When it was first announced that Doctor Who companions Amy and Rory (Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill) would be leaving the series in season seven, fans of the show experienced the same bittersweet feeling that comes with watching The Doctor year after year. Known for a long-running history that now includes eleven iterations of The Doctor as well as a diverse group of traveling companions, change (or as current Doctor Matt Smith put it, "regeneration") is what keeps the series both fresh and engaging.
That said, prior companions have a history of popping back up from time to time - even enjoying their own spin-off series (The Sarah Jane Adventures) or appearing as regulars in other iterations of the Who universe (Torchwood). However, in keeping with the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey... stuff in Doctor Who, fan-favorites Amy and Rory will enjoy their own online prequel miniseries spin-off, Pond Life, before their season seven departure.
Not much is known about the fate of the Ponds - which will be decided midway through season seven in an episode featuring Steven Moffat's infamous Weeping Angels. According to Doctor Who executive producer, Caroline Skinner, the Pond Life prequel miniseries is expected to get viewers caught-up with the married couple - so that they can hit the ground running with The Doctor in the season seven premiere, "Asylum of the Daleks":
"[Writer Chris Chibnall] has written a beautiful, heartfelt and wickedly funny piece about the adventures the Ponds have been having with the Doctor since we last saw them on-screen. It’s not long till the series itself will be back with a vengeance - but in the meantime, Pond Life is a truly heart-warming piece about our best-loved companions and their madcap relationship with their raggedy Doctor."
Chibnall, who has contributed to both Doctor Who and the Torchwood spin-off, asserts that the miniseries will follow the Ponds (technically the Williams) as they attempt to settle into life as a normal married couple - a married couple that is constantly interrupted by an alien with a time-traveling spaceship.
"Pond Life provides us with a lovely opportunity to catch up with Amy and Rory since we saw them at the end of the last series. It opens with them at home and gives us an insight into just what happens when the Doctor drops in and out of their lives. Travelling with the Doctor is one of the greatest things you can do, but it's fun to spend a few moments looking at the chaos he can also bring."
Have a look at the video introduction for Pond Life below - featuring stars Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill:
It's easy to imagine that, despite their love for one another, the pair's numerous adventures with The Doctor (not to mention his frequent and disrupting reappearances) has likely made it hard for Amy and Rory to settle into an "ordinary" life.
Check out teaser synopses for episode one and two of Pond Life:
- Episode 1: Whilst the Ponds enjoy life at home, the Doctor has been having some unplanned adventures...
- Episode 2: The Doctor picks the wrong time to turn up unannounced…
Along with the announcement of the short miniseries, fans will likely be hoping that Pond Life could just be a testing ground for a larger full length spin-off series centered around the companions. The inclusion of Chibnall, who was head writer and co-producer on the Torchwood spin-off, certainly adds fuel to the speculation. However, it should be noted that the writer is also hard at work on the current season seven of Doctor Who, penning the upcoming episodes "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" and "The Power of Three" - meaning that the Pond Life minisodes could just be a fun tease for Chibnall's contributions to the upcoming Amy and Rory character arc.
Either way, it's exciting to get a bit more time with the Ponds and any spin-off series talk is definitely premature at this point - since we don't even know the actual events surrounding the departure of the companions. Doctor Who isn't known for outright killing-off companion characters but, in order to make room for new sidekick, Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman), fans should definitely brace for a dramatic Amy and Rory exit.
Whovians can catch the five episode Pond Life miniseries on the official Doctor Who website - starting August 27th.
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Doctor Who season 7 premieres September 1st on BBC and BBC America. Pond Life premieres August 27th on the official Doctor Who website. In the meantime, check out our Doctor Who Viewing Guide: Tips, Suggestions & Complete Episode List!