Thursday, 3 January 2013

Doctor Who 'The Doctor's Wife' Review

The Doctor recieves a call for help.

‘The Doctors Wife’ is the first episode of Doctor Who written by acclaimed author Neil Gaiman, and guest stars Suranne Jones and Michael Sheen.  The story opens with The Doctor receiving a communication cube containing a distress call from a Time Lord.  The Doctor traces the origin of the cube to a rift in space leading outside of the known universe.  The Doctor pilots the Tardis through the rift and lands on an asteroid, the Tardis then shuts down and its matrix disappears.

The Doctor, Amy and Rory explore the asteroid and discover its strange inhabitants, Auntie, Uncle, a green eyed Ood named Nephew, and an excited young woman called Idris.  Idris fawns over the Doctor and bites him, forcing Uncle to lock her away.  The Doctor discovers that Auntie and Uncle are in fact made from the body parts of dead Time Lords and are controlled by the asteroid, called House, which is sentient and capable of possessing objects around it. 

Having lured The Doctor there and removing the matrix from the Tardis, placing it inside of Idris, House plans on taking control of the Tardis and escaping through the rift into the universe beyond. 

With Amy and Rory trapped inside the House controlled Tardis The Doctor and Idris must find a way of pursuing him and return the matrix back to the Tardis before her body breaks down and dies.
The Doctor and Idris search for a way to follow House.
‘The Doctors Wife’ is a great episode that explores the shows longest running relationship, that of The Doctor and the Tardis.  Whilst I was initially uncertain as to what direction Gaiman was going to take the episode in when we discovered that Idris was in fact the ‘soul’ of the Tardis, but any doubts I had were very quickly put to rest.  The instant on chemistry between Matt Smith and Suranne Jones was a pleasure to watch, and they explored aspects of the character that we’d rarely seen up to that point.

We begin to gain insight into The Doctors life on Gallifrey, discovering that the Tardis itself was actually a museum piece the first time The Doctor saw it, and instantly fell in love with it.  Idris even goes on to tell us that whilst The Doctor may believe he stole the Tardis, the Tardis considers it the other way round.  The flirting and the arguments that the two of them have are a real treat to watch, and come the end of the episode you find yourself wishing that The Doctor and the Tardis are always able to interact this way.
The Doctor in the old control room.

Amy and Rory also have an interesting time in this episode, with the two of them trapped inside the House controlled Tardis whilst being hunted by Nephew.  Through them we get to explore some more of the Tardis, getting to see more of it than ever before since the shows return in 2005.  It also takes the time to start to explore the relationship between Amy and Rory and the fears they both share, of loosing each other, of waiting and being forgotten, and yet again another death of Rory.

The final confrontation of the episode takes place inside the Tardis control room, but not the main one, instead we are treated to a brief re-visit to the Eccleston/Tennant control room that the Tardis keeps filed away.  Getting to see Matt Smiths Doctor in the older control room along side Amy and Rory is great, and doesn’t outstay its welcome at all.

The final goodbye between The Doctor and Idris is a teary eyed one, though not completely sad.  The Doctor may not be able to interact with the Tardis the way he did with Idris, but he did get a chance to speak to his wonderful machine, and we got a chance to see the love these two alien beings share for each other.  It is easy to just think of the Tardis as a machine, but this episode reminds us that it is alive, that it is The Doctors home and that it is the one who shows him the wonders of the universe.  A brilliant episode that had become an instant classic.  10/10


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