Amy’s Choice Reviewed

Amy's Choice - Doctor Who starring Matt Smith and Karen Gillan

I do love a good episode of Doctor Who. Which is sad because this week this is not what I got. Or did I? One episode really great, the other, really poor. Did I dream one? But if I did, which one was real?

Let’s start with the facts then. In one reality I was sitting on the sofa, glued there by 45 minutes of brilliant drama and science fiction, while in the other I was in High School watching a mediocre story with about 700 of my peers while I was in my underwear. So hard to tell which one was reality…

Well, forget that for now, let’s talk about one of them, I don’t know we’ll choose one at random and see what happens.

Amy, Pregnant. Rory with the worlds worst pony tail. And the Doctor with more realities than he knows what to do with. Let’s start with the simple details, Amy’s pregnancy. Very nice effect by the productions team. Somehow adding on that baby pouch made the rest of her look pregnant as well. She even seemed to have a bit of extra weight in the face. Which you don’t often get in pregnancy stories. Karen looked great though, not huge or anything, it worked very well. Not like Rory’s pony tail. But we don’t need to go on about that.

Rory's ponytail in Doctor Who: Amy's ChoiceDo we?

Really though, it was bad, right?

Next, scary village with scary people. Love it. Some of the best classic stories took place in scary villages. Never mind those big cities, scary little villages hold lots of dark secrets. But then so does the TARDIS doesn’t it? Such a complex machine, such and impressive machine, and yet something so small can make something so dangerous happen.

It’s been a long time since we had that much of a story take place inside the TARDIS and while it would get boring if done too often, it certainly was anything but in this case. It helps that the 3 principles in the story are such fun to watch. Sure Rory is a bit of the typical bumbling boyfriend that we have come to expect in the show, but Arthur Darvill is giving that typical character just enough of a twist to make him not only likeable but also realistic. He is a fish out of water. All he wants in life is the girl of his dreams and in order to get her he has to step out of his comfort zone and survive. Who hasn’t been in this situation before? Okay fine, we’ve never been in a time machine or to other planets, but we many of us have had to stand in someone else’s shadow. It’s not an easy place to be and it sometimes is very humiliating. Arthur understands this and it is very refreshing to see such a character come to life rather than perform the basic needs of the situation.

Toby Jones as the Dream Lord in Doctor Who - Amy's ChoiceMoving on to the guest star of the week, we have Toby Jones as The Dream Lord. Had a look at his CV and I am embarrassed to say that the only thing I know him from is his voice work on the Harry Potter films. Such a shame to be able to say that, as he is clearly a talented actor. Anyone who can make you simultaneously hate and like them really has the talent it takes to do great things in this business. The Dream Lord was never over the top and never underplayed. If anything Toby left me wanting more. Which has all the hallmarks of a good returning villain. Something Doctor Who needs more of these days.

But all the credit can’t go to one man can it? Someone else was pulling the strings of the man pulling the strings this week. Writer Simon Nye successfully navigated his way through a 45 minute script without the story feeling rushed at all in either starting or ending. Ordinarily I’d say 45 minutes is too short for a good story, but this one in hit the mark all the way through. The humor was light, which was perfect the story being told and scares made you want to back away from them just as much as the characters did. But the real gem was the character relations. From Rory’s dedication to his one true love, to Amy’s realization of hers, to the Doctor’s caring for any and all life but most of all his friends, the scenes felt real. They made you feel for each and every one of them.

Credit where credit is due again. Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill were all picked for a reason and if you haven’t seen why by now, then look no further than Amy’s Choice. This is Doctor Who at it’s best. This is why this show has survived the test of time.

Now then, I think I know which reality was my dream and which wasn’t. But if this is it, then why can’t I find my pants?

Brian A Terranova


Doctor Who and me go way back. I first discovered it on my local PBS Station WHYY in the suburbs outside Philadelphia when I was a young kid; though I am uncertain of the exact age.

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