Original air date: September 10, 2011
Production code: 2.10
The one where Amy dies. And gets better.
Alternatively, the one where Amy takes The Slow Path all because of one wrong button push.
Written by Tom MacRae.
The Doctor lands the TARDIS, telling Amy and Rory that they've arrived at Apalapucia, a beautiful resort planet — but on opening the door, they find themselves in a clinically white room. There's no spires or anything, just a single door in front of them. Amy returns to the TARDIS to retrieve her phone, while the Doctor and Rory step ahead and examine the door, which has a panel with two buttons. Rory hits the green top one, revealing yet another clinically white waiting room behind it. They enter it, the door closing behind them. Amy, by now, has left the TARDIS, and, figuring them to have gone through the door, hits the red lower button and enters the room.
The two groups can't find each other, causing everyone to freak out. The Doctor observes a strange lens in the middle of the room and on activation, it allows them to see Amy. They try to get Amy to leave the room, but there is no button on her side, and when Rory tries to leave and enter via the second button, Amy's not to be found. The Doctor and Rory are surprised by the appearance of a white, faceless robot with human hands. The Doctor asks the Handbot about the situation and discovers that Apalapucia is in quarantine. It's facing the Chen-7 plague that affects beings with two hearts. They're in the Two Streams treatment facility for plague victims and their loved ones. Through the lens, Amy is yelling at them — because she's been there for a week now. She doesn't need food or sleep or water. She's just very, very scared.
The Doctor, in a panic, realizes that Amy has found herself in an accelerated timestream. It allows an infected being to live out their full life within the very short period that it takes for the plague to kill them. Their loved ones can see that full life unfolding rapidly from the observation rooms though a time lens. When the Handbot fails to recognize them as alien and tries to administer a vaccine, the Doctor warns Rory to stay away, knowing that the dose would be fatal.
The Doctor quickly tells Amy, through the lens, to stay away from the Handbots, because their medicine would seriously harm her human biology. He sonics the lens off the stand and tells her to wait for them, as they'll be there soon. The Doctor and Rory race back to the TARDIS, and the Doctor fiddles with the lens mechanism to use it to lock onto Amy's timestream out of thousands occurring simultaneously in the facility.
Amy, taking the Doctor's advice, steps through into the Two Streams facility proper, and is introduced to Interface, the computer system that operates the facilities. The place is beautiful: there are lush alien gardens, unlimited films and entertainment, a pool, and many adventures to be had. However, the Handbots still want to sedate and disinfect her, which could be lethal to her. Encountering a group of Handbots, she leaves a message for the Doctor and Rory with her lipstick on a door, and then escapes into the bowels of the facility, where the emissions from the time drives interfere with the Handbots' ability to detect her. She finds a quiet spot behind an engine and waits.
After a brief tussle with the TARDIS controls, the Doctor provides Rory with his sonic screwdriver, the lens, and a pair of glasses. The glasses are a camera, wired to relay what Rory sees and hears back to the TARDIS, since the Doctor (having two hearts) can't go inside the facility proper without becoming infected himself. Rory tries to follow Amy's footsteps, but he's soon surrounded by Handbots, ready to sedate him...
... until they're attacked by someone wielding a katana and some very raggedy armour, and get deactivated. It's Amy. Specifically, it's a much older and much angrier Amy. When she realises that the Doctor can hear her, she reveals that it's been 36 years. The Doctor immediately warns Rory that if they choose to save the older Amy, they'll be unable to go back to rescue the younger version without creating a time paradox. Rory tries to convince Amy to help find her younger self, but she adamantly refuses. She no longer wants to be rescued. She wants to be left the hell alone.
Rory is a memory long gone, and the Doctor is her personal devil. If her younger self were to be rescued then this one would die, and 36 years of work would have been for nothing. She tells Rory to just go away. The Last Centurion tries to explain to his wife that age, pain and years of loneliness really aren't unfamiliar to him.
Rory follows the older Amy into the bowels of the facility, discovering where she has hidden herself from detection. There, her own companion is a (literally) disarmed Handbot, on which she's drawn a dorky face and called it "Rory". She also built herself a sonic screwdriver (which she calls a "probe", because to hell with the Doctor's terms), which the Doctor is pretty damn impressed with. Again, the Doctor tries to gain Amy's help, but she flatly refuses. He's the one who left her there. He's the one who abandoned her for 36 years. He's the one who didn't check if the planet would be dangerous before landing. "That's not how I travel," he tries to protest, which earns him an extremely painful What the Hell, Hero? from Rory.
Rory uses the lens to discover younger Amy, in the same room but 36 years prior, sobbing to herself. Rory tries to convince the older Amy to say something to her younger self, but the older Amy can only remain pessimistic, remembering herself on the other end of this conversation and being told there would be no hope. Older Amy just doesn't want to die and when the time comes for younger Amy to be on the other end of this talk, 36 years from now, she'll say the same thing. Time can be rewritten. Younger Amy finally convinces her older self to help, not for herself, but for Rory's sake. The revelation sparks a change in the older Amy and she agrees, but only on one condition: the Doctor must rescue both Amys. Older Amy can live her own life. She can visit the Ponds at Christmas, she can be distant, she can be independent, she'll think of a way to make it work. The Doctor frets, worried about that being too much stress on the TARDIS, but ultimately agrees.
The Doctor sets the plan in motion, requiring Rory to disable a time engine safeguard while both Amys share the same thought: something extremely powerful that can rip open the fabric of time. This thought is... doing the Macarena, because that was her first kiss with Rory. The plan works, and both Amys are present in the same timeline. Older Amy is shocked and very distraught when she realises they're still just the same person, with the same thoughts and the same mind, because they keep saying the same thing at the same time.
The plan worked, but the overload on the time engines causes the glasses to overload, leaving Rory and his wives on their own. They race through the facility, the older Amy using her swordsmanship to defeat the patrols of Handbots converging on their location. As they race through the last hallway to the TARDIS, older Amy steps back to cover their backs. The younger Amy runs smack into a Handbot and is quickly sedated. Older Amy tells Rory to get her younger self into the TARDIS while she clears out the remaining Handbots.
As soon as Rory crosses the TARDIS threshold with his wife, the Doctor slams shut the TARDIS door behind him. As the older Amy pounds on the door, the Doctor explains that he had to lie to get her to work with them. There's no way of allowing both Amys to exist; if they both entered the TARDIS, the paradox would be too great to withstand. The Doctor forces Rory to make a choice of which Amy to rescue, but older Amy ends up making that choice for him, telling Rory to stay true to his wife. They both cling to their own side of the TARDIS door as they're separated forever. As the TARDIS disappears, the older Amy asks Interface to show her Earth one last time as she's surrounded by Handbots and sedated. The screen fades to white, and older Amy vanishes slowly from existence.
In the TARDIS, Amy wakes up to the Doctor and Rory watching over her. She asks about where her older self is, but the Doctor quietly leaves that explanation to Rory.
- Abandoned Hospital: The entire episode takes place in a time-shifted hospital that is currently under quarantine and is completely devoid of any life other than the automated Handbots and the AI computer. While it can easily be assumed that each patient has their own version of the hospital relative to their time-stream (it's shown that there are thousands of time-streams all happening simultaneously), the episode gives the impression that everybody else on the planet has already died from the Chen-7 plague, leaving the place deserted.
- Action Girl: Older Amy is kicking ass and taking names.
- Action Survivor: Older Amy. It's a necessity when you're trapped in an empty facility and hunted nonstop by robots that will unintentionally kill you for 36 years.
- Actor Allusion: Amy mentions how Rory pretended to be in a band. Arthur Darvill is in a band in real life.
- Apocalypse How: Apalapucia is under planet-wide quarantine thanks to the Chen-7 plague.
- Armour-Piercing Question: After Older Amy refuses to help and keeps up her bitterness and cynicism until Young Amy says this:Amy: What. About. Rory?
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Doctor's answer to whether or not both Amys can join Rory in the TARDIS:The Doctor: Maybe; if I shunted the reality compensators on the TARDIS, recalibrated the doomsday bumpers and jettisoned the karaoke bar, yes... maybe, yes.
- Ascetic Aesthetic: The hospital is extremely bare. There's just a door in a White Void Room with two buttons.
- Auto-Doc: The Handbots are doctors. Too bad they're designed for patients with two hearts, and would unintentionally kill any single-hearted patient, like Amy.
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
- Young Amy manages to get her older self to help by appealing to her love of Rory. Rory's love is never even an issue.
- Again, when told to think of the most powerful/important moment of their life, both Amys instantly think of the Macarena, because that was their first kiss with Rory.
- Badass Adorable: As always, Rory, who hits a Handbot with a copy of The Mona Lisa.
- Battle Couple: Rory and his wives charging through a swarm of Handbots.
- Big Bad: The Handbots, although they're not actually malevolent, just incapable of understanding that their actions will kill the protagonists.
- Big Damn Kiss: Older Amy and Rory after the former's Heel Realization. Writer Tom MacRae called it the most romantic kiss in the show's entire history.
- Bittersweet Ending: The Doctor and Rory save the younger Amy, at the cost of leaving the older Amy to die and having her timeline and experiences erased, and the Doctor's lies and manipulations causes Rory to lose trust in him.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: The robots can kill you with kindness if you have the wrong biology. The reason the Doctor is stuck on the TARDIS is because Chen-7 only affects two-hearted races.
- The Blank: The Handbots have no faces. They "see" with their hands.
- Bottle Episode: There are many white rooms, the Doctor's confined to the TARDIS, Karen Gillan acts for two and the TARDIS fizzes a bit, plus there are robots and a quick shot of a garden, but there is nothing beyond that.
- Break the Cutie:
- Rory really gets put through the wringer in this one considering the Double Wife Dilemma.
- Older Amy is broken over the course of 36 years.
- Broken Bird: Older Amy is a bitter and hateful woman because she believes the Doctor abandoned her.
- Bullying a Dragon: "Woman with a sword; don't push it."
- Call-Back: In "The Doctor's Wife", the Doctor accuses the TARDIS of not always going where he wanted; she counters that she always brought him where he needed to go. In this episode, she brings him to the quarantine area of Apalapucia, instead of the resort area. If she had brought him to the resort area, he would have died from the plague without any chance.
- Catchphrase: "This is a kindness."
- Character Title: Amy Pond is "The Girl Who Waited".
- Chekhov's Gun:
- Amy's phone. It's what caused Amy to press the wrong button. Later, Amy turns it into a sonic "probe".
- Chekhov's Handbag: Amy has a lot of different items usually found in a woman's purse, among them lipstick, eyeliner (which is used to draw Rory the Handbot's face), and plasters.
- Chronoscope: The time glass the Doctor and Rory take from the Green Anchor room serves as this.
- Closed Door Rapport: Rory and Older Amy have the most painful conversation ever through the door of the TARDIS.
- Cool Old Lady: Older Amy has to be reaching her 60s and can still kick robo-doc ass.
- Cold Equation: The Doctor shuts the door on Older Amy, as the TARDIS can't cope with the temporal paradox of two Amys.
- Comforting Comforter: Amy is wrapped in a coat after she's rescued.
- Companion Cube: Rory the Handbot, the eternally faithful pet.
- Continuity Nod:
- This isn't the first time the Doctor and companion(s) have landed on a quarantined planet unawares in the wrong area. And both times, it's implied that the TARDIS is the only ship that could have gotten through the quarantine.
- The reception area looks familiar... so familiar, in fact, that there's an identical shot to one from "New Earth" in which the Recycled Set is especially noticeable.
- The check-in girl makes a reference to "Disneyland Clom".
- The Doctor gives Rory a pair of tricked-out Nerd Glasses that bear a strong resemblance to the Tenth Doctor's Purely Aesthetic Glasses. The Doctor thinks they're cool; Amy and Rory disagree.
- "I come in peace! Peace! Peace! Peace! Peace..." (Coming from a guy who claimed it would never work.)
- Younger and Older Amy find that weird that they are saying the same words at the same time, recalling "Midnight".
- The What the Hell, Hero? quote is reminiscent of what Davros called the Doctor out on doing.
- Amy still has issues about how real or valid a person is under weird circumstances, though the similar themes aren't mentioned by anyone.
- Amy's husband is more important than the laws of destiny, causality and the nexus of time itself.
- Rule One: The Doctor Lies.
- Older Amy and Rory's conversation as they lean on each side of the TARDIS's door seems to be a parallel to the wall scene in "Doomsday", especially given Rory's earlier line, "This isn't fair. You're turning me into you!". Older Amy's line "Amy Pond in the TARDIS with Rory Williams" also echoes Mickey's "That's the Doctor, in the TARDIS, with Rose Tyler" from "The Age of Steel" (a line itself later reprised in a deleted scene from "Journey's End").
- It also forms a rough parallel with the First Doctor serial "The Massacre". Male companion has/forms emotional attachment to woman who is going to die in her current circumstances, and wants to take her with them to save her life. The Doctor can't allow this due to timey-wimey stuff, tricks the woman into thinking she'll be safe then abandons her. Male companion is furious. Rory calls the Doctor out much as Steven did 45 years earlier.
- Amy faces the threat of death from inappropriately-applied medical treatment intended for a two-hearted species. This is a direct inversion of how the Seventh Doctor died in the TV movie.
- Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: Amy saves Rory from a Handbot after he's stunned.
- "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Rory notes that using a history book to learn about where they were going would have kept Amy safe from being quarantined.
- Though when The Doctor argues that “that’s not how I travel”, he’s not being cute. Time-travel in the Whoniverse, especially the way The Doctor does it, works on the ‘observer principle’. If The Doctor studied where he was going he’d know what happens; who lives, who dies, etc. He couldn’t interfere. Couldn’t save anyone. It’s the not knowing that allows them to do what they do. Plus, it’s The T.A.R.D.I.S. making the decisions about where and when they land, and she’s not listening to anyone.
- Cranial Processing Unit: Stab a robot in the head, it dies, or hit it with a painting. Y'know, whatever's on hand.
- Cruel Mercy: Unfortunate and unintended - the Apalapucians' mercy traps Amy in a time-shifted paradise. Not to mention that any aliens who happen to visit the facility and are immune to Chen-7 will be killed by the medicine, as the designers did not see fit to program their automated doctors to be able to recognise someone with different biology to the native species, or even recognise "I'm an alien and your medicine will kill me" as a valid response.
- Cruel to Be Kind: The Apalapucian mercy that separates a person from their loved ones and makes them live a lifetime in a day is the inverse of what it first appears to be. It gives victims of a 24-hour death plague a full life to live, and lets their loved ones see it all in a day. (Green Anchor for visitors and Red Waterfall for patients, in case you were wondering.)
- Debate and Switch: Averted; neither Amy is conveniently killed trying to escape, and the Doctor rigidly enforces the "only one" Amy can be brought along rule; Rory is forced to choose.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Older Amy, after meeting Rory again, and especially after speaking with her younger self, losses some of the harshness she built up living alone in the facility.
- Disease Bleach: Stress Bleach is averted; considering she would now have to be nearly 60 and had a very stressful previous three-and-a-half decades, Older Amy has held up surprisingly well, with nary a grey hair in sight.
- Dissonant Serenity: "Do not be alarmed. This is a kindness."
- Distracted by the Sexy: When Rory enters the Waterfall Stream, there is a collection of various cultural icons from various worlds. He sees the Venus de Milo and the Doctor, seeing through the glasses Rory is wearing, has to tell him, "Eyes front, soldier!"
- Dual Wielding: Older Amy with a katana and a quarterstaff.
- Dynamic Entry: Rory, carrying an unconscious Amy, kicks open the door and bursts into the TARDIS.
- Everything Is an iPod in the Future: The white, minimalist design of Apalapucia has this aesthetic.
- Eyeless Face: The robots have no eyes, instead seeing through sensors in their organic hands. The heads house a syringe launcher to subdue unruly patients.
- Failed Attempt at Drama: The Doctor, raving about the beauty of Apalapucia, opens the TARDIS door to reveal... a White Void Room with a door.
- Foreshadowing: "Sometimes knowing your own future is what allows you to change it, especially when you're bloody-minded, contradictory and completely unpredictable."
- The Doctor says that the plague would kill him, and there would be "no regeneration".
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- The first time that time goes wobbly you can see Amy pacing, being bored, sitting in various poses. As she later complains to the Doctor, it's because she was stuck there for a week.
- Older Amy can be seen reflected in the time glass sneaking up on Rory, shortly before she makes her presence known.
- Future Badass: Older Amy has gotten really good with that katana.
- Future Me Scares Me: Older Amy is intimidating.
- Genre Blind: Leaving Amy in the TARDIS to enter another room, which closes, and then neglecting to tell her which button to press? Nice going, boys. Amy also qualifies, as normally you would ask which button to press.
- Genius Bruiser: Older Amy, who is not only a total badass, but has managed to create a sonic screwdriver out of her cell phone and has hacked most of the systems in the hospital.
- Glasses Pull: Rory tears off the Nerd Glasses and throws them on the floor while giving the Doctor his What the Hell, Hero? speech.
- Goggles Do Something Unusual: The Nerd Glasses are a camera/two-way radio.
- Good Is Not Nice: The Doctor shows himself to be unrepentantly manipulative, getting both Amys and Rory to believe that he could save all three of them, knowing full well that he was never going to bring the Older Amy with them. Worse still, to the Doctor there isn't a choice; he has to leave the Older Amy behind. He forces Rory to make the choice when he protests and for added cruelty, he takes his hand and makes him lock the door himself.
- Harmful Healing: Of the "averts No Biochemical Barriers" type. All the medicine is meant for lifeforms with two hearts, and Amy can't make the robots understand that it's lethal to her.
- Have a Nice Death: "This is a kindness. Do not be alarmed."
- Heel Realization: Rory forces Older Amy to face her weeping younger self.
- Henpecked Husband: Rory, again. It becomes even more apparent with the Rory-bot. He's considered a pet by Amy, completely "disarmed" and follows Amy's every command instantly. When Older Amy says, "Sit down, Rory", both of them immediately do.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Older Amy tells Rory not to let her into the TARDIS. It's downplayed in that she freely admits that she won't be able to bring herself to sacrifice herself for her younger self if Rory chooses to let her in. He doesn't.Older Amy: Tell Amy... Your Amy... I'm giving her the days. The days with you. Days to come... Days I can't have. Take them, please... I'm giving you my days.
- Hipster: The Doctor is an age-old hipster, taking Rory and Amy to the second most popular tourist destination because the first is overrun by coffee shops.
- Hope Spot: After both Amys are in the same time stream, there's a few moments of awkwardness, but soon Rory starts making jokes about the benefits of having two of his wife. Maybe this can work after all, the audience thinks... and then Old Amy and the Doctor lock eyes across the gallery, and it becomes clear something is up.
- Human Alien: Even though we never actually see one, the Apalapucians are this, as evidenced by the fact that the handbots can't tell that our heroes aren't members of the species.
- I Come in Peace: Rory shouts this when confronted by a katana-wielding figure in a fencing mask.
- I Lied: The Doctor knew from the beginning that having two Amys on-board wouldn't work because the paradox would be too great for the TARDIS to handle. He made them believe it would until they were forced to choose. It's rule one.
- Improvised Armour: Older Amy's armour, built out of destroyed handbots, no less.
- Improvised Weapon: The Mona Lisa replica as a club.
- Inherently Funny Words:
- Apalapucia. The episode opens with the Doctor saying it over and over again because it amuses him.
- Clom gets a mention. Apparently there's a Disneyland there.
- Insistent Terminology: Older Amy insists on calling everything what it is. "Sonic screwdriver" is too whimsical. It's a probe. Also, useful as it is, she doesn't want to be reminded of the Doctor.
- Jade-Coloured Glasses: Older Amy's thirty-six years of absolute solitude, constant danger and waiting for a rescue that never comes made her quite cynical.
- Just Following Orders: The handbots aren't trying to hurt anyone, it's just that their medicine isn't made for humans and would be lethal to Amy. This is the second time this season a literal-minded medical program has unintentionally caused problems.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Older Amy certainly wields one very well.
- Kick the Dog: When Old Amy and Rory first meet, she bluntly tells him that he didn't save her. He looks understandably crushed.
- Lampshade Hanging: The creepy robots see with their creepy hands. The Doctor wonders, "Why not just give them eyes?" The reason for that is because the head is where the syringe guns are kept.
- Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Rory the Handbot turns away so Rory and Amy can kiss in private. At the end of the episode, the Doctor likewise leaves Rory and Amy alone.
- Literal Metaphor:
- Don't worry, Amy disarmed the robot.
- "Killing with kindness" usually just means to be annoying.
- Loss of Identity: Older Amy argues that she would rather be saved now as opposed to the past, since time would be rewritten and she would more-or-less die.
- Madness Mantra: While Older Amy is telling him he shouldn't let her in, Rory can only repeat "I'm so sorry" over and over again.
- Male Gaze: Rory stares at the naked breasts of the Venus de Milo copy for a long moment before being snapped out of it by the Doctor. It happens again when he meets Older Amy. "Eyes front, soldier."
- Manly Tears: From the moment where he meets the older, jaded version of his wife, Rory's eyes remain suspiciously red. He fully breaks when he has to make the Sadistic Choice.Rory: I'm sorry, I can't do this.
- Master Swordswoman: Older Amy has had 3.5 decades of practice with that katana.
- Medical Horror: The Chen-7 plague has led to Handbots aggressively administering medicine to anyone in their facility, even those it would be lethal to.
- Minimalist Cast: The Doctor, Amy, Rory and Older Amy are the only physical characters present. The only exceptions are the Handbots, the holographic Check-In Girl and the Interface voice.
- Mission Control: The Doctor is Mission Control in this episode, since the events take place in a quarantine facility for a deadly plague that only affects beings with two hearts. The Doctor can't leave the TARDIS, but Rory can.
- Mood Whiplash: During a pretty serious scene, both Amys start doing the Macarena. It whiplashes back once Rory explains the significance: that's what they had their first kiss to.
- Mrs. Robinson: Older Amy towards Rory, who flirts with him in front of her younger self. When Rory asks her to stop, she mentions that in all the times they dressed up as "Doctors and Nurses", he never complained before.
- My Eyes Are Up Here: Rory stares for a bit too long at a naked statue, then at Older Amy. The Doctor, watching through the Nerd Glasses, says "Eyes front, soldier". Older Amy says the same later on.
- My Future Self and Me: There's standard Amy and the Older Amy from 36 years in the future, but technically she's just time shifted.
- Nerd Glasses: Older Amy wears them briefly but they are mostly worn by Rory. The Doctor thinks they're cool; Amy and Rory both disagree.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Both the Doctor, for taking them to the second most beautiful planet after it's been hit by a devastating plague, and Rory, for telling Amy to press the button while omitting the small detail of which button.
- No Biochemical Barriers: Played with. The Chen-7 "One Day Plague" affects species with two hearts, no matter how distantly related, but humans are fine. Ordinary Apalapucian medicine is lethal to humans, but anaesthetics work just fine.
- Nobody Poops: There's something about the facility that keeps you from being hungry, so one assumes it was doing this, too. Odd that something with that much control doesn't also stave off ageing.
- Noodle Incident: Older Amy's alternate life appears to have been a series of impressive and unexplained events. The list includes (but is probably not limited to): building a sonic probe, disarming the Rory bot, finding a katana, building that armour and reprogramming Interface.
- No OSHA Compliance: The Doctor and company walk into a building intended to be accessed by normal civilians, walk ten paces, and press two buttons; as a result, they're mixed up in a temporal nightmare so deep and convoluted that even with the TARDIS they struggle to fix things. Let's just say the building could stand to have some labels. Or remotely competent robotic assistants. Or any living on-site staff.
- The Noun Who Verbed: "The Girl Who Waited".
- Off with His Head!: One of Older Amy's methods for dealing with the handbots.
- Oh, Crap!:
- For the Doctor — the instant he learns there's a plague of Chen-7 on the planet, he immediately covers his mouth in a panic.
- For older Amy — Old Amy and the Doctor lock eyes across the gallery and suddenly everyone knows what the Doctor's going to do...
- The Oner: It's easy to miss, but Rory leaves the Green Anchor room (with the Doctor still in it), goes back into the hallway, enters the Red Waterfall room (which is empty, has different signs on the wall, and chairs on the other side of the table) via the same door, then back to the hallway, then back into the Green Anchor room (where the Doctor is still waiting on his side of the table) all in one shot. Presumably, Matt Smith and the crew were scrambling like mad as soon as the doors closed each time.
- Plug 'n' Play Technology: Averted; the Doctor appears to plug the time glass into his console, then hooks up the actual connection via jumper leads that emit visible sparks.
- Poor Communication Kills: If Rory had specified which button to press, or Amy had bothered to ask, or there was a sign saying "WARNING! CHEN-7 QUARANTINE IN EFFECT!", none of the problems in this episode would have happened.
- Portal Door: A hall of these connects all the rooms of the facility.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Rory gives the Doctor an epic put-down in this episode.Rory: This is your fault! You should look in a history book once in a while! See if there's an outbreak of plague or not!
The Doctor: That is not how I travel—
Rory: THEN I DO NOT WANT TO TRAVEL WITH YOU!
- Reset Button: Saving young Amy would prevent her from having lived on her own for 36 hellish years. Older Amy initially refuses to help do this, since she doesn't want to "die" and believes that after 36 years, she deserves her long-overdue rescue.
- Ret-Gone: Older Amy is erased from time at the end of the episode because Younger Amy never grew up to be her. This was the main reason she originally didn't want Rory to rescue Younger Amy.
- The Runner-Up Takes It All: The reason the Doctor brings them here. It's considered the second best planet to visit. When Rory asks why they don't go to the best, the Doctor says that it's become a tourist infested nightmare: "The Planet of the Coffee Shops".
- Running Gag:
- "Glasses are cool."
- The (in)famous fez gets mentioned again.
- Sadistic Choice: Rory can only choose to save one of his wives; the young, cheerful Amy he set out to protect, or the older, bitter Amy who is desperate to not be abandoned again. In the end, he chooses the younger one, at Older Amy's behest. For bonus points, Older Amy could understand what he went through as the Last Centurion, or he could spare younger Amy that fate. He rejected the selfish choice, but only with help. "If you love me, don't let me in." This episode is effectively "Rory's Choice".
- Scenery Porn: Brief, but it's there. That garden is beautiful.
- Separated by the Wall: Separated by the TARDIS door, with a little Window Love thrown in, Rory and Older Amy say goodbye.
- Skewed Priorities: The Doctor has just brought his companions to the second-best planet in the universe... and Amy's primary concern is her phone. The Doctor complains that she's trying to update Twitter, but Amy explains that she wants to take pictures.
- The Slow Path: Older Amy waited 36 years in what took Rory and the Doctor a couple seconds.
- Speak in Unison: The two Amys, when they finally meet in person.Future Amy: Hello.
Present Amy: Hello.
Both Amys: I dunno what to... [both trail off]
Rory: [to himself] *Weird*.
Both Amys: [not quite in sync] OK, this is weird. Right, just stop doing that.
- Stable Time Loop: Subverted. At first, older Amy insists this is the case, but then her younger self persuades her to help, when she remembers being her younger self in the same position and her older self then refused.
- Stab the Scorpion: Older Amy's introduction has her appear to stab Rory, but instead goes for the Handbot behind him.
- Take a Third Option: In order to avoid a Temporal Paradox, only one Amy can be saved... until the Doctor says to hell with paradoxes and that he'll save them both with temporal trickery. In the end, it's a subversion. The Doctor lied about it so that Older Amy would help them. There was never a third option.
- Talking Is a Free Action: The Handbots are nice enough to stop and let Older Amy tell Interface about this nice boy on Earth before swarming in to kill her.
- Techno Babble: Subverted; the gibberish the Doctor spouts on how to fix the Temporal Paradox is just that. He knows perfectly well he can't save both Amys.
- Temporal Paradox: The Timey-Wimey Ball is avoided here. They straight-up break causality to save the day, and much Lampshade Hanging about it is done.
- This Ain't Rocket Surgery: The Doctor complaining about Rory being slow at re-routing the regulator valves for the temporal engines.The Doctor: It's hardly rocket science, it's just quantum physics!
- Too Dumb to Live: Not only does Rory fail to tell Amy which button to press, but Amy goes ahead and assumes that the red button (which, at least on Earth, is a universal symbol for "caution") is the correct one, without bothering to ask.
- Took a Level in Badass: Older Amy. Fighting robots with a katana and hand-made armour, hacking into computer systems and making her own sonic probe? Epic.
- The Triple: Rory admires the collected art from across the galaxy. "Bit of Earth, bit of alien, bit of... whatever the hell that is."
- Twin Threesome Fantasy: Slyly invoked by the Doctor.Rory: Two Amys, together? C-can that work?
The Doctor: I dunno. It's your marriage.
- Vader Breath: Older Amy's first appearance has this sound effect due to her mask.
- Vasquez Always Dies: Older Amy doesn't just die, she gets erased from existence. This is likely intentional on the Doctor's part, as he seems to think younger Amy is a better person. He doesn't like inadvertently turning his companions into soldiers.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Okay, they're not combat robots, but who seriously designs a robot that shuts down if it so much as high fives another robot or claps? For that matter, who designs a robot so fragile you can break a normal painting over its head and still disable it?
- We Named the Monkey "Jack": Rory the Handbot. Young Amy manages to point out why it's named Rory.Both Amys: Rory's the love of my life.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- Rory points out that picking up a history book and looking up disasters before the TARDIS lands would help avoid going into harm's way. The Doctor flippantly responds that he doesn't travel that way. To be fair, there are explicit times when the Doctor has read the history and still doesn't know what specifically happened (Pompeii, the first colony on Mars, etc.), but this is one he could have avoided with a little research.
- Until younger Amy can sway her opinion, older Amy spends the whole episode viciously grilling the Doctor.Amy: I waited. I waited for you. I waited.
- "This isn't fair. You're turning me into you!"
- Window Love: Rory and Older Amy talking on either side of the TARDIS door, including touching palms against the glass panels.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Sorry, Older Amy, but there can't be two Amy Ponds in the universe.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: The different rates of time passage between the Red Waterfall and the Green Anchor.