I like a good time travel story. Oh let’s be honest, I probably like a bad time travel story. But this was not one of them. Let’s rewind.
1. So Presumably The Lift Buttons Are Sterile Then
There is a lot that’s weird about the medical centre behind last night’s episode of Doctor Who. That isolates people who identify themselves as being infected by a plague that the Doctor had never heard of on one of his favourite planets (which suddenly makes Torchwood: Miracle Day a whole more believable) along dimensional, vibrational timelines moving at different speeds. And allowing access from one to the other via a looking glass. More on that in a minute. But this is one of those episodes where the sci-fi gobbledygook can and probably should be ignored for a far more emotionally resonant episode than we’ve had of late.
2. Amy Through The Looking Glass
It’s like they’ve wandered into a set with very big, iconic props. Hang on, wasn’t that the doll house last week? While this kind of device has been used to effect in the likes of Fringe, peering from dimension to dimension, here the very shape makes it emotionally resonant, peering from place to place, to person, to person like a child’s plaything. Also, Portal.
3. All Is Full Of Kindness
It’s a Chris Cunningham/Bjork robot, as also seen in the likes of I, Robot and the new Marvin. With a juxtaposed horrific face full of needles. No nightmares there then. A league of medical robots intent on accidentally killing with kindness. And they look like they were built by Apple. In Appalappachia. See Brendon, I was right, Apple is evil. And also, pretty crap too..
4. Amy Warrior Princess
She’s sixty years old. She has access to resources of all knowledge and healthcare. And she makes swords, armour, a sonic screwdriver and something to keep her hair coloured and her skin relatively supple. She’s Wonder Woman, she’s Promethea, she’s Xena with a zimmerframe. AMYLF.
And if you thought she had a temper before, well now it’s internalised and changed her into a very different person. But she still never takes no for an answer, even if it rips apart time and space.
She waited fourteen years before. Then another six months. Then another six months. Then another six months. She keeps waiting for the Doctor. This time it was too much.
5. Rory Is The Butt Of Every Joke
He is loyal, he is kind, he is brave, he is funny. He has stayed devoted to one woman for a thousand years. But he’s also a bit weedy, and therefore to be mocked at every available turn. I was getting a bit sick about the constant mocking of Rory, but this was just hilarious. And also exposed Amy’s need for the boy who, lest we forget, also waited.
6. The Two Amys.
“It’s your marriage”
“You always wished there were too of you.”
This is where we are going isn’t it? Multiple identities and transformation. This week we have two Amys. Last week Amy turned into a doll. Before that time travelling robots that turned into Amy. We began with two Doctors, we then had Ganger Doctor duplicates, we had a TARDIS that turned into a woman. We’re going with a theme here aren’t we? Add that to Rory dying and something is up, isn’t it?
Didn’t it start with the Comic Relief specials, Time And Space? There we had two Amys seconds apart flirting with each other. Here they are fighting over a boy instead. How very feminist.
7. The Voice Of God
For a character that’s not actually in this episode a whole lot, he’s everywhere. Omipresent, even. He makes plans, decisions, from another place, he command his followers to do as he says, and listens to their prayers. And sometimes he says “No.”
8. Amy Pond In The TARDIS. With Rory Williams
Remember Mickey’s “The Doctor in the TARDIS. With Rose Tyler”? Nice callback.
9. Becoming The Doctor
And there it is. The Doctor turns his companions into weapons, was the accusation from Davros. Now he is turning them into himself. It’s not just Rory who he gives the power of life and death to. He’s turned Amy into a version of himself as well, making decisions about time and space, changing the way she knows events played out, making a sonic screwdriver… and while there may be swords, notice, no guns. But transformations… people into… monsters?
10. Where Are We Going With All This.
Remember a couple of weeks ago.The biggest question kept in plain sight. “Doctor?” The answer. “Who?” Steven Moffat has talked about reverting the Doctor away from the figure that everyone knows, fears, and has has legends about. Is that how he will survive his own death, by becoming someone else – by becoming no one? Will he no longer marry River Song? Doctor… Who?
And if they do rescue Melody Pond as a baby… will they kill River Song?
Bonus! Trailer Tease
Yes, you did see them…