The troublesome trio are off on another adventure. Presumably dissatisfied with the action they found back in “Eastendersland” last time, they are in search of a fun and exciting planet. Only trouble is, Amy has forgotten her phone.
“I bring you to a paradise planet two billion light years away and you want to update TWITTER!”
The Doctor has heard of Twitter!
I digress. Amy forgets her phone, takes the wrong door and gets stuck in some kind of parallel time stream.
This episode was one of those Doctor Who stories that covers the realities of time travel (if that isn’t an oxymoron) rather than being a scarathon, or full of battling aliens. It was about emotion and decisions and heart-wrenching situations.
The trouble is, I’m just not good at emotions. I don’t mind a bit here and there, punctuating a bigger story, but when the crux of the episode is centred around two big emotional moments - Amy talking to herself, and Amy telling Rory not to open the door - then I struggle with it.
That is not to say this wasn’t a great episode. It was well constructed and the story was nice. The strange quarantine on the planet looked excellent, very white and pristine and actually quite a nice place to spend your days. The writing was good, dialogue snappy when it needed to be and full of love when that was required instead. The acting was great.
I just didn’t buy it, really. The decision seemed easy to me. Perhaps it is my heartless streak but I can’t fathom that older Amy wouldn’t want to save herself 36 years in what she quite happily described as “hell”. Why would you inflict that on yourself?
Regardless of the fundamental problem I had with the episode, there was a lot to like. Rory’s part seems to keep on growing. This time he was trusted for a good while as official double act with the Doctor. There was Rory-cam. The decision came down to him. It was all so very Rory. Every episode, he bowls me over with how good he is and how much I like him. When he first arrived in Series 5, I thought he was just taking up space in the TARDIS. How very wrong I was.
I must say, though, when the Doctor departs at the end: “I’ll leave you two to it.” Hmm. That’s not really how the TARDIS should be, is it?
I liked the double speed time stream. It felt very Girl in the Fireplace again. Peeking in on her and finding more time has passed than you thought. I can’t imagine what Amy did in that white room for a week all by herself. I would have gone completely mad.
I was in turn happy about and also distressed by how many BTTF comparisons I was able to make. I did wonder whether it would have been fun if Amy and Amy had fainted upon seeing each other, but no, in Doctor Who world there are no paradoxes from seeing a younger/older version of yourself.
Overall, a good episode. There was a lot I didn’t particularly like but I was able to objectively say “that’s just not for me” rather than faulting the episode as a whole - and I’d much rather it was that way round. Two episodes in a row with no River Song/dead Doctor business, it can’t be long before that rears it’s ugly head again. No offence, River.
Finally, there’s just time to say that the Doctor has officially stated: “On no account touch anything yellow.” Your wish is my command, sir.