The Doctor, over the years, sometimes has more than one companion aboard the TARDIS at the same time. However, none of them had the unique position and relationship that Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) had with the Doctor, and in particular, with the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith). Granted, Amy came on board the TARDIS before the ever faithful Rory did, but it didn’t take too long for him to come on board the TARDIS as well. After all, you cannot have Amy without having Rory on board as well.
Amelia “Amy” Jessica Pond was portrayed by Karen Gillan from Series 5 to 7, and her younger self was portrayed by Gillan’s cousin in real life, Caitlin Blackwood. Rory Arthur Williams was portrayed by Arthur Darvill, and Rory’s father, Brian Williams, was portrayed by Mark Williams.
Amy was Scottish, flighty, feisty, had a big sense of adventure, and was quite empathic at times. Later on in the series, her more maternal instincts kicked in. She met the Doctor as a young girl, right after the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) regenerated into the Eleventh Doctor. Because of his appearance, she called him “Raggedy Man” or the “Raggedy Doctor”, and waited a long time for him to reappear into her life again.
In terms of companions, if Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) was the Doctor’s lover; Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) his support system; and Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) was his best friend; Amy was a staunch believer in the Doctor. Because of this, there are many memes and pictures out on the internet that do compare Amy to Wendy, with the Eleventh Doctor being her Peter Pan.
Of course, Amy goes through her own journey, and we’ll talk about that later in the spoilers sections. Gillan, however, did a great job portraying Amy, especially in Series 6 and 7.
Now, you can never have Amy without her fiance and eventual husband, the ever faithful and loyal Rory. Rory, who is actually a trained nurse, balances and grounds Amy as he is more of a realist. Aside from this, he draws most of his strength from his astounding amount of patience and resilience. At first, Rory is a little bit insecure at times, especially when it comes to Amy, but throughout his tenure on the show, he became more heroic and more Doctor like than Amy was.
Darvill also did an amazing job as Rory, especially during emotional sequences that deal with Rory’s relationship with Amy.
To be honest, I wasn’t really so keen on Amy first, but once Rory came aboard, I began to like her more and more, and especially so when the three of them were functioning in a more family dynamic.
Now, before we delve into spoilers, you know the drill…..
Much of Amy’s life was very much connected and influenced by the Doctor. When they first met, the Doctor was intrigued by her as she had a “time crack” in her bedroom wall, but he had no idea how much of her and Rory’s lives were very much connected to him.
In fact, Amy traveling with the Doctor set the wheels in motion for the Doctor to also eventually get Rory to travel with them too, which, later on, allowed their daughter, the Doctor’s future wife, to be conceived. Aside from this, Amy’s and Rory’s daughter was the one who also ensured that she would come to be by letting her parents realized their feelings for each other, and at the same time, Mels was also, in a way, raised by the younger versions of her parents.
As a character, her character arc can actually be traced and tracked based on the particular Series.
In Series 5, Amy was trying to run away from getting married,and in fact, the entire Series, in real time, spanned just one night- the night before her wedding. Amy here was more of the Wendy Darling character, especially as she was whisked away by her very own Peter Pan. It was in this Series that she was the most flighty about her relationships, and took Rory for granted until his first “death” in “Amy’s Choice” when she realized that she would choose Rory over the Doctor any day.
In Series 6, Amy’s empathy and more maternal instincts kicked in, and this was apt because even though she didn’t know it, she was actually pregnant at that time. Here, the biggest episodes Amy had for character development was “The Girl Who Waited” and “The God Complex”.
In “The Girl Who Waited”, our Amy had to wait yet again, this time, for thirty-six years before encountering the Doctor and Rory again, and thanks to Rory and her younger self, decided to defy the odds and rescue her younger self even though it meant that she herself would get erased. Here, we can see Amy being more overtly flirty with Rory, which shows how much she does love him, and that she recognizes that she doesn’t show her affection outwardly that often. “The God Complex” was also a big episode for her because the Doctor had to break Amy’s faith in him so that they could survive, and this allowed the Doctor to drop them off back on earth to allow Amy and Rory to finally live as Mr. and Mrs. Williams.
Amy in Series 7 was definitely a much older Amy, and became more motherly to the Doctor, while still being his friend. After all, she is his mother-in-law. This version of Amy had no bounds when it came to her love for Rory, and was even willing to give him up so that he could be happy and have children as she isn’t capable of giving him any anymore. And this is also shown in “The Angels Take Manhattan”, where they are both more open with showing their affection for each other in public, and as she refused to be anywhere else except with her husband.
So flighty, flirty, feisty, and adventurous Amy, throughout her tenure on the show, became more grounded and more settled in her ways thanks to her experiences, and of course, thanks to her ever faithful husband, Rory.
Amy is truly “The Girl Who Waited” in many sense of the term. She waited for fourteen years until she finally began traveling with the Doctor full time, two thousand years in the Pandorica before she could be revived again, waited for several months in captivity while pregnant before Rory and the Doctor rescued her, and finally, thirty six years in a clinic before being rescued by both Rory and the Doctor.
Gillan did a great job as Amy, but I feel that she was allowed to stretch more as an actress in episodes such as “The Girl Who Waited”, “The God Complex”, “Asylum of the Daleks”, and lastly, “The Angels Take Manhattan”.
I maintain though that I really like Amy whenever she’s with Rory, and I really didn’t like how she treated him during the first part of Series 5.
Right now, I just have to come out and say it- I am a very big fan of Rory’s, and he’s really my favorite in the pair.
Rory’s character arc was also very interesting to look at. In Series 5, Rory accepted the Doctor and the TARDIS in the least exciting way possible, and was happy to be part of the team because of Amy, but if given a choice, he would really love to get back to real life. However, no matter what, Rory, from the very beginning, has been head over heels for Amy, and nothing will change that, to the point that Auton Rory guarded her in the Pandorica for two thousand years. This also highlights, not only his devotion to her, but how resolute, resilient and patient he is, all traits of which his daughter later inherited. Of course, this is how Rory got the nickname “The Lone Centurion”.
In Series 6, Rory steps up his game and really steps up to the plate. He’s accepted time traveling as a given lifestyle at this point, and doesn’t shy away from having to punch a few people from time to time. However, his empathy shone bright , especially during the events of “The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People”, which, of course, was used against him. Just like Amy and Gillan, “The Girl Who Waited” and “The God Complex” were very pivotal episodes for Rory and were episodes in which Darvill really got to shine.
In “The Girl Who Waited”, Darvill’s emotional beats were amazing, especially when he got mad at the Doctor for never actually checking whether the place they decided to visit during their travels is safe, when he accused the Doctor of turning himself into him, and and that last bit in which he’s talking to Future Amy through the TARDIS doors. It was here that Rory realized that he was slowly turning into someone like the Doctor, especially with the choice that he had to make. “The God Complex” was a turning point as well, and not just because of the fact that the Doctor dropped Rory and Amy off on earth afterwards.
In this episode, we discover that the hotel didn’t want Rory at all as he didn’t have anything he was afraid of anymore, and because he doesn’t have a faith system that’s really strong enough. He’s really more of the type who goes with the flow and reacts to whatever is happening at the moment. Also, what’s interesting is that he had reached the point that he had forgotten that what they do isn’t just about saving whole worlds, but it is also about saving actual individual people as well, no matter how small they might be in the grand scheme of things.
Series 7 saw Rory as more of the time travel veteran, as he was honestly able to hold his own when faced with Daleks, and was the one serving as the one to explain and guide his father, Brian, through it all on Brian’s accidental first adventure with the Doctor. This Series also saw him and Amy being more settled in as a married couple.
Rory’s biggest flaw is that he tends to get lax and complacent when he has gotten used to certain facts to be true, and this was definitely the case in “The Angels Take Manhattan”. He reasoned that since he has died several times and turned back up alright over and over again, this time would be no different. He and Amy took that risk together and it did work, except for the fact that one Weeping Angel got away and zapped him back to the past, and Amy quickly followed him.
As a couple, I loved seeing their relationship progress throughout their tenure, and how, in the end, they are one of my favorite married couples on television. I also loved how they had such a family dynamic with the Doctor, and they played on each others strengths thanks to that.
Aside from this, if one looks at their timeline, and how many years they really spent with the Doctor in real time (ish), it looks like they spent a considerable amount of time with him, even more so than the others. So, it is understandable how the Ponds did get attached to the Doctor and his lifestyle, and vice versa. And this is also why the Doctor sulked A LOT after losing them.
My only gripe with how the writers handled The Ponds is that there was not a lot of cohesiveness and build up for their departure. However, their departure in “The Angels Take Manhattan” was great and gut wrenching.
In making the Spotify playlist for these two, I just had to add some tracks that talked about Melody Pond/Mels/River Song, and of course, Brian.
Murray Gold’s tracks that focused more on Amy, such as “Amy’s Theme” and “Little Amy”, had more of a whimsical and fantasy feel to the other theme’s that Gold has done for the show’s companions.
Most of the tracks that I’d placed in the playlist that were more for Rory, and even “The Patient Centurion”, were all intertwined with hints of Amy and sometimes, even the Doctor. In “The Patient Centurion”, the track begins with a warm feeling as the brass instruments begin to play, and then in the middle, using the same brass instrument, some bars of “I Am the Doctor” plays, followed by parts from themes dedicated to Amy, and then it ends with an orchestral part that seems to highlight their romance while still feeling warm at the same time.
However, one of my favorite tracks here is “Goodbye Pond”, which I think was such a great and emotional track that encapsulated all the feelings that were there at the moment.
You can check out my playlist here:
All in all, The Ponds are a couple that you come to love and cherish, not just as a couple, but as individual characters as well. Aside from this, they were family, not just metaphorically, but literally, thanks to the Doctor’s marriage to their daughter. So, it can be understood why the Doctor fell into depression when he lost both of them, as the audience felt it too. The Ponds were truly a unique TARDIS team the likes of which will most likely not be seen again.