THE 2010 series of stories reaches its mid-point with this latest collection, which includes Amy’s Choice and the two-parter The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood. With Amy’s fianc� Rory having joined the TARDIS crew, the dynamics onboard shift dramatically during the course of these episodes, as she comes to realise just where her feelings lie with regards to the two men in her life.

In an apparent flash forward to a time five years after Amy travelled with the Doctor, we find her and Rory living in married bliss and contemplating the imminent birth of their first child. But when the Doctor suddenly returns to their lives, he heralds a deadly new menace which threatens the very future of the Earth, or does he?

The sound of birdsong revives the Doctor, Amy and Rory from an apparent dream state, finding them back on the TARDIS and drifting perilously close to a cold star… With the ship’s life support system failing, the crew find themselves struggling to survive, only to suddenly return to the previous reality in Amy’s future.

Which world is real, who is the mysterious Dream Lord, and what is his disturbing connection to the Doctor? Amy finds herself torn between two realities and forced to make a heartbreaking choice which will change her life forever.

The subsequent story, featuring the return of underground Earth reptiles the Silurians, is almost a tribute to the traditional story featured during the tenure of Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor in the 1970s. Featuring an experimental drilling project, a moral dilemma involving the planet’s original inhabitants, and lots of running around in caves, it’s a perfect modern updating of those old stories, with a shocking conclusion that comes completely by surprise.

The introduction of Rory (Arthur Darvill) as a new member of the TARDIS team not only promotes further character development for the Doctor (Matt Smith) and Amy (Karen Gillan), but also comes at a point where Amy has matured and grown as a companion, now almost comfortable with the idea of travelling through time and space fighting monsters.

Perhaps the weakest two-parter of this run, there are still many positives about The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood worth highlighting, including the neat re-designs of the Silurians and a stand-out guest slot from Meera Syall as Dr Nasreen Chaudhry. However, it’s Amy’s Choice which is the real gem here, an intriguing and imaginative story which keeps the audience guessing throughout. Superb stuff from start to finish, and hopefully not the last time we’ll see Toby Jones’ enigmatic Dream Lord.