DOCTOR WHO “The Doctor’s Wife” Season 6, Episode 4 – There was quite a bit of anticipation being built up over this week’s episode of Doctor Who, written by Neil Gaiman. After watching “The Doctor’s Wife” it is fair to say that the buzz was well deserved and Gaiman delivered a story that was more about The Doctor’s history with his truest love than the adventure to the bubble outside of the Universe.
Thanks to the sentient asteroid, House, transferring the Tardis’ personality matrix into a patchwork person, Idris, The Doctor is able to converse with his oldest and dearest friend and for the first time have her talk back. Suranne Jones, who played Idris, did a wonderful job of putting the Tardis into a human container, capturing both the rambling insanity of a being that exists across all time and space and the excited interest of a child experiencing things for the very first time. I loved the look of disbelief and excitement that came across The Doctor’s face once he realized what was being carried inside Idris.
Throughout the episode The Doctor and “Sexy”/Idris discuss their history together from the moment they stole one another in a museum to explore all of time and space together. They bicker affectionately like an old married couple about the little things that both endear and frustrate them about one another. It’s a really special and unique relationship that is different from any of the relationships we’ve seen with The Doctor so far. When The Doctor realized that he would no longer be able to have a two-way conversation with his oldest companion again, his pain and suffering was so real that even though the Tardis was saved, part of me was still hoping this wouldn’t be the last time they talked.
The Tardis (although not quite the blue box this time) was a leading character and consequently, “Sexy”/Idris had some of the greatest lines. Her bit about people being bigger on the inside was hilarious and the jab at the Doctor for picking up strays as they traveled was a crack up. Her nickname for Amy, “The Orange Girl” was classic and I about died when The Doctor told her to send a telepathic message to “The Pretty One” and she connected with Rory, calling him Pretty. Auntie and Uncle, another set of patchwork people like Idris living on House with an Ood called Nephew, were another great aspect of this episode’s fantastic humor. Their casually delivered lines and their dry discussions about the extraordinary events outside the Universe made them wonderfully funny.
Poor Rory, dies again in this episode of Doctor Who, although it’s difficult to tell if he actually died because of the manipulation of time and space inside the corridors of the Tardis, or if it was all an illusion set up by House to confuse Amy and Rory as Rory had assumed. Real or not, Amy sobbing over Rory’s painful death is a reality and it happens again. I don’t know if this is supposed to be a running gag like South Park’s Kenny, or if this is supposed to be some kind of strange foreshadowing tied to the bigger season arc. Rory’s been pulled from death so many times now it can’t simply be coincidental but I’m not totally sure what to make of it.
There were so many cool details worked into this single episode that I feel like no matter how much I write, I’m bound to forget something that I liked. Early on, The Doctor mentions another Time Lord, The Corsair, who would change genders during regeneration. (Awesome!) I also loved the switching of the desktop to the previous Tardis console and the explanation that the Tardis had kept archives of all the previous control rooms. (So awesome!) And although I had already heard the line in the trailer for this season of Doctor Who, I still got chills down my spine when House said, “Fear me, I’ve killed hundreds of Time Lords” and The Doctor ominously responds, “Fear me, I’ve killed them all.” (So! So! SO AWESOME!)
Overall, this was a pretty incredible episode of Doctor Who. There seemed to be more linking this episode back to older Doctor Who adventures than to future events like we’ve seen in the previous three episodes, but we did get a hint from Sexy/Idris’ last words to Rory about what is in store for The Doctor, “The only water in the forest is the river.” I’m sure we’ll find out what that means – and I hope we find soon.