TV Review – Doctor Who 6.4 The Doctor’s Wife (SPOILERS)

The Doctor's Wife

The weight of expectation on this one episode was immense. Neil Gaiman, Doctor Who, a marriage made in heaven. Approaching it, I was trepidatious, wondering if my expectation would be too much to bear for one writer, even one as fantastic as Gaiman regularly is. I worried about the Gatiss effect – superfan writes incredibly tiresome episodes (over and over and over again in Gatiss’ case. Which is a constant disappointment, when Nightshade was so good).

But I really and truly shouldn’t have worried. Gaiman has never disappointed me yet, and the moment that Suranne Jones lit up with TARDIS energy and made the VWORP VWORP sound I knew I was in for a treat.

As has already been said in interviews, this is a conceit you can only do once, giving the TARDIS a voice and body, and where the episode suceeds so completly is that Idris/TARDIS is not quite human, not quite sane, exactly as random as you would expect the living heart of such an extraordinary machine to be. She has answers yes, but not to the right questions or in the right order. Furthermore she has as much petulance and spirit as the Doctor himself.

Suddenly his story is fleshed out in a way never imagined, and as an audience we can only marvel at the dialogue between the two of them. And while this excellent and delightful two hander is going on, poor old Amy and Rory are suffering within the TARDIS at the machinations of House (excellently voiced by Michael Sheen).

Of course, there is the niggle with Rory dying AGAIN (come on guys), but the sequences with Rory and Amy getting separated through the corridors, with Rory aging and suffering while Amy is fine, are painful to watch. The HATE AMY/KILL AMY graffiti truly disturbing and saddening. I do hope this isn’t some ridiculous extended foreshadowing for Rory because if/when he finally dies we’re all going to be numbed to it. I suspect, more than anything Moffat just wants to push his young couple to the limit, to see if they bend or break. I still adore them as a couple with the Doctor and he’s right to show that it can’t possibly be all sweetness and light. However as an audience I think we get it, they love each other and don’t want to be separated.

There were so many individual pieces of this episode I loved. The white boxes with the voices of the Time Lords (and there’s a lovely bit of speculation about one of those Time Lords), the use of the corridors and Ten’s console room, Idris/TARDIS and the Doctor building a console room together, and Suranne Jones performance from start to finish.

Jones, who was wonderful as the Mona Lisa in SJA captures the TARDIS perfectly. Charming, smart, beautiful and other-worldly, watching her was a complete joy. Once again Smith shows how perfectly he inhabits the Doctor’s skin, childlike in his glee at her existence, devastated when her body fails and she becomes inanimate once again. It’s a terrifically moving episode, that manages to capture so much that is excellent about Who, old and new.

One to watch over and over again.

Next week: The Rebel Flesh


~ by moviegrrlreviews on May 17, 2011.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: