Amy’s Choice – Modern Classic?

Quirky, oddball, psychological – three great words that do no justice to an excellent episode of Doctor Who. Amy’s Choice was a rarity – an episode that felt quite different to anything that had gone before, despite minor similarities with 1968′s The Mind Robber and 1964′s The Edge of Destruction.

Doctor Who - Amy's Choice features the Dream Lord, played by Toby JonesWe’ll have a full review up later this weekend – but I just want to reflect on an episode that personally took me by surprise. I was personally underwhelmed by Vampires of Venice, an obvious retread of many of the same concepts as 2006′s School Reunion. On first glance, this shouldn’t be a surprise, as both episodes were written by Toby Whithouse – yet he’s the creator of the popular Being Human. There really isn’t any excuse for a blatant reuse of an earlier script idea.

In sharp contrast, Amy’s Choice came from the pen of a man who hasn’t worked on Doctor Who before, is best known for his long-running “New Lad”  sitcom Men Behaving Badly (starring Martin Clunes, Neil Morrissey, Caroline Quentin, Leslie Ash and Harry Enfield at various stages of its long existence). As a fan of this show, I was heartened when I heard that Amy’s Choice featured “dream sequences” – a couple of episodes of Men Behaving Badly feature short, hilarious dream sequences, a theme that Nye has of course developed in the remake of the Reggie Perrin story.

However I had no idea that the latest episode of Doctor Who would be quite that good. It wasn’t quite Blink or Human Nature – but it is a superb story, with excellent performances from the principal cast of Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and guest Toby Jones, and is certainly a highlight of this current series. We’re halfway through the run now. While things haven’t been as thrilling as the 2007 run (The Face of Boe! The Master! Blink! Human Nature!) – which long-running readers of this site will know we regard as the finest of all – there is still a feeling of something devastating waiting in the wings at the end. With no obvious crack or silence in the episode this week, it was also good to get a break from the series arc/threat…



Christian Cawley

About

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.


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