MAY / JUNE 2015: BY ELORA SHORE
the idea of an extension of the self is one of the oldest stories out there—if not the oldest one. It ties into the greatest friendships, friendships that sometimes become more, and the bond of friends turned family. The strongest element of Doctor Who is the fact that The Doctor needs someone. He loves much, and goes far and beyond protecting who he can, but often, even with pure intentions, love is the greatest instigator to go to extremes. As Donna (aka Doctor Donna) said, “I think sometimes…you need someone. To hold you back.”
The Doctor’s loved ones come and go—but none have so far been so excruciating as season seven’s farewell to Amelia and Rory. It is one of my favorite story arcs. In the end, Amelia chose her true love. Not the Doctor—the crazy, powerful, mysterious, fascinating Doctor, but the regular Joe she grew up with, and who, for a long time, had to wait for her to realize just how much she loved him.
Time travel often is associated with jumping centuries, or going back to a crucial moment when things changed. One thing I like about Amy and Rory’s story is that they both end up waiting for each other at one point or another. They traveled the slow path in an agonizing way, every moment felt. Rory, The Last Centurion, waiting two thousand years, protecting the Pandorica (I’m sure there’s plenty of jokes on Rory’s part—albeit unspoken–on how in some ways Amy was certainly the equivalent of Pandora’s curse), waiting for the one he loved to be released again. One simple statement, when he was given a choice—to protect her a thousand years, or jump ahead with the Doctor: “Will she be safer?”
“Well, yes, but Rory you will feel every second!”
Simple as that, just armed with the knowledge she’d be that much safer, Rory stepped to attention and took up the wait of a millennium. I think the best statements of love are the simplest ones. Found among those just standing by our side. Rory in some ways is the stronger, better man for it. His love is plain, and strong.
What is it like, intimately knowing a thousand years? Imagine a conversation with a traveler with that experience. Getting a glimpse into those moments. That reality. Talking to older people is like literally stepping into a real moment, getting a fleeting look into a time long gone.
For me, Eleven’s time with Amelia Pond was a paradox and dance with time. Not only did Amelia and Rory end up waiting for each other for years, at different times, the product of their love went years into the past to meet them, and eventually marry the Doctor. Theirs is a tale in timey-wimey, weebly-wobbly circumstances, adventures, and looks into time and possibility. In the end, it is very much like a fairy tale. A splendid, complex, heart-rending but joyous dive into the love that friends share, years spent together, and the time traversed. And the knowledge that there will always be that tie, even when—tragically—you can never see them again. But then, memory itself is a time-trip into the past. Like an afterword. ◦
Hello, old friend. And here we are. You and me, on the last page. By the time you read these words, Rory and I will be long gone. So know that we lived well and were very happy. And above all else, know that we will love you always. Sometimes I do worry about you though. I think once we’re gone you won’t be coming back here for awhile. And you might be alone. Which you should never be. Don’t be alone, Doctor. And do one more thing for me. There’s a little girl waiting in a garden. She’s going to wait a long while, so she’s going to need a lot of hope. Go to her. Tell her a story. Tell her that if she’s patient, the days are coming that she’ll never forget. Tell her she’ll go to sea and fight pirates. She’ll fall in love with a man who’ll wait two thousand years to keep her safe. Tell her she’ll give hope to the greatest painter who ever lived. And save a whale in outer space. Tell her, this is the story of Amelia Pond. And this is how it ends.
—Amelia Pond, The Angels Take Manhattan, Doctor Who Season Seven
Elora Shore has been writing for almost fifteen years, has published a short story titled Eloise and her first collection of poetry titled A Road to Count the Days By last year, available on Amazon Kindle. It should also become available in print later this year. Her poems have appeared in several magazines, such as Moon Drenched Fables, Moon Washed Kisses, and Vox Poetica. She is currently working on a romcom and a fantasy trilogy. She likes to keep things diverse. Elora can be found at her blogs, Pendragon and Out My Front Door.