â€œIs this some sort of Time Lordy thing?â€
As the 31st season enters its second half its up to comedy/drama hero Simon Nye to keep the viewers entertained. At first it seems to be a straightforward adventure thatâ€™s slightly light in places, but when you get underneath the delicate plotting you realise just how clever this writer is. I feel that the official blurb gives too much of the story away so hereâ€™s a brief highlight:
Itâ€™s been five years since Amy travelled with the Doctor, but soon she finds herself making a life changing decision.
OK, take from that what you will. Previewing this episode is one of the toughest tasks the team at K have asked me to do. The plot takes us through several different time-streams, a sort of Sliding Doors for the Doctor Who generation but without the tawdry Gwyneth Paltrow. Each stream leads to different adventures, different situations and, for Amy, different choices. Simon Nye fills each line with as many words as he can so be warned, you do need to concentrate with this one. Thereâ€™s also an amazing sequence that contains one of Doctor Whoâ€™s darkest and most chilling moments.
Toby Jones as the â€œDream Lordâ€ is very sinister in the old fashioned style of Doctor Who baddie but with a fine slice of ironic delivery. Heâ€™s funny, witty, clever and guards a secret thatâ€™s kept well hidden from viewers. As before Arthur Darvill does his best to keep Rory from falling into the trap of being just another casual traveller who happens to be in love with the resident companion. He adds a lot of pathos to his character without ever making him out to be a bumbling idiot.
As with most of the season so far the effects fall short of believable. There are some wasted chances here with some crude CGI really letting the production down. Murray Goldâ€™s score helps to make up for this, instead of his usual bombastic tone, he calms things down adding delicate themes to push the narrative.
This is not your usual Doctor Who episode and will no doubt split the viewing public much on the same way as Love & Monsters did way back in 2006. Watch it if only to see Karen Gillan give her strongest performance yet and to see why Matt Smith truly is â€œthe owner of the TARDIS keysâ€.
Amy’s Choice airs at 6.25pm on Saturday, 15th May on BBC One and BBC HD. Den of Geek currently have their own spoiler free review, meanwhile Outpost Skaro have a more open and fact-packed review of the episode.