Rate & Discuss: Amy’s Choice

May 15th, 2010
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

It’s been five years since Amy Pond last travelled with the Doctor, and when he lands in her garden again, on the eve of the birth of her first child, she finds herself facing a heartbreaking choice – one that will change her life forever.

Poor Amy Pond has had a tough old ride since she took up residence inside the TARDIS. If the hordes of Smilers, Daleks, Weeping Angels and vampires weren’t bad enough, tonight she faced her biggest challenge yet at the hands of the mysterious Dream Lord.

Five years after putting her adventures with the Doctor behind her, she and Rory were seen to be moving on to bigger and better things in Upper Leadworth. They were settling down – the life Rory always wanted – and, with their first child on the way, everything was just as it should be. There was nothing to suggest that there were to be trying times ahead, but this is Doctor Who after all. Naturally, in a quiet village such as Leadworth, where nothing out of the ordinary ever occurs, there was something truly extraordinary just around the corner.

And when the Doctor bounded back into their lives, he was followed, as the Doctor often is, by unimaginable peril, and the trio found themselves in a race against time as the Dream Lord put their judgements of reality to the ultimate test.

What did you think of tonight’s thought-provoking adventure? Let us know by leaving your thoughts in a comment below, and, as always, you can also give the episode a star rating out of 5. Will it go down in Doctor Who history, or is it set to be forgotten like a dream? The choice is yours…

Rate this episode
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(21 Votes, Average: 4.67/5)
43 comments on this article
  1. JC
    May 16th, 2010 at 5.52pm | #1

    It’s difficult to explain what I think about Season 5 overall, mainly because a load of people would disagree with me.

  2. e.p
    May 16th, 2010 at 7.47pm | #2

    I’ve been watching Classic Who lately, and it’s occurred to me that a lot of people find something about Series 5 to be “off” because the pace is a lot slower, like in the classic series. With Doctors 9 and 10 there was a lot more running about and shouting, with “the entire universe at stake!”, but this series has slowed down considerably. Not that that’s a bad thing. It just takes a different approach and some getting used to.

    Having said that, I think Amy’s Choice was a good episode with a very good story line. It’s not my favorite of the season, but it’s certainly mot my least favorite either.

  3. e.p
    May 16th, 2010 at 7.50pm | #3

    Whoops, sorry to post again. I just wanted to add that this was definitely a ‘character development episode’, something that I think was missing from previous series. It improved Amy’s character considerably, and made the Doctor just that much more complicated :)

  4. Professor Zed
    May 16th, 2010 at 7.53pm | #4

    A terrific episode which kept me guessing, both as to which was the real dream as well as just who the Dream Lord was. The appearance of the Dream Lord in the back seat of the van had me thinking “Valeyard”, but I knew they (writer/producers) wouldn’t reference that character. In a sense though, I was right. The Valeyard is an amalgamation of the Doctor’s dark side, as was the Dream Lord. The final reflection of the Dream Lord’s smiling face in the TARDIS console was a nice touch, signaling a possible future rematch between the Doctor and the Doctor?

    I have to say though, concerning Amy and Rory, I still don’t accept that Amy would choose Rory. There’s no spark between them. It would be wrong for her to choose the Doctor though, too. If anything, I should think that Amy’s Choice would be #3 – neither the Doctor nor Rory. Then too, #3 was the actual choice for all involved as neither dream world 1 nor dream world 2 was the real world. It was world 3 which no one even knew about (until the last moments).

    On that note, I have to say that the dream pellets (whatever they were) stuck in bits of the TARDIS was a bit of a sudden reveal. That took the episode down a notch for me. Perhaps if the episode had had more time, a precursor to the episode’s events could have somehow been tacked on at the beginning of the episode.

    Aside from all that, I also have to wonder as to why in the world of the little village, why didn’t the Doctor consider getting Amy and Rory back into the TARDIS (outside the house) just to see what would happen? Well, that was playing on my mind anyway.

    The Dream Lord was a great character. Really creepy, funny and challenging!

    (Comment on a previous post: “The Valeyard WAS the Doctor “somewhere between the 12 and final incarnation” So the Master said.” As to the “between the 12th and final incarnation” bit: When was it ever a good idea to believe ANYTHING the Master says?!)

  5. JC
    May 16th, 2010 at 8.43pm | #5

    I have wondered that actually e.p, whether I do miss the fast pace, because with the 9th and 10th Doctors, the episodes did have quite a fast pace, whilst also feeling as though each episode was filled with interesting story that kept you thinking, almost as if you were challenged to keep up with the Doctor.

    With the 11th Doctor, things have slowed down quite considerably. He’s much quieter, much slower and understated and while the pace of the series reflects this, only Amy’s Choice has effectively combined slow pace with rich story for me personally, the other stories feeling much too weak on story, with the possible exception of The Vampires of Venice.

    I hesitate to say this, as I know certain people dislike him, but sometimes I miss the 10th Doctor running into the Tardis, exclaiming Alonsy! and then speeding through the Time Vortex.

    Perhaps that’s been my problem so far. Not so much the pace, though I do think it’s been too slow, but that despite the pace slowing, the amount of story in 45 minutes seems to have decreased and I’m a bit concerned that I may get bored.

    Having said this, I did enjoy The Vampires of Venice and especially enjoyed Amy’s Choice.

    This is just my opinion though, don’t want to start any arguements over it or anything.

  6. e.p
    May 16th, 2010 at 9.18pm | #6

    I agree; I do miss the fast pace as well, and the amount of story seems to have decreased as you said. I do think that Series 5 improves with each episode though.
    After 5 years of RTD, a new writer and production team does take getting used to, and we can’t feel guilty if we don’t immediately fall in love with the changes. Each Doctor is different, and we have to accept that. I really like 11, but at the same time I miss 9 and 10. Still, that all comes with the nature of the show, and dwelling on past Doctors won’t change anything :)

    Just a general aside: No one is being forced to watch DW, and while constructive criticism of is good (it is constructive, after all), “bashing” is not. People are allowed to have their favorite episodes and favorite Doctors, and even their favorite writers. If people don’t agree with you just accept it and move on :)

  7. TWWL
    May 16th, 2010 at 9.39pm | #7

    I would hardly call, say, The Beast Below or the Angels two parter ‘light on story’! I can’t say I’d really noticed the slowing down thing either; every episode, especially the one parters, absolutely fly by. Perhaps you’re just missing Tennants more high spoeed, manic, noisy take on the role? (I’m a big Tennant fan too)

    I really can’t see the ‘too slow’ argument, that’s one thing Dr Who never is. To its own detriment at times, in fact; the stories have to fly by, with often little room for the subtle, or real development, because of the tight forty five minute time frame. Witness the way everything is crammed in at a manic lick during The Beast Below.

  8. David
    May 16th, 2010 at 11.06pm | #8

    I have to say that, seven episodes in, I think this series is as strong, if not stronger than S2 and S3 at this point. The Time Of Angels/Flesh and Stone and The Eleventh Hour tower above but the only weak episode so far has been Victory Of The Daleks, and that wasn’t THAT weak, especially in comparison to Fear Her and Love and Monsters.

  9. TWWL
    May 16th, 2010 at 11.36pm | #9

    Yup, Fear Her was an absolute dog of an episode, Victory is far superior.

  10. JC
    May 17th, 2010 at 1.37am | #10

    It is complicated to explain exactly what the issue is TWWL, it’s just a feeling I have. It’s almost as if the episodes, apart from The Vampires of Venice and Amy’s Choice, feel kind of……..hollow.

    Perhaps the problem isn’t slow pace but not enough progress, if that makes any sense. It’s like what you said TWWL, sometimes the episodes feel like they’ve spent all episode building a story and then rushed towards an ending that itself feels rushed and this leaves the episodes feeling unfinished.

    Like for instance Victory of The Daleks, I still have no idea what the point of that episode was, accepting of course that more light may be shed by the ending of Season 5. In that episode, the Doctor turned up, the Daleks got his testimony, created pure Daleks and they left and it just feels like we should have had more, you know.

    It’s almost like…….In Seasons 1 to 4, each episode told it’s own story, where Season 5 feels like each episode is telling part of the story of Episodes 12 and 13, rather than a full-bodied story in each episode.

    I probably still aint explaining myself properly, I should probably just stop posting, lol

  11. JC
    May 17th, 2010 at 1.55am | #11

    It is worth saying though that I intend to watch Season 5 to it’s conclusion, the beautiful Karen Gillan seems enthused about it and a mate of mine is giving it a chance to see where this Season goes, I think it’s only fair I give it that, I’m not closed-minded and would happily have my mind changed by the end, IF it can be changed. That IF is important, I think.

  12. WW
    May 17th, 2010 at 2.39am | #12

    Vis-a-vis pacing – I’ve not noticed much difference. I think a large part of this series’ issue so far lies in still connecting with this Doctor. I love ‘em, but he’s still growing on me. Tennant had me with “this hand’s a fightin’ hand!”

    The whole “fairytale” take on things by Moffat… that’s something I haven’t connected with yet, either.

    I loved the Dreamlord – as far as I’m concerned, he *is* the Valeyard. I was wondering how they were going to deal with it – the dark side of the Doctor between the 11th and 12th incarnation. Heck, all they have to have is some residue of the Doctor still being in that psychofluff he whisped off into space connecting with something somewhen and presto! Valeyard. I liked the idea of the Valeyard, I hated that they never gave a decent explanation of how he could exist. I’m pretty certain the Dreamlord will turn out to be the Valeyard, just as I’m pretty sure the person River “kills” is the Doctor.

    I *am* finding it useful to watch the episodes again – there is some wonderful writing in the Doctor’s dialogue that I keep missing because of his rapid-fire lines.

  13. Revenant
    May 17th, 2010 at 3.40pm | #13

    The pacing is probably due to the 11th Doctors personality, he IS slower, more.. thoughtful? introspective, which I do like, and does appear more gentle. If Tennant = Tom Baker then Smith = Peter Davison, really strongly reminding me of the transition between those two doctors.

  14. TSG
    May 17th, 2010 at 3.41pm | #14

    It’s funny – everyone seems to not have liked Fear Her, whereas I loved it. I’m going to have to go back and watch it again to see if my perception’s changed over the last four years.

  15. Professor Zed
    May 17th, 2010 at 5.45pm | #15

    TSG, I give “Fear Her” an OK. One aspect of it which I thought was great, was the graphite scribble monster. I loved that and I’m hoping for it’s return some day when the Doctor is eraser-less.

  16. TWWL
    May 17th, 2010 at 5.47pm | #16

    As has been mentioned a lot, I think Smith=Troughton is a lot more accurate; as much as I love Davison, he wasn’t the eccentric Smith is. To be honest, I don’t see the Tennant=Tom baker thing either, the two were really very different.

  17. TWWL
    May 17th, 2010 at 5.49pm | #17

    Ooh, the awful, awful, awfulness of that Olympic torch bit, with the newsreader gushing over the top. *shudders*

  18. MavAl
    May 18th, 2010 at 8.05am | #18

    Loved the episode, very unique and original.

    @JC this season has been such a phenomenal improvement for me it’s hard to put into words. After Dobby the Doctor, magic chanting to rise him to Godhood, time rewind switches, Peter Kay, fat monsters, farting aliens, belching bins, tractor beamed earths and…
    …essentially after seeing some really bad Who I am so very very grateful of series 5, for the first time since 1989 there has been a series entirely watchable from beginning to end and oftentimes brilliant (having said that the past four years have had their moments of brilliance, they’ve just been so inconsistent however). Amy’s Choice, the Time of Angels 2 parter and the Eleventh Hour all fall in to my selection of favourites, just a shame vampires in venice and victory of the daleks exhibited so many problems of the past 4 years, but at least neither was as bad as they were.

  19. JC
    May 18th, 2010 at 1.04pm | #19

    That’s your opinion, of course, but I still disagree.

    I’m generally a creative person, I worked with a computer game modification team and I used to write, so when I almost get bored like I have this series, I know something is wrong, but that’s my opinion like your opinion is yours.

  20. JC
    May 18th, 2010 at 1.19pm | #20

    I’d not term any Doctor Who bad though, just out of courtesy of people that actually did enjoy it. That’s why I don’t say Season 5 is the worst Doctor Who I’ve seen, because it’s not, it’s an adjustment. What you disliked about Seasons 1-4 are things I’d attribute to humour and drama that for me kept the series fresh, though I’d agree with you in saying that Seasons 1-4 weren’t perfect by any means.

    Sorry for the second post btw, just wanted to expand my opinion.

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