The bucolic scenes that kicked off this week’s Doctor Who episode were deceiving on many levels. “Amy’s Choice” found the Doctor, Amy, and Rory alternating between two distinct “realities” — a quaint English village in which a pregnant Amy and Rory had settled down among a pack of alien-infested elderly folks, and a broken-down TARDIS careening toward a deadly Cold Star. Yikes!
Real or not, I loved the way Amy immediately understood that the Doctor hadn’t scheduled his visit (“You came here by mistake, didn’t you?”) and how she faked a contraction to prove that her Earth-bound life was anything but boring. Even funnier was the way the duo simultaneously finished his dangling question: “What do you do around here to stave off the…” (Amy: “Boredom?” The Doctor: “Self-harm?”) But really, while Amy ultimately held the power to decide which reality was real reality — die in the dream, and you’re okay; die in reality, and you’re dead (or so they were told) — the crux of this episode boiled down to the conflicted conscience deep within the last remaining Time Lord.
As we discovered, the beastly, combative Dream Lord (perfectly played by Toby Jones) was really just the personification of the Doctor’s own darkest thoughts, brought to life by some psychic pollen that had made its way onto the TARDIS. Interestingly enough, our titular hero apparently doesn’t fully embrace his own eccentricities. “If you had any more tawdry quirks, you could open up a tawdry-quirks shop,” snapped the Dream Lord. “The madcap vehicle, the cockamamie hair, the clothes designed by a first-year fashion student. I’m surprised you haven’t got a little purple space-dog just to ram home what an intergalactic wag you are!”
Even more damning, though, was the way the “Dream Lord” zeroed in on the Doctor’s relationships with the people whose paths he crosses. “Friends? Is that the right word for the people you acquire?” he snipped. The way the elderly residents of Amy and Rory’s town fed off the energy of the young was perhaps eerily parallel to the way the centuries-old Doctor maintains key relationships with his youthful human companions. Bonus points for the image of that old lady wielding a lawn-mower above her head, and for the collection of blue-haired baddies converging outside a meat locker with a menacing green glow flowing from their mouths.
On the companion front, Amy was once again forced to confront whether she truly wanted a simple kind of life with Rory, or a thrilling life of space travel with the Doctor. “Why would we give up all this?” she asked Rory while pointing out they could postpone the night before their wedding indefinitely. But faced with the choice of losing her soul-mate forever, she ultimately chose her human man over her space companion. Then again, who says true love and intergalactic adventure are mutually exclusive for today’s modern woman? Can’t she have it all? Now before I hand this recap over to you all down in the comments section, let’s review my three favorite quotes of the week:
“Oh, a poncho! The biggest crime against fashion since lederhosen!” –Rory
“Loves a redhead, our naughty Doctor. Has he told you about Elizabeth the First? Well, at least she thought she was the first!” –Dream Lord
“I have to be this size! I’m having a baby!” –Amy, taking offense to the Doctor’s comment about the elephant in the room
What did you all think of “Amy’s Choice”? Seven episodes in, how are you feeling about the Matt Smith-Karen Gillan partnership? Sound off in the comments, and as always, if you’re across the pond and have seen the next few Whos, please keep your spoilers to yourself! Your American counterparts thank you!