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Matt Smith
Amy's Choice
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Synopsis


Amy, The Doctor and Rory
Amy, The Doctor and Rory
 It’s been five long years since Amy travelled in the TARDIS with her mysterious Doctor - and when he shows up again, on the eve of the birth of her first child, danger is not far behind him.

 Amy is faced with a heartbreaking choice that will change her life forever.

Source: Radio Times


General Information

Season: Thirty One (New Series 5)
Production Code: 5-7
Story Number: 208 (New Series: 52)
Episode Number:763 (New Series: 67)
Number of Episodes: 1
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Production Dates: 2010 (Block 6)
Broadcast Date: 15 May 2010
Colour Status: HD Colour
Studio: BBC Wales (Upper Boat, Pontypridd)
Location: Skenfrith (near Llandaff, South East Wales).
Writer:Simon Nye
Director:Catherine Morshead
Producer:Tracie Simpson
Executive Producers:Beth Willis, Piers Wenger and Steven Moffat
Script Editor:Brian Minchin
Editor:Jamie Pearson
Production Executive:Julie Scott
Production Designer:Tristan Peatfield
Director of Photography:Erik Wilson
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG
Line Producer:Patrick Schweitzer
Costume Designer:Ray Holman
Make-Up Designer:Barbara Southcott
Cameramen:Jon Vidgen (Assistant), Tom Hartley (Assistant), Matthew Poynter (Operator) and Richard Stoddard (Operator)
Incidental Music:Murray Gold
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Paul Jefferies
Sound Recordist:Bryn Thomas
Sound Supervisor:Paul McFadden
Visual Effects:BBC Wales Graphics
Stunt Co-ordinator:Crispin Layfield
Stunt Performers:Belinda McGinley, Dani Biernat, Gordon Seed and Helen Steinway-Bailey
Title Sequence:Frame Store
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Murray Gold
Music Performed By: The BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Matt Smith (The Eleventh Doctor)
Number of Companions: 2The Companions: Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) and Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams) Additional Cast: Toby Jones (Dream Lord), Nick Hobbs (Mr Naindy), Joan Linder (Mrs Hamill), Audrey Ardington (Mrs Poggit)Setting: Upper Leadworth, Earth (2015), The TARDIS Villains:The Eknodine and The Valeyard

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
763Amy's Choice15 May 201044'08"BBC One: 7.1
BBC HD: 0.5
Total: 7.6
Yes

Total Duration 44 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 7.6 (BBC One: 7.1   BBC HD: 0.5)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2010)78.70%  (Position = 5 out of 10)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)71.97% Lower (Position = 105 out of 241)


Archives


 This story exists and is held in the BBC's Film and Videotape Library.



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Notes


This story is written by Simon Nye and is his first contribution to the show. His previous credits include Men Behaving Badly (1992 - 1998) and Hardware, both of which he created.

This is the first Doctor Who story to be directed by Catherine Morshead. Her previous credits include The Railway Children (2000).

This story was recorded in the final production block. The read-through took place on Wednesday 17th February 2010. Along with "The Lodger" these were the final two read-throughs for Season Thirty One (New Series 5).

Being one of the last stories in this season to be produced, Simon Nye was able to attend the read-throughs of earlier stories before finishing his script. It has been revealed that seeing Matt Smith and Karen Gillan working together helped him capture the dynamics between The Doctor and Amy Pond.

Much of the story - the majority of the Upper Leadworth 'dream' scenes - were filmed in Skenfrith, a small village near Llandaff in South East Wales. Llandaff was where the Leadworth scenes were shot for "The Eleventh Hour".

The pre-opening credit sequence is over 5 minutes and 48 seconds long - the longest that there has been to date. The previous pre-opening credit sequence that is over 5 minutes (at 5 minutes and 7 seconds) was the 2008 Tenth Doctor story "Turn Left".

Audrey Ardington (who plays Mrs Poggit) played the Abbess in The Sarah Jane Adventures story "The Eye of the Gorgon".

Toby Jones (who plays the Dream Lord) played the part of Dobby in the Harry Potter Films.

One of the stunt performers is Nick Hobbs, who has previously appeared in the show, notably as Aggedor in the Third Doctor stories "The Curse of Peladon", in 1972, and "The Monster of Peladon", in 1974.

This story’s main plot centres around The Doctor, Rory and Amy being trapped, by the Dream Lord, in an alternative world and Amy has to decide what is the real world.

The Doctor initially assumes that the TARDIS has jumped a time track. In the 1965 First Doctor story "The Space Museum" The Doctor speculated that the TARDIS somehow jumped a 'time track' when he arrives at a location where he's able to see a version of his future self.

Technically, the entire story takes place in the TARDIS and as the majority of this is story occurs as a dream it is not clear if the Eknodine (the aliens inside human hosts with only a green eyestalk visible in the human host’s mouth) or the Dream Lord are real or not. There is also no indication of how much time has passed since the previous story "The Vampires of Venice".

The first story to only take place in the TARDIS was the 1963 First Doctor story "The Edge of Destruction".

This isn't the first time The Doctor has come under attack in the TARDIS. The Doctor’s time machine was invaded by Sontarans in the 1978 Fourth Doctor story "The Invasion of Time" and the Cybermen boarded the TARDIS in the 1982 Fifth Doctor story "Earthshock". The Master attacked the Eighth Doctor in the TARDIS ("Doctor Who: The Movie") and more recently, The Doctor materialised his craft around a none-too-happy Dalek in the 2005 Ninth Doctor story "Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways".

At one point Amy is heard referencing Oklahoma! This is a musical written by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II that began life as a stage show and was adapted for film in 1955. The movie stars Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones as the lead characters, Curly and Laurey. It contains a dream sequence in which Laurey dreams of what marriage to Curly would be like. When Curley is killed in her dream it makes her realise (in reality) that he is the man for her. A very familiar scenario as in "Amy’s Choice".

The Doctor is seen trying to jump start the TARDIS by kicking it. He last did this in the 2006 Tenth Doctor story "Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel".

The box under the TARDIS console that The Doctor opens has the words: ‘TARDIS. Time And Relative Dimension In Space. Build Site: Gallifrey Blackhole Shipyard. Type 40. Build date: 1963. Authorised for use by qualified Time Lords only by the Shadow Proclamation. Misuse or theft of any TARDIS will result in extreme penalties and permanent exile’ written on it.

The Doctor is also heard stating that he threw the TARDIS Manual at a Supernova because he ‘disagreed’ with it.

The Dream Lord is seen teleporting himself around much like The Valeyard did in the 1986 Sixth Doctor story "The Ultimate Foe" (the final instalment of The Trial of a Time Lord season).

The Dream Lord isn't the first character to mimic The Doctor's outfit. In the 1979 Fourth Doctor story "Destiny of the Daleks" Romana dressed in clothes identical to the Time Lord's. He called them ‘silly’ and she changed into an outfit similar to The Doctor's - long coat and scarf - but a different colour.

The Dream Lord is heard accusing The Doctor of abandoning his companions in favour of younger friends, echoing remarks by Sarah Jane Smith, in the 2006 story "School Reunion", about the Tenth Doctor and his relationship with Rose Tyler.

The Dream Lord, when alone with Amy in the TARDIS, echoes a conversation, in "Rose", that Jackie Tyler had with the Ninth Doctor about how ‘anything could happen’.

The Dream Lord is heard to refer to The Doctor's relationship with Elizabeth I (previously mentioned in the Tenth Doctor stories "The Shakespeare Code" and "The End of Time" as well as in "The Beast Below"). The Dream Lord also refers to The Doctor as being the ‘last of the Time Lords’ and ‘the oncoming storm’, two nicknames he has been given.

Look out for the sign outside the old peoples’ home which reads ‘SARN Residential Care Home’. Sarn was the setting for the 1984 Fifth Doctor story "Planet of Fire".

Following on immediately after this story, on BBC3, was the seventh chapter of the fifth series of Doctor Who Confidential. Titled "Arthurian Legend" which looked into the making of this story. It was presented by Alex Price.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first Doctor Who story to be written by Simon Nye.

 The first Doctor Who story to be directed by Catherine Morshead.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
Welcoming The Doctor
Welcoming The Doctor

Five years after she last travelled with The Doctor, Amy is now married to Rory, pregnant and living in an idyllic looking cottage Upper Leadworth. While in the kitchen they hear the sound of the TARDIS materialise in their garden. The Doctor, on exiting seems just as astonished by Rory's new ponytail as Amy's pregnancy. While going for a walk in the village they sit on a bench so that Amy can take a rest. They then realise that they can hear bird song and start to feel drowsy. After falling asleep they find themselves waking up inside the TARDIS. When they all realise that they have all just had the same dream, they decide that strange forces are at work, but the sound of bird song is heard and they fall asleep only to wake up back in Upper Leadworth.

Nearby is a retirement home where a large number of the village's population are living. Amy and Rory take The Doctor inside where they find something a little odd about all of the residents, particularly the elderly Mrs Poggit. The three collapse again in the middle of the room and wake back in the TARDIS - but this time they are confronted by a strange figure calling himself the 'Dream Lord'.

Before The Doctor can stop him the Dream Lord shuts off the TARDIS' power supply plunging them all into near darkness. He then gives the three a challenge: one of the two worlds they are drifting between is real, while the other is fake. In each world, they will face 'a deadly danger', and if they are killed in the fake world, they will wake up permanently in the real one. But if they die in the real world then their death will be permanent. The Dream Lord therefore advises them to make their choice very carefully.

Amy Pond
Amy Pond

Before they can question the Dream Lord any further they all fall asleep and then awake back in Upper Leadworth. There The Doctor notices that all of the elderly residents, who live in the retirement home, have disappeared. They go outside where they spot Mrs Poggit watching over a group of children. But before The Doctor can take a closer look they all fall asleep again.

Once more back inside the TARDIS they see the first danger: The powerless TARDIS is slowly drifting towards a freezing cold star, and that they only have a short time to save themselves. After waking up in Upper Leadworth again, they find that the children have been reduced to dust. They are then confronted by a large group of angry residents heading towards them. The elderly reveal themselves to be aliens known as the Ecnodeen, small green eye stalks which use humans as hosts. The alien controlling Mrs Poggit explains that their race was very nearly killed off, and that they plan to do the same to other races. The Ecnodeen try to turn the three into dust - as they did with the children - simply by breathing on them, but The Doctor and his Companions manage to get away.

The Dream Lord
The Dream Lord

The Doctor leads away a large group of aliens, and locks himself in a storage room of a butcher's shop when he starts to fall asleep again. Amy and Rory escape to their house but as soon as they enter they too fall asleep. In the TARDIS, the Dream Lord tells them that they do not have long in either of the two worlds, and that they must soon decide which of the two worlds is real. Amy then finds herself alone in the TARDIS while Rory and The Doctor find themselves back in Upper Leadworth trying to defend themselves from the advancing Ecnodeen. Waking up on the staircase, Rory drags the sleeping Amy up into what will be their baby's room. Meanwhile The Doctor escapes from the butcher's and drives a camper van towards Amy's house, rescuing a number of people, who are being attacked by the Ecnodeen, on the way. Back in the TARDIS the Dream Lord questions Amy as to who she would choose between. Rory or The Doctor? He tells her that she needs to choose between the worlds. One of which leads to a peaceful married life with Rory while the other leads to adventure and excitement travelling with The Doctor.

Amy falls asleep and wakes up beside Rory in their house. The Doctor arrives at the house just as Mrs Poggit climbs up onto the roof by the window. In an attempt to protect Amy, who starts going into labour, Rory tries to fight Mrs Poggit off, but she breathes on him and knocks him back. The Doctor pushes Mrs Poggit back and she falls to the ground below, but it is already to late for Rory who turns to dust before Amy’s eyes.

This makes Amy realise that she will always value Rory more than The Doctor, despite the fact that she was visibly unsure before his death. Amy decides that the world in Upper Leadworth with the Ecnodeen is the fake, and that if they all die there they will be able to save themselves in reality and she will be reunited with Rory. If she is wrong, and that Upper Leadworth is the real world, she doesn't care if she dies there because she now knows that she can't live without Rory. The Doctor and Amy storm outside past the Ecnodeen and climb into the camper van; Amy then crashes it into the house at full speed, killing them both.

Amy, The Doctor and Rory
Amy, The Doctor and Rory

The Doctor, Amy and Rory all wake up in the TARDIS. The Dream Lord reactivates it mere seconds before it crashes into the surface of the cold star and states that they have made the correct choice and that he has been defeated, prompting him to leave. However, Amy and Rory are shocked when The Doctor sets the TARDIS to explode. When they ask him why, he explains that it is because both worlds are not real and that he knows this because he knows who the Dream Lord really is…

After the TARDIS explodes the three awake for the last time but this time in the real TARDIS. Amy and Rory find The Doctor holding several specks resembling crystals. The Doctor tells them that they are specks of psychic pollen which had fallen into the TARDIS and heated up, which then made them fall asleep. He blows them out of the door and into space.

The Doctor then reveals that the Dream Lord was actually a physical incarnation of his darker side, as the pollen acts as a parasite which feeds on people's dark sides and builds them into physical forms. Rory asks Amy why she was so sure that Upper Leadworth was the fake world after he died; Amy replies that she wasn't sure at all as she just wanted to be with him again, which Rory is delighted to hear. However, as The Doctor sets the co-ordinates he sees an image of the Dream Lord smiling slyly back at him in his reflection on the console.

 
Falling Asleep
Falling Asleep
The Dream Lord
The Dream Lord
The Residents of Upper Leadworth
The Residents of Upper Leadworth
Mrs Poggit
Mrs Poggit
 
Amy and The Doctor
Amy and The Doctor
The Eknodine Attack
The Eknodine Attack
Keeping Warm
Keeping Warm
A Frozen Amy
A Frozen Amy




Quote of the Story


 'Listen to me. Trust nothing. From now on, trust nothing you see, hear or feel.'

The Doctor



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
DVD
Amy's Choice - The Hungry Earth - Cold Blood - Vincent and the DoctorAugust 2010BBCDVD 3215Photo-montage
Video
Blu-Ray
Amy's Choice - The Hungry Earth - Cold Blood - Vincent and the DoctorAugust 2010BBCBD 0084Photo-montage
Video
DVD
The Complete Fifth Series Box SetNovember 2010BBCDVD 3285Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing all 10 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Fifth Series Box SetNovember 2010BBCBD 0115Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing all 10 stories
Video
DVD
The Complete Fifth Series Box Set (Limited Edition)November 2010BBCDVD 3344Photo-montageLimited Edition DVD boxed set containing all 10 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Fifth Series Box Set (Limited Edition)November 2010BBCBD 0130Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray boxed set containing all 10 stories
Audio
CD
Original Television Soundtrack - Series 5November 2010Photo-montageMusic by Murray Gold
Audio
CD
The Essential CompanionNovember 2010Photo-montageDocumentary
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Series 1-7 Box Set (Limited Edition)December 2013BBCBD 0242Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray boxed set containing all Series 1-7 stories at full 1080p high definition
Video
DVD
The Complete Fifth Series (2014 Re-release)August 2014BBCDVD 3969Photo-montageBoxed set containing all 10 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Fifth Series Box Set (Limited Edition Steelbook)February 2020BBCBD 0487Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray Steelbook boxed set containing 10 stories


In Print

No Book Release
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 421 (Released: May 2010)
Doctor Who Magazine - ReviewIssue 423 (Released: July 2010)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 502 (Released: September 2016)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArticleIssue 549 (Released: April 2020)
Doctor Who DVD FilesVolume 77 (Released: December 2011)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companions

 
Matt Smith
The Eleventh Doctor

   

Karen Gillan
Amy Pond
 
Arthur Darvill
Rory Williams
   




On Release

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Blu-Ray Cover
Blu-Ray Cover

BBC
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Complete Series DVD Box Set
Complete Series DVD Box Set

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VIDEO
Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set

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Ltd Edition DVD Box Set
Ltd Edition DVD Box Set

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Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set
Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set

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VIDEO
Original Television Soundtrack Cover
Original Television Soundtrack Cover

BBC
AUDIO
The Essential Companion Cover
The Essential Companion Cover

BBC
AUDIO
   
Complete Series 1-7 Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series 1-7 Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series DVD Box Set<BR>(2014 Re-release)
Complete Series DVD Box Set
(2014 Re-release)

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series Blu-Ray Limited Edition Steelbook Box Set
Complete Series Blu-Ray Limited Edition Steelbook Box Set

BBC
VIDEO



Magazines

Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 421
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 421

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 423
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 423

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 502
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 502

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Article: Issue 549
Doctor Who Magazine - Article: Issue 549

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 77
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 77

GE Fabbri


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