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17 May 2015 @ 02:27 pm
NuWho Rewatch: Amy's Choice  
Another story I don't think I really understood first time around. It's a lot less interested in playing the science-fictional game associated with dream realities than it is in show-casing the dynamics around the three central characters.

Amy and Rory are living in Ledworth again. Amy is pregnant and bored. Rory is a doctor. The Doctor comes to visit and then they all wake up in the Tardis which is about to fall into a cold sun. They switch back and forth between the two realities while the Dream Lord urges them to pick one or die. Ledworth is obviously not real for a variety of reasons which include meta-knowledge about the show and the fact that it is so obviously Rory's personal ideal. At the time I was bothered by this, but I actually don't think that's the point, the story isn't interested in making us believe its real.

In fact the Moffat-esque twist is that neither reality is real.

The most significant thing, I think, which I missed entirely the first time around, is the fact that the Dream Lord is, in fact, the Doctor's own subconscious. The Doctor is incredibly invested in Amy and Rory's relationship. It starts with his concern that the cracks in time all lead back to Amy and Rory's wedding day, but as the series progresses we see him become more and more obsessed with it in its own right. He's worried that Amy isn't as certain about the relationship as Rory is, and even the Doctor's subconscious is mostly striving to force Amy into making up her mind. It doesn't resolve Amy's ambivalence about a life of domesticity in Ledworth, but she does absolutely choose to make her future with Rory, in fact the only thing binding her at all to the Ledworth reality was that it was the one with Rory in it - so much so that I'm not sure Amy ever makes up her mind at all. I think she always knew it was Rory she wanted to spend the rest of her life with, it was Ledworth she wasn't so certain about.

Rory's dream will come back to haunt her later as well. She knows what Rory wants and it involves children, which is why she treats the relationship as at an end when she discovers that she can't have any (more).

So the episode isn't doing what I originally thought it was. I'm not sure it's a great episode though. Part of that is little details like Amy's very fake baby bump, and Rory's rather fake wig. But I think part of the problem is that the Tardis reality is mostly about exposition while the Ledworth reality is mostly about running away after the initial, strong set-up where Amy's boredom and ambivalence are excellently communicated. After this, though, there's surprisingly little of substance actually happening in either reality possibly because Amy has already made the choice the Doctor is worrying about.

I don't dislike this episode. It has a nice idea which works very well within the character arcs of the season. It's just that, somehow, it manages to feel a little insubstantial nevertheless.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/156827.html.
a_cubeda_cubed on May 18th, 2015 12:04 am (UTC)
Actually, I think the split between "running away" UPPER Ledworth and "expository" TARDIS is a cute play on the structure of Dr Who episodes which tend to switch between the two scene by scene anyway. This one just shifts it into alternate "(un)realities" to highlight it.
louisedennislouisedennis on May 18th, 2015 06:31 pm (UTC)
I hadn't thought of that.