“Nothing ever happens here,” is Rory’s description for where The Doctor and the gang end up this time around. It’s five years after Amy and Rory travelled in the TARDIS and they have settled into the mind-numbingly dull (and fictional) village of Upper Leadworth. Amy is approximately the size of a dwarf star due to pregnancy and Rory has acquired (since I refuse to believe that he grew it) a strange mullet and ponytail combination.
Then the truth emerges that they are flipping between dreams and reality, and they have to decide which is which before the TARDIS crashes into a star…
This episode had a number of different effects on me, one of which was to put me off ever living in a nice and quiet village like that shown in the programme (a desire that I’ve had since Hot Fuzz, funnily enough). I thought I wanted a nice and simple life but that one was as boring as hearing about how cider is made.
Another was that it made me laugh many a time at how the team were working together, with lots of banter while still being serious and working towards a good conclusion. It featured the usual struggles for Amy’s affections between Rory and the Doctor (although in the Doctor’s case it’s more a struggle to get rid of them) and it added to the overall atmosphere and the inconvenience of the whole thing.
Say what you will about this show, but there is something inherently funny when you see who the gang have to face this week and how they treat them. Specifically the old people, I’m not referring to the Dream Lord, who is the main villain of the episode, seeing as he puts them into that situation in the first place.
This illustrates well how the show can treat various real world stereotypes in a fantasy setting. Because the old people are an alien menace, it’s okay to beat them in the face with a large plank of wood. That sounds like an excellent (read: shit) defence for one of these old people beaters you read about in the paper “But your honour, she opened her mouth and some lethal breath came out!”
Doctor Who specialises in fantastic mundaneness, I’d say, and it really shows in this episode.
Like most murder mysteries, it is obvious in hindsight why it turned out the way it did. You can see hints to this effect and I suspect you’ll kick yourself for not getting it sooner.
The latest episode in Moffat’s Doctor Who run was an interesting one, a mystery that the viewer is trying to solve along with the characters and that you’ll have a fun time trying to solve. I think that the answer will surprise you in the end and that this episode is well worth the 45 minutes it takes to watch it. I think this episode is one of the best yet and that it is an instrumental one for character development.