Sunday, September 30, 2012
Amelia's Last Farewell
Anyone need a hug?
As the Angels take Manhattan, we say goodbye to poor old Rory and poor beautiful Amy. Yes, I am talking about Doctor Who again.
Yesterday I was in Northern Ireland- in Bangor for an event and in Belfast for a signing. Because of the Unionist parade, no one was quite sure how many people would actually turn up. As our car was being diverted further and further away from the shop, a thought struck me:
If no one turns up to this signing, I get to go home early and watch Doctor Who as it airs. Ooooh...
But then we got the call- there were already 150 people queuing up. Looks like my faithful Sky box will be on recording duties again.
So we leaped out of the car and sprinted through the crowded streets, barging past cops and marchers, knocking over little old ladies, and bursting through the parade lines. 30,000 marchers. Countless onlookers. Flags waving. I have to admit, I was a little humbled that they went to all this trouble just to welcome me to Belfast.
The signing was great fun. Lots of enthusiastic readers, some too excited to form coherent sentences, some actually apologising for bringing so many books to sign, some laughing at a pitch so high it does not register to human ears... And I was given things! Two glow-in-the-dark skulls! A bling skeleton necklace! A sparkly cardboard skeleton! Sweets! A tiara!
And I was given artwork, and letters, and notes, and as usual my bag began to bulge before the signing was halfway over. Just as I was finishing up, the lights in the shop dimmed, which is usually a sign that they're about to kick you out. But of course two girls, two of my regulars, Olivia and Rowan, had to come around for a SECOND time. See, here's what the lunatics do. They queue up. They stand. They wait. They're usually near the front of the queue. Then they get stuff signed, and we have a chat, and they take pictures, and they chat some more, and they don't stop chatting, and my publicist has to come over and try to gently move them on, and then she does it a little more forcefully, and they finally say goodbye and skip off, babbling amongst themselves.
Then they queue up again. They time it perfectly, so that they're always the last in line, and so they get a few more minutes of chatting as I pack up to leave. Ohhhh they're sneaky. And I'm not even going to TELL you what Rowan did when we were hugging. She is a bad, bad girl.
Then I was back on the road again, heading home. When I got back I had something to eat, laughed at my dogs, and settled down on my sofa. And I pressed play. And Doctor Who began.
We knew this was Amy and Rory's last episode. We all knew this going in. The fact was, we'd known it for months. I'm not sure how smart this is, to be honest. On one hand, I can see what the BBC are doing- they're making sure everyone tunes in. On the other hand, where's the surprise? Where's the shock?
If I'm going to get rid of a character, do I tell you before the book is even out? No. No I do not. I try my best to keep you from guessing for as long as I can... and then I snatch the character away from you as quickly and as viciously as possible.
So, all those Whovians out there, ask yourselves this: would the episode have been better, have been more shocking and more emotional, if that ending had taken you completely be surprise?
But hey... what an ending. Sad. Tragic. Romantic. Beautiful. I suppose there's something to be said for watching the thing and knowing that Amy and Rory will inevitably meet their end- it adds another layer to the experience. And just when you think it's all over and the day is saved, there is one surviving Angel...
Matt Smith was fantastic in this. When he's begging Amy not to go... heartbreaking. Rory, as a character, has grown on me so much. At the start, I viewed him as a third wheel, someone who was coming between Amy and the Doctor (a beautiful young lady and a charismatic genius centuries old... come on, how could you NOT ship that?). But thanks to great writing and the wonderful Arthur Darvill, Rory became an essential part of the show's dynamic. And Karen Gillan herself... She's been my favourite of the new companions so far, and I'll miss her pout, and her feistiness, and those skirts...