DOCTOR WHO: Season 6: Episode 4: The Doctor’s Wife
Review By Ross Hughes Offical HCF Critic
Well talk abut killing two birds with one stone!
For weeks there has been feverish speculation about the glimpse of the old Tardis that was spotted in the preview trailer before the series began, with fans foaming at the mouth that somehow Rory and Amy come in contact with David Tennant’s 10th Doctor, well that was put to bed tonight! Also and when news of the fourth episode was going to be called The Doctor’s Wife again there was non stop gossip that this was a massive clue into who this River Song was, well as it turned out the said character was not even in the episode which began like a whirlwind and ended in a tender fashion.
There is only one feeling I can come up with in describing this story penned by first time Who writer Neil Gaiman and that is mind-blowing. The premise fizzled with energy and wit which also for me brought out the finest 45-minute yet out of Matt Smith’s eccentric but yet dark Doctor who once again seemed not in control in what he was doing. This recurring theme stands out more and more in each passing episode and I can only wonder if this will play right into the shock finale that the writers have planned for us fans!
But back to last night’s show and we started very A L I E N with the Tardis receiving a distress message and riding off to help. An action-packed beginning introduced us to a trio of characters who lived on a junkyard planet – One of the characters Idris guest star Suranne Jones (her best Helena Bonham Carter impression) sucks in the life force of the Tardis on its arrival on the planet and from there she goes rather nuts, muttering sentences together that make no sense whatsoever! The jist of the plot is that the soul of the Tardis is ripped out from its heart by the monstrous entity called “House” (voiced by Michael Sheen) who has been killing the Doctor’s people for many of years with the evidence of crashed Tardises among the mass junkyard rubble! The distress call the great Doc received is from years gone bye and now he is in danger from this vicious killer! But House does not count on one thing! And that the Doctor has only one true love in his life. Forget all his assistants from long gone past, forget his love for the now never mentioned Rose, the only person who the Doc truly loves is the one that has always been in his life-the Tardis and for this particular moment it is given physical form in the shape of Idris allowing us the fans for the very first time to see two characters etched into our brain, meeting and talking, a premise that has never been done or thought of before and was so beautifully played that you can only marvel and question why this was never thought of before!
The Tardis and the Doctor go hand in hand, so for the fans to finally see the two “meeting!” was a joy and a massive fan geek moment and one that no one saw coming! It was basically a love story at its heart with some very sinister moments in between, but while fans will rejoice at the glimpse of the Tardis corridors (not seen since the show was reborn) and the return of The Odd, it was the brief dialogue between the box and the driver that drove the shows heart especially when we are told how “she” truly feels about the Doctor – this man that borrowed – not stole her and ran away from his home planet to share this never ending adventure.
There were slight criticisms, Rory and Amy are sidelined for most of the part, their danger from the “House” within the Tardis seemed just an add on to include them in this weeks show, the Odd were very underused, Rory died again in what seems a South Park kind of running gag, and while it was great to have see the old Tardis, I would have loved if they went further back and showed us the one from the Tom Baker era. To just imagine Smith running around the same console that the greatest Doctor of all time stood would have been surreal but would have provided one of the greatest moments in the show history.
We did have some wonderful lines that made me thump the air with joy! The “I have Killed them all!” was delivered with utter menace and darkness by Smith while Amy herself stole the show with the wonderful “Did you wish really hard!” gag that made me laugh out loud! But at the end it was about two lovebirds who have never had the chance to meet until now, and the final shot, with The Doctor dancing around his ship’s console and then said machine acknowledges his love was heart-warming and tender and it was at this moment you realised just how good this episode was and made you think how can a show that has ran for so many years can still come up with stories and surprises that manages to make you fall in love with Doctor Who all over again!
Because make no mistake, for me, The Doctor’s Wife was everything that is good about this unique man and his Police Box, and shows British TV at its very best!