Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Why Rory Williams is One of My Favourite Doctor Who Companions

When many people name their favourites of The Doctor's companions from Doctor Who, one might hear "Sarah Jane Smith," "Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart," or the more recent "Rose Tyler." All three of these number among my favourites of The Doctor's companions (Rose is my favourite, Sarah Jane a very close number two), but I would also have to include one of The Doctor's current companions, Rory Williams, in my list of favourites. In fact, while I like Amy Pond, given a choice between Amy staying with The Doctor and Rory staying with The Doctor, Amy would be the one to leave.

There is a simple reason for me, and I suspect most other men, to like Rory. The simple fact is that of The Doctor's many companions, he is probably the most like the average guy. Rory is clumsy. He can be insecure. He can be jealous of Amy's relationship with The Doctor. And yet Rory is not a total loser, just as a the average guy is not necessarily a total  loser. When Rory was introduced in the episode "The Eleventh Hour" as Amy's "sort of boyfriend," he was rightfully suspicious about the coma patients in the hospital at which he worked. He later helped Amy evacuate the hospital and lent The Doctor his cell phone with which The Doctor used to create a computer virus to attract the jailers of the escaped Prisoner Zero, the villain of the episode.

Of course, in "The Eleventh Hour," as in much of the series, Rory is a bit henpecked by Amy. This is hardly a sign that he lacks backbone, however, as Rory is a fairly brave individual. In "The Vampires of Venice" he actually challenged the Saturnynian Francesco in order to defend Amy. In "Amy's Choice" he actually stepped between Amy and a creature (in the form of an old lady) that spewed some sort of acidic venom. One might attribute these acts of bravery to Rory simply defending the woman he loves, but as the series progressed it seems Rory was capable of courage when it came to defending others as well. In "Cold Blood" Rory blocked a shot meant for The Doctor, an act which resulted not only in his death, but in being erased from existence as well.

This brings us to another point about Rory: short of The Doctor himself, I think he has died more times than any character on Doctor Who. Rory would be killed temporarily, or at least incapacitated, in at least six episodes ("Amy's Choice," "Cold Blood," "The Big Bang," "Day of the Moon," "The Curse of the Black Spot," and "The Doctor's Wife"). Rory does not remain dead, however, as he always comes back. After so many deaths one would think Rory would divorce Amy and abandon The Doctor, but instead he continues to adventure with them. Rory would then seem to be unwavering and unfaltering, almost unstoppable. Indeed, when Amy was preserved within the Pandorica (a prison box made to hold The Doctor), Rory (recreated as an Auton duplicate) guarded the box for 2000 years. This is not only a mark of Rory's perseverance, but also of just how much he loves Amy.

While Rory Williams has been played for comic relief quite often, then, he is hardly a buffoon or a coward. Indeed, Rory stands in sharp contrast to Rose Tyler's former boyfriend, Mickey Smith. While Mickey would improve throughout the run of Doctor Who, when we first meet him in "Rose" he was not exactly brave. In fact, at one point, Mickey even clung to Rose for protection. It is impossible seeing Rory clinging to Amy for protection. Indeed, the man literally took a blow for The Doctor.

To sum things up, Rory is both what the average guy really is and what the average guy wants to be. Like Rory most of us are hardly perfect. We can be clumsy. We can be jealous. We can be insecure. At the same time, however, Rory has qualities that the average guy really would like to have. He is brave. He is loyal. He is persistent. In some respects Rory could even be considered more heroic than The Doctor. The Doctor is over 900 years old and has a wealth of knowledge and advanced technology which he can fall back on.  Often all Rory has are his wits, his courage, and sheer determination. I suspect that there is a reason why The Doctor chose Rory as a companion beyond the fact that he was Amy's boyfriend. Quite simply, The Doctor saw in Rory the makings of a hero.


Cliff Aliperti said...

Perfect post, I totally agree! You nailed just about every aspect of Rory that's grown on me since he first showed up, the only thing I can add is I do like how The Doctor has lately requested "permission to hug" Amy out of respect for Rory. That's a long way from "Mickey the Idiot."

QUB English Society said...

Why Rory Williams Is One Of My Favourite Doctor Who Companions-he is cute and I am shallow. Plus he wore those glasses. AWWWWWWWW! ;-P