Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) - Doctor Who - The Girl Who Waited (C) BBC
Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) – Doctor Who – The Girl Who Waited (C) BBC

The Girl Who Waited

First Broadcast September 10th 2011 @ 7.15pm (7.6m viewers)

‘The Girl Who Waited’ is a beautiful piece of work. The cast list is fairly small. Our universe is not in jeopardy for a change. It is instead a fascinating evaluation of the three lead characters. The story’s dramatic conclusion requires an impossible choice, one which breaks the heart. However, it is Karen Gillan who completely steals the show.

Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) - Doctor Who - The Girl Who Waited (C) BBC
Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) – Doctor Who – The Girl Who Waited (C) BBC

It can, of course, be very difficult to convincingly portray an older version of a popular character onscreen. Usually, the options are to either cast an older actress or use extensive prosthetics. Fortunately, the award-winning work of Millennium FX meant that Karen Gillan could perform as both versions of Amy Pond. But the task of creating the older Amy doesn’t stop with her physical appearance. Subtle changes in speech and movement add to the level of attention to detail that makes it all the more convincing. All of these intricacies help Karen Gillan deliver one of the greatest acting performances in the show’s history, particularly from a companion.

Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)

Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) - Doctor Who - The Girl Who Waited (c) BBC
Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) – Doctor Who – The Girl Who Waited (c) BBC

Gillan’s phenomenal acting performance is highlighted in the closing scenes. Seeing Rory carrying the younger version of herself she realises that her fate is sealed. Gillan is acting her socks off but Arthur Darvill matches her stride for stride. The scene of them separated by the door is utterly heartbreaking and highlights the incredible concept offered up by writer Tom MacRae. How could you decide between two people you loved equally because they’re the same person? It also reveals a callous side to the Doctor, lying to save one version of Amy knowing full-well that both could not exist in the same time stream. Revisiting episodes like this make viewers fully appreciate the phenomenal trio of Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill who graced the show for two and a half seasons.

Handbot - Doctor Who - The Girl Who Waited (C) BBC
Handbot – Doctor Who – The Girl Who Waited (C) BBC

The Handbots are a stylish creation, although a little impractical. I love the concept of androids that see with their hands, sensing the world around them. As all good robots, they are not particularly smart. They are programmed to administer medical assistance and like all good robots, they will not deviate from that task. Unfortunately for Amy Pond the Handbots are unable to differentiate between Apalapucians and humans, necessitating her defensive caution. In addition to their striking design the Handbots’ declaration, “This is a kindness”, is oddly chilling.

Video: Karen Gillan and writer Tom MacRae on The Girl Who Waited


The Doctor  – Matt Smith
Amy – Karen Gillan
Rory – Arthur Darvill
Check-in Girl – Josie Taylor
Voice of Interface – Imelda Staunton
Voice of Handbots – Stephen Bracken-Keogh


Writer Tom MacRae
Producer Marcus Wilson
Director Nick Hurran
Executive Producer Steven Moffat

Also First Aired On This Day…
  • The Smugglers: Episode 1
  • Horror of Fang Rock: Part Two
  • Doctor Who Confidential: What Dreams May Come


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