The Girl Who Waited is the tenth episode of the sixth series of Doctor Who. It starred Matt Smith as The Eleventh Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy Pond and Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams. They are the only characters seen in this episode, although there are other actors providing the voices of computers.
The story involves The Doctor bringing his companion to a resort planet for some relaxation. But instead of a festive atmosphere, they find just a single room: The Doctor and Rory walk in, and Amy follows a moment later. But Amy is not in the same room as The Doctor and Rory: instead, she is alone. The Doctor discovers that this is because they have entered a hospital, where people with a fatal disease can live out their entire lives in a separate timestream, while their loved ones can visit them, with the day long life of the diseased being equal to the complete lifespan of the unafflicted. What this means for Amy is that while a few hours have passed for The Doctor and Rory, she has lived for decades, becoming lonely, embittered and close to insane. Can the Doctor's technical prowess as a Time Lord save Amy?
Much like Midnight, this is a minimalistic story, with only the three lead actors and sparse sets. Also, like Midnight, this is one of the two grimmest stories in the modern Doctor Who, and one of two in which the Doctor's powers and abilities are almost totally useless. Other than some technobabble, the Doctor does very little in this episode, and what he does do is negative.
This in a way fits in with the Series Six story arc, because the Doctor has been brought low. Part of a Time Lord's powers is that they are able to perceive the flow of time, and yet The Doctor is clueless as to the split timestreams, and has no ideas of how to deal with it. Rather than being the master of time, he is being subsumed in it.
This episode is also one of the more problematic, but also interesting, for the many people who are interested in the aspects of women in Doctor Who. From the very title, we know it is about "The Girl Who Waited", in some ways reducing Amy to a passive woman waiting for men to rescue her. Or it could be seen to portray her as a smart, determined and resourceful character. I don't know which reading I subscribe to. Of course, it is very hard to please everyone when it comes to the portrayal of female characters.
The next episode, The God Complex, would be in a similar vein to this, although less stark and more frightening.