After all the heavy stuff of the past few episodes it’s time for the TARDIS to encounter something that is just plain spooky and doesn’t have the weight of the universe on it. Consequently Mark Gatiss penned this episode, based on his fear of dolls. The episode first aired 3 September, 2011.
The Doctor (Smith), Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) end up on present day Earth, where a young boy, George (Jamie Oram) is living in terror of monsters. Monsters that may be locked away in his closet (or something within it).
At the heart of the tale is teaching children to stand up to their fears, but there are some interesting revelations along the way.
It works on a couple levels, especially by grounding the terror in a recognisable environment, that of an apartment complex, and a child’s bedroom, it makes the tale a little spookier and more relatable for younger viewers.
Rory and Amy end up accidentally scaring young George and, as he has the ability to lock all of his fears away, they end up banished not to the closet, but a dollhouse within it, filled with creepy dolls. The dolls themselves also have a scary revelation.
The episode doesn’t only deal with the fears of a child, but the fears of parents, and adults. In fact there is something for everyone to relate to in this episode.
It’s a spooky episode but also serves as a nice bit of a break from the very heavy series arc – and shows younger viewers that they have the power to confront their own fears.
The Girl Who Waited was penned by Tom MacRae and aired on 10 September, 2011.
When the trio travel to the planet Apalapucia a simple press of a button separates Amy from Rory and the Doctor. She ends up in a different time stream, one that moves faster than the one the Doctor is in.
When they initially try to rescue Amy, they learn from a strange robot that there is not going to be an easy way to figure this out.
Time races on for Amy while Rory and the Doctor desperately try to find a way to save her. Unfortunately, it’s taking too long, and Amy ages. She also has to elude the robots who are trying to inject her with what they perceive as a medicine that will spare her the infection that has quarantined the planet. In actuality, it would kill her.
She learns to avoid and beat the robots, living on the edges of the world, trying to survive as she waits for the Doctor to come up with a way to get her out of the accelerated time stream.
When Rory is finally able to catch up with Amy, she’s older – having been on her own for thirty-six years. She’s bitter, angry, and has learned to survive on her own.
I love the way it affects their relationship, Amy and Rory get some wonderful moments together. And the fact that Rory is given an incredibly powerful and poignant choice to make.
I love how much these two characters love each other.
The series continues next week with our getting trapped in a hotel in The God Complex.