TARDIS Thoughts: Series 7 Special - "Pond Life" (Webisodes)


Series 7 Special - "Pond Life" (Webisodes)

The countdown to the Twelfth Doctor announcement is ticking! Just half an hour now as I write this. Anyway, while I wait, I'm catching up on posts, and here's one for the special series of webisodes that connect the Series 6 Christmas Special and Series 7: "Pond Life."

This series was originally released as five separate webisodes on the BBC's website from August 27-31, 2012, leading up to the premiere of Series 7 in September. Later, the five episodes were combined into one "omnibus" version. Both are available on the official BBC YouTube Channel; I recommend the omnibus just cause that way you can watch them all together in one video. Less choppy of an experience.

I have to say, these webisodes are pretty funny. Well, the last one is a little sad at the end, but mostly they're funny. Just short little vignettes (about a minute long apiece; the omnibus version is about 5 minutes long) detailing the life of the Ponds. The one thing that ties them all together is that throughout the series, The Doctor is trying to get back to the Ponds, but keeps failing to do so due to the TARDIS's helmic regulator being on the fritz. Meanwhile, he talks to them by phone and fills them in on what he's doing.

The first episode in the series is Pond Life April. In this segment, The Doctor calls the Ponds to check in on them, and fills them in on his recent adventures. He surfed some impressive fire falls to get away from some Sontaran soldiers, met Mata Hari in a hotel in Paris (who he calls an "interesting woman;" given his slightly embarrassed tone of voice as he reports this, and the fact that we see Hari drop her clothes, who knows what happened there), and laid down some backing vocals on a rap song. He then promises that he should be there any day now (while frantically running around the console flipping controls), but says the helmic regulator is acting up so he can't say precisely when he'll be there. Then, as the camera zooms out to show the Ponds' phone/answering machine combo, we hear him suddenly realize he's crashed into Ancient Greece, followed by a crash. Amy and Rory, meanwhile, are sitting down with some wine while this is going on, and just as we hear the crash, Rory presses the stop button on the answering machine. Amy then looks at him, unperturbed, and says "The Doctor." They then clink glasses and drink.

Next comes Pond Life May. The Ponds are in bed when all the sudden the TARDIS arrives. The Doctor, without even thinking, barges into their bedroom (though once he realizes this, he covers his eyes...the fact that Amy appears to be at least partially naked in this scene may have something to do with this). The Ponds are quite obviously angry at the intrusion:

RORY: What's going on?
AMY: Doctor! Bedroom!
RORY: We have a rule about the bedroom.

The Doctor is apologetic, but tells them the Earth is in danger, that they have to go save it while there's still time...before realizing the Ponds have no clue what the heck he's talking about. He then realizes the helmic regulator acted up again and he's arrived too early for that particular adventure. He then leaves, but Amy calls after him, saying he can't just leave, and don't they need to know about this danger? He then returns, and assures them that the future is fine, don't worry about it, and that they should go back to sleep (while, meanwhile, clips play showing that he is totally lying and the future will not be fine - the clips shown, by the way, are from the Series 7 episode "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship," which at this point had not aired yet).

The TARDIS departs, and the Ponds lie awake in bed, while Rory mutters, "I really hate it when he does that."

Third is Pond Life June. This is a really short scene which starts with Rory heading to the bathroom in the morning. But when he opens the door, something shocking is in there, and he rushes out. Amy then comes out, but Rory won't let her in the bathroom. After a few moments, he finally lets her in, and they both see an Ood sitting on their toilet. The Ood, in a perfectly happy voice, asks if he (it?) can be of any assistance. Amy and Rory look at each other awkwardly, unsure what to make of this:

RORY: Ood on the loo.
AMY: Yeah.

The next one, Pond Life July, is a direct sequel to the previous webisode and features the Ponds on the phone with The Doctor to tell him about the Ood. He tells them he rescued the Ood from the Androvax Conflict and was taking it back to the Ood Sphere, and that it must've wandered into the Ponds' flat when The Doctor stopped by before (in Pond Life May).

(Hold on...the special is coming on! Right now, there's just a placeholder saying "Stay Tuned for the Live Announcement of the 12th Doctor," which means there must be a delay in the simulcast...will write while I'm waiting, and once it starts, I'll write during commercial breaks, if there are any).

(Ok, it's started!!)

(Ok guess there aren't going to be commercial breaks...will continue after the special's over)

(Ok the special's over...more on that in another post!)

Sorry about that, didn't want to miss the special (although technically, I was recording it, in case I forgot to watch it, so I could've waited and finished the post first, but I didn't want to get spoiled later today so I decided to watch it live).

Sooo..anyway, The Doctor asks the Ponds if the Ood is being any trouble. We then see a montage of the Ood doing what Oods do best, which is serving. The Ood hands Amy her laptop and Rory his lunchbox (I love that he has this childish lunchbox) as they head out the door, then we see him making the beds, hanging the laundry, and cleaning the windows. Rory feels awkward, telling The Doctor that the Ood seems to think he's their butler. The Doctor tells him it's fine, that Oods are conditioned to serve, and to just let him do his thing, and promises to pick the Ood up that evening. He then realizes a power drain has occurred that could cause the TARDIS to implode and hangs up. The Ood then gives the Ponds their tea (or "infusions," as the Ood calls them), while they eat breakfast awkwardly:

RORY: I feel so guilty.
AMY: Just eat your breakfast.

Finally, the fifth and final episode of the series, Pond Life August. Despite the name, the episode primarily features The Doctor, although the end leads nicely into "Asylum of the Daleks." As it starts, The Doctor is fixing the light on top of the TARDIS, whilst leaving yet another phone message for the Ponds, and apologizes again for not coming by, claiming the helmic regulator is on the fritz again. He then fills them in on adventures again, saying he got hit by an arrow (or maybe the regulator did; the context is confusing) on Hastings Hill, rode a horse in 11th-century Coventry, and may have accidentally invented pasta a bit too early. He also took the Ood home. He also says he stopped by their place one day, but they were out. (This scene is kind of sad, because it's rainy and The Doctor looks SO disappointed).

Then, in a slightly concerned voice, he asks about them:

DOCTOR: Everything's all right, isn't it, with you two? Course it is. Ponds always fine. Just worrying unnecessarily. Anyway, just call me if you need me.
But, as we see, the Ponds are not fine. We see Rory leaving the house, looking angry, and Amy running after him, with tears in her eyes. (Supposedly she is mouthing the words "I hate you," but it's hard to tell). Seeing as the Ponds are on the brink of divorce in "Asylum of the Daleks," I think it's safe to say they're having marital problems here (also, in "Asylum of the Daleks," it's implied that Rory has moved out of their apartment, which he seems to be doing here).

The Doctor says goodbye and then stares at the phone for a few moments. Then, reconsidering his message, he points the Sonic at the phone receiver, erasing his message. Shortly after, Amy arrives home alone, checks the answering machine, and sees there are no messages on the answering machine. She leans against the counter and sighs, clearly upset, and says:

AMY: We need you, raggedy man. I need you.
And that's the end of the series of webisodes.

Like I said, mostly a really funny set of episodes, but has some sad parts. Worth a watch, definitely!

Quotes from The Doctor Who Transcripts.

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