Post Game TV Recap: DOCTOR WHO S6E10 'The Girl Who Waited'

Post Game TV Recap: DOCTOR WHO S6E10

Don't get separated. One of the most important advice to give when going to a new place. But when Amy chooses one button and The Doctor and Rory choose another, they get farther separated than they'd ever expected.


by Tom MacRae

Directed by Nick Hurran

The planet Apalapucia is home to staggering beauty, things that would make your heart stop-literally. The whole planet has been quarantined as a result of a virulent disease that kills in a day. The Doctor and Rory enter the visitors' waiting room, and Amy enters the room to check in. The hospital is kept in a state of compressed time — in the course of that fatal day in the real world, the patients live out their entire lives. The Doctor and Rory talk to Amy via a view screen — when the screen goes out of phase for a moment, they find out that a week has passed for Amy. By the time they're able to sync up their timestream with Amy, thirty-six years has passed for her, and she has become a bitter survivor.

I now have a new reason for wanting a time machine — I'd go back and buy a lot of stock in tissue and handkerchief manufacturers, as I expect demand skyrocketed after this episode ran. Both Gillan and Darvill turning in outstanding performances, on par with the one Catherine Tate gave in "Forest of the Dead" that at last gave me the ability to tell all the nay-sayers to shut up.


Tom MacRae (Writer) last wrote for Doctor Who in 2006, and started in a big way; he got to bring back the Cybermen in the two-parter Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel. He got to deal with a lot of emotion in that episode, the idea of Rose getting to see her father again, albeit an alternate version of him.

Nick Hurran (Director). This is Nick's first directing turn for Doctor Who, following it up straight away with next week's episode. He most recently directed the remake of The Prisoner, which at least looked very pretty. He does a great job here, with the various mirror and two-shots of the Amys.

Imelda Staunton (Interface voice) is the biggest guest star of the week, and she's not even on screen. Harry Potter fans will recognize Staunton as the horrific Dolores Umbridge. She's also an outstanding comedic actor, recently appearing in the second series of Psychoville, and a regular role in Little Britain. Along with Michael Sheen, she joins a growing list of stars who only provide a vocal cameo on the show.


We're seeing more and more monsters-who-are-not-monsters in the new series, and the Handbots are the latest example. They bear a similarity to the Clockwork Robots from The Girl in the Fireplace, which, come to think of it, bears a bit of similarity. Both deal with timelines of varying speed, and watching a woman you love age right past you.

BACKGROUND BITS AND BOBS (trivia and production details)

The title of the episode is of course a reference to the name The Doctor gave Amy after she was left waiting for him in between his first and second visit in her life. Of course in this story she does much more than wait.

LET'S SPLIT UP, GANG! In the old days, The Doctor and his companion splitting usually just meant that the companion was going to be chased or captured by a monster, or otherwise placed in a situation that required rescuing. In the new new series it was a sign that they were splitting up the production teams to cram fourteen episodes into a schedule designed for thirteen. But we're seeing a great deal more of Amy and Rory on their own, more because they're such strong characters, and the actors able to carry the narrative. The Doctor has been getting friends more on his level in recent years, more independent and self-sufficient.

"That don't know you're alien, their kindness will kill you" - The Doctor had the same problem in reverse in Cold Blood, when the Silurian doctor attempts to "help" The Doctor by purging his system of what he presumes are dangerous organisms, but are part of his Gallifreyan physiognomy. In both cases, the technology seems unable to count heart beats. At least in the TV movie starring Paul mcGann, the earth doctors didn't know to expect two hearts.

"I know you're in here somewhere" - No, those aren't David Tennant's glasses, nor are they Peter Davison's. 

The Doctor loves rooting through toolboxes and storage chests for odd tools and artifacts. He most recently went rooting about in a chest in Vincent and the Doctor.

"Authentically modeled on the Warp Speed Death Ride on Disneyland Clom" - Clom is the home planet of the Abzorbaloff, who was played by Peter Kay in Love and Monsters. It's the twin planet of Raxacoricofallapatorius, home to the Slitheen.

"Bit of Earth, bit of alien..." - The Mona Lisa makes a return to the Whoniverse, last seen on The Sara Jane Adventures in Mona Lisa's Revenge, where she was played by Suranne Jones, just seen in The Doctor's Wife. One wonders if Rory just destroyed the original Mona Lisa, or one of the six copies which Scaroth of the Jagaroth forced DaVinci to pain in the  Tom Baker adventure City of Death?

"Raggedy Man" - Another allusion to the first Amy episode, "The Raggedy Doctor" is what Amy calls him for the years that she only believes The Doctor was in her dreams.

"You called your robot 'Rory'?" Very similar to Wilson in Cast Away, but there's also Harry Mudd's wife Stella in I, Mudd, and the robots Huey and Dewey in Silent Running, and any other number of in and semi-animate items named to keep one company.

"I'm gonna pull time apart for you" The relationship between Amy and Rory has been getting a lot of filling in this season, both here and in the flashbacks in Let's Kill Hitler. Considering he was willing to stand guard over her for 2,000 years, it's obvious this is one of the great romances of history.

"The TARDIS could sustain the paradox" — actually it could, just not for long. The Master used The Doctor's TARDIS as a paradox machine to keep his scheme of bringing the population of Earth from the future to the present from making time fold in on itself in The Sound of Drums

"Macarena" Admit it, you were expecting her to say "Fishfingers and Custard." But again, cementing the point of who's first in her mind, she locks onto the moment she and Rory first kissed. First kisses are important in time travel; ask Marty McFly.

"There can never be two Amys in the TARDIS" well, we already had it happen, in the two-part short Time and Space. Of course, considering there were also two TARDISes within each other, that likely helped a great deal.  Amy also met herself, at a distance, in The Hungry Earth, where the Amy and Rory from that future come by to wave at themselves. She also met herself on The Big Bang, when she and young Amy help reset the universe.

"This isn't fair - you're turning me into you" Once again, the recurring theme of what happens to The Doctor's companions.  Amy become a warrior princess over 36 years, and Rory has to choose between the two of them.  And just like The Doctor, he has to deal with those choices after the people he made them over have long since vanished from existence.


The BBC's episode page for the episode has another "italics" puzzle; the message this time is quite short..."Late Friday Afternoon." Again, is it a tease for the next episode, or a time that we should hit the website for more? I guess we'll find out then... 


Spooky hotels are just tailor-made for adventures. Your room is ready in The God Complex in seven days.

Vinnie Bartilucci asks you enjoy his version of The Three Little Sontarans on his Tumblr page. His blog The Forty Year-Old Fanboy is on occasion of interest to like-minded individuals.

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