Based on what we already know of Aunt Sharon, it’s… kind of obvious she neglected seven-year-old Amy to the point of what most people would call child abuse? And I hate that that goes so ignored by fandom, so I really wish this scene (detailed in the latest Doctor Who Magazine) had been left in.
From my perspective, this is a bit of a ‘kill your darlings’ moment.
I can see the obvious value in keeping the scene in because it establishes the context right off the bat, which is, functionally, helpful. But that’s also the problem with it: it’s hammering you over the head with the context from the get-go, whereas the episode’s final script makes you actually think about the context and infer its meaning.
Amelia is in her house, at night, alone. Why?
Amelia says her Aunt Sharon is “out” when the Doctor inquires about her parents. Red flags should be going up at this point.
Amelia consistently demonstrates apprehension and knowing scepticism towards adults, which we see develop across the series into full-on abandonment issues with an established history of her going to psychiatrists, and she has a general sort of inability to value herself.
The delivery in the show makes it so this scene is unnecessary. It’s all in there and it’s delivered wonderfully. It’s not really the script’s fault that the audience weren’t paying attention to it.
I suppose that’s always the problem with Amy and the fandom. Much of the strength of her character comes in its subtlety, the pain and repression in the silences building to the rare and shattering outburst. I adore it as is, it’s all there and so beautiful as presented, but a lot of people just won’t read the cues.
That’s something that really got me to relate to her right from the start, more than I think I personally relate to any other companion.
Amy suffers in silence because so many of the people she’s supposed to have been able to trust (her family, her psychiatrists, etc) have silenced her since she was a child.
“It’s not real,” they tell her. “You’re just making things up.”
They tried to make her “grow up” like this, which never actually dealt with what she thought and felt – it just shut her up so she could appear ‘normal’ like she’s ‘supposed’ to be. Naturally, she’s disillusioned and she has immense difficulty when it comes to trust and commitment. And it is those moments of anger where her pain has been building up in the background that just makes sense to me.
It is those moments early in Series 5 (like in The Time of Angels) where she just casually tells the Doctor to leave her to die, moments like that where people in the fanbase have deemed her to be “melodramatic” and “annoying”, where I’m rooting for her with all of my heart to discover that she’s not worthless.
I remember a lot of the little moments of Amy’s arc just had me… nodding. It’s not something I can really explain, but those little beats would happen and it’d just click in my head like “yes, that’s right”.
The little moment for me is when Amy stands up at the wedding and shouts for the Doctor and Aunt Sharon just… puts her head in her hands in a ‘oh god, this is so embarrassing’ way.
Waaaaaay too close to home, that one.