Home Zone6 Dr Who DR. WHO – THE DOCTORS WIFE (S6E04)



I have watched many, many episodes of different Science Fiction shows over the years, but every now and then, a specific story, idea or episode just grabs you. It tickles your fancy and makes you look at things in a whole new light and The Doctor’s Wife is just such an episode for me.

This article originally appeared on our sister site Zone6.

While this is a definite “filler” episode (which I normally hate) and does nothing to advance the storyline currently in progress this season, it is an entrancing episode and one that can be watched again and again. The fact that this was written by Neil Gaiman – an accomplished and established Science Fiction author – is evident in the quality of the story, its twists, turns and surprises.

Brief Synopsis

In this episode The Doctor receives a distress signal from another Timelord. Thinking that he had killed all the Timelords and that he was the last one remaining, he sets off immediately to rescue the Corsair – the Timelord that had sent the message.

Travelling “out of the universe” – by the way his explanation of “bubble universes” as he describes this to Rory is actually quite accurate based on current science, which is somewhat surprising as while Doctor Who is enjoyable, it has never really been an accurate source of technical science knowledge … this is probably another effect of having an actual author writing the script! – The Doctor, Rory and Amy land on a planetoid floating in the middle of a void. Immediately upon landing, The TARDIS seems to lose all of its power which greatly perplexes The Doctor.

Here they are greeted by Auntie, Uncle, Nephew (a green eyed Ood) and Idris. Idris had gone through a “procedure” at the beginning of the episode where she had been prepared to receive a Timelord and upon seeing The Doctor she starts to act extremely odd, first kissing him and then biting him! (BTW. 10 points if you can guess who/what Idris is here versus later on!)

As The Doctor starts his investigation to find the missing Timelord, he quickly discovers that the planet they landed on is actually alive. Sending Rory and Amy back to the TARDIS on a false quest, he then finds that the distress signal was actually faked and House (the planetoid) has been capturing and killing Timelords so that he could take possession of their TARDIS’ power. Realizing that he had sent Amy and Rory back to the TARDIS incorrectly he rushes back to save them, but House has now taken possession of the TARDIS and is flying back to the real universe. Another mistake The Doctor had made is informing House that he is the last Timelord – House realizing that he will be unable to lure any more TARDIS’ to their destruction, determines that he will need to find an alternate food source which can only be obtained in the real universe.

In The Doctor's Wife the TARDIS assumes human ...
In The Doctor’s Wife the TARDIS assumes human form. The Doctor (Matt Smith) and Idris the TARDIS (Suranne Jones). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Doctor despondent comes across Idris trapped in a cage and in gradually speaking to her comes to the realization that the soul residing in her body is actually that of the TARDIS itself! Breaking her out of the cage, they set about building a new TARDIS so that they can catch House and rescue Rory and Amy.

In the meantime, Rory and Amy on the TARDIS realize what has happened and a vicious game of cat and mouse ensues where House tortures Amy by making her believe that Rory has gone gradually insane and has started to hate and loathe her (one point here … considering that Rory had waited for 2000 years for Amy already, his apparent age and change in attitude in a significantly shorter period of time is unlike him … just my 2c!).

The Doctor and Idris/TARDIS are able to jury rig a new TARDIS together and Idris is able to send a message to the “pretty one” – really funny when she selects Rory for this! – enabling Rory and Amy to shut of the shield in time so that The Doctor and Idris/TARDIS can materialize inside one of the backup control rooms. (*Oh yeah – Idris/TARDIS implies that there are 30 backup control rooms … in essence that The Doctor has had 30 incarnations versus the ones that we have seen!*)

The Doctor then tricks House into deleting some of the backup rooms which automatically shunts him, Rory, Amy and Idris/TARDIS into the main control room. Idris/TARDIS who has been dying due to the power of the TARDIS inside her, collapses here and while House thinks that he has won, once she dies, Idris/TARDIS fights a quick and nasty battle with House and quickly re-establishes herself as the true mistress of the TARDIS.

Final Thoughts

The Doctor has had many companions over the years, but there has always been one constant in his life. Namely The TARDIS. Embodying her and giving her life is something that is truly amazing and watching The Doctor and Idris/TARDIS interact is exceptional and moving.

When Idris/TARDIS tells The Doctor that he didn’t steal her, but rather she selected him so that she could see the universe – her thief! – and that the one last thing she wanted to say to him was not “good bye” but rather “Hello” … it almost brought tears to my eyes. Having her die was incredibly moving and the way in which it was filmed and done was excellent.

When The Doctor asked The TARDIS for its opinion in travelling to the Eye of Orion and the lever pulls itself down, I laughed with delight along with The Doctor. While this story does nothing to advance the overall arc, this is long going to be one of my favourite episodes of this iconic show.

This article originally appeared on our sister site Zone6.

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