Doctor Who Recap & Review: The Doctor’s Wife

The Doctor and Sexy

Written By: Neil Gaiman
Directed By: Richard Clark

A TCC RATING OF

The episode begins with a scrappy bunch lead along a rather pensive young woman named Idris to her doom. They place her upon a pedestal and an Ood emerges to drain her life force from her. Before she dies, she’s told the Doctor will come for her. Meanwhile, the Doctor regales Rory with tales from a previous adventure. He doesn’t get very far when there’s a knock on the door. This wouldn’t be strange except for the fact that they’re in deep space.

He opens the door to the TARDIS and a hypercube bursts in, bearing the mark of The Corsair. The Doctor reveals that these are distress beacons that the Time Lords used to send across time and space, and sets coordinates into the TARDIS to trace where the distress beacon came from. Destination: outside of the universe.

Dumping the pool and other rooms for energy, the Doctor guides the TARDIS to the outside of the universe and lands in a junkyard set on top of a solitary asteroid. Immediately the TARDIS shuts down and its matrix escapes, finding it’s way into Idris’ body. She makes her way to the Doctor and gang and gives them a crazed welcome. Uncle and Auntie join the gang and welcome them to the asteroid on behalf of “House.” The Ood from earlier is introduced as Nephew.

Uncle and Auntie decide to lock up Idris and the Doctor sends Amy and Rory back to the TARDIS to go find his screwdriver. It’s a ruse to get the couple out of the way so the Doctor can find the source of the bacon on his own. He does, and discovers out that House has been luring Time Lords to the outside of the universe. He scurries over to where Idris is being kept and quizzes her as to why the Time Lords were lured here. She reveals to the Doctor that she’s his TARDIS, a fact which he doesn’t believe initially. She talks about how they met and how she selected him when they left Gallifrey all those years ago.

"Sexy" is...well...sexy. Imagine her and River in a room together, conspiring against the Doctor.

At that moment, House takes over the TARDIS and leaves with Amy and Rory in tow. Instead of eating the TARDIS, he decides to take it for a spin to the universe at large seeing as how it’s the last TARDIS he’ll ever have access to. In a bit of playfulness, he sends Amy and Rory off on the run for their lives throughout the inner corridors. “Tell me why I shouldn’t kill you now!” he says.

Idris and the Doctor get to work constructing a makeshift TARDIS to go after House. She reveals then that since House is gone there’s no one to keep everything working on this asteroid and as such her body will die soon. She calculates that the outside of the universe doesn’t have that much time either.

Back on the TARDIS, House continues to mess with Amy and Rory, playing with their senses as they flee through the corridors. After some time, he sends the Ood Nephew after them to kill them. They don’t get far when Idris makes a psychic connection with Rory to give him directions to a secondary control room. They need to lower the shields without House interfering so the makeshift TARDIS that the Doctor and Idris made can land.

Amy and Rory make it just in time and the Doctor and Idris land inside the TARDIS just as Nephew is about to kill the young couple. The arrival of the Doctor disintegrates the Ood, much to the Doctor’s dismay. In retaliation, House deletes the secondary control room to kill them all. Instead, they all phase into the original control room. Idris dies, sending the TARDIS matrix out of her body and back into the TARDIS itself. She obliterates House completely.

Before Idris fully immerses herself into the TARDIS, she has a final conversation with the Doctor. She expresses joy at having been able to talk to her Doctor for the first time since they ran off into time and space together. She completely phases into the TARDIS.

The Doctor gets to work at installing a security shield around the matrix to prevent anything like this from happening again. Rory asks him about something that Idris said before her body died, to the effect of, “The only water in the forest is the river.” The Doctor dismisses it and sends him and Amy off to their new room, since House deleted their old one.

In the last moments of the episode, the Doctor whispers to the TARDIS to see if there’s anything left of poor Idris. A lever moves on it’s own and the Doctor dances around with glee.

If only installing a firewall were like this...

Here’s what we at Technicolor Commentary thought of The Doctor’s Wife:

Amber

I think I am past my acceptable limit of Rory “deaths”. At this point even Amy should be reacting to the many “deaths” of Rory with, “He’ll be back in a few minutes, at most a few days.”

The biggest problem that I had with this episode was pacing. I thought there was an excess of Amy/Rory running down the same little hallway, and not enough “Sexy”/11 time. I loved the ideas in the romp, but the timing was clunky. I didn’t think cramming some Gaiman into 50 mins was going to be perfect, but for goodness sake next time give him a multi-part slot to work with.

I liked the episode. I just strongly feel that if it would have been given the proper allotment, it would have become one of my favorites. It would have given us: more “Sexy”/11 time, a far less lame “House”, and the corridor running could have been better managed – be it either as a full-on silly throwback to the old series or being more of a mind warp.

“House”, in the beginning of the episode was interesting until the point where he kidnapped Amy and Rory, then I kept forgetting there was a villain. From the perspective of the beginning of the episode, the House kept the minions alive by sheer will and was obviously telepathic. By the time Amy put her hand in Nephew’s tentacles, I really expected the perspective to change it into a bowl of spaghetti. I know it is a kid’s show, but even the kids are probably not too worried about a villain that just “kills” Rory anymore.

Also, I will probably refer to the TARDIS as Sexy for the rest of my life. Not only is it fantastic, it is easier to type.

Jon

There are some great moments in this episode, but they are surrounded by some really bad pacing and YET ANOTHER “death” for Rory. I’m so over his demise at this point that it’s starting to affect how I see the rest of the episode. Really? No one can write a better scenario that him dying?

PROS: Idris/Sexy and the Doctor. Every moment between them is beautiful. Their final scene in the episode is great and it builds such a great romance between the young Gallifreyan(?) and his time machine.

CONS: Everything else.

  • I couldn’t agree with you guys more about the pacing of the episode. It really felt crammed; and a lot of elements that I would have liked to see expanded were just used as throwaways. I mean, we have a sentient being that has been eating and/or killing Time Lords for years; and we don’t even get more than a few seconds to explore what those Time Lords might have seen, heard or experienced when or before they died?

    At this point, I can’t help but feel that the deaths of Rory are becoming more of an intentional joke than real plot points.

    I’m also a bit frustrated and confused by the prevalence of the Ood in the Who-niverse now. When we first saw the Ood, it was clear that The Doctor had never seen or heard of them before; but now they seem to be ingrained in everything he does. How could he have gone so long in his life without knowing anything about them; then start encountering them along every major milestone in his life?

    Finally, it will be interesting to see what they do with the “The only water in the forest is the River” line that Rory mentioned. I can’t help but wonder if that is some sort of callback to a previous episode (which will be expanded later in the series) or if this is an entirely new concept for us to explore. My head is already swimming trying to remember all of the episodes in which River appeared, trying to see if I can think of any clues as to what that line meant.

    All-in-all, the episode was much better than the previous episode, but it was still a bit frustrating. I would probably rate it a 3.5 or so. Far from the worst episode, but definitely not the best, either.

    As a final aside, I actually really liked the scenes with Amy and Rory running through the TARDIS corridors. I felt like it was kind of a throwback to classic Who. The way the corridors were constructed, it reminded me of the types of things we saw in the Who-niverse with the 2nd & 3rd doctors (the two non-modern Doctors with which I’m most familiar).

    •  Hmm. I keep hearing that the TARDIS corridor scenes are throwbacks to classic Who, but I haven’t really seen anything from the classics so that could be where the I have the disconnect. It was nice to see more of the TARDIS than I’ve ever seen before, but I didn’t quite feel the nostalgia that others have said they felt with those scenes.

      • I feel like the throwback should have been more silly for it to not suck the life from the story.