Published on September 10th, 2011 | by Andrew Reynolds
How Not to Raise Your Daughter
Arthur Darvill has told io9 that he and his co-stars questioned just how quickly they accepted the fact that their onscreen counterparts had no trouble with their daughter sharing third period maths with them:
“Yeah, it’s kind of strange. We questioned this when we got the script. But actually, there was time in between those two episodes; A Good Man Goes to War and Let’s Kill Hitler in the summer break, for them to sit down and talk about it. But they’re so affected by what’s happened to them, and what they go through every day, that this can happen to them, and it’s not as freaky as it would be to your average person.”
So was it a fiendishly clever way of tying together both Madame Kovarian’s plot to assassinate the Doctor using Melody Pond and the Doctor’s own hunt for her at her parents’ behest or another moment of the show creating and then sacrificing real human emotion for the sake of fast paced, cerebral plotting?
Many reviewers of Night Terrors thought so too but in those instances it was largely blamed on the positioning of that episode and the lack of momentum regarding the overal series arc. Whatever your opinion on Let’s Kill Hitler the issue of just what happened to Melody Pond is far from over and its difficult to image Moffat’s bear trap-like mind letting those threads dangle like that.
The key term is ‘average person’: Would the Doctor select companions and keep them if he knew that the massive upheaval (which unlike the RTD era has evolved and altered beyond the companion simply being overawed and possessive of that life) they were about to go through would damage them? Arthur Darvill doesn’t think so:
“[Rory has] proved to the Doctor and everyone else around him that whenever things start kicking off, he can really step up to the plate and of use. The Doctor constantly seeks out good people, and Rory is one of the best.”
However its that fortitude and strength of character that has made Rory the Doctor Who equivalent of the red shirt wearing ensign beamed down to an alien planet on Star Trek- a man marked for death.
“I wish Rory would just stop dying.”
As Arthur points out Rory’s status as a ‘bumbling hero’ is borne from his desire to protect the people he loves and, like the Melody Pond situation, is part of the changing relationships within the good family onboard the TARDIS.
The very nature of the show dictates that characters not dwell for too long on their own suffering because, like its main character, who wants to dwell on how things are different in this microcosm and their own impact/damage they have caused when there’s a universe of monster, experiences and wonders to see?