This is a nearly perfect introduction to an era that started off like a magical fairy tale, but ultimately became about the journey these characters take through happiness, disappointment, betrayal, love, loss, family, and friendship as they grow up, together, and apart.
Little Amelia Pond is the girl with no parents who was left alone at night by her absent aunt in a house with a crack in the wall that really did hold the creatures of nightmares behind it and the girl who hung all her hopes and dreams of a better life on the raggedy man who crashed into her garden one night promising her the universe and didn’t come back for twelve years.
She never gave in; she stayed the eternal outsider, the Scottish girl in the English village, keeping both the accent and the dream of a better life alive. She kept it alive even in the face of a family who told her she was mad and the psychiatrists they took her to in order to prove it. She believed through everything that this man was real and she wasn’t mad spending most of her childhood feeling alienated from the adults in her life because of it.
It’s no surprise that this little girl didn’t turn out “normal.” She became such a strong adult capable of surviving almost anything on her own, but it came at a cost. She is emotionally closed off, defensive, and suffers from issues with abandonment. All of this manifests in a woman who is tough on the outside while so confused on the inside.
Then, twelve years later, the raggedy man returns to her life and takes her on a wild adventure before disappearing again for two more years. All the while, Amy begins to create a life. Rory Williams, her best friend from childhood, the person who stood behind her the way her family should have, is soon to be her husband and there is no question that she loves him, but she’s not ready to marry him.
So the night before her wedding, all those years after he first appeared, Amy runs off with her raggedy Doctor with no regard for what tomorrow holds knowing that she can come back for tomorrow at any time.
It’s amazing to think that Amy was going to get married in this episode when the next few episodes show just how confused she is, but on the other hand, when you see her grow in her relationship with Rory, there is no doubt that she truly loves him. Amy just wasn’t OK when she ran away with the Doctor and needed that time to see who she really was when given the choice to live any life and go anywhere.
Equally remarkable is recognizing the development this character goes through between this episode and her last when going back and watching this episode.
The woman who thinks her love for a man is enough to stand up to anything is, in this episode, a girl who can hardly say that man is her boyfriend. It’s not the love between the two characters that is missing, but the life experience needed for them to understand what they feel for each other and know that even if they have the entire universe at their finger tips, they still choose each other.
And you can see the scars of the little girl who trained herself not to be afraid of her lonely life or the monsters in her bedroom written all over her. There is so much she overcomes in the 10 or so years she spends traveling with the Doctor, but in the end, she remains the strong woman with the attitude to take on anything and anyone while growing comfortable with herself in a way that is painfully missing from the one putting on an act in a police uniform.