Doctor Who: ‘The Girl Who Waited’ raises more questions of life and death

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This Doctor Who recap/review may contain spoilers for “The Girl Who Waited” and prior episodes.

From the clean-white background to the creepy Hand Robots who insist they’re stalking you out of kindness, the latest Doctor Who outing is rocking a futuristic feel that evokes a bit of Logan’s Run and THX-1138, and it’s a nice departure from the more contemporary terrestrial setting of recent adventures.

We get hit over the head a lot with how much Rory and Amy love each other, but if it’s a choice between that and one or the other being killed every week, at least love is a bit more refreshing than death for a change. And we learn that the Macarena is, in fact, the answer to most problems.

Future Amy is awesome, kicking handbot butt with ease and making me wonder if her bitterness will turn her into Madame Kovarian, but that doesn’t seem likely now (though Who knows?). And the whole Rory-has-two-wives thing is carried off with an impressively low amount of offensive humor.

River Song isn’t here, but Rule One applies: The Doctor lies. Oh, yes he does. And even though we can see it coming a mile away, it both hurts and makes perfect sense. It’s all fun and games with the Doctor, but some Time Lord responsibilities cannot be ignored. For this, we can love him and hate him at the same time.

This episode has me wondering: Does the Doctor even have the ability to regenerate anymore? We know he couldn’t regenerate when poisoned by Melody Pond in “Let’s Kill Hitler,” but did he get it back when she saved his life by using up all of her own regenerations? We also know that he has the ability to regenerate in the future when the Astronaut lays him out at Lake Silencio in Utah — but has that future been changed?

I ask these questions because the Doctor mentions here that he can’t leave the confines of the TARDIS on Planet Appalachia because the Chem 7 plague will kill him, “no regeneration.” Does he mean the plague is so bad it will suppress his remarkable ability, or does he mean that he doesn’t have it anymore?

Ponder this and more while waiting for next week’s episode, “The God Complex”:

In this all new episode written by Toby Whithouse (Doctor Who: The Vampires of Venice; Being Human), the TARDIS lands in what looks like an ordinary hotel. But the walls move, corridors twist, rooms vanish… and there’s a room for every visitor that contains their deepest, darkest fears. Fears that will kill them.

What lies in the Doctor’s room? And when his turn comes, will he welcome death like all the rest?

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Jayson Peters

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