Series 5, 6 and 7.1-5 of Doctor Who are all a fairy tale told by Amy Pond.
There. I wrote it and you read it. That means its real and unalterable.
But seriously, if you hadn’t figured this out by now, why don’t you take a walk with me through all points.
We were told from the beginning . . .sort of
First of all, lets start with the show-runner himself, Steven Moffat. When it was announced that he would be taking over as the show runner from Russell T. Davies, one of the first things he said was that his take was going to be a ‘modern fairy tale’. See the related articles for a link to the io9.com interview where they grill him on what he meant.
Ok, so if that is not enough, lets look at the show itself. Day One (or should I say, ‘The Eleventh Hour‘) we meet young Amelia Pond while she saying her bedtime prayers. Right around the same time one would expect to get a bedtime fairy tale story.
We also begin the renewed adventure with a new Doctor played exuberantly by Matt Smith. Moffat writes the story of their meeting in such a way that it is exploding with the stuff of bedtime story.
We also begin to experience, episode by episode, little niggling details that never quite seem to add up. I’m not going to go into them all here, but if you’ve watched all ~31 episodes (not counting teasers and specials) involving Amy and Rory, you’ve asked yourself or other friends any variety of them. And when you think about it, don’t they remind you of a retold fable or myth? Ones that get retold and little bits get glossed over because of relative importance?
Then there are the Narratives. To my knowledge, this only started happening in the BBCAmerica airings of the show come Season 6. The ‘Cold Open’ we’d come to live by in the Original BBC versions were defaced by this classic American trope of a Character summarizing the show you are about to watch during the opening credits. It is voiced by Karen Gillan speaking as Amy Pond and she is basically telling you, “This is my story.”
While that was annoying enough for me to consider ‘alternate consumption’ of the episodes, it did strike me as strange decision. At first I thought it might be an anonymous TV Exec decision, which is easy to imagine. Some American Suit in a conference room, braying,”We have to have someone explain what all this cockamamie hoo-hah is all about in the beginning or we’ll never make the numbers!” But there was on aspect of the shows new found popularity that made me really listen to the Narratives.
Now, I’m not going to name names, but I have a short list of people with more Online Voice than myself who seemed to never really like Amy Pond. They call themselves ‘Classic’ Doctor Who fans. This kind of selective fandom just really bothers me. It bothers me with other shows too (Star Trek to name one, but Star Wars is excluded because George Lucas really did a number to himself). But if you are going to tout yourself as a Series-Wide fan of something, where is the room in your heart for someone elses take? But, I digress.
Getting back to the Point
So we have certain Narratives included in episodes that more and more come from Amy’s Point of View. We start to get used to them. There’s even one in ‘A Town called Mercy” that isn’t even told by a companion character. Its almost forgotten about. The point is, we as the viewer are being told a very long story.
And it all wraps up in the Ponds’ final episode, ‘The Angels Take Manhattan’.
Courtesy Spoiler Alert (I hate having to do that, but people will complain. Do not read any farther if you have not seen ‘The Angels Take Manhattan’. You have been warned!
In the final moments of this episode, we are pleased by the idea that Amy lives out the last of her days WITH Rory and PROBABLY as a writer. She had mentioned ‘The Power of Three’ that she had become a Travel Writer and the main premise of the final episode revolves around a book her own Daughter (River Song as Melody Malone) has written. And her final request conveyed back to the Doctor via pulp novel afterword is to go all the way back to the beginning, back to young Amelia Pond (the Girl Who Waited) and tell her all the tales of her future adventures so that the waiting won’t be so terrible. Which you know he TOTALLY DOES because of the closing shot in the episode.
What Does It All Mean?
So in effect, what we’ve gotten in these last ~31 episodes is a re-telling. We’ve gotten the “Amy Version” of the actual adventures, sans potentially important details. Because what’s better than a Fairy Tale? Answer: A Fairy Tale that gets told, over and over again.
A Hard Time Convincing Fans
The most deceptive tricks are the ones that are pulled right before your eyes. Its hard to accept something once a contrary belief has taken hold. But this is the part where I have to shake my fist and yell, “I told you so!” Because I had a rough time trying to explain to people that no, this is not your parent’s Doctor Who and that other writers should get a chance to tell the stories. But now we are at a potential transition point. We are about to get a new perspective, a new personality and foil to the Doctor and his antics. All I ask is that the “Classic” fans use this opportunity to see that its ALL going to be classic when its our turn to tell the Fairy Tales.