The girl who played young Amelia Pond is the real life cousin of the actress who played Amy Pond
Doctor Who executive producer and head writer Steven Moffat came up with the name for the character. Moffat chose the name “Pond” to create a link between Amy and River Song, who would be revealed to be Amy’s daughter. Moffat’s predecessor, Russell T Davies, stated in an interview with Dose magazine that “We’ve held off on companions for a long time, so you’ll get rewarded with a great, big, strong character in Amy Pond, when she arrives. I think that plan’s been good.”
Andy Pryor, the casting director, suggested Gillan to Moffat after her performance in the fourth series episode “The Fires of Pompeii”, in which she played a soothsayer, but Moffat originally thought Amy Pond was “short and dumpy”. Later, however, he stated that she was “exactly right for the role”, though she portrayed the character differently from how Moffat originally wrote. Gillan was reportedly the last to audition for the role, and stood out as she was “a bit kookier” than the others. Moffat said of the casting, “We saw some amazing actresses for this part. But when Karen came through the door, the game was up — she was funny, clever, gorgeous and sexy. Or Scottish, which is the quick way of saying it. A generation of little girls will want to be her. And a generation of little boys will want them to be her too.” Doctor Who executive producer and drama chief at BBC Wales Piers Wenger concurred, “We knew Karen was perfect for the role the moment we saw her. She brought an energy and excitement to the part that was just fantastic.” Gillan was aware of the show but was not as big a fan of it as her mother was, due to it not being on when she was growing up. However, she watched some with her mother after it returned in 2005, and was also a fan of other science fiction such as The X-Files, The Outer Limits, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager.
Gillan auditioned for the role in both her natural Scottish accent and an English one, and it was not until after she was cast that it was decided Amy would be Scottish. Gillan commented that she felt the Scottish accent better suited the character. A younger version of Amy, known as “Amelia”, appears in several episodes. Amelia was played by Gillan’s real-life 10-year-old cousin Caitlin Blackwood. Though the two actresses had not met until the set of the show, Gillan recommended Blackwood for the role – Blackwood, however, still had to undergo rigorous auditions first. Blackwood and Gillan did get to act together in “The Big Bang”, which Gillan initially found “weird”, though the two actresses became used to it quickly