Amy’s Choice is a sneaky, sneaky beast. Quite likely not tilting towards the populist end of Doctor Who stories and instead into more of the esoteric, the first viewing of this story with it’s laconic pacing and lack of the “monster” per se was merely “whelming.” A second, and it has to be said, more alert viewing, brought all sorts of revelations, most notably the nifty plotting and the amazing performances of Toby Jones and Karen Gillan. Perhaps what satisfied most wholly was the revelation that Dream Lord was in fact the Doctor himself, admittedly under the influence of “psychic pollen.” Since this is becoming a season for callbacks, both obvious and oblique, we loved this variation on The Ultimate Foe, Robert Holmes’ last contribution to the series was the idea that the Valeyard was a dark distillation of the Doctor, somewhere between the last and next to last incarnation.
The joy in this story, owing to Toby Jones’ performance, is what a mean-spirited imp the Dream Lord is, always being derogatory and yet playful as well to the Doctor at the same time. The story also advanced, in a much more satisfying way, the Doctor-Rory-Amy triangle, begun in The Vampires of Venice. Last week we said Rory was fairing better than the Tin Dog, and he’s certainly no Adam either, this is a threesome that has the dynamics that, at least for this fan, go back to Season 12 and Sarah Jane and Harry. High praise indeed.
As a result of all this we’ve put this episode at the top of the 2010 Dynamic Ratings Table. How ’bout you?