Doctor Who Countdown: Best of the Ponds

Doctor Who will continue its reign as television’s longest running sci-fi series when series 7 (or season 7 for us silly Yanks) begins airing this Saturday, September 1 at 9:00 EDT on BBC America.

We. Can’t. Wait.

But we can’t help but feel a little conflicted about this premiere: of course, we want more Who in our lives, but every episode is one step closer to the Williams’ Ponds’ final flight onboard the TARDIS. Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) have been two of our favorite companions, so their farewell in episode 5 (“The Angels Take Manhattan”) airing later this year won’t be taken very lightly.  To prep our hearts for what we are told will be an emotional mid-season finale, we decided to rewatch some of the greatest moments of the Ponds — to remind us why we love them so much and just how significant it’ll be when they’re gone.

In no particular order:

The Beast Below
Following the introductory events of “The Eleventh Hour,” the Doctor takes his new companion, Amy Pond, to the distant future to visit Starship UK. Carrying the British population after living on Earth was unsustainable, the ship, the pair uncovers, is not powered by engines, but rather by a Star Whale that is being tortured to carry an entire nation on its back.

This wasn’t exactly the best episode of Doctor Who we’ve seen, but this episode highlighted a part of Amy we hadn’t seen in the previous episode. She wasn’t just the sassy kissogram girl with the imaginary friend; she was also clever, perceptive, and full of compassion. Even when the Doctor is resigned to perform a mercy killing to stop the creature’s agony, it is Amy that figures out the truth.

Amy’s Choice
Amy is every bit the fiery woman that her hair would imply, and, while she has her tender moments, we rarely see them with her soon-to-be husband. When the sadistic Dream Lord traps the time travelers between the waking world and a dream, Amy must determine if what she is experiencing is reality or not — something even the Doctor is unable to differentiate. When Rory falls dead in one of the two worlds, however, Amy makes her choice: it doesn’t matter which world is real, she doesn’t want to live in a world without him. Her bitter, deadpan snap (“Then what is the point of you?”) to the Doctor is brilliantly acted by Gillan.

The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang
By this point in series 5, Rory Williams has had a troubled year.  His beloved fiancee went off to travel with (and, later, threw herself at) the handsome adventurer that she had literally fantasized about since childhood.  When he joined the adventure, he died. And then he died again. Then he was wiped from existence. And when he was finally brought back, he wasn’t actually real. There wasn’t a lot to envy about this man that would be introduced to Richard Nixon as “The Nose.”

That all changed in this series finale.  Despite everything, Rory never wavered.  He overcame non-existence to be his future wife’s steadfast protector, offering without question to guard the Pandorica for an entire millenium to protect its precious cargo.  It was hard not get teary eyed along with Amy as she watched the video about the sacrifices of the Last Centurion; it was hard not be relieved when he reappeared in the museum.  When the two were finally married at the season’s end, there was no question in our minds that they belonged together.  Amy’s special connection with the cracks in time allowed her to bring everyone back to the rebooted universe, but that pales in comparison to sacrifices made by the Boy Who Waited.

The Girl Who Waited
When I rewatch this episode, it still gets to me. When I first saw the previews, I was concerned: the premise sounds a little silly (Amy gets caught in a faster time stream in a hospital with killer robotic nurses), and the concept of being the “person who waited” wasn’t exactly new territory when traveling with the Eleventh Doctor.

But the raw emotional connection we feel when at the point when present Amy is speaking with future Amy is unlike any other in the sixth series. It’s simply moving. We see tenderness and vulnerability, even in battle-hardened future Amy. The moment is so powerful that it literally shakes up time, creating a paradox that even the TARDIS can’t sustain. If the Pandorica was Rory’s finest hour, this, I believe, is Amy’s. When all was said and done, standing against the fear of being removed from existence, future Amy still gives everything up for the man that she thought she gave up on decades ago.  (PS: There were also katanas. And it was good.)

A Good Man Goes to War
See video. Srsly.

This entire episode had a lot going for it, but this remains one of the most badass cold opens in Doctor Who history.

So, go! Rewatch these episodes and prepare yourself for the return of the Doctor: Saturday 9/1, 9 PM, BBC America.

Written by: Dwight Tejano

Dwight is the founder of Open the Fridge, which he started in 2008 and rebooted in 2010. Due to the nature of early adopting, his bank account is normally empty. He likes to sing in world-renown choruses to forget such things.

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