Humans, let me tell you a story. When the trailers for the second half of Doctor Who’s sixth season were just airing, I’d watch them obsessively, trying to formulate plot details and basically just amping myself up over a show I’d been looking forward to. I know I might be hard on it at times, but I really do love Doctor Who; it’s one of my favorite television shows, and really the only thing my parents and I bonded over for the longest time.

Anyway, do we all remember that there were shots of the Older Amy from Girl Who Waited in those trailers? When I first saw that- Amy bedecked in cool looking armor and wielding a sword- I thought “Oh, cool! We’re going to meet a future version of Amy who’s a badass! She must have spent quite a while fighting against the Silence to get her daughter back! Wow, Rory must be a total stone cold killer, then.”

Maybe that’s silly or idealistic, but that’s genuinely what I believed would happen. Amy and Rory had just had their child taken from them, so naturally I assumed the next half of the season would be a longer, more narrative driven arc concerned solely with reclaiming the baby Melody. For many reasons, this just seemed right to me; at the time Good Man Goes to War aired, my wife was pregnant with our own daughters, and so I was becoming familiar with the love a parent has for their children.

Imagine how perplexed I was when Let’s Kill Hitler landed on our screens, and… What? Are you fucking kidding me?

Humans, I’m a father now. Very recently, in fact; my baby girls were born only a month ago. I love them with all of my heart, and the simple idea that anyone would dare try to take them from me makes me sick to my stomach. So, my question is this: why doesn’t Amy feel the same?

Parental love isn’t cumulative, and it doesn’t take time to form. It shocked me too, but the moment I held my daughter, I got the most intense, permanent rush of true love. What I’m saying- and I really shouldn’t have to- is that there is no way that Melody didn’t mean the world to her parents, no matter how much time they got to spend together before Kovarian fucked it up. But let’s itemize what Amy and Rory do, after Demon’s Run:

The Doctor isn't so special: apparently, being willing to wait years for people is just an Amy thing.

They get home, and all we know from there is that they call the Doctor one time, and then make a crop circle. It is based on these facts alone that I am going to make a broad, sweeping statement: Amy and Rory Pond are the worst parents in modern science fiction.

I want to preface this by saying that season five Amy and Rory were genuinely interesting people that I was looking forward to seeing more of. Something happened to them between seasons, but that’s a discussion for later. By season six they begin exhibiting some emotionally false and truly unsettling decisions that make me really doubt the writer’s competence.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? So, River drops Amy and Rory off at home (which I’m sure was an awkward road trip) and then what? They start trying to contact the Doctor. Which is fine, it really is, given that the Doctor is the man with the time machine, and he seemed to know what he was doing… But, something doesn’t ring true. I think it’s the way Amy and Rory conduct themselves. It’s not long before they’re joking around with the Doctor, they’re happy to see him, and they’re… Well, I’m sorry, but what? Why aren’t they angry at the Doctor for leaving them out of the loop for as long as he did, while still coming back empty handed? Why do anything other than immediately leave together to go find the damn baby? Why is Amy’s first reaction not to grab the goddamn Time Lord by that bow tie of his, drag him back into the TARDIS, and go?

But it’s fairly easy to skip over that. Once. But the problem is… After Let’s Kill Hitler, Melody is never brought up again until the finale. At all. The Ponds are perfectly content to go off and have adventures again, like nothing has happened. As a father, this rings false to me.

Seriously. The very next episode is Night Terrors, a pretty standard Doctor Who adventure with creepy dolls, and there’s no mention that Amy and Rory are parents at all. Which is so totally unrealistic it’s almost childish in itself. I don’t understand why this is, at all.

Seriously? THIS GUY is just going to give up on this?

Well actually, yes I do: it’s because it would get annoying for the companions to be bringing up a missing baby constantly in the standard Doctor Who monster-of-the-week formula. Which I can understand; it would get damned annoying if this were the case. So here’s the thing: the writers were under no obligations to write this story. If your standard episode formula isn’t set up to deal with a child abduction, then don’t write a child abduction. Find some other way of dealing with the plotline. Leaving it hanging like it was is just creepy.

"Hey River! Would you rather be raised as a weapon by a cult, or as a person by your parents? I assume the former!"

They way they justify Amy and Rory’s- and the Doctor’s, for that matter- acceptance of the loss of their first born child is truly the most horrifying thing this series has ever produced, to me. It’s destiny, the characters opine. Melody grows up to be River, so there’s nothing we can do without upsetting time (and besides, there are worse things to be than River.) This from a show that just got done with a season with the arc words “time can be rewritten.” This from a show that just reset the entire universe from scratch.

Also, and let me be very, very clear on this: Predetermination means nothing here. Fuck causality. Fuck it right in the ass. If it were my daughter, I would be tearing down the space time continuum piece by piece until I got her back. Even if it were- understandably- impossible for me, do you think I’d stop trying? Fuck no, that’s my little girl! Besides which, didn’t Girl Who Waited have two instances of a character floating around, mere episodes after this petty justification was used?

If there's one thing the Doctor is known for, it's giving up on things.

The other emotional softener- namely that Amy and Rory got to raise Melody in the form of Mels- is even more insulting. Anybody with a functioning brain knows that there is a marked difference between the relationship between childhood friends, and the one between parents and child. This is a fundamental fact of personhood that seems to have completely flown over the heads of the writing staff. Additionally, the situation as it stands becomes kind of nightmarish: Amy and Rory got to watch as their daughter grew up into a delinquent. Also, how many regenerations had Mels gone through before reaching that form? Did she remember all of them? Was she still focused on her mission the entire time she grew up in that body? Is that why she was so fixated on the Doctor as a child? If so, then Amy and Rory didn’t really raise Mels at all: they were merely the cover for a lifetimes old psychotic assassin wearing the skin of a child. Jesus Christ…

Let’s interpret this a little more: At no point during this years long relationship were Amy and Rory ever aware that Mels was their daughter. Rory is a male, and at one point he was a teenager. You can see where I am going with this, and yes, it is just as squicky for you as it is for me. In all possible interpretations. I’ll stop there.

To me, that whole justification smacks of an excuse; a little way to soften the blow for those viewers with a working mind that could see the huge, canyon sized flaws in this logic. Which would mean that, yes, the writers did know that there were issues here, but that they wouldn’t, or couldn’t, rectify them. Was the plot already written and in the middle of filming before someone figured it out? Was Moffat so dead set on it that it would be hard to pull him out of it? What the fuck happened?

Scarier still is that Moffat has kids, so there’s no excuse. He must have known how fucking devastating the plot he was writing would be to parents. Why not change it? As I mentioned earlier, the Silence themselves would work so much better by removing one of the three twist elements of this series- go and read my post “The Silence are a Bunch of Idiots” for more.

It’s so odd, too: series six in particular has such a focus on themes of parenthood. Ask yourselves: how many episodes of this series have parents and children in them? Curse of the Black Spot has them. The Rebel Flesh has them. Good Man Goes to War definitely has them, as does Let’s Kill Hitler. Night Terrors has them. Closing Time has them. Even the latest Christmas special has them. Of the past fourteen episodes, seven or eight of them have themes of parenthood in them, with three -debatably four- of them having this theme as the central component.

Why is this? Is it to reinforce and foreshadow River’s plot arc? Why is it, then, that the main thrust of this arc was written in such a downbeat, horrifying way? I get the feeling that, once it had gotten that dark, the series didn’t know what to do with it, and so just swept it all under the rug and hoped nobody noticed.

Well, I did. And it renders me more than a little quizzical.

I um... I... Uh, sorry. Got distracted by the sexy, for a minute there...

Consider this part one of my first two-part blog post: next time, I shall be discussing Amy and Rory as characters, delving into what makes them interesting, what makes them boring, where they succeed and fail, and what they mean for the franchise. Take it as a little farewell vivisection for my two favorite companions.

Kurokami, signing off!