Pond Life

Doctor WhoIt’s just another day in the life of Amy and Rory – a life that’s routinely thrown into disarray by the comings and goings of a rogue Time Lord, that is. As if it’s not enough that he’s constantly calling and leaving messages about his adventures, he leaves them a gift: a subservient Ood to help out around the house. But between their discomfort with typical Ood behavior and the Doctor’s frequently ill-timed visits, life with the Ponds is anything but normal, and increasingly it’s anything but relaxed and pleasant.

Doctor Whowritten by Chris Chibnall
directed by Saul Metzstein
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams), Paul Kasey (Ood)

Notes: The Doctor says that the Ood wandered aboard the TARDIS during “the Androvox conflict,” a reference to an intergalactic war criminal and refugee encountered by Sarah Jane and her young friends in the Sarah Jane Adventures stories Prisoner Of The Judoon (2009) and The Vault Of Secrets (2010), and whose ship was at the heart of the Doctor Who universe’s interpretation of the Roswell UFO incident (the animated adventure Dreamland, 2009). Pond Life premiered as five short segments during the week prior to the premiere of Doctor Who’s seventh season, with an “omnibus” edition collecting all five segments into a five minute mini-episode available shortly before Asylum Of The Daleks.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green

Review: It’s hard to critique five minutes’ worth of Doctor Who without overanalyzing. Pond Life is a mildly amusing prelude to the seventh season (not, as the BBC continually insists on calling it, a prequel), with a series of amusing vignettes showing us what the Doctor’s been up to (though the eleventh Doctor’s tendency toward seemingly lascivious run-ins with famous women – Marilyn Monroe, Mata Hari, and whoever was painting his, er, portrait in The Impossible Astronaut – is becoming a bit of an overused cliche). The domesticated Ood is almost laugh-out-loud funny (especially once it dons the apron). The fun is all brought to a juddering halt with the fleeting glimpses of impending domestic disaster. It’s almost too much of an “arc” to cram into the space of five minutes, because we go from seeing the mildly annoying (but still largely funny) side-effects of having been the Doctor’s companions, to what appears to be the break-up of a family, in that short span. That’d be heavy stuff for a typical 40+ minute episode, but making it the central story of a short subject? (Then again, considering how quickly the whole thing was waved away in the season’s first full-length episode…)