Making the world a better place, one show at a time.

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I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Love Letter to a Fictional Character: Rory Williams (Doctor Who)

Hey everyone!

It would make more sense to explain my week + absence from my blog if I were a more regular blogger (you know, not totally lazy like I am) but I actually have a good excuse this time.  I was on vacation, at home in Portland.  The cool weather, good food, nice people, familial bonding, and the heartwarming wedding of one of my brothers has made me slightly less of a cranky-pants than normal.  I'm sort of in a gushy mood, and thought I might channel that into, well, gushing.

Last night Emily the Roommate and I began our re-watch of Doctor Who S6 P1, in preparation for the second half of the season beginning next weekend.  Among everything, there were many cheers and exclamations of affection every time Rory Williams, aka Mr. Amy Pond, appeared on screen.  Emily and I share a great love for Rory, because he is WONDERFUL!

When we met Rory it looked like we were getting a rehash of Mickey: the hapless boyfriend whose abandoned for the dashing Doctor.  I was afraid we would again be put through the vaguely annoying misery of seeing a basically decent guy get his life torn up because he wasn't up to the task of matching the sparkly adventures of the last Time Lord.  I mean really, could the slightly bewildered small-town murse really be the proper partner for bold, brave, and bruised Amy?  Hell yes he could be!  Rory is not Mickey, any more than Amy is Rose.

When the strange man he met two years earlier during an (almost) world ending event pops out of a cake at his stag night and announces that his fiancee hasn't been kissing only him, Rory doesn't even get mad.  He blinks, sputters a bit, but he doesn't start freaking out about how a practical stranger has humiliated him in front of every dude he knows or that the woman he's going to marry might not be faithful.  He's puzzled, but he's willing to accept the Doctor's solution that Amy and Rory need a time/space-travel-y date to reconnect, so that she stops thinking she wants to "connect" with the Doctor.  Because essentially Rory is a level-headed person.  He stays calm, thinks the situation through, gets all the facts he can before making a judgment or taking an action.  Emily was remarking to me last night that it's in "The Impossible Astronaut" and "Day of the Moon" that we really get to see that Rory really is the one who keeps his wits about him, who retains his composure in dire circumstances. And we've been led to see this throughout S5 and 6.  In "Cold Blood" after Alaya (the hostage) is killed Rory insists that they return her body to her people, even knowing that doing so could put Amy's life in more jeopardy than it already is.  He is afraid to loose Amy, but he is rational enough to know that honesty is the only possible way to salvage the situation.  When Rory the Roman offers to guard the Pandorica in "The Big Bang" the Doctor tries to dissuade him, to impress upon him that he will be alone for thousands of years and probably loose his mind, but Rory the Roman is having none of it.  With a fortitude that can only result from a well-honed perception of the truth, Rory makes the simple choice that if Amy will be safer he will stay with her.  So when Amy is kidnapped in "Day of the Moon" we expect nothing less from Rory than his impassioned speech to the Doctor that Amy can always hear him and always knows that he will save her.  And damn it if we don't know it too!

Rory loves Amy unendingly.  I mean that.  He loves her without end.  Through death, being erased from time, being reborn as a plastic Centurion, being reborn again through Amy's memory, and ALL OF IT, Rory loves Amy.  Even though she kind of forgets about him sometimes, and flirts with the Doctor, and really has trouble expressing her emotions.  It doesn't make him some kind of saint or dopey optimist: Rory has moments of insecurity, needs affirmation from his wife, and he's always aware of the seriousness of engaging in the Doctor's shenanigans.  His steadfastness takes a toll on him, his mind continually weighed with the reality of sacrifice.  In "Day of the Moon" he tells the Doctor that he remembers the years he guarded the Pandorica, but not all the time.  He has earned his happiness and appreciates it all the more because of that fact.

In a way unlike any other companion Rory is the mirror of the Doctor.  Where the Doctor has this bountiful love for the human being, Rory has a specific love for one woman.  Where the Doctor rescues in the nick of time, Rory comforts and repairs in the aftermath.  Where the Doctor basks in the unspoken esteem of others (because after all he is rather clever), Rory doesn't expect others to notice what he does.  Where the Doctor drops in and out of time and space and lives, Rory is the anchor.  The two men reflect each other, presenting different refractions of similar traits.  But also, Rory shows how the qualities that others find so appealing and fascinating in the Doctor are possible for a regular person.  It in no way diminishes the special-ness of the Doctor to see how his characteristics manifest in a person, but rather Rory simultaneously connects the Doctor even more to humanity and serves as an example to strive for.

And Rory repeatedly watches Laurel and Hardy movies! How frakking precious is that?

Amy is the girl who waited, Rory is the man who endured.  And I love him.  Seriously, love him.

The TV Girl

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