Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Can't spot a dream while you're having it

I was always going to enjoy this. Alternate realities policed by a sarcastic god-thing in a sleepy village. It could be rubbish and I'd still like it. 'Amy's Choice', the latest episode of Doctor Who, manages to be thoughtful, frightening, poignant, and intelligent - all at the same time. The Doctor, Amy, and Rory are switching between two worlds. One in which Amy and Rory are married and settled, and the other where they're freezing to death on the Tardis. Only one is real, and they have to choose which one to die in.

The village that's presented here is a lovely, surreal place. I'm always excited by how the smallest twist on reality can create something completely unusual, how moving something just out of place turns the world into a dream. This is the most fun in the countryside, where there's huge quiet spaces to play around with. The village is shown through a sort of rose-tinted lens, where everything is unpleasantly perfect. They end up being attacked by hordes of old people zombies with eyes in their mouth, which tips the balance over into horror. Almost.

It's 'the cheap one'. Every year, when the producers have run out of money, a purely idea-driven episode is created. And this time it works. It's really just a character study. Amy is given a choice between Rory and the Doctor - the quiet life (with zombies) or the time travelling. After appearing slightly mean last week, Amy redeems herself by showing some love for the normal guy. And the Doctor is still getting criticised. Towards the end, when he admits that he can't save everyone, Amy asks 'Well what's the point of you?'. After last week's slightly problematic episode, this is forty-four minutes that can resonate. Not cluttered with sci-fi references or tangled up in mythology. It just asks human questions that anyone can relate to.

1 comment:

  1. En Amérique on dit "A nice little town where something is not quite right".