Amy’s Choice was the seventh episode of the fifth series of BBC Wales Doctor Who. It focused on Amy’s relationship with the Doctor and Rory as well as the darker side of the Doctor. It brought up absurd possibilities of the universe as well, with a star burning cold being the danger in the TARDIS dream. No reference to the Silence or an appearance of the Cracks occur during this episode.
In Upper Leadworth, 2015, a hugely pregnant Amy Pond is in her kitchen, baking, when she hunches over in pain. A pony-tailed Rory Williams returns home on his bike, and rushes inside when he hears Amy screaming his name, believing her to be in labor; however, it is merely a false alarm and he finds her sitting on the kitchen floor, happily eating from the bowl of cake batter that she has just prepared with a cake spatula. They are about to resume their activities as normal, when they suddenly hear the TARDIS materializing in the garden outside their window; Rory at first thinks it’s the sound of a leaf blower.
The Eleventh Doctor steps out of his ship, and is greeted first by Rory, then by Amy, who ambles out of the house at a slower pace. He comments on how happy they both look after five years, commenting Amy’s weight gain multiple times, despite being told repeatedly that she is pregnant; apparently not listening, the Doctor asks if she’s pregnant.
The couple takes him on a tour of Upper Leadworth, explaining that most of the people in the village are elderly; hence, they live a quiet life. Sitting down on a bench, the Doctor fails to hide his exasperation with the dull tedium of the village: “How do you fight off the self-harm?” They tell them the boring things they do as birdsong chimes in the background, and they all slowly fall asleep.
The Doctor awakes on the floor of the TARDIS, confused as to how he happened to fall asleep so suddenly and believing everything that happened in regards to Leadworth was a dream; he is relieved when Amy and Rory step into the control room, confused expressions on their faces. Rory describes a dream he’s just woken up from, with Amy chiming in that she dreamed something similar; as they both divulge details, it quickly becomes apparent that all three of them had the same dream. Something is wrong, but before they can decide what it is, birdsong sounds throughout the TARDIS. They fall asleep and find themselves back in Upper Leadworth.
In Leadworth, the Doctor warns Rory and Amy not to believe anything they see, hear, or feel — from now on, they cannot be sure which world is real. The Doctor quickly deduces that they are not experiencing virtual reality; they really must be awake or dreaming, but is Leadworth the dream? Stopping outside the village retirement home and remembering Amy and Rory’s previous explanation that many senior citizens in the town live well into their 90s, the Doctor goes inside to investigate — “Something’s wrong; let’s go poke it with a stick.”
The residents all appear to recognize Rory, addressing him as “Doctor Williams”; the Doctor, meanwhile, notices something suspicious about each one of them, especially Mrs Poggit, who makes him try on a jumper she is knitting for her grandson. The three fall asleep again, waking in the TARDIS as alarms blare.
The Doctor tries to figure out what is happening as the power dies. “We’re in a dead time machine”. Trying to bring the power back on, the Doctor realises someone is interfering with the TARDIS. A strange man who calls himself the Dream Lord materializes and reveals that he is testing them: one of the worlds they are drifting between is fake, and one is real. In each, they will face a deadly danger. They must decide which world is which; if they are killed in the dream world, they will simply wake up in the real world, but if they are killed in the real world, they will actually die. They are put to sleep again.
The trio wake up again in Leadworth and immediately begin arguing over which world is real; however, the Doctor quickly notices that the senior citizens have disappeared. They venture outside and see Mrs Poggit approaching a group of schoolchildren playing inside the local castle ruins. As the Doctor continues to poke fun at Amy and Rory’s new life, Amy cries out in pain; both the Doctor and Rory react in terror at the prospect that she is going into labor, but Amy quickly reveals that it was simply a prank to remind the Doctor that her world “just turned him white as a sheet” and he shouldn’t make fun of it anymore. Before they can approach Mrs Poggit, though, they fall back asleep.
Back in the TARDIS, the Doctor pulls out a spare generator from below the console, and has Rory wind it up to power the circular monitor. Amy wonders why the Doctor is so suspicious of Mrs Poggit, but the monitor turning on diverts their attention. They find the Dream Lord is propelling the TARDIS towards a cold star, and they only have forty minutes before they freeze to death. The Doctor is at a loss for an explanation about the cold star, yelling that he can’t know everything about the universe. Rory suggests that they call for help, but the Doctor points out that it is an idiotic idea as the universe is big, highly unlikely there will be anyone nearby a cold star to help them. The Dream Lord appears and taunts the Doctor with a rhyme about the danger in both worlds, before sending them back to sleep.
They wake up in Leadworth to find the children missing; while the Doctor investigates, Amy contemplates whether or not life in Leadworth is something she would settle for, prompting some insecurity to arise in Rory, who insists that the Leadworth world is the real one. The Doctor spots small piles of ashes scattered around the ruins, and he and Amy quickly deduce that the children have been vaporized by Mrs Poggit. They look back to the village and see the senior citizens — led by Mrs Poggit — walking towards them.
As they approach, the Dream Lord appears and taunts them, suggesting that this world must be the dream because of the “Attack of the Old People”, and for everyone to “jump under a bus and wake up in the TARDIS”. Amy tries to defend the Doctor, but the Dream Lord points out, “loves a red head, our naughty Doctor”, before mentioning his relationship with Elizabeth I. The Doctor stops the Dream Lord’s taunts by telling him he knows who he is — there is only one person in the world who hates him enough to do this. Amused that the Doctor figured it out, the Dream Lord tells them to worry about the senior citizens, then vanishes. The seniors reveal they are possessed by Eknodines, aliens who are using them as hosts, completely hidden apart from eyestalks which they can reveal at will through their mouths. Their home world was destroyed, and so they’ve come to destroy the human race and make a new home for themselves on Earth. The Eknodines try to kill the trio, but the Doctor steps in to protect Amy and Rory while the couple escapes; the Doctor accepts that Leadworth could be real, failing to try reasoning with the Eknodine.
Fleeing to their home, Rory is forced to whack an elderly woman who is waiting for them outside the house with a piece of wood. Inside, Amy rests on the stairway while Rory barricades the door. Amy feels bad that, after having gone so long without seeing the Doctor, she has let him sacrifice himself to save them; Rory is less concerned, assuring her that the Doctor will be fine. “He’s Mr Cool!”
However, the Doctor — dazed by drowsiness — stumbles through the streets of the village as an army of senior citizens pursues him. He is about to fall asleep as birdsong is heard. He enters a butcher shop and searches madly for a means of escape; however, the “proprietor” of the shop is the Dream Lord, who allows the senior citizens to come in while simultaneously putting the Doctor to sleep. Unwilling to leave himself for the Eknodines, the Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver to unlock a back freezer, closing himself inside before allowing sleep to take him.
The trio awake in the TARDIS, and argue about which of the two worlds is real. The Doctor believes it is time to choose. He personally believes that the TARDIS world is real: “It’s a big universe; stars can burn cold, sofas can read”. Rory, however, insists that the Leadworth world is real, prompting the Doctor to angrily wonder whether they’re really disagreeing or competing. Amy wonders what they’re competing over and both give her a look. Annoyed, Amy retrieves some blankets from a lower storage area of the TARDIS and turns them into ponchos, which according to Rory is “the greatest crime against fashion since leaderhosen”. The Doctor decides that if they split up in each world, the Dream Lord will have a harder time putting them back to sleep. The Dream Lord materializes, thinking “Veggie’s” idea is good; with that, he sends the Doctor and Rory back to Leadworth and keeps Amy awake in the TARDIS. Before falling asleep, the Doctor promises Amy that he will come back.
Rory wakes to find the house under siege. He quickly pulls the unconscious Amy upstairs to their unborn child’s nursery, locking the door behind him. The Doctor, meanwhile, calmly primes his sonic screwdriver and opens the freezer door, supercharging the light bulb to blind the Eknodines and enable his escape. He then commandeers a van, saving a man from attack, and drives through the town, picking up various citizens along the way. After dropping them off at the town church, he goes off to find his friends. The Dream Lord materializes in the backseat of the van and taunts the Doctor’s waning relationship with his past companions as they mature after their adventures with him, never to see him again; a good friend would stay in contact, but the Doctor is an “old man” who “prefers the company of the young”.
Meanwhile, the Dream Lord confronts Amy aboard the TARDIS; anything could happen now that they’re alone. Defiant, Amy ignores his lechery. He makes it clear to her that she is not the first woman to travel with the Doctor, and questions her romantic inclinations, claiming Rory is nothing compared to the excitement the Doctor can offer her; however, he also suggests settling for Rory would be better than loving and losing the Doctor. He tells her that they’re waiting for her to decide which world is real — “Amy’s men, Amy’s choice.” She decides to return to Leadworth to join Rory and the Doctor.
She finds out what has happened as the Doctor climbs into the nursery via a window; he reveals that while he was once sure that the TARDIS was reality, he is now uncertain. Mrs Poggit breaks into the nursery’s second window, and Rory immediately stands to action, determined to protect Amy and their baby; however, he is promptly hit by the deadly gas secreted from her eyestalk. The Doctor promptly jams a nearby lamp into Mrs Poggit’s face, causing her to fall to the ground outside. Telling Amy to look after their baby, Rory dissolves into dust. Amy begs the Doctor to save Rory, but he sadly says that he cannot — “then what is the point of you?”. Distraught, Amy decides that Leadworth is the dream; it cannot be real because Rory isn’t there with her.
She and the Doctor make their way outside, past the suddenly docile Eknodines, and approach the van. Before giving her the keys, the Doctor asks her if she’s sure of what she’s about to do; Amy replies that she is, and that even if it is real, she doesn’t want to live in a world without Rory. As the Dream Lord watches, the two drive the van straight into the house, killing themselves and several Eknodines in the process.
The Doctor, Amy, and Rory awake in the TARDIS, almost frozen, but alive. The Dream Lord appears, congratulating them on their success; in a show of benevolence, he steers the TARDIS away from the cold star, and turns the power back on before vanishing. The Doctor, however, is not convinced, and sets the TARDIS to self-destruct despite Amy and Rory’s protests. A blinding white light floods the control room.
The three wake up in the TARDIS once more. The Doctor presents his companions with a speck of psychic pollen; it had fallen into the time rotor and heated up, creating the dream state. After blowing the pollen into space, the Doctor reveals that the Dream Lord was a manifestation of the dark side of his personality. He sets the TARDIS on a new course. Rory asks Amy what stopped the Leadworth dream, having forgotten his “death”; Amy tells him, confessing that she did not know which world was real, but that no matter what, she could not live without him. The couple share a kiss; Rory, when asked by the Doctor where they’d like to go next, tells him it’s Amy’s choice.
As the Doctor works the TARDIS controls, he briefly sees the Dream Lord’s face within his reflection on the console, giving a sinister smile. This troubles the Doctor enough to look around; when his reflection is shown again, it is his own — the Dream Lord is no longer there.