Friday, May 27, 2011

Doctor Who S06E04-The Doctor’s Wife

After receiving signs of a Time Lord distress signal, The Doctor, Amy and Rory travel to a mysterious asteroid at the edge of the universe. Upon their arrival, the TARDIS shuts down and the trio is stranded on the asteroid controlled by a living entity called The House. When the House takes over the TARDIS and steals it along with Amy and Rory, The Doctor must find a way to catch up to them. His only hope lies in a mysterious woman who knows him better than anyone…a woman with a failing body who just so happens to possess the spirit of his own ship.

I had been looking forward to this episode for a while, ever since I had first heard that Neil Gaiman (Sandman, Coraline) was going to be penning it. My expectations became a little grander after last weeks less than stellar Pirate themed episode. Good news to report: The Doctor’s Wife put the show back on track and may very well be one of the best Doctor Who’s ever conceived.

The big draw of the episode was the title itself: who is (or was) The Doctor’s Wife? The answer is kind of obvious and not much of a let down. It’s almost like saying Captain Kirk’s only real love of his life is his ship. The same is true for The Doctor and the TARDIS. The years may pass and the companions may change but this show has always been about the two of them roaming around the galaxy getting into trouble. And now, for the first time, The Doctor gets to actually talk with his ship. I’ll be honest, watching Idris (the woman who took in the TARDIS’s spirit) get herself together was kind of annoying, but once she and The Doctor got to talking together, the episode really took off. Suranne Jones, who played Idris, worked perfectly with Matt Smith and a lot of their dialogue was some of the best I have ever heard in Doctor Who, the scene where Idris says he calls her “sexy”, “but only when we’re alone” The Doctor replies was hilariously good. Sure this was a bit unusual for these two characters to interact, but soon if felt as if this was always going on and never felt new, just different if that makes sense, like things had always been this crazy and, well, normal between The Doctor and the TARDIS. It is sad, very sad that the two had to part so soon after virtually meeting for the first time. Idris’s line at the end where she realized the perfect yet saddest thing she wanted to say to The Doctor was a tear jerker. That such a simple word as “Hello” could create that deep of an emotional response is the true sign of a well written episode. But as sad as it was to see the two characters part ways, sort of, what I stated earlier remains the same. The Doctor and the TARDIS will always have each other and they can communicate in their own little wacky, almost wordless way, a bit of a bright happy ending.

Amy and Rory also got to do some running around and bonding while trapped in the TARDIS. Gaiman’s knack for haunted locales was put to good use here as the darkened repetitive hallways of the TARDIS instilled a true sense of fear both in Amy and Rory as well as this viewer here. As icing on the cake, an Ood made a return appearance, using its possessed form with green eyes to chase down the two lovers. It was scary to see the House (one scary and threatening fraker) use images of aging, dying and then dead Rory to shake Amy up so badly (but come on is Rory really going to die every episode, seriously). But one thing I was really happy about this episode was Rory taking up the stronger lead this time around. With Amy bogged down and scared by illusions, it was up to Rory to keep her safe and even though he wasn’t the intended target of Idris’s mind messages, Rory was still the one getting the knowledge to save the day, not Amy. It is good to see Rory finally getting the credit he deserves. And wow, wow, wow, the return of the TARDIS bridge from the Christopher Eccleston/David Tennant years. I miss that set so much and it helped save the day. Good times.

The Doctor’s Wife was a fantastically written and well acted episode and a worthy addition to the universe of Doctor Who. Great interactions, great suspense, engaging and fascinating new characters, and a showdown to end all showdowns: “Fear me, I’ve killed hundreds of Time Lords”, the House taunts. “Fear me…I’ve killed ALL of them.” The Doctor replies followed by House death by TARDIS, hell yes. It was all about the character relationships this time around and one that got fleshed out more than anyone could have hoped. It makes me kind of wish the TARDIS always had a voice. But then again, it does have a voice and it has and always will only respond to one person…THE DOCTOR AND THE TARDIS FOREVER!!!!

Next Week-Do Flesh produced Clones dream for Flesh produced sheep? (Blade Runner references will be heavy in the next review, trust me.)


No comments: