rumpelsnorcack: (Rory/Amy hug animated)
[personal profile] rumpelsnorcack
So, a few days ago when I was wandering through some fanvids to get my head back into a Rory-fic space, I realised something.  I realised that the fifth anniversary of the end of S5 of Doctor Who (and, coincidentally, Amy and Rory’s fifth wedding anniversary) was today.  It got me all nostalgic.  I’m glad that first Eleven season aired in 2010.  I’m glad I fell for Eleven and his wonderful companions in 2010.  I’m glad I had a background of love to carry me through the next few years.  Because the next few years were pretty horrendous, and having this Team TARDIS along for the ride was a small light spot in all the dark.  S6 aired very soon after the major earthquake here and I’m sure that if that had been S5 I would not be the fan I am today – S6 was sometimes dark and depressing and difficult and it definitely made me think, and that was a perfect match for my mind set at the time.  S5 just wasn’t – and I’m not sure I would, or could, have fallen in love with it in the same way if it had been shown that year later during that stuff.  Did I love it?  No, not S6 – not then, anyway (though there are many, many episodes I really adore now).  But it worked for me, and I think it worked for me because I had S5 to carry me through.  I could go back and watch silly, flighty, funny Eleven and his fairytale companion and then tune in every week for the deeper, more serious stuff of S6.  The deeper, more serious stuff which seemed to reflect some of the horror we were going through where I lived.  It unsettled me in a good way during a time when I was unsettled in a very bad way.  However, without S5 that would never have been possible.  It would have been too dark.

Season Five.  I still remember the day I watched that first episode with Eleven.  I was worried.  I didn’t trust it.  I felt the show and the new Doctor could never live up to what we had just lost.  I loved Ten, and I missed him with all my heart.  I do remember a discussion somewhere with someone where they had been all ‘OMG how could they cast such a young, weird-looking guy as the Doctor?  This is the end of the world!! Doctor Who is ruined forever,’ and I said at that time ‘I have an open mind; he could be amazing.  After all, many people thought David Tennant was going to be terrible and look how that turned out.’  Even so, I was still worried.  What if the show lost something in this switch?  After all, it wasn’t just a new Doctor; it was a new everything.  Then Eleven appeared at the end of Ten’s journey and I got seriously worried.  He felt wrong.  I was sure this WAS going to go down the gurgler just like everyone had said.

Then Eleven appeared in his own first episode and I just … I fell for him almost immediately.  He was everything I didn’t know I wanted in ‘my’ Doctor.  He was quirky, he was kind, he was funny, he was intense, and he never stopped.  He had a joy about him, a youthful vibrancy which just picked me up and ran away with me.  I turned to my husband around the time he threw the food out the door and said ‘is it bad that I think I like him more than Ten already?’  I just knew.  THIS was my Doctor in a way not even Four, who I grew up with, had been.  And Amy.  Oh, I loved her.  I loved her hurt, her fierceness, her vulnerability.  I loved the way she got on board with the Doctor and just went with all his ridiculous ideas.  I loved that she faced him down and decided in a moment of vulnerability to trust him.  I just loved her.  She was so very real to me.  From little Amelia through to grown up Amy I knew I loved this character already.  I knew there was a lot we still had to see in this person, that we had an intriguing opening and she had a lot of room to grow and reveal herself.  Then, when we saw at the end of that episode that she was getting married the next morning, I had this sudden realisation that I really liked the guy she had been with too.  I felt like he brought a needed balance to the flightiness of the other two and I hoped, so hard, that they would come back the next morning and she would marry him and that it would happen soon (alongside a feeling of ‘I hope this is ‘the nice one’ not ‘the good looking one’ – I was already primed for shipping, obviously).  Then I forgot about him for a while.  Little did I know, then, what was to come for me.

As the series went on, I grew to love Amy and Eleven together – not ‘together’ together, just their dynamic (and they kept her possible marriage in front of our eyes a lot, too – like in The Beast Below).  Then they added River and I thought this was the pinnacle of my love for the characters on this show.  I hadn’t much liked Victory of the Daleks, but I did still love my characters, and didn’t feel like there was something missing until River came along.  I had loved her in Ten’s era and wanted to see more – that we did see her was just so awesome.  I loved so much about her, how flirty and yet intelligent she was.  How poised and sure of herself, and yet strangely soft in some ways.  I really loved the interactions between her and Amy.  Her ‘motherly role’ (which became ironic in hindsight) was a nice new side to this character I’d always enjoyed.  She added some interesting dimensions.  I loved the new things we saw in Eleven when she came: he stopped being all-knowing and childish in a fun way and became childish in an entirely different way – moody and petulant and a little whiny, and I began to see the depths to my Doctor.  He became instantly more interesting.  The three of them were just perfect to me.  I also loved the return of the Angels, and the whole way that two-parter opened things out and allowed it to breathe.  The story had time to develop and so the characters had time to develop.  Before that point, I enjoyed the show but I wasn’t obsessed.  After that, I thought the Angels two-parter was the most excited I would feel about the show and I was beginning to find it compelling in a way Doctor Who hadn’t been for me before – and then we got that weird Amy/Doctor scene at the end (where she did, indeed, say it was the nice one she was engaged to) and the segue into Vampires of Venice and I was lost.

Not only was this MY Doctor, this was MY show.  This was what I hadn’t known I wanted to see.  I was loving the stories, the characters and I was suddenly shipping something, and shipping it hard (not that that was the only reason I fell for the show so hard, but it was a big part).  I had only had this experience once before, and I had thought that one OTP was it for me, that I would be on the Harry/Ginny train forever.  Then Rory came, and with him the final piece in the puzzle (though my absolute favourite thing, of all 4 together, didn’t happen yet).  I kept expecting Rory to be treated like Mickey was – that he would be shunted off to the side, left behind (hey, he was once already!), and that they would push on with Amy/Doctor.  It had been so blatant that I assumed it was a no-brainer.  But the show kept surprising me.  Rory was allowed to be himself – awkward, out of his depth, angry, passive aggressive, insecure, loving, funny, kind etc – and he wasn’t shown to be lesser because of these things; things that men in media so often aren’t allowed to be and still be considered strong or good characters.  It was so refreshing to see someone allowed to have faults and STILL be treated as having worth.  Amy treated him in some problematic ways, but there were in-show reasons for this which were addressed, and underneath it all she still loved him, and he loved her.  It wasn’t perfect, but they fitted together and never once did I feel like he was going to be ‘put away’ in a derisive way.  If he was going to be set aside, it was going to be done in a way that gave him dignity because it felt to me like the show kept treating its characters with dignity.  I still expected that he was going to be left somewhere and while it made me sad, I wasn’t upset at how it was being done.  By contrast, the treatment of Mickey always really pissed me off.

Then, then … Amy’s Choice.  Ok, so I figured this was where it was going to happen.  I loved Rory, despite not having seen him much, and I loved him with Amy but this was obviously going to be where he was ditched.  Amy would make a choice – and that choice would be the Doctor.  Of course.  Then Rory died and clearly that was what happened to him.  Amy would be sad afterwards, but she would heal and she and the Doctor would go adventuring and it would be fun and I would miss Rory but I would be Ok with the way it happened.  And then, unexpectedly, I didn’t have to miss him after all and Amy realised what had been going on, realised how much she needed him and everything was fluff and rainbows.  It was … amazing.  I can’t tell you how much I loved that my expectations were turned around and in such a way.  I mean, obviously, I shipped them but I didn’t expect the show to go that way.  I assumed we would go back to the now-usual ‘Doctor and companion with occasional outside people’ and I was just happy to have had the time with Amy/Rory that we’d had.

It amuses me, looking back, just how quickly and how thoroughly Rory got into my heart.  By the time he ‘dies’ in Cold Blood we’ve only seen him in a handful of episodes.  But I was devastated when he left (some of that is due to the acting of Matt and Karen after he died – just.  Wow).  I missed him for the next few episodes and I was so glad that, while he was gone, the show was treating that with respect.  Amy had forgotten him, but the show hadn’t.  It felt … nice.  I assumed that was it, again.  But again I was happy with the way it had been handled.  He had gone, but he was missed and we were allowed to mourn him.  They did good.

Then he came back in Pandorica Opens and I was so happy to see him, only to see him kill Amy just as things seemed to be going so right.  Which … man, I was so upset.  I mean, I assumed she couldn’t really die so I hoped for the next week.  But underneath it all I was worried that that was it for her, that we were going to get a shock companion switch.  I think it was conditioning from Nine and Ten where bad things not only could and did happen in the finale, they were inevitable – it wasn’t a finale without some major trauma for someone, and main characters were often harmed forever (oh, Donna, your end is still painful for me).  So this episode traumatised me into fic (this is the unbeta-read, sloppy mess that got podficced at the end of that year, ugh).  I was so worried that Amy would be gone, and that Rory was to blame.  That week was long and endless.  I read everything I could find and inadvertently spoiled myself on the Big Bang by finding the Amy/Rory wedding album a few hours before I got to see the episode itself.  I didn’t care, though; I was just happy that Amy was happy and alive and Rory was still with us.  The ending of that season just made me SO happy.  It was joyful and uplifting and everyone was happy and we’d had River along with the others for the first time and it was all just perfect.

I know that’s been a lot about Rory and Rory/Amy, but that’s because that’s where a lot of my focus was at the time.  I mean, Eleven was always <3 all the time.  There was something gorgeous about the way he interacted with his companions and the world.  I loved that by the end of the season we could see the very old man inside the very young body.  He has both sides in a way that just really resonates with me.  I still get a happy feeling whenever I see Eleven on screen.  And his speechifying!  That Pandorica speech!  Plus, he says my absolute favourite line of that entire season: ‘There was a goblin, or a... trickster. Or a warrior. A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or... reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.’  I just love everything that says about the Doctor – both in the way he says it and how he just doesn’t recognise himself in it.  I love how it comes back into play at the end of A Good Man Goes to War when River calls him on it.  I just … I don’t have enough words for how much I adore Eleven.  That my love for him was so fast and so thorough makes it really hard for me to separate it out the way I can with Rory, in particular.  Rory’s entry was so gradual that it’s easier to pinpoint.  Eleven’s?  Yeah … it was too instant for a proper analysis.

I also cannot stress enough how much I love Amy and how her story went that season.  She grew up as we watched and it was beautiful.  I loved that she was allowed to be a sexual woman and not be judged (or at least very little, and never in the latter half of the season) in the text for it, that she was allowed to wear clothes that made her feel sexy but still also be independent and in charge of herself and her boys.  AND she was allowed to make a choice, and her choice was to have it all.  I love, love, love that she chose to be with Rory while travelling with the Doctor and that she was able to make the same choice on an even grander scale when she got married.  Marriage wasn’t ‘and she lived happily ever after’ – it was ‘and she got to have the one she loves and go do exciting things out there in the world and be a person’ and it was perfect.  Amy’s story didn’t end with her marriage, it had barely begun.  It was gorgeous.  I did get pulled into a lot of ‘discussion’ at the time about Amy and her choices.  I found my blood boiling far more often than was healthy.  The worst of it, of course, was about her clothing choices and how ‘objectified’ she was.  I never did understand that.  Yes, she wore short skirts but she didn’t show off much else and her legs were often also swathed in leggings of some sort.  I think it was mostly a problem with people not liking that she was actually, visibly sexual.  She kissed people for a living, she kissed both her boyfriend and her childhood crush on screen – enthusiastically, unashamedly and reasonably aggressively.  She took the lead in her sexual encounters, and I think that upset a whole lot of people who felt like women should be the receivers of sex not the aggressors.  So, inevitably, we got lots of ‘Rory’s great, but Amy is a slut who doesn’t deserve him’ – and I saw red.  Anyway, it all culminated in me writing a rather long screed on why Amy actually does love Rory and why her being flirty and kissing someone else does not make her a slut (not quite expressed like that, but that was my motivation).  It can be found here, here and here (3 separate parts).

Anyway, that is a very long-winded way of saying I love that series, I am so glad it came into my life when it did.  I’m glad it made me so happy for the time it was on.  I’m glad I had that experience of uplift and joy in watching the show to take me through the next few years.  I’m just glad I got to experience Eleven and his Team TARDIS.  They made me happy, and I can’t believe it’s been five years already since that day when I watched that end and fell even more in love with my show.  It opened me to more fanfic opportunities, and I have new internet friends because of it.  It, quite literally, impacted my life at a time when I didn’t know I was about to need that.

And now, here are some fanvids of my Team TARDIS.  There are very few of Amy and/or River that I can find (ones I like anyway), so if anyone has any recs please do add them.  I’m always keen to find more for those two.

My Doctor - I had to do two.  He has both sides and one deals with the silly, quirky, funny side.  The other with his darker, more menacing side.  The two halves make a perfect Doctor for me :D

River - though, as usual, it's with the Doctor.  If anyone knows of some River-only vids I'd be really keen to see them.  Not that I don't love her with the Doctor.  I really really do.  I just ... I want her awesomeness by itself too, y'kow?

Amy.  Because an Amy with a sword is an awesome Amy :)

Rory.  There are roughly a million Rory vids so choosing one was hard.  I went with this one because it's a bit of fun :D

Rory and Amy, cos it's their anniversary, after all, even if they aren't here to enjoy it :)

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