Doctor Who: ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ Review and Discussion

Published 4 years ago by

doctor who wife neil gaiman Doctor Who: The Doctors Wife Review and Discussion

Neil Gaiman and Doctor Who are two of Britain’s greatest cultural exports. The former is one of the finest sci-fi and fantasy authors alive today and the latter is one of the greatest sci-fi shows in television history. Until tonight’s episode, the two have never crossed paths. Thank God they finally did.

In ‘The Doctor’s Wife,” Gaiman delivers an incredibly satisfying stand alone Doctor Who episode, while also giving fans of the series a new perspective on some of the show’s principal charms, chiefly the sexy, sexy TARDIS.

It goes without saying that this review and discussion will contain spoilers for ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ episode – so read on at your own risk.

First, a quick episode recap. At the beginning of the episode, the Doctor hears an unusual knock on the TARDIS door (unusual because nobody should be able to knock on something that’s floating through time and space.) The interruption comes in the form of a distress call from the Corsair, a fellow Time Lord and an old friend.

The Doctor, seizing the chance to connect with another Time Lord, launches the TARDIS to the outer edge of the universe, or rather a bubble universe sitting just outside of our universe. Once there though, the Doctor doesn’t find the Corsair, or any other Time Lords, just a trap set by a giant sentient asteroid named House.

DOCTOR WHO The Doctors Wife Doctor Who: The Doctors Wife Review and Discussion

Upon landing, House disables the Matrix of the TARDIS and transfers its soul into the body of a woman named Idris. With Amy and Rory locked inside of the TARDIS, which is now controlled by House, the Doctor has to figure out how to regain control of his ship and save the day.

The thing that makes Gaiman’s episode work so well is the personification of the TARDIS inside of Idris. For years, we’ve watched the Doctor whip through time and space, battling all kinds of horrible species with the help of his trusty ship. The TARDIS has saved his life countless times, and in ‘The Doctor’s Wife,’ we finally get to see him thank her for it — face to face.

Suranne Jones, who was given the unenviable job of bringing the TARDIS to life in human form, does an excellent job in the episode. She’s brilliant and eccentric and a perfect partner to Matt Smith’s frenetic Doctor.

‘The Doctor’s Wife’ is a great title for the episode, because it perfectly describes the relationship between the Doctor and the TARDIS. No one – not Rose, not River Song — can give the Doctor what the TARDIS gives him, and that’s adventure. Seeing the Doctor on the verge of tears as the TARDIS is forced back into her box (literally), you get a sneak peek into the Doctor’s soul.

Neil Gaiman The Doctors wife Doctor Who: The Doctors Wife Review and Discussion

Another thing that sets ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ apart is the fact that we actually get to see the rest of the TARDIS. When the Doctor tells people that it’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside, he really means it! Amy and Rory spend most of the episode running down endless corridors inside of the ship, eventually finding their way to the control room of the David Tennant era TARDIS. It’s a nice throwback to the former Doctor’s adventures, and a cool way to show the complexity of the TARDIS.

There was nothing in tonight’s episode that contributed to the overall story arc for the season. We didn’t get a flash of the eye-patch lady, like in last week’s episode, and there was little talk of the Doctor’s impending death (which we saw in ‘The Impossible Astronaut’). Still, as much as I want to know just what in the heck is going on with Amy’s pregnancy/non-pregnancy, I think tonight’s episode was one of the best of the Moffett era so far.

I’m a relative newbie to Doctor Who. I first started watching with Matt Smith as the Doctor in Season Five. Over the last couple of months, I’ve watched all of the Russel T. Davies-era episodes, as well as the fourth season TV movies and specials.

If you’re reading this, you are probably a fan of Doctor Who too. If you’re not, I highly encourage you to start watching the show, because it really is something special. How many shows out there can land Neil Gaiman as a guest writer?

Let us know what you thought of ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ in the comments.

TAGS: Doctor who
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  1. Did I forget to mention that the Tardis was HOT? ;)…She’s a whole buncha circuits, and then some..hehe…and then we got the hardware….hoooo….she got the ability to change control rooms on the fly…want somethin lacy?…maybe somethin 25th century girl?…Foar!
    Now if I can only get my type 10 to change my dam sheets…heh

  2. I’ve noticed a lot of people were talking about the TARDIS’s “sisters.” This is appropriate because ships are usually called “she”.

    I don’t really think that the TARDIS would be so wishy-washy, in a way, at the beginning. But then, they are taking a huge entity, bigger then a Time Lord even, and stuffing it into a human body. Look what it did to Donna! I suppose she’s just coming to terms with her new form…?

    (Still, she seriously creeped me out.)

    I liked the fact that all the corridors were the same – it gave a mazelike quality to the TARDIS. However, I think that House was controlling that to make it more creepy, and the TARDIS’s indoors are actually more varied without House invading.

    (Ooh, a thought – if the police box is called the TARDIS, but Idris’s body also goes by TARDIS (and Sexy), would the police box be called House?)

    One thing that confused me – Rory waited a few hours, then a few years (or more?), then his whole life, rotting into a corpse. Yes, I know House was messing with Amy’s brain, but they didn’t specify whether the few-hours-Rory was also the result of messing with her brain.

    “Rory the pretty one” – LOL! I loved that! But then if the TARDIS was feminine, she’d feel attraction to males, but still!

    I feel like the trailer ripped me off – first, he said “Somewhere there is a living Time Lord,” and then he said “Oh, you are not my mother.” Yes, I know that the hole point of trailers is to get you excited, but I’d rather be excited for the right reasons!

    This, I think, is one of the best Smith episodes, along with Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone and the finale. I’m so, so bored of Rory dying, though.

    I’ve been waiting all season for the Niel Gaiman episode. It did not disappoint. Totally awesome stuff!

    Okay, this is rather long! Signing off now!

  3. Ok, has everyone missed this? I’ve been searching to see if anyone has figured it out… When the TARDIS (in Idris’s body) is in the cage and babbling about the timeline… there is a bit where she is mumbling something unintelligible. I suspect is is a phrase spoken backward. It happens about 11 mins in and she says it right before the first time she mentions fish fingers. Any ideas? Anyone know what she is saying?