you think of The Girl Who Waited? Arthur Darvill has said that it’s one of his “favourite episodes so far”, but is it one of yours? We were told it would be a truly tear jerking adventure, but were you reaching for the tissues… or for the remote? The comments, as always, are waiting. Just don’t make them wait as long as poor Amy did!

Rate this episode
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(47 Votes, Average: 4.60/5)
107 comments on this article
  1. Calli Arcale
    September 15th, 2011 at 1.56am | #1

    I think the danger is there — true, we’re not getting three cliffhangers per story (sometimes more; “Genesis of the Daleks”, which you mentioned, was a six-parter), but I’m not sure that’s entirely a problem. One major drawback to the serial format is the *need* for a cliffhanger every twenty-five minutes. Watch “The Five Doctors” sometime; that one was unusual in that despite being a typical length story, it was broadcast as a single episode. It has quite a different feel from, for instance, “The Three Doctors”, which was broadcast in four parts. Not having to stop the action periodically gave the production team the ability to have the story flow more smoothly. Now, for some stories, the serial format works excellently. My favorite example is “The Deadly Assassin”, because it allows them to keep part three almost entirely in the Matrix — sort of a story within a story, increasing the intensity of that portion of the story. But that’s an exception, not the rule.

    There was an interesting interview with Mark Strickson (Turlough) recently. He expressed the opinion that the new series is better than the old one (a bit ruefully, as he was relaying his mother’s opinion that it’s better than when he was in it), and he particularly spoke to the *format*. Having 25 minute episodes makes it difficult to manage all the characters, especially one as complicated as his, when you need to build and sustain an emotional climax every 25 minutes. That’s where it can become disruptive to the dramatic structure of the story. Two-parters are less affected by this; a cliffhanger in the middle is much more natural. (See also: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows.)

    I love classic Who; I think it generally made good use of the serial format. But I think it also does well without it. Colin Baker’s first season did without it, and though I didn’t care for all of his stories (Timelash, gack) he also had some very good ones. I love “Mark of the Rani” and “Attack of the Cybermen”.

    “Compared to Sarah Jane falling in Genesis or Leela facing a steaming death in Sunmakers, where is the danger in this series? How’d does this compare to great stories like Blink, Terror Of The Zygons or Pyramids of Mars. It doesn’t,”

    I’m sure you saw more in classic Who and even the RTD era than just companions getting metaphorically tied to railroad tracks by melodramatic villains. That said, in this episode, we saw Amy facing what appeared to be certain death if not rescued. If we’d had a cliffhanger before seeing old Amy, it would have been little different from Leela about to go into the steamer in “Sunmakers”, or the Doctor being buried in “Robots of Death”, or, etc, etc, etc, becuase we’d have had a week to be concerned rather than just a few minutes. There has indeed been less of the gibbering terror this season, but that was always true — not all episodes are the same, and one of the great powers of Doctor Who is that you can tell so very many different stories within its framework. They’re not all horror stories or suspense stories. This one was more about the reaction of the characters to the situation than the extremity of the situation itself. I’m very intrigued by next week’s episode; I’ve been wanting some more true horror. (I don’t honestly think Night Terrors was that scary, though I did like it for other reasons, as a mother of a child with a learning disorder.)

    Ack — it’s my kids’ bedtime, and I have to get going. In any case, Who is Who, and I’ll always love it. ;-) Some are better than others.

  2. Rassilon’s Rod
    September 15th, 2011 at 5.17am | #2

    It’s amazing how nothing divides opinion quite like Doctor Who! But I hate seeing someone like Steve being cut down just for having an unpopular opinion. There is room for everyone’s view – nobody’s right, nobody’s wrong. It’s all a question of personal taste and depends on what it is that each individual likes about the show. Personally I think Series 3 is as good as it gets, I can’t fault it at all and never tire of watching it. But despite not being the biggest Moffat fan, I do try hard to see the positives and have warmed to his version of the show. Apart from a couple of unsatisfactory episodes, I must say I’ve really enjoyed this series. In particular having such a huge story arc has been a welcome change from the norm, although I do love self-contained stories as well. Maybe this is not quite Doctor Who as we know it, but it’s something new and different and whoever takes over in the future will more than likely restore the show to more familiar territory, so enjoy this new direction while it lasts, is what I say!

  3. theoncominghope
    September 15th, 2011 at 11.59am | #3

    I think the question of “right” is essential to looking at the episode. I’m grateful that the episode didn’t make light of the consequences of the decision, but I do believe the Doctor went too far, which could potentially be fantastic for the narrative.

  4. Patrick
    September 15th, 2011 at 12.06pm | #4

    Well I for one am enjoying the season. OK there were 3 or 4 (Curse of the Black Spot wasn’t bad and felt that why it needed to be there after the excellent opening 2 parter, I expected more from the doctors wife was ok but maybe because it wasn’t action packed and more of a TARDIS based episode didn’t enjoy it but had its good moments same goes to LKH which focused more on River Song). Series 5(The Beast Below and the silurian 2 parter was just awful) episodes that did disappoint me same as series 5 but overall I am really enjoying it and as someone said in reply to you, this is Moffats show so he decides how Doctor Who should be, not someone whose been a fan of 35 years. I’m not having a go at you,I’m merely just discussing with you and as you mentioned its rate and discuss. I respect your opinions whether I like them or not but just maybe disagree with you on a few points here and there.

  5. Calli Arcale
    September 15th, 2011 at 2.23pm | #5

    Rassilon’s Rod:
    “There is room for everyone’s view – nobody’s right, nobody’s wrong. It’s all a question of personal taste and depends on what it is that each individual likes about the show.”

    Quoted for truth. One of the really great and awesome things about Doctor Who, in my opinion, is that there is such tremendous great variety on the show. There really is something for just about everyone. Not in every episode, naturally, but the very fact of opinions differing so much is, I think, a strength. J. Michael Strazynski, creator of Babylon 5, once remarked that “A good story should provoke discussion, debate, argument…and the occasional bar fight.” So if people are arguing about the merits of the stories, that’s probably a very good sign about the overall health of the franchise. ;-)

  6. vaguely
    September 15th, 2011 at 6.44pm | #6

    @Rassilon’s Rod
    He wasn’t being cut down for his opinion, but for his conduct – something he now seems to have realised. Having a different opinion does not confer the right to be obnoxious and refer to other fans as “dribbling”.

    A few months back, a 12-year-old got told off for little more than youthful exuberance. It seems reasonable that adults should be held to the same high standard.

  7. Steve
    September 15th, 2011 at 10.59pm | #7

    @vaguely By the way, you mentioned a child in your comment, well here is a quote from Doctor Who –
    Sarah “Doctor, your being childish”
    Doctor: “Well off course I am, there is no point in being grow up if you can’t be childish sometimes”

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