Air date: 1st September 2012
Writer: Chris Chibnall
On paper 'Pond Life' sounds like a bad spin-off. We see snapshots of Amy and Rory's life over the five months before they once again join the Doctor and as expected there are lots of purely domestic moments that in a lot of other shows, could fall flat. As much as I would love to say it's simply Karen and Arthur's acting that makes this work, I can't fault the simplistic but brilliant writing from Chris Chibnall that manages to convey a realistic look at the life of a young married couple.
Of course, this being Doctor Who, Amy and Rory's lives are anything but normal. Each segment features an appearance from the Doctor that interrupts their normality in a humorous way. This mini-series is light-hearted for the most part but builds up to the dramatic cliffhanger ending that leads straight into the series proper.
I have to say that the length, although short, works in its favour as the focus of the show itself is on the adventures and not the domestic lives of the companions. Having said that, 'Pond Life' still feels like a proper episode as the three leads (Karen, Arthur and Matt) give it the same attention to detail as they would any other episode.
The chemistry on screen between Karen and Arthur really lends credibility to Amy and Rory's relationship and a few little looks and moments in the segments just seem to add that little bit more life into the characters. Arthur in particular shows a side to Rory that isn't seen all that much in the show itself, a slightly sarcastic and playful attitude as opposed to his normal quiet and subdued portrayal. It's this and Karen's portrayal of Amy as a normal young woman in the first year of marriage that really pull the idea of this miniseries away from the pitfalls that could have caused it to fail and keep it firmly on the ground.
Next Review: Asylum of the Daleks
For behind the scenes photos and notes on the filming see below: