HUGE SPOILERS BENEATH THE CUTS:
Ponds (and in defence of Amy)
I’ve read some reviews where people are not happy with Amy trying to divorce Rory because she can’t have children and that she should have just talked to him about it, that it wouldn’t have gone that far. May I point out that Rory was the one that brought the divorce papers to Amy?
I know a lot of it happened off-screen and I think if we’d seen it across more than one episode it might have been clearer, but. Amy says that Rory has always wanted children and she’s upset that she can’t give them to him. Yes, they have River, but they never raised her, she’s never really been theirs (and Amy’s got to be hurting from that as well – she never does get to rescue her baby, only find a grown-up River who rescues the Doctor after killing him). Yes, they could adopt, but think about it: how do you tell a guy who loves you so much, who waited 2000 years for you, who you want to give everything to, that when he came to save you at Demon’s Run not only didn’t he save your baby but he also didn’t save you? That you feel broken, that you can’t give him everything that he wants and everything that you feel he deserves? Amy’s more of a do-er than a talker on top of that. And if she never talks to him about it then Rory is going to get more and more frustrated by her distance from him, with the things that she isn’t saying, and his self-sacrificing streak will make him try and give up her, because if she isn’t happy with him then he’s going to do whatever it takes to make her happy, even if that means leaving.
(Plus, you know, there’s an Ood in their house. Want to bring up complicated relationship issues around an alien that showed up on your loo?)
People saying ‘they could have asked the Doctor for help’ well, Amy does stand by the phone in the last episode of Pond Life and say that she needs the Doctor. Remember when she didn’t tell Rory that she thought she was pregnant? She wanted to check with the Doctor first to make sure that the baby would be okay, because she didn’t want Rory to be worried or hurt. Now Rory’s the one bringing divorce papers whilst maybe Amy wants to check with the Doctor first, ask if she can be ‘fixed’ because maybe she doesn’t want to give Rory false hope.
I can see it, because this arc is all about consequences. (You can't just lock away what you don't like and who doesn't fit on a planet.) It’s not just that Amy can’t have children, it’s what else their travels have done to them – they find it easier to talk in the middle of a life or death situation than in a house, at work, in a ‘normal’ situation. As they say in the episode, you can argue about who loves who more and who waited 2000 years for the other, but that isn’t the point. The point is that they love each other, they want to give each other so much, and yet travelling with the Doctor has changed them and it’s difficult, in more ways than one.
They could have explored it more, rather than just touching on it in one episode, yes. But I can see it, I can understand it, I can fill in the blanks, and the emotional scene where they sorted it out tugged on my heartstrings. Even though at the same time my heart aches for these people whose normality, whose declarations of loving each other until the end of their lives, must always be in those ‘we’re about to die’ situations.
Daleks (and yes they're scary)
“What colour?” asks Rory ‘because all the good questions were taken.’ I love this address of the multi-coloured Daleks we’ve been having. (Skittle jokes everywhere.) And at the same time Moffat tells us from the start that it doesn’t matter what type of Daleks they are, they’re all scary. The ones that kidnap you and fire you at a planet that they plan to explode. Ones disguised as people! Ones disguised as dead people! The fact that you too can be turned into a Dalek. The silent, broken ones that suddenly start working again; that old ‘is it working or is it going to come after me’ classic. The ones that even other Daleks are afraid of and lock away.
Then, in the shiny solitary room in the special section the one that the Daleks are most afraid of: one that maintained its humanity.
When Amy sees people where everyone else sees Daleks I think we get a hint then, because isn’t she seeing who the Daleks used to be before they were turned? I always remember with the Cybermen that you can become one of them, but I often forget that with the Daleks because they’re the pepper pots, they’re so different to us, and here we get a huge kick up the butt reminder that the scariest thing isn’t that they find hate beautiful, not really. It’s that they’re us finding hate beautiful.
Oswin (surprise, surprise!)
Oh well done! (Although I give up, I am never believing anything termed ‘news’ by the Doctor Who gang ever again lol.) All the people that were saying, ‘oh, look, another Amy style companion. Why can’t we have someone from the future or an alien? Someone new?’ Excuse me whilst I laugh my head off, because she’s from the future and she’s as alien as you can get.
It reminds me of when the promotional photos of Amy first came out and people were complaining that he police uniform wasn’t realistic and was over sexualised. Then BAM. She’s a kissogram.
I guessed from the ‘where do you get the milk?’ near the start that they was something fishy going on, but no, I didn’t guess that she would be a Dalek. I did start wondering towards the end if she was a human-looking-Dalek with memories activated. (I also wondered if she was Jack’s daughter or Jenny, but I wish like that.) I thought it was a wonderful twist, a great reminder of the true horror of Daleks, and I loved that it brought the Doctor face to face with the fact that the race that he’s been at war with, the people that he hates so much, are essentially us.
So we got a reminder at the start that the universe believes that the Doctor is dead and then Oswin wiped his memory from the Daleks. We’ve had an arc of the Doctor moving from the Oncoming Storm back to being a trickster, are we now getting a further unravelling of his legend? Will the question that must never be asked be asked when no one knows who the Doctor is any more?
Will Oswin come back? Will timelines have to be messed with or did she somehow survive the explosion and the new Doctor’s companion is a Dalek? Does the Doctor go back and rescue her at some point, when he finally gets over himself when it comes to hating the Daleks (and maybe puts her in a unit that’s less of a pepper pot)?
It’s interesting that Amy ‘remembers’ the Daleks as people, that Oswin ‘remembers’ her humanity, that the Doctor is forgotten by the Daleks, that Oswin entreats the Doctor to ‘remember’ her, that Amy and Rory ‘remember’ how they love each other… I wonder if this ties into The Question and how Amy is always being asked to remember? (EDIT: And at the start when Amy asks the Doctor what to do he says to remind them who she is. Is that to remind them because she's amazing, because of what she's already done? Because of something she's going to do? Because she's River Song's mother, the woman who the Dalek's beg mercy from? River Song who keeps her memories in a blue book and who eventually is pretty much reduced to memories and... Okay, I think I've convinced myself that memory is a thing!)
Have Amy and the Doctor got some consequences in store for walking around without the bracelets on? ‘Losing love’? Are the Daleks going to be a theme here, with the Doctor and Amy turning somewhat and Oswin having been turned and the Doctor realising that hating an entire race isn’t the way to go???
I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to finding out :D