It’s one of those Doctor Who episodes that you watch and can’t help but enjoy, isn’t it?
From the ominous pre-title sequence, the nod to The War Games, jumping out of the Universe, the distressing moment when the Doctor discovers where the Time Lord voices are coming from, House’s charm and malevolence, the race around the TARDIS, the TARDIS graveyard, the makeshift TARDIS, the terrifying journey that Amy and Rory embark on, the incredibly cute journey that the Doctor and Idris undertake, the old console room, the Doctor’s wonderful trick he pulls to get back in control of the TARDIS, ‘Inside, you are just.. SO… SMALL’ and an ending that will make the hardest of the hard weep.
And that’s in under 45 minutes. AND I haven’t even mentioned so many other details that stick out.
What’s even more amazing about The Doctor’s Wife is that throughout all of these nods to the past, talk of Gallifrey in the old times and the Doctor’s beginning, the episode never ever feels like a continuity explosion. It’s one hell of a writer that can take all of those elements and more and create a vivid and entertaining piece of television drama without cornering the viewers into the world of Doctor Who mythos. You could easily slot this episode into an earlier season and it wouldn’t do any harm at all.
Strip away every single reference to Time Lords, Gallifrey, the show’s mythos and all these other glorious elements and you still have treats to behold.
Gaiman writes with eloquence and panache. His dialogue between the leads sizzles, especially between Idris and the Doctor. Their bickering is delightful and truly a site to behold. The Doctor and the TARDIS, talking. Yay!
In the bleaker times of the early 1990s (Dark Times, a small few of us guarding the series until the Doctor returned, for those of you under the age of 20, ask an adult about Doctor Who between 1990 and 2004 but be warned – it’s a story that’s as confusing and sad as it is terrifying) there was a rumour that if Doctor Who came back to our screens, the TARDIS may well be able to talk. Gaiman takes this element but, in his typical fashion, makes it not only integral to driving the plot forward but also incredibly heartfelt as well. If you’re not moved by the word that Idris is trying to find by the end of this episode then please take your dead soul and go and watch something a little more suited to you. We suggest Hollyoaks but that’s really up to you.
The Doctor’s Wife is truly, as previously stated by others, a love letter to our favourite show. An idea nearly 50 years in the making that shows just how wonderful relationships can be.