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Review: Doctor Who: The Doctor's Wife (Episode 4 Season 6)

Posted By: Matt McGloin
Sat, 05/14/2011 - 22:27

The Doctor - "She's the TARDIS. And she's a woman." 

Amy - "Did you wish really hard?"
picIn a word Amy, yes we did!  Thanks to the utter genius of writer Neil Gaiman (Editor's Note: Check out video of Gaiman discussing the lost scenes"), Who fans old and new across the globe witnessed a story over 48 years in the making, shaking one of the series' primary concepts to the its core and re-arranging it in a most delightful, engaging way.
The plot is deliciously simple. The Tardis, its Matrix torn out by the monstrous entity called "House" (voiced by Michael Sheen) on a planet covered in crashed Tardises dwelling within a "bubble universe" - harking back to the Totters Lane scrapyard where the series began in 1963 -  is given physical form in the shape of Idris (Suranne Jones), allowing us for the very first time to hear the time ship's thoughts, aspirations and most importantly how "she" truly feels about the Doctor - the Time Lord that "borrowed" her and ran away from Galifrey and the life he leads. 
At the core of this wonderful 45 minutes is a most unique love story - but before it could potentially grate into a Mills and Boon romantic novel - Gaiman's vivid imagination also sets out to play with "Galifreyan" mythology with the return of the psychic boxes last seen in "The War Games." We interact with brilliant Gaiman character concepts like Aunty and Uncle who have been built from the spare parts of "dead Time Lords," to scarring us to the other side of the Void with some disturbing scenes inside Tardis corridors (yay! Tardis corridors!) as Amy and Rory are maliciously tormented by "House" with visions of Rory dying of old age, graffiti proclaiming "Amy must die!" and a green-eyed Ood -- before being saved by the spectacular arrival of The Doctor and Idris in David Tennant's old console room! 
We also get another hint regarding the ongoing series arc as the Tardis/Idris mentions the cryptic phrase "The only water in the forest is the river" relating to the 11th Doctor's death 200 years into his linear future. No visitations this week from "Eye Patch Woman," but she crops up in next week's "The Rebel Flesh" which looks like its going to be another cracking yarn.
As the story came to an emotional close, as Idris "dies" before saying a proper hello to the man who has shared her existence since this Type 40 time machine was built, returning the Tardis' consciousness back to its resting place inside "the box" -- this 43 year old Who fan scuttled to the kitchen to get a hanky to wipe away his tears.  
If you haven't seen this story yet -- you're in for an absolute treat. Over the years we've often seen the affection The Doctor has for his time machine, home from home - his occasional comments to his many companions - referring to the Tardis as a "she" and "old dear." Old Who fans are familiar that the Tardis is more than just a rattling old police box travelling in time and space. Here, we get chance to see the Tardis shine as a true character in its own right.
"The Doctor's Wife" is a classic that will never be repeated. Treasure it! 
- Darren