This article “Why This Year’s Doctor Who Finale Was (Mostly) Better than Last Year’s” by (io9) has some interesting thoughts about River and Amy’s characters.
“River Song was such a shiny character, full of endless possibility, and she hit her high point in some of the early Matt Smith stories. Jumping out of spaceships in flight, carving messages in ancient cliffs, and generally being badass and mysterious. Now, it seems like her mystery is gone, and it’s been replaced by… I can hardly bear to type the words.”
“So in order to get River to restart the universe and set things right, the Doctor has to marry her — you’ll notice the Doctor never says he loves her, and he makes fun of her for saying she loves him. Soon afterwards, the Doctor tells River, “I don’t want to marry you.” And then, right before he does marry her, he tells her, “You embarrass me,” and he genuinely seems to be full of loathing for her in that moment. During the actual quickie wedding ceremony, River asks, “What am I doing?” and the Doctor replies, “as you’re told.” Awwww… so romantic. Finally, the Doctor tells her, “Now you’re the woman who marries me,” as if she’s won the jackpot.”
“Meanwhile, there’s Amy. It’s now safe to say that the Silence didn’t brainwash Amy to stop caring about the fact that she’ll never see her baby (as a baby) again — she just got over it really, really quickly.”
“In today’s episode, Amy finally does deal with the fact that her baby was stolen and abused by monsters, by inflicting a painful death on the bubble-universe version of Madame Kovarian. It’s a nice enough moment, but no substitute for seeing Amy actually deal with the enormity of what’s happened to her child. After two seasons, Amy remains a bit of a cartoon character-“
I really have to agree with both of these sentiments, first I was really troubled with how Amy vengefully assisted the murder of Madame Kovarian. While there was some relief at the end of the episode when Amy speaks about her shame for her actions there is really, hardly any discussion about the emotional ramifications of having your BABY STOLEN! If there was any doubt that Amy’s pregnancy was a Mystical one, then this is further proof.
While I enjoy Amy, and in fact really adored her in the fifth season, I completely agree about the cartoonish aspects. The writers haven’t really developed her character much at all and we have very little reason to really care about Amy or even like her that much other than the snarky jokes. Plus this latest season met with way too many “Save Amy” moments to describe her as empowered.
I don’t really have issues with Amy killing Kovarian. Amy has always been more interested in shooting first and asking questions later and she’s always been driven by her emotions. In the dream world, when Rory died last series, she made the choice to kill herself and the doctor because she didn’t want to live in a world where Rory didn’t exist. Not because she knew it was a dream. She did the same when she shot the astronaut, only to later realize there was a little girl inside. So when faced by the woman who took her daughter and turned her into the woman who would murder Amy’s best friend…it made sense for her character that Amy would be that ruthless.
What I take issue with is the fact that we didn’t see the development of Amy’s pain over the loss of her daughter until that scene. Amy was clearly traumatized when the ganger!Melody burst into goo all over her shouler at the end of ”A Good Man Goes to War”, but after that, she and Rory just accepted that River was gone and there was nothing they could do about rescuing her? We had 6 or 7 episodes after “A Good Man” in which Amy, Rory, and the Doctor went on all sorts of adventures and Amy and Rory never once mentioned, even in passing, that their daughter was still out there somewhere being psychologically conditioned into some sort of killing machine. That emotional distance made Amy’s anger harder to believe. I found the finale in general really hard to connect to emotionally and I think it’s because of the way Amy, Rory, and River’s relationships with one another were handled. So many huge things happened to all three of them this season and those huge, life-changing events didn’t seem to have any impact on them as characters unless it was relevant to the plot. It would have been a lot easier to believe how ruthless Amy was in killing Kovarian if we had seen the emotional development of her relationship with River (or the development of her anger over the fact that she doesn’t have a solid relationship with her daughter because her daughter was taken from her) over the course of the season.
(Also the rest of that article from io9 is really great and I think everyone should read it.)Amy Pond River Song Television review doctor who this has been an opinion
Really, Amy? She’s FINE?
Have you MET River Song? She’s not fine at all! She’s been traumatized into thinking that this Doctor who she’s only met a few times is the love of her life, so much so that she’s willing to sacrifice the rest of time itself to avoid the pain of being in a world without him.
If there is one complaint I have about this series of Doctor Who it’s Amy and Rory’s parenting skills. They care very much about their baby in A Good Man Goes to War, but once she’s gone, they hardly mention her for the rest of the series up until the finale. I think we’re supposed to accept that because they knew River before they knew she was their daughter, they never felt that it was in their power to raise her as their own…but I find that very hard to believe.
I get that it’s a wibbly-wobbly time travel trip and Amy and Rory are used to shit like this happening, but it was strange how quickly they accepted that River was their daughter and that they “raised” her as their friend Mels. River as an adult is smart, she’s sharp, she has great instincts but she is not someone who I would consider stable or emotionally well-adjusted.
Amy and Rory were LIVID when the Doctor didn’t save Melody in A Good Man Goes to War, and then what…they find out that she’s already an adult in the future (as are ALL kids) but because they already know her in their past, they decide they don’t need to go save her anymore? You’d think that because Amy and Rory know that their daughter becomes a murderer, they’d want to go and save her as an infant to prevent her from growing up apart from them and conditioned into an assassin by a religious order. I don’t get it!
doctor who the more i think about it the angrier i get river song amy pond rory williams
The Daily Beast has a *BRILLIANT* interview with Steven Moffat where he answers a lot of questions/comments/complaints about everything from how he plans the plot, series-long arcs, and what happens when one day he, Matt, Karen, and Arthur decide to move on. It’s a must read.
It was revealed that River Song is the daughter of companions Amy and Rory (Arthur Darvill). Is this the solution you had in mind when you first introduced her in “Silence in the Library” back in Season 5?
Not quite…It came about from the most practical reason: I had to have the Doctor in a library…and a bunch of archaeologists had to find him and not immediately arrest him for the crime. The psychic paper wouldn’t cover it, so I thought, What if one of the archaeologists knows him?…But then I thought, What if one of the archaeologists knows him, but he doesn’t know the archaeologist? Suddenly, that’s quite cool. What if it’s a woman? What if it’s a woman who flirts with him in a rather proprietary way? Then a whole story explodes in your head…She might be his wife, or a girlfriend, or there’s a romantic attachment there.
When I introduced Amy Pond, it was with the possibility that this could be the mother of River, and that’s why I put the “Pond” in…There was no guarantee that Karen [Gillan] was going to stay or that Alex [Kingston] would come back. It was just a possibility that I kept alive.
We’re still reading it. We’ll probably post more quotes from it as we come across them.
The way Moffat’s mind works will never cease to amaze me.doctor who steven moffat interview the daily beast amy pond river song
This is one of the best analyses of the companions that I’ve ever read.
I feel like there’s a lot about Amy’s character that has been annoying me on a subconscious level since the beginning of season 5 (the ease with which she could cheat on Rory one second and turn around and berate him for being rightfully suspicious the next, for one) but I could never quite pinpoint what it was because she has such a spunky, likable personality and Eleven’s stories are just so good. But having all the companions laid out this clearly, my opinion of Amy and her characterization has dropped rather quickly and my love for Donna, if anything, has grown.
I’ve heard people accuse Moffat of sexism before and I never really understood why until now. I don’t think it’s something he does intentionally, but regardless…Moffat, I love you and you write some fantastic stories, but you need to be better at writing legitimately strong female characters. Please?