This article has be edited from the 2012 version.
Some comments me no longer be relevant but are still wonderfully insightful and well worth the read.
Being part of the Whoiverse on Twitter, I noticed an askew version of Rory Williams being played, making Rory a Doctor rather than a nurse. These were rarely Amy Choice dream versions of Rory and their own character development of where they thought Rory was going or should end up to be happy.
Though I’ve seen far stranger breeches of canon, this one really bothered me for a while because I found Rory being a nurse, a powerful metaphor for the character’s personality and relationship with The Doctor.
In the medical career, Nurse to Doctor are different career paths. Your art teacher can’t go to teaching biology and vice versa without extra training and although one may be considered ‘better’ than the other, they are both providing different rolls.
In Doctor Who, the roll that Rory provided was not the same as The Doctor’s. The Doctor was the hero and Rory was the heart, as best seen in The Doctor’s Wife. Rory was the one comforting Sexy while she died, while The Doctor’s attention was on the threat. This is the case in the medical profession. The doctors’ focus is treating the treat and saving the life while the nurses’ focus is caring for the patents as well as assisting the doctors.
Upon reflection this choice in the RP world irked me so much as I took offence on behalf of friends and family members who are nurses.
On a second look and with hindsight of Rory’s story, I do get why role players would want the character to not just progress in that direction but be a lot cooler than the Amy’s Choice version of Rory. It’s his ending. In The Angels Take Manhattan, he raises his death count by 3 or 4 depending on how nit-picky you are but his final death isn’t about him.
He pretty much joins the ranks of Women in Refrigerators with that death being no more than a catalysis for Amy to pick growing up over staying in Neverland and completing her personal story arc. The only clue is the gravestone, which granted should have been a pretty big clue but it was so quick. We had no reason to suspect that Angel was there. He didn’t go down fighting. It’s a pointless death, which works into The Doctor’s character arc of one episode…
Rory is more than how he died, more than someone with a “girly job” and I can understand why roll players will want to advance the character in another direction that “I want my wife to love/respect me.” We want our favourite characters to be loved, to have respect from their loved ones, that put them through painful and sadistic trials we can imagine, just for them to come out the other end with Mary Sue level of ease… maybe not the last one. Maybe.