‘Hold on tight. This is going to be a tricky one,’ says the Doctor to Amy and Rory at the beginning of ‘Amy’s Choice’ (5:7).
Arriving in the TARDIS at the Ponds’ idyllic cottage (in the slightly upmarket Upper Leadworth) he ruined Amy’s garden. That should have been a clue that something was up; I have never imagined Amelia Pond as a gardener. But there she was, having swallowed a planet, looking all elephanty, a pregnant boat; called ‘Chubs’ by her contented, pony-tailed husband (Doctor) Rory Williams-Pond.
We all make choices every day; some of them with the potential to change our lives in significant ways; Amy Pond has made many in her time.
Since that night she reached out to Santa while she was still a child, hoping he would send someone, a policeman maybe, to deal with the crack in her wall and the voices that emanated from it, Amy’s most significant choice has been to wait for and then to travel along with, her raggedy Doctor. It hasn’t always been easy or even safe, but she has chosen to stick to him, her trust rarely wavering. And then there’s Rory, the boy who waited; for that penny that had been in the air so long, to drop and waken Amy to his devotion; she chose him too, or did she?
Enter, the ‘Dream Lord’, our villain for tonight, with this for the ‘Time Lord’; “So, here’s your challenge. Two worlds; here in the time machine, and there in the village that time forgot. One is real, the other’s fake. And just to make it more interesting you’re going to face in both worlds a deadly danger. But only one of the dangers is real.”
But, returning to Amy and her choices; the Dream Lord says she has two issues to deal with, two choices to make.
- The first he suggests, quite insidiously (great word, insidiously) is between Rory and the Doctor.
DREAM LORD: Oh, Amy; you have to sort your men out. Choose, even.
- The second choice that confronts Amy is more urgent. Falling into a freezing sun aboard the TARDIS in one world; facing ‘the attack of the old people’ in Leadworth in another. The Dream Lord tells Amy straight, “You’ve got a world to choose.”
DREAM LORD: Pick a world and this nightmare will all be over. They’ll listen to you. It’s you they’re waiting for; Amy’s men, Amy’s choice.
Eventually both of Amy’s choices come together when Rory dies in Upper Leadworth at the hands of the ‘old people’, leaving Amy with a pile of dust and this to say to her trusted Doctor.
AMY: Save him. You save everyone. You always do. It’s what you do.
DOCTOR: Not always. I’m sorry.
AMY: Then what is the point of you?
So, with her Doctor just as helpless to know what to do as she is, Amy chooses; and she chooses to risk death in one world (crashing a mini-bus into Rory’s dream home) for the chance to see Rory again in the other. Good choice, Amy.
Of all that might be said about Amy’s choices, it’s the matter of her disappointment with them that interests me most; particularly her disappointment with the Doctor when he could not save Rory but also I guess with the disappointment she shows at times with her choice of Rory. Of course, disappointment does not necessarily mean that a choice was a bad one; every choice we make leaves something not chosen, that we may hanker after later. Think of the people of Israel wanting to return to slavery in Egypt rather than continuing with God to the land he promised them.
For all his good (though fictional) qualities, even Amy’s Doctor was powerless in the face of her grief.
For all Rory’s good (though fictional) qualities, Amy’s infatuation with her remarkable Doctor would always be a test of her love and she must renew her choice moment by moment.
All the important choices of life seem bound up in our relationships, with one another and with God. If our parallel worlds ever crossed perhaps Amy would be relieved and happy to read Jesus’ words;
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:9-17