Oh, Doctor Who video compilations, how we've missed you! You've gotten us through lockdown last year with lovely trips down Memory Lane with your collections of Doctors' and companions' best moments. Now it's Amy Pond's turn. Funny how it didn't occur to us that Amy hadn't gotten her turn yet. Well, now that omission is remedied. The BBC has released an hour-long compilation of Amy's best moments – and it's only Part 1!
As played by the indomitable Karen Gillen, Amy holds a special place in many fans' hearts, especially the ones who were children who watched the show when she was introduced. Amy is the companion who first meets the Doctor when she was a child. Played by Karen Gillen's real-life younger cousin Caitlin Blackwood, Amy became the companion who literally grew up knowing him. Showrunner Steven Moffat did a very clever thing here: the newly-regenerated Doctor was starting from scratch himself. A new face and new personality as embodied by Matt Smith, Moffat reconfigured the Doctor here to remind audiences that this is a children's show. The Doctor is a friend and protector of children. He's also fictional, so he is in effect Amy's imaginary friend. Amy became an even stronger audience proxy than ever since her imaginary friend is literal and real, a layer removed from the Doctor being his fans' imaginary friend who's real in the sense that he exists in stories.
The Doctor as an imaginary friend also sets up a promise and a melancholy end: imaginary friends eventually go away. That's part of growing up. In Amy's case, her imaginary friend comes back and keeps coming back, until, in the end, she is the one who leaves him. Hearts break and must be mended. That is the romantic heart of The 11th Doctor and Amy's relationship. They need each other and never stop needing each other until in the end they're forced to let go. But before they do, they have the opportunity to explore all the aspects of that friendship: The Doctor as surrogate big brother, as the kindly wizard, as a possible romantic or sexual partner (big mistake and quickly forgotten!), as mentor, as annoying friend who came to stay, The Doctor as surrogate child. The Doctor is Amy's and the audience's safe space. In the end, she gives him up to be with her husband, a sign of growing up and letting go. This emotional gamut is probably why their relationship is still remembered as a classic.
Moffat is a very clever man, possibly one of the cleverest screenwriters on the planet, and through Amy – and her husband Rory – he has another rollercoaster arc parallel to the Doctor's with River Song.
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