Tag Archive for the doctor

This ‘n’ that

Two quick things. First, as Doctor Who bloggers, we are contractually obligated to give opinions on the casting of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor. Mine is that Capaldi is a marvelous actor–which is, like, two or three of my top five qualifications right there–and that casting such a respected and accomplished figure (seriously–dude has an Oscar[1]) is a serious coup for the rubbish-looking kids’ program that Michael Grade axed. (Suck it, MG!) That Capaldi is a lifelong fan is just icing on a pretty spectacular cake.

He’s also the twelfth white guy in a row.

This does not mean he’s a bad choice or that I’m unhappy with his selection. I just would have preferred a riskier, less “safe” choice, and I’m disappointed that the legions of non-white-guys who are also stunningly good actors were apparently never even considered. My own personal pet pick for Doctor is Paterson Joseph; if you don’t know why, go rent Neverwhere [2] and watch his remarkably Doctor-like portrayal of the Marquis de Carabas.

Update: Or, having just caught up on my podcasts, “what Chip at the Two Minute Time Lord said.”
 

Second, your life is not complete without this picture of John Barrowman being exterminated by what I can only describe as a Dalek fairy princess.

On a convention floor, actor John Barrowman is collapsed against a TARDIS after having been "exterminated" by a small girl wearing a homemade Dalek costume that incorporates a tuile skirt and a halter top.

On a convention floor, actor John Barrowman is collapsed against a TARDIS after having been "exterminated" by a small girl wearing a homemade Dalek costume that incorporates a tuile skirt and a halter top.

You’re welcome. (Via Tor.com)

[1]Albeit not for acting. His multiple BAFTAs, however, are for acting.
[2] Which also has, in a supporting role, Peter Capaldi!

You’re a beautiful woman, probably: My life as an ace Who fan

Some weeks ago, the Daily Fail wrote a spectacularly condescending article on a new book of social justice Who criticism, Doctor Who and Race. There’s a lot to dislike in the Fail’s piece, but I want to draw your attention to one of its most cynical and effective tricks: an insistence on a binary. In writer Chris Hasting’s view, you’re either with the Doctor or against him. He pits evil killjoy academics determined to suck the fun out of everything against a venerable, beloved British institution. On one side, checking your privilege and learning to acknowledge the problematic. On the other, kneejerk affirmation that Doctor Who rocks. Hastings’ readers knew which part they’d been assigned. Result? A book with important points to make will almost certainly get less exposure than it deserves.

We’ve written about moving beyond fandom binaries before–here’s my own piece. There’s another fandom binary that revolves around whether the Doctor is a sexual being, and the players in this one (as I experience it, anyway) are “prudish anoraks terrified by sex” vs. “sensible adults”.

This puts me in a bit of a bind. I am aromantic asexual, and, yes, it is important to me that the Doctor be asexual. In a world where people like me either don’t exist or need to be cured (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, that one episode of House), I like knowing that there’s one character who’s like me. When, in “City of Death”, the Fourth Doctor tells Countess Scarlioni “You’re a beautiful woman, probably”, it’s a beautiful shock to me because I can relate so completely. When Tegan, in “Enlightenment”, steps out in a beautiful Edwardian ballgown and shows off for the Doctor, clearly expecting his jaw to drop and his eyes to bulge out of their sockets, and he kind of glances her up and down as if to say “Yep, that’s an appropriate dress for a party”, and then turns away and starts down the hall–that, again, is me. Whereas today, we have a married Doctor kissing people (sometimes against their will) and going “Yowza”. Under Davies and, especially, Moffatt, I have less and less room to pretend that the Doctor is ace.[1] That hurts. We have a tiny handful of asexual characters out there–most of whom are never identified as ace–and now we can’t even have those?

Worse, fandom is not exactly a refuge: I’ve sometimes said that Doctor Who fandom is the only place I feel that asexuality and feminism are somehow in conflict. I don’t object to shipping. (Why would I?) What I do object to is what I experience as fandom insisting that shipping represents an advance over the old “prudish anoraks terrified by sex” days–that because, broadly speaking, shipping is associated with female fandom, therefore enthusiasm for shipping is feminist; and its opposite, preferring an asexual Doctor, is somehow anti-feminist. And when fans ritually denounce the sad caricature of the stereotypical fan as mid-thirties and virginal… well, as a mid-thirties virgin fan myself, I’ve had about enough of it. (Should I carry around a sign explaining that I’ve had offers? Maybe have a t-shirt made? Would this make me less pathetic, or more?)

I suppose I’m asking for a bit of room: room to not ship Sherlock/John, room to think UST is really overused in new Who. (Does everyone have to fall for the Doctor? Is romance the only way male and female characters can relate?) Room to imagine a Doctor Who that kinda sorta includes me–because right now, it’s feeling a lot like when I was a kid and suddenly all the other girls wanted to make Barbie and Ken kiss. I didn’t want to make them kiss. I wanted them to go on adventures.

[1] Matt Smith, bless him, is on record as thinking the Doctor (or at least his Doctor) is ace.

Time Lord’s Road To Global Domination – Anticipation Of Year 49

I opened my mailbox and found the Doctor inside….Well, on a magazine actually BUT it’s a wonderful article in EW.

My beloved Doctor, this amazing creature I share with millions around the world, is ready to return.

The article, and some of the comments made there in,  started my wheels turning. The impact if the Whoniverse and The Tao of Who on popular culture. Especially the impact this very Brit style of thinking/ ideals has on American Culture.

How do these questions impact this blog and the ideals, outlook and discussions we provoke?

I don’t know as of yet……I can’t wait to find out. 

We face the loss of old companions and the introduction of new. There are rumors flying about the return of River Song AND my beloved Captain Jack Harkness.

I’m excited, the anticipation of new adventures, new characters and brilliant writing have me twitching like a chihuahua after a meth cookie. I hope the rest of you are as ”GIDDY” as I am, and we happily dissect each episode and have spirited witty debates over every nuance of amazing writing.

 

Time Ladies: The Fanart

With our remit, what are the odds we wouldn’t feature Gladys’ excellent manga-flavored renditions of all eleven Doctors as women?

The first six Doctors, as women, drawn by Gladys.

Doctors seven through eleven, as drawn by Gladys

Doctors-as-women art isn’t new (in researching a post on femme Doctors, I found examples from 1985) or uncommon (anymore), but IMHO Gladys excels here at giving suggestions of personality to the Doctors that are similar to, but distinct from, their male counterparts. One has a suggestion of great warmth behind all her poise. Six, with her blonde curls coming undone from her bun, looks like she’s just paused to gather her thoughts before unleashing her tremendous intelligence on your ass. Ten I imagine as a mad librarian.

The Darkest Doctor – Falling In Love With the Damage.

  In my previous posts I constantly reference The Doctor’s high moral code and aversion to violence. 

  The character of the Doctor was developed and is portrayed as someone who practices non-violent conflict resolution. He’s a hero that solves crisis through engagement – NOT violence. The Doctor is never cruel or cowardly and takes a long-term perspective on the ways of the Universe. The show explores with simplistic beauty some truly wrenching themes of loss and morality.

   With that being said I would like to introduce you to The 9th Doctor.

 The 9th Doctor comes to us as a child of war. Brutal at times, confrontational and inflexible, he states himself he sometimes creates carnage.

 This is The Doctor I fell in love with.

  I don’t mean fan girl SQUEE, I mean I fell in love with the darkness. This tough as nails Doctor damaged by war and guilt. Those events shaping his outlook and interactions, causing him to hide his sorrow inside a facade of manic energy and off beat humor.

 Not only is he the bad boy of the Whoniverse, The 9th Doctor is something of an action hero, subsequent to The 4th Doctor, The Doctors had a tendency to be camp, overly knowing and lovable. The 9th Doctor is brusque, snarky and virile. You can just taste the edge of insanity, from destroying two civilizations, bubbling right under the skin.

 This is The Doctor that tortures a Dalek and attempts to kill it in cold blood. Only the intervention from his companion stays his hand.

  This Doctor sets out to teach his companion (Rose) about the wonders of the Universe. She teaches him to re connect with humanity. Together they make each other better than they would have been alone. She sets him on the path to his 10th and 11th self.

  What has this got to do with the point of this blog, you ask?

  Who among us is not damaged due to something that’s been done to us or we’ve done or been ordered to do? I myself identify with Doctor 9′s darkness because I see my reflection and the reflections of all those who’ve faced significant trauma.

  How easy is it to cross the line and want to torture and kill your enemies or those that have committed violence against you. Does it matter if the violence was caused by gender, sexual orientation, political outlook or just being in the wrong area at the wrong time.

  Perhaps like so many you’ve been in combat and the actions done there haunt you.

  Rose has been criticised for being weak or an unflattering portrayal of a woman as a companion. I have to say it takes a deft hand to be a Doctor-Whisperer.

  For the thirteen episodes you see The 9th Doctor, you watch her reel him back, teach him to love and re instill his humanity.

  In the end he gives up everything because of her influence. The 9th Doctor tells his enemies he would rather be a coward than a killer.

 At that point, the 9th Doctor is ready to become the 10th. He’s let go of the rage and learned to master the pain. I wish we had an army of Roses to put in all the VA Hospitals.

 I have huge amounts of love for many of The Doctors. Numbers 4 and 10 do elicit that SQUEE so discussed earlier. The 9th Doctor showed me that you can regain your humanity, you don’t have to answer with violence. 

 

 

The Seven Plots and Doctor Who: Part 1 – Overcoming the Monster

overcomingthemonster

In his book The Seven Basic Plots, Christopher Booker explains that, if you boil down every fictional story we tell, there’s actually only seven stories. The characters, setting, and details might change, but (if Booker is right) this means we can fit everything into seven very large buckets.

Recently, Ritch pointed out that Russell T Davies supposedly once told Moffat that we all write the same story over and over again. If we take Booker’s hypothesis of the seven plots and couple it with Doctor Who could we classify each story based on this literary theory?

Since the plots are quite in-depth, I’m going to try to dissect them using episodes of NuWho (sorry, I am not as familiar with the classic episodes yet to really delve into them, I’m working on it).

First plot: Overcoming the Monster
It’s no accident this is one of the first plots in the list. After all it’s the plot of the oldest Anglo-Saxon story we have, “Beowulf.” Overcoming the monster seems ideally suited for Doctor Who which deals with some sort of monster in almost every episode. In this plot the hero must learn of an evil threatening the land and overcome it. We can see this plot played out in episodes like, “The Idiot’s Lantern” when the Doctor arrives Muswell Hill, London on the day before the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and discovers that something odd is happening. He uncovers the monster, a being called the Wire, who is using the highly televised event to soul suck people through their televisions. One of the more recent episodes that dealt with this plot is “The God Complex.” Vital to the Overcoming the Monster plot line is the steps that the hero usually takes to the conclusion.

The Anticipation Stage
The monster/danger makes itself known, but from a distance. Usually the reader/audience doesn’t see the monster right away, but the fear is very real. The monster must be the stuff of nightmares, something not entirely human. In this case the beast turns out to be a Minotaur-looking alien. While the monster in this plot may be different in appearance, they must have some kind of beastly quality that makes them the evil. If it’s a humanoid character than they must be malformed (or really big like the giant in Jack in the Beanstalk). If it’s an animal, like in “The God Complex,” then it must be cunning or capable of something that makes it partly human. Usually the monster is the representation of the darker side of humanity (in this case, it seems, the darker side of faith and possibly instinct, as he tells the Doctor later all that’s left is instinct).

We see the monster from a distance when the episode opens. We never catch a full view of it, always quick closeups (mostly the beast’s eye, which is significant). In this first case it’s Lucy, a police woman, who narrates the end of her life without much exposition, leaving the audience perplexed. As Lucy scribbles notes down in her pad we see more closeups of the beast. The beast’s animal noise growls and breathing (which aren’t entirely natural sounding) and heavy footsteps tell us it’s fierce and ferocious. Though there’s something more in the reaction the victims have which gives us our supernatural twist. A scream signifies poor Lucy’s demise.

The monster in the Overcoming the Monster story takes on three basic forms:

  • The Predator – Stalking victims (like in this story).
  • The Holdfast – the beast that guards a treasure or princess (wary of strangers, and suspicious). This beast is often sleeping when the hero comes up to claim the treasure.
  • The Avenger – the beast that’s awakened once the treasure/princess has been taken and hunts down the person(s) who have taken it.
Obviously, the monster can be all three of these forms in one story, but “In the God Complex” there’s no treasure or princess to rescue.

Hero’s Call to Action
The Doctor, Rory and Amy Look down the staircase in The God Complex

Once the story has established that the monster poses a great threat (in this case with Lucy’s death) the hero must receive his “call to action.” As with many of the Doctor’s adventures this call to action happens because the TARDIS has landed somewhere other than where the Doctor was planning on going. The Doctor was going to take Amy and Rory to Ravan-Skala, but instead is dropped off in a replica 1980s hotel. “Something must have yanked us off course,” The Doctor says dismissively.

When the Doctor, Amy and Rory are set upon by four frightened hotel guests, he receives his call to action. The exposition goes quickly with the Doctor asking questions of the four guests. The hero has a simple solution, The TARDIS, but discovers quickly his simple solution is gone. He then sums up their situation:

“Okay, this is bad. For the moment I don’t know how bad, but it’s certainly three buses, a long walk and a taxi from good.”

Once the hero receives his call of action he has choices (or does he). He can accept the call or try and run away from it, in the Doctor’s case he’s rarely run from a fight, so he starts right away to figure out the problem. He questions Joe, whose “tied up at the moment” because he’s very close to the same stage we saw Lucy at (acceptance that the Beast will kill him). This propels the story into the next stage.

The Dream Stage
The creepy dummies from The God Complex
In this stage the hero sets off after the monster (or the monster comes to him), but the monster is still at a comfortable distance. Everything seems to be going okay. In this case, the monster’s presence is very far away. Joe’s creepy recitation of a nursery rhyme, the awful elevator music resumes playing, and a low growl reminds us the danger is real, but there’s still a lot of humor like the PE teacher who tells the Doctor he’s doing PE “in his pants” (pants means underwear American folks, not anything dirty… well, wait…) and Rory telling Howie that his conspiracy theory is “amazing” because he’s found a theory more insane than what’s actually happening.

We’re clued in that the threat is far away in several places in this stage. Even when Howie finds his door (filled with teenage girls making fun of his stutter), Howie dismisses it as a “messed up CIA stuff.” When The Doctor and Amy finally hear the monster growling (again from a distance), Amy says: “it’s not real, yeah?” The Doctor says it’s not, but that they should run away and hide anyways. Rory’s spotting the exit door also confirms this comfortable distance (though his entire storyline is a bit different than the rest of the characters).

Of course, during this stage every one of the newly introduced characters (Joe, Howie, Rita and Gibbis) find their doors, but not Amy, Rory and the Doctor [though, there's a slight mislead with the Weeping Angels room, as we're meant to think it's Amy's room at first]. The monster comes after Joe, but the rest of the characters are safely behind doors. We catch more glimpses of the monster as the Doctor looks through the peep hole. In this case, the scene mirrors the Doctor’s eye with the monster’s eye (indicating their relationship, now our hero and monster are tied). Joe’s inevitable death still is comfortable, because of the implied inevitability of it.

The comfortableness is continued as the characters are safe in the giant dinning room/kitchen. Rita hands out tea, which the Doctor finds surprising. She smiles and says:

“of course, I’m British, it’s how we cope with trauma, that and ‘tutting’.”

The danger is not immediate enough to keep them from enjoying the tea. This also allows for more exposition in the form of Lucy’s notepad, it echoes some of the information we received at the beginning of the episode, but it’s meaning is clearer. When Howie falls into the monster’s thrall the danger slowly creeps closer and closer. The Doctor decides to use Howie as bait to catch the monster because, at this stage, everything needs to appear to be working. We see more glimpses of the Monster (giant, impossible horns that scrape the ceiling, hooves, etc.). The confrontation between the Doctor and the monster is assured now, taking us to the next stage.

Frustration Stage
At this point, the hero has met the monster and the monster is impossible to beat. Defeat seems to be just a matter of time. During this time the hero may fall into the monster’s clutches or under his power/thrall. In the episode, once the monster is trapped, the Doctor tries desperately to understand it after it realizes that it is not the source of the nightmares or trapping the people in this giant maze. He can’t gather all of the words (a callback to the idea that the TARDIS can’t translate very old languages, and the monster is so old that his name is lost) and asks how to defeat the monster. The monster doesn’t answer.

Interestingly, the Doctor and the monster have a conversation in a room full of water and mirrors. Reflective surfaces such as water and mirrors have a huge significance in most religions (not surprisingly because religion/faith being a theme in this episode). Mirrors steal your soul, mirrors reflect your true self, mirrors are gateways to other worlds, and so much more. The Doctor is inches away from the monster, but the two are separated by falling water. Again, the scene invokes the relationship the hero and the monster have… are the Doctor and the monster opposites? Or is there something more under the surface? could it be that the monster the Doctor’s reflection?

The Monster and the Doctor looking at each other through water

There’s little time for the Doctor to truly grasp all of this because Howie’s convinced Gibbis to let him go and is heading up to the monster. The monster cracks most of the reflective surfaces, including Howie’s glasses and the trap has failed. To add to the frustration, Amy has now seen her door (the number being 7, the age she was when she met the Doctor).

Throughout the episode, from the first time meeting her, the Doctor has grown to admire Rita, who questions the Doctor’s calling (as the hero). He offers to take her away with him on the TARDIS, but (after the Doctor leaves) Rita utters the “praise him” line that seems to seal her fate. As with most frustration stages, the Doctor falls under the monster’s thrall, and opens his own door. Then he has to watch, helplessly as Rita goes to her death. True to her final wish, he does not watch her death. Her death causes him to smash things in (you guessed it) frustration. Finally, Gibbis points out the helplessness of their situation, after the Doctor has said he’ll figure out how to change it:

“You keep saying that but you never do. And while we wait, people keep dying and we’ll be next.”

Finally, the Doctor realizes that it’s not fear that’s killing them, it’s faith. The fear just caused them to fall back on their faith. The Doctor also realizes that he’s caused the deaths by asking people to dig into their faith, the things that make them strong. He’s fallen into the deepest frustration a hero can have. This leads us to the climax of the episode.

Nightmare Stage
The Doctor watches Rita go to her death

It’s time for the final battle between the monster and our hero. In this case though, the battle is not with the monster directly it’s with Amy and the Doctor. Much like Lucy’s haunting words, you never know what’s behind your door, but when you see it you realize it can be nothing else. Amy and the Doctor’s relationship has been leading up to this event. Amy, whose life has been so ruled by the Doctor’s presence in it, whose character is shaped by being “the girl who waited” has the strongest faith of the characters. Her faith in the Doctor.

For the final battle the Doctor must break Amy’s faith in him to save her. He admits that he knows what will happen to his companions, but takes them anyways because he needs to be adored. That it’s time that the Doctor and Amy see each other “for who we really are.” The long standing mythos of the Doctor as Peter Pan (as I pointed out in a previous post) is now broken. The Doctor has this realization earlier with Rita when he likens his offer of traveling through time and space as offering children a suitcase of candy:

I brought them here. They say it was their choice, but offer a child a suitcase full of sweets and they’ll take it. Offer someone all of time and space and they’ll take that too. Which is why you shouldn’t. Which is why grown-ups were invented.

Unlike Peter Pan, the Doctor realizes that Amy must grow up, that’s its better for her. He also acknowledges that (despite his age) he is not a grown up. Instead of forcing her to remain child-like (like Peter Pan tries to do with Wendy) the Doctor becomes the person who makes her grow up.

The Thrilling Escape from Death, and Death of the Monster
The Doctor comforts the beast before he dies

For this stage the monster’s power must be broken, the people liberated, and the hero rewarded. In the episode, the monster’s power is broken the Doctor “sacrifices” Amy’s faith in him to save the monster from the torment of his capture. The word choice is very deliberate with the theme of faith. We fully see the parallel between the Monster and the Doctor: both feed on faith, on the worship of those around them and now the Doctor has cut off the supply to both himself and the Monster.

The monster (which I should point out is related to the Nimon, a race who appeared earlier in the Classic Who episode “The Horns of Nimon”) dies, at first comforted by the Doctor and then he offers the Doctor a warning before dying (ancient beings must always offer the Doctor warnings as they die, we learned this from the Face of Boe). The Doctor translates what the creature is saying as he dies:

An ancient creature, drenched in the blood of the innocents. Drifting in space through an endless shifting maze. Such a creature, death would be a gift.

The Doctor tells him to “accept it. And sleep well.” The Doctor pauses and then says the creature’s final words, “I wasn’t talking about myself.” Haunting the Doctor’s thoughts, indicating there’s more evil to come, and sealing the parallel between the two.

Usually, the hero at the end of the Overcoming the Monster story is rewarded. It can be some sort of treasure, or the ultimate other half (prince/princess), or a kingdom to rule over (or being the boss of one’s own company). Here’s where the story slightly turns, because it’s Amy and Rory who receive the treasure (Rory’s favorite car and a new house) not the Doctor.

Because of this one may think that this means there’s no treasure at all left for the Doctor, but as the episode ends, Rory runs out to the street and asks, “what happened? What is he doing?” Amy’s response comes as she looks up to the sky (again, religious symbolism), and says, “he’s saving us.” The final image of Amy is her at the window, looking up, indicating that she (once again) is full of faith in the Doctor. She once again is the girl who waited. The Doctor’s ultimate desire, the thing he sacrificed, has returned. Despite the solemness of the ending, it gives us the Doctor’s version of a happily ever after.

Amy watches out the window

Not Just A Nurse

Being part of the Whoiverse on Twitter, I have noticed a lot of Rory role players tend to make Rory a doctor rather than a nurse.  I have seen far weirder and extreme breaches to canon but this one really irks me.  The implication of a nurse not being good enough; be it for the player or for the character himself.

The job ‘nurse’ sums up Rory’s character and his relationship with The Doctor rather neatly.  A nurse’s role is different than a doctor’s.  They are in the care profession, not medical.  They are more patient orientated than problem orientated: in The Doctor’s Wife it was Rory comforting the dying Sexy  while The Doctor focus on the threat of the episode.  They apply aid on behalf the doctors: in A Good Man Goes To War it’s Rory that blows up the cybermen fleet as a ‘message from The Doctor.’  The can be often overlooked: in The Eleventh Hour it is Rory that has put in the prep work of all the photos of Prisoner Zero in human disguises and isn’t thanked.  They care for the emotional needs of the patients as well as psychical: in The Rebel Flesh Rory cares for Ganger Jen, listening to her story, caring what’s going on in her mind while The Doctor just ‘outs’ Ganger Miranda in front of Jimmy and Buster.

It’s a different job and for the most of it, the show captures the different outlooks of both professions in the characters of The Doctor and Rory.  These role players seem to miss this and latch on to that Rory is ‘just a nurse’ and ‘not a doctor.’  I blame Amy’s Choice for this.  The fact of in Rory’s dream world that Rory is a doctor stuck with people.  First, this was not a Moffat episode and he can’t micro-manage everything so it’s possible that this slipped past him or didn’t stick out as something major that he had to correct.

Secondly, we don’t know for sure that this is Rory’s dream but how The Doctor perceive what Rory’s dream would be.  He is the one that pointed it out.  The Dream Lord was psychic pollen feeding on the darkness in The Doctor’s mind who says if it was feeding off the companions it “would starve to death in an instant.”  I choice to believe that The Doctor gave Amy and Rory the ‘normal life’ that he was envious of in Father’s Day to the extent to pushing things – the pregnancy, Amy’s nesting instinct, Rory’s PhD and possibly even the ponytail – to give them the adventure that he can’t have, once they have ‘grown up’ and left him.

The Sontaran Nurse is the one that expressed feelings of being just ‘a nurse’ as he died when Rory stared at him with a stony grieving expression.  In the audio commentary Arthur Darvill adds the deleted line of ‘So am I’ which was cut.  Apparently that line and scene was to show that Rory is no more a nurse but as much as a warrior as the sontaran.

What?

The sontaran was made a nurse as a punishment.  He is a member of a race that wars for sport.  He doesn’t want to be a nurse.  He tells his patients that he looks forward to crushing them in the field of battle when they are all better.  He is ‘just a nurse’ because he wants to be a warrior. [See the first comment for Tansy Rayner Roberts' take on the Sontaran.]

If Rory is ‘just a nurse’ it’s because of Amy’s perception on The Doctor.  He doesn’t want to a doctor.  He wants the woman he loves not to hero worship another man.  It’s not just romantic jealously.  He was there with Amy the fourteen years that The Doctor wasn’t and seen Amy instance that her Raggedy Doctor was real as she got transferred between four therapists yet he was only the boy who dressed up as her magical mad man when The Doctor was the flesh and blood fantasy he had to compete with for his wife’s attention.

And that does come full circle.  In The Wedding of River Song Amy draws what is described on the script as “an impossibly handsome picture of Rory” and goes to save Captain Williams rather than going with The Doctor and River Song.

He doesn’t need role players giving him a job that will take him out of care industry for a title and higher pay check.  He worked at least three years to become a nurse.  He has Amy’s love and respect.  That is Rory’s happy ending.