Review: Doctor Who – 6×10 – The Girl Who Waited

Perplexingly good but unlikeable

In the UK: Saturday 10th September, 7.15pm, BBC1/BBC1 HD. Available on the iPlayer
In the US: Saturday 10th September, 9pm/8c ET/PT, BBC America

So this one’s a bit of a mystery to me. On the face of it, I should have liked it. It was quite clever, it had some poignant ideas, it had some real character moments, some great acting, some great set designs and some good direction. Okay, the robots suffered from perenial robot slowness (where’s a Raston Warrior Robot when you need one?) so weren’t exactly threatening, but that’s not really a biggie, now is it?

Yet, the whole thing left me cold.

Maybe it was the inevitability of it all. They’re obviously not going to be carting around 50+ Amy at the end of it all, so clearly the question is simply how they’re going to reverse it all and rescue younger Amy. Rory’s choice wasn’t really a choice at all. But then, they’re always going to save the companion or the Doctor so that’s a criticism of virtually all Who stories.

Maybe it was that Amy became massively unlikeable in her future. Young Amy had already seen last series that the Doctor can mess up with time travel and turn up a bit later; she also gets to glimpse her future in this episode before she becomes old Amy and knows the Doctor and Rory are hunting for her; they’ve also gone through a hell of a lot already and Rory waited 2,000 years.

And Amy, after a mere 36 years by herself (I know – the sheer sci-fi ridiculousness of comparing the abandoning effects of 36 years versus 2,000 years), suddenly regards the Doctor and to a lesser extent Rory as evil abandonners, even though she knows that they can go back in time to rescue her with her help. She’s had 36 years to mull on this, by herself, incidentally, she’s smart enough to build her own sonic screwdriver and yet she still comes to the conclusion that her "stuck by herself without her daughter, husband and best friend fighting slow robots" years are better than whatever life she might have had instead.

It feels like uncharacteristic bloody mindness on the part of Amy that the writer has injected to give some pathos to the narrative.

And it was also a tad humourless. You can imagine Stevie Moffat making it both more fun and more poignant.

But I’m not sure. It was good, despite the loopholes. I just didn’t really like it and I don’t know why.

But what did you think?


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.