Doctor Who Series 6, Episode 4: The Doctor’s Wife
Directed by Richard Clark
Written by Neil Gaiman
Starring Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Suranne Jones, Paul Kasey, Adrian Schiller, Elizabeth Berrington, and Michael Sheen
Air date: May 14, 2011
Neil Gaiman‘s much-awaited and long-postponed episode of Doctor Who highlights of the great aspects of the show that fans know and love: a mysterious place with unusual people in which our heroes arrive to solve a mystery and fix the problem.
Yet, even with this tried method, there’s something at the heart of The Doctor’s Wife that will make this episode stand out for years to come. Gaiman is able to create a beautifully poetic connection throughout the episode. The relationship between the Doctor and his TARDIS is something we always knew was important, but this episode places it on an entirely different level. By bringing the TARDIS to life through Idris (Suranne Jones), we’re able to get an entirely new take on this machine and its importance to the Doctor. For years we’ve thought that it was the Doctor who stole the TARDIS, but Idris reveals that she played a critical role in choosing her a Time Lord that was crazy enough to handle her.
This episode really keys into the aspect of the relationships that are formed among the Doctor and his travels. I think it’s easy to forget just how important the TARDIS is to the Doctor. Companions may come and go, but the TARDIS is constant and this sexy thing understands him better than we ever will.
Speaking of companions, the ominous House (Michael Sheen) takes Amy and Rory down a dark and scary road as he places them through an emotional gauntlet. I wasn’t quite as impressed with this storyline as I was the main one, but both Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan had some great material to work with.
In the end, Gaiman’s episode is one that fans will remember for years to come. It’s a perfect entry into the established world of our Doctor, one that’s filled with powerful and raw emotion, scary monsters, and great humor. Beyond those things, there’s an incredible heart to this episode that’s will be hard to match.
– Now wouldn’t be the best time to admit that I’m not too familiar with Gaiman’s work, would it? However, since the seeing this episode, I know that American Gods and Sandman have jumped to the top of my summer reading list. I’ll be watching Coraline this week.
– Matt Smith has chemistry with everyone. It’s absurd how much.
– “Fear me. I’ve killed dozen of Time Lords.” “Fear me. I’ve killed them all.”
– “Biting’s excellent. It’s like kissing, only there’s a winner.”
– Rory has become the new Kenny.
– The more I write and think about Doctor Who, the more I notice the theme of relationships. Each one is so important and critical and is so beautifully wonderful. I really think this is what the show does best and The Doctor’s Wife is a perfect example of this.
This review ran much later than I had anticipated. I’m going to wait and pair my thoughts on The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People once it fully concludes in two weeks. Until then, sound off with your comments below!