Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Chasing Amy

Doctor Who: Amy’s Choice
Airdate: May 15th 2010. UK. BBC1

There you go then. This was probably the best episode to date for this series of Doctor Who. So far, so good.

Now don’t get all excited. I’m not giving it my unqualified approval... it’s definitely not the best story going and it’s, hopefully, not this years Blink or Love & Monsters. Hopefully we’ve still got that to come (fingers crossed).

I think my main pleasure at watching this episode, apart from getting to see a pregnant Amy Pond and listening to all the jokes about that, is the fact that the writer hoodwinked you into thinking that the conclusion of the episode must be a pretty humdrum affair because... well... the outcome is obvious isn’t it? The story sets our three intrepid time travellers the task of identifying and choosing between two alternative realities and the audience almost already knows that the correct version must be the version which is most like a standard Doctor Who episode format... so Amy Pond pregnant in a spooky village VS the TARDIS in space. Pretty obvious choice, yeah? Now normally I would see through this kind of writer led shilly shally and start looking for that third option... but, in my defence, when I was viewing this episode I was in the middle of suffering a terrible cold manifesting itself as a lot of coughing, a lot of sneezing, a splitting headache and limbs dull and aching... so I rest firmly in the knowledge that my mental faculties were already severely compromised and the bleeding obvious was in no way apparent to me. So when the Doctor decides to blow up the TARDIS and throws up the third option... I was at one of those whack myself on the forehead, how could I be so stupid as to miss that moments in my life. They don’t happen often... the Doctor caught me out when I was virally compromised.

So... there was some really nice stuff. The place they picked out for location shooting of the village was a really nice place... the kind of place I’d want to live, as long as it was less than an hour from the heart of London. The Dream Lord was cool and charismatic and I’d like to see more of him but, given the nature of the episode, I think he’s a little bit of a one trick pony in terms of reappearance possibilities.

Red headed Amy, as usual, stole the show and I’m really beginning to think that we may well not be seeing her as the regular companion past the end of the current season. I hope that’s not true but given the track record over the past few years of any companion who isn’t Billy Piper... coupled with the fact that her personality really drowns out The Doctor's... I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they chucked her at the seasons end and left her as the little girl version from when The Doctor first met her. Just a wild theory of mine.

And, of course, Amy gets to utter what is probably going to be the best one liner of the current series in this episode... “My boys, my poncho boys! If we’re gonna die, let’s die looking like a Peruvian folk band.”

You know I think the whole dynamic of this particular Doctor works best when Rory’s around. Pretty much following in the footsteps of the Jamie and Zoe days I think. Rory gives the Doctor a slightly knocked back personality to play off and explain things to; when you know Amy’s not going to need or want any explanation. Actually... has anyone noticed how aggressive Amy’s been getting just lately? Gets angry and growly at the drop of a hat? Moody red head on acid or is there something more here?

Okay... so what have we got next time? The first of a two parter featuring the return of the Silurians. Now honestly... I would try and get excited about this except, if the shots I’ve seen are anything to go by, they’ve redesigned them to such an extent that they don’t look anything like the Silurians. This will be their third appearance in the show to date but really! If they are going to make the Daleks look like plush toys you could grab out of a seaside crane game and they are going to make the Silurians unrecognisable as Silurians... well I’d rather they just didn’t bring back any more old monsters, thank you very much! I’m much more looking forward to Matt Smith’s Doctor meeting Katy Manning’s Jo Grant in the next series of The Sarah Jane Adventures than I am at seeing the Silurians on Saturday. And at seeing the last episode of Ashes to Ashes, since reality finally seems to be breaking down for all the “people” in the 1980s in that show. They all keep seeing stars... will they bleed it into Doctor Who? Is Sam Tyler’s sister Rose Tyler? Nah, probably not but it would make for some compelling viewing.

Oh, well. Let’s give it a chance. My expectations are so low for the next two episodes that they’ll probably turn out to be my surprise hit of the season.

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