Aha! A proper stand-alone story this week, with not so much a hint of the troubles to come, which is not a Bad Thing at all. This one was written by Tom MacRae, whose last Who involvement was The Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel, and it was a nicely different piece.
For a start, there was no villain or disaster to overcome, no monsters to fight, just a slight problem with time and some overly kind robots. Unfortunately, this slight problem led to Amy being left alone for 36 years, which did remarkably little for her temper.
But I won’t go into the plot details beyond that. What I’d like to talk about is the quite superb performances from Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill as Amy and Rory. Karen quite convincingly carried off playing her older self with a nice line in swordplay and a huge pile of bitterness, and Arthur was quite excellent in portraying Rory’s struggle to deal with two Amys. With the Doctor having to stay in the TARDIS to avoid being infected with a deadly disease that only affects two-hearted beings, this episode was an excellent chance to develop the companions, and it managed that very nicely indeed.
And in between the action fun and games, there were some quite affecting moments – Amy and Amy talking about Rory was beautifully done, and Rory’s struggle at the end was impressive stuff.
A good solid episode, and hardly anything to confuse anyone who’s been finding the wibbly wobblyness of the series so far a bit much…