Saturday, 24 April 2010

On The Character of Amy Pond

I am not a 'proper' Dr Who fan as I have only watched the new incarnation of the series from Christopher Ecclestone onwards. Still, it is one of the better things on British television at the moment and the only Saturday night program that doesn't make me want to rip out my eyes so that they can weep from both ends.

Therefore, I was keen to not hate the new Doctor and his assistant. I had already seen Matt Smith in BBC's Party Animals, a drama about political researchers at Westminster, and thought that he was great, so episode one was all about Amy Pond.

In her first episode, we found out that Amy was a strippogram. Dr Who is a 'family show' and no one has hired a strippogram since 1983 so we can assume that she is really a stripper. According to press releases, this means that Steven Moffat is an 'edgy' writer and that Amy is a strong and confident woman. 'How worrying', I thought, 'that a children's show is perpetuating the ludicrous myth that beautiful, intelligent, solvent women pay club owner's for the privilege of dancing about in front of random, half-cut strangers because it makes them feel really confident.'

It seems like this plot turn may have just been a controversial hook for the press, however, as it has not been referred to since.

Tonight's episode, The Time of Angels, was such a refreshing take on the Doctor and assistant's relationship (again, I'm referring to new-era episodes) and it was Amy's character that made the difference.

When Rose met Sarah-Jane Smith she was openly bitter and sullen and both women made disparaging comments about the others' age. When Martha Jones and the Doctor were trapped in pre-Great War Britain, she wallowed in miserable jealousy as he romanced Nurse Redfern. All the while, the Doctor was blissfully oblivious of all the crazed female lusting, doing lots of important thinking whilst stroking his sonic screwdriver.

So far, so BORING. Tonight, when Alex Kingston's archaeologist, River Song launched herself into open space and into the Tardis, instantly taking charge and flying the Doctor's machine better than he can; Amy did not curl her lip and sulk in a corner. She seemed delighted by this cool, smart woman and, if she had had a speech bubble above her head, it would have said 'You are awesome, let us be buds.'

Take note Rose. This is the mature reaction. Amy is an orphan who seems to have been neglected by her carers growing up. She is engaged to be married at a very young age. She must have insecurities as well as trust and abandonment issues, but she can still handle not being the only pretty, clever women in the room.


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