While traveling in the TARDIS with Rory and Amy, the Doctor hears a knock on the TARDIS doors. Bewildered and no doubt curious, he answers, only to be presented with a mysterious box which ...
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While traveling in the TARDIS with Rory and Amy, the Doctor hears a knock on the TARDIS doors. Bewildered and no doubt curious, he answers, only to be presented with a mysterious box which carries a distress signal. Believing it to be from a fellow Time Lord, the cosmic nomad whisks himself and his companions outside the boundaries of the universe on what should be a rescue mission. But what everyone finds is a dark Junk-yard planet populated by the bizarre Auntie, Uncle and Nephew. Last and not least among the strange inhabitants is a mentally unstable woman that goes by the name of Idris who may or may not be "The Doctor's Wife". Written by
The junkyard, which "The Doctor's Wife" takes place, was written as a nod to the first ever episode "An Unearthly Child". Which Ian and Barbara met The 1st Doctor and Susan at a junkyard in contemporary London and discover The TARDIS. See more »
Idris censures The Doctor for the way he enters the Tardis - pushing the doors inwards whereas she points that the sign on the Tardis says 'Pull to open' Whilst it is true that the original police box doors did open outwards, the sign in question is part of the Tardis that contains the telephone for the public to call the police. The sign saying 'Pull to open' is an instruction as to how to access the telephone, not the Tardis itself. This smaller door does indeed open outwards, and therefore is, pulled to open. See more »
The Last Time Lord in the Universe Stood Alone in His Tardis. There Was a Knock on the Door
First, fair warning of bias: I think Neil Gaiman, the writer of this episode, is probably the best fantasy writer working today. His métier is to take the images of fantasy, strip them to their basic signs, offer them to the reader -- or, in this case, the viewer -- as the things they symbolize and make you realize what those symbols have been doing to you all those years -- and tell a ripping good yarn in the process. In literary terms this is called deconstructionism and it's far more intellectual a game than Doctor Who usually plays, but as an ex-English major, I love it. Gaiman does for fantasy what Penn & Teller do for stage magic: he shows you how he's doing his trick, and then performs it, baffling you. And now he has done it for Doctor Who.
In deconstructing the symbols, we get to see images from the classic series as Hypercubes from the Second Doctor, half a dozen Tardis control rooms -- including Eccleston's -- and a junkyard just outside the universe where the ragtag remnants of perhaps hundreds of broken TARDISes have been discarded. We see the infinite corridors of the TARDIS and we see the title character, the Doctor's Wife... and it is all quite mad and nonsensical until the end, when you realize that, yes, this is what has been going on all these years. The story is, for DOCTOR WHO, typical and straightforward: evil entity wants to destroy the universe and gets inside the Police box in order to do so -- but at the end you blink and realize what has been going on here for the last half century, and you knew it all along. It just took Gaiman to tell you.
Suranne Jones, as the Doctor Wife, is quite marvelous as what appears to be a madwoman for whom time is out of joint. Once again, Matt Smith has shown himself to be a fine actor, always interesting, an alien creature of sharp elbows and incomprehensible thoughts. It's an episode that can be viewed numerous times, not just for the jokes and twisty bits, but to admire the way it all fits together so beautifully in unexpected ways.
It won't be to everyone's taste, but it is certainly to mine. I hope they can get Mr. Gaiman to write another episode one of these days.
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