Sunday, 16 May 2010


[14.23 - French Time] Doctor Who - Amy's choice (Series Five, Episode Seven): In which the Doctor (Matt Smith) forgets to pay his electricity bill and is trapped by Mr. Mxyzptlk in Bizarro Leadworth, with Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill).

« Doctor, I also had a kind of dream thing. »

Written by Simon Nye (Men behaving badly) and directed by Catherine Morshead (Murderland), Amy's choice is regrettably the weakest episode of series five shown to date. It was actually the last to be filmed and in some respects it shows.

There's nothing worse for a genre show relying heavily on VFX than a mysterious and powerful entity (the production accountant?) taking the characters to his personal playground for a low-key adventure. Close to that would be the Doctor and his companions locked in the TARDIS for a whole episode. And even if the blue box is a bigger "bottle" on the inside we almost have both here.

The Doctor visits Amy and Rory some years after their adventures. They live in a picturesque cottage in Upper Leadworth, Amy is pregnant and Rory has stolen a ponytail to a nineties ad exec. Then they wake up in the TARDIS and face the Dream Lord (Toby Jones), who asks our gang to chose between a remake of Village of the Damned with senior citizens and a rerun of Space: 1999.

Toby Jones often channels Frank Gorshin (The Riddler in the 60's Batman) but he wastes class and ambiguity on one of the less convincing villain since the Abzorbaloff. The Dream Lord ends up as an ancient chorus of the script's own defects (« What's this? Attack of the old people. Oh, that's ridiculous ») and exits with the awful « Well done, you got it right » speech, except that he brings back electricity aboard the TARDIS rather than distributing lollipops.

« Because this village is so dull. » Well, if the Doctor himself has noticed...

Next Week: The Doctor vs Anna's Brit cousins.

See also:

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