"Amy's Choice" is the seventh episode (and sixth story) of the fifth series of the revival of Doctor Who. It stars Matt Smith as The Eleventh Doctor, Karen Gillam as Amy Pond, and Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams.
When I started watching Doctor Who, it was at a friend's house, and I watched whatever their DVR had happened to capture. I was only murkily caught up on there being this Tenth Doctor when I was informed that there was an even newer Doctor. This was one of the first of his adventures I saw, still not sure about who the characters were. While many might think that I lost out, seeing most of revival Doctor Who all garbled up, I think that they might have been missing out, seeing it so slowly, and all in the right order.
Imagine me, still learning the ropes of the tropes of Doctor Who, learning about how many variations can be made on the predictable structure of a Doctor Who plot, seeing the Doctor say to this week's mystery:
"This is going to be a tricky one."
And tricky it is: The Doctor comes back to Amy and Rory's home in Leadworth some years in the future, to meet a future Amy and Rory. Rory is a doctor, Amy is pregnant. All seems to be well, until a bird chirps and they wake up on the TARDIS. It was all just a nightmare, although strangely they all had the same nightmare. And then they wake up again, back in Leadworth. They keep on switching between two worlds, both seeming real, but both plagued with dangers. The Doctor, Amy and Rory then are confronted with "The Dream Lord", who tells them that they have to figure out which is real and which is a dream, and that the penalty for guessing wrong is death.
As stated in the title, the episode is about Amy's Choice: between the adventurous, alien Doctor and the dependable, loyal Rory. That is stated clearly, but the amount to which this episode is a key to the characterization and dynamics of the three characters over this series and the next is not obvious upon first viewing.
What is obvious on first viewing is the absolute eerie nature of the mystery, and how exciting to figure out who The Dream Lord is (the Doctor says that "only one person hates me that much"), and which world is the real world, and which the dream...