Why Series 6 Should Have Been Amy Pond’s Last

As far as the new Doctor Who goes, two seasons is basically the standard turnaround time for a companion. Rose got two seasons, Martha lasted only one, and Donna stuck around for another one. Amy Pond will be on her third, with rumors of deaths to come, possibly truncating her stay.

Now, I’m sort of lukewarm towards the way the show has been going the past season or so anyway. There have been complaints that the show is getting a little too sexy and a little too scary, complaints that I don’t think are wholly unwarranted. The sex appeal, in particular, has been amped up thanks to River and the Doctor’s flirtations and, to some degree, the 11th Doctor’s personality. I’m not exactly criticizing the show for turning up the sexy dial, though I do wish sometimes that they’d spend more time with cool aliens and less time making innuendos.

Another cause for moral distress among some is Amy Pond herself, the enthusiastic acolyte of the tights trend. To set the record straight: I don’t care if a female character is attractive. I don’t care if she often wears mini-skirts and tights to show off her legs. I just want a little more to my female characters than long legs and pretty hair. In the beginning, there was, perhaps, hope. While she smacked a little too much of the stock “feisty, smart, hot” woman, it seemed at least that the writers were still trying to create a character. (Despite the fact that we first meet adult Amy in a kiss-o-gram uniform.) Then, somewhere along the long road from “The Eleventh Hour” to “The Girl Who Waited*,” the writers stopped.

Part of the problem is Rory. Rory’s fun, sure. He’s a great tin-dog who, surprise surprise, shows he does eventually have a brain. Lovely. However, in focusing so much on making Rory the goofy underdog, it seems they forgot to develop Amy, too. Amy spends most of her time getting lost/kidnapped/locked up, ignoring Rory and then crying over his death, and hugging the Doctor. Contrast her to Donna who, despite not exactly being everyone’s favorite companion, was funny and compassionate. (The episode where the 10th Doctor and Donna help to free the Ood comes to mind in particular.) Donna is a “round” character who changes and evolves, but Amy Pond does neither of these things.

The differences between Donna and Amy are more superficial, too. Amy Pond is meant to be hot. Donna is meant to be funny and compassionate, and, more importantly, not hot. In the world of mainstream television, those three things can’t coexist. If you’re hot, you’re hot and that’s all. Even if you’re strong or smart, your hotness supersedes everything else about you.  If you’re compassionate and funny and female, you are not only not hot, but no one likes you. This is also why, I think, Donna is least liked among the companions. She was not chosen for her eye candy abilities.

Part of the problem in continuing Amy for three seasons is writers easily run out of things to do with stock characters. (And I do maintain that Amy is a stock character.) That, I think, is why it’s gotten this bad. It’s also because the writers get comfortable with the character, or non-character, they’ve written. So unless the writers were to make a conscious effort to evolve Amy’s character, which I don’t see happening soon, her character will remain static.

That’s why I think series six should have been her last. It’s time for some fresh companions, for something new. I’m tired of the same old Doctor-Amy-Rory dynamic, and the Doctor-Amy-Rory-River dynamic, too. Some of my favorite episodes of the past two years have been ones with new characters (“The Lodger” and “The Doctor’s Wife” most especially, the latter for many reasons other than the absence of Amy and Rory). I want a fresh start. I want the 11th Doctor without Amy and Rory. I want more aliens and monsters and less crying over Rory’s 1000th death. I hope that series 7 will bring us just that.

* I know everyone else just loved “The Girl Who Waited.” But, really guys, who pushes the red button? If there’s a green button and a red button, why would you ever push the red button?

-Joanna M.

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