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Doctor Who XXXI.7: Amy's Choice

May 17th, 2010 (01:32 am)

"You're probably a vegetarian, you flop-haired wuss," said the Dream Lord in his butcher's smock. Did Simon Nye write this, I thought, or pennypaperbrain, who once used similar language (affectionately) of me? There was a lot here to prey on the mind of anyone who has ever suffered self-questioning or self-doubt; though it was not until the very end that I realised who the Dream Lord was, obvious though it should have been.

I'm not going to manage an essay this time round, but my observations would be:

- Still not greatly happy with the conceptualisation of Rory, or Arthur Darvill's apparentlyn superficial reading. He's less annoying than Noel Clarke's first reading of Mickey (and as [personal profile] purplecat|louisedennis has ably demonstrated, Rory is something of a commentary on Mickey's development) but comes across as suffering from arrested development. In defence of the script, for much of the episode Darvill is playing a Rory who is behaving perhaps as the Doctor fears the Doctor sees him - hence clowning, ineffective pretension, ineffective husbanding. Bearing this in mind I'll be annoyed if his development over the next two episodes is insufficient.

- Good use of a smaller speaking cast than is usual; and good (from a particular fannish perspective) to see that one of the pensioners was Nick Hobbs, sometime Aggedor of the Pertwee era's Peladon stories.

- One of those watching with me observed that this story might see the transition from an Amy character arc to a Doctor character arc. That hadn't struck me, though he might be right given that both dream settings represent the Doctor's fears for and about Amy and Rory as much as himself. The Doctor clings, at the end, to the lack of darkness in Amy and Rory, but this only bears out that the Dream Lord's earlier jibe, that the Doctor gives up on his friends once they have grown up, is one of the Doctor's constant fears about himself.

- "Sofas can talk" - all Doctor Who is a dream, and so it allows itself wilfully bad science. We have come a long way from the kitchen sink of the early Hartnells.

- Not only is it a dream, it's also a little bit of Tom and Jerry, hinted at a little in the musical response to Rory's whacking of Mrs Hamill.

- The specials are again treated as foreshadowing the new as much as they wrapped up the old: Elizabeth I is mentioned again (just as I thought there was going to be a reference to Donna) and there was I think just a little Waters of Mars music as the Doctor said that his travelling alone did not end well.

- I wondered whether the Dream Lord would turn out to be the Toymaker, or a projection of a regenerated Master, reaching out from inside the Time Lock; or else (and I thought most likely) left ambiguous. The Valeyard did not occur to me, though we are but two regenerations away from his creation.

- Generally a story which successfully reconciled the need to be straightforwardly entertaining with 'doing something different', but frustrating for those hoping for something more complex.

Comments

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 18th, 2010 08:17 pm (UTC)

"Vegetable-sucking wuss" was the phrase which the Dream Lord's comment recalled...