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Published on May 19th, 2010 | by Christian Cawley

Amy’s Choice Reaction

Amy’s Choice bucked the trend for television over the weekend, with the latest episode of Doctor Who attracted 6.2 million viewers, 5.9 million on BBC1 and 0.3 million on BBC HD, according to overnight audience figures.These will likely be enhanced with good figures from delayed viewing services such as BBC iPlayer and Sky+

Doctor Who - Amy's ChoiceAudience figures across all channels were down on the previous week, so its good to see Doctor Who remaining strong and pulling the same audience as the week before.

Critical reaction to an episode highly regarded on Kasterborous was surprisingly mixed; SFX awarded Amy’s Choice just 3.5 stars, remarkably low for them,with reviewer Jordan Farley observing:

The direction’s a little squiffy you see, never quite striking the right balance between absurdist humour (Grannies with lawnmowers!) and sinister nightmare. Add to that a Despair Squid-style “it’s all a dream/hallucination ending” and it all starts feeling a little Red Dwarf. The laughs come thick and fast, including a satisfying running gag about Amy’s ample belly, but moments of despair – such as Rory’s “death” – or abject horror – such as a playpark full of vaporised kiddies – never shock in the way you might expect. The camera work, too, is a little flat.

Once again, the Telegraph utilise the services of Gavin Fuller, who in 1993 was Mastermind’s youngest ever champion with Doctor Who chosen as his specialist subject. He was singularly impressed with the script, from Men Behaving Badly creator Simon Nye.

Nye certainly came up with the goods here, with probably the strongest all-round script we’ve had this year, chock full of good lines, particularly about the Doctor and his attitude to/relationship with his companions, although Amy’s line about the prospect of facing death when dressed as a Peruvian folk band was possibly the highlight.

Describing the episode as “the cheap one” meanwhile, The Guardian also highlight the comedic/surrealist moments from Amy’s Choice, before turning attention to the Dream Lord:

…these two realities both turn out to be dreams, and the magic-realist state of a dream can support even dafter images. Both an army of marauding pensioners, and Amy donning a poncho and telling her boys “if we’re going to die, let’s die looking like a Peruvian folk band” can be completely plausible.

The Dreamlord really is deliciously mean, calling him out on his every character flaw; his love of showing off, his clothes, the way he turns people into weapons (to quote Davros), the way he leaves people behind. It’s pretty heavy stuff… at the mid-season point

Den of Geek however aligned themselves with SFX, describing Amy’s Choice as “underwhelming, while paying attention to the Dream Lord…

We’ve had the immense pleasure of seeing Toby Jones on stage, and he’s genuinely an outstanding actor. But here, he gets a role that never quite falls the right side of slightly annoying (not helped by the overuse of him cutting in and out of scenes in different places). Certainly the script does him few favours, and by second half of the episode, we felt that the Dream Lord seemed to have outlived his welcome, if not his purpose.

The Dream Lord, we’re told, is actually the Doctor. Which explains why the two characters knew each other so well.

(Incidentally, many fans online have speculated that the Dream Lord might be the birth of the Valeyard, the evil incarnation of the Doctor revealed in 1986′s Trial of a Time Lord season.)

So – Amy’s Choice was a mixed bag, just as we expected. If you enjoyed the episode, the BBC’s Official Doctor Who website has a selection of extras, such as a new panoramic of the inside of the new TARDIS!

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About the Author

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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+.



3 Responses to Amy’s Choice Reaction

  1. avatar Leosw4 says:

    Den of Geek described Victory of the Daleks as the best Dalek episode since Power of The Daleks. Presumably then they dont rate highly Evil, Genises or Dalek then? This was akin to me as one reveiwer describing Attack of the Clones second ONLY to Empire.
    To then be underwhelmed by Amy’s Choice will serve as a warning to me that if they dont really like it, I probably will and vice versa.
    Indeed opinions will vary episode to episode, but I do think some of the reveiws recently have descredited there opinion.

  2. avatar castellanspandrell says:

    Makes you wonder what SFX and Den of Geek are actually expecting from Dr Who.

  3. avatar Rick714 says:

    I view Victory as–so far—- the low point of the season, much as The Long Game, Fear her, Lazarus Experiment and the Doctor’s Daughter were in past seasons—-for me. Most DW fans tend to really get behind their favorite episodes and will defend them to the end.

    There were still things I liked about ‘Victory’, such as the interior of the Dalek ship. Moffat really likes the old Cushing movies and I think the bizarre, almost ‘basement’ look of their ship with the low ceilings were very intriguing, very cool looking.

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