Doctor Who Series 6, Episode 4: The Doctor’s Wife
Well, the general consensus on the Internet, myself included was that this was a great episode. I think what I was most impressed with was how well the episode was done with so little. After all, there are only 7 characters present in the whole episode, one being an omnipresent voice, and only two locations if you count the TARDIS as one. With only that, there was a great story told here. Not so much a story of some grave threat, but the relationship between the Doctor and his longest companion, the TARDIS itself.
Yes, we get see the actual TARDIS matrix in the form of a human woman. I’m fully aware that sounds like the beginning to some horrible Rule 34 slash fiction. Which probably now exists or already existed. Anyway, she’s a lot like The Doctor in that she’s batshit crazy, although she complements The Doctor almost perfectly because well, she’s known him for so long. Some of the best parts of the episode come from the Doctor and the TARDIS, due to the fact that they play off each other so well and that The Doctor has this rare opportunity to the machine who’s levers he’s pulled for centuries. It’s also tragic, because the TARDIS is the one who understands him most, but ultimately, he will never be able to speak to her again. It’s just a shame that they revealed that the woman wasn’t herself right at the beginning. It would have been better if she just seemed like a crazy woman to us. Most importantly, it’s the first episode in a long time where The Doctor isn’t a smartarse. For once, he’s the one in the dark and has to slowly figure out what to do. I can understand that he’s a timelord that’s lived for over 700 years, but he doesn’t always have to save the day in five minutes with some timey wimey sci-fi silliness.
The distress call leads the group to an abandoned planet on the edge of the universe, which looked like it could have easily fitted in post Judgement Day Terminator. The only other people are is a creepy looking couple, who we later find out are virtually patched together from different body parts. It’s genuinely a little disturbing and I enjoyed that. It’s too bad that they died early on in the episode, but they were cool side characters nonetheless.
Towards the end of the episode, the physical TARDIS is kidnapped with Amy and Rory inside it, and this is where the episode gets really interesting. There’s your usual corridor running but the voice controlling the TARDIS starts messing with the couple’s minds so that Amy finds Rory after “2000” years and later, as a skeleton with the words HATE AMY KILL AMY DIE AMY written across all of the walls. For what is ultimately a kids show, that’s pretty dark, and it’s brilliant. That being said, what have all of the Doctor Who writers got against Rory? I’m beginning to lose count of how many times we’ve seen him “die” now. We get to see a bit more of the TARDIS, which is nice, since we only usually see the control room. Speaking of which, we see a backup of 9/10’s control room, which is a nice callback to previous series of Doctor Who. That being said, an even older control room would have been even better, especially given the callbacks this new direction has made with the earlier series (the Doctor’s ID card for example).
All in all then, a good episode of Doctor Who. Sure it was another filler episode, but I can live with that because unlike last week’s episode, The Doctor’s Wife was entertaining.