EPISODE REVIEW: Doctor Who: "The Doctor's Wife" (Season 6, Episode 4)

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Tonight we meet the Doctor's wife, after a fashion. Are there still living Time Lords? And who is that knocking on the TARDIS door?

Spoilers!

Recap

The Doctor and companions are cruising along through deep space when a box knocks on the door. Yes, knocks on the door as they are cruising through deep space. The box contains a message for the Doctor…. one that must come from a Time Lord, specifically The Corsair.
There are no Time Lords alive in the universe, so the Corsair must be outside the universe, exactly unlike bubbles on the surface of a bigger bubble. The Doctor pushes the TARDIS very hard to get there, burning off rooms to get there (Goodbye, swimming pool, scullery and racquetball court 7)
They land on a planetoid that smells like armpits where they meet Uncle, Auntie and Nephew the Ood and Idris. It seems that somehow Idris has absorbed the 'soul' of the TARDIS. She calls the Doctor 'Thief'- kisses him and then bites him.
They are taken to meet House… the personification of the planet itself. It's friendly, and likes the Doctor. The Doctor sends Amy and Rory back to the TARDIS on a fools errand while he investigates the Time Lord voices coming out of the Ood's voicebox.
He finds a cabinet full of Time Lord distress signals…. not living Time Lords as he had hoped.
As he examines the boxes, Auntie and Uncle come up behind him. He examines them more closely, finding that they are 'patchwork people' much like his old umbrella.
A green mist begins to surround the TARDIS
The Doctor goes to see the mad, bitey lady… and discovers that the TARDIS Matrix has been planted in her noggin. During the conversation, they realize that House eats TARDISes and has been luring Time Lords to the planet so he can munch down on the time machines.
Because the Doctor had told House that he was the last Time Lord and the blue box was the last of it's kind, instead of eating the TARDIS, he decides to inhabit it and take it back into the universe, with Rory and Amy trapped inside- running for House's entertainment.
The Doctor and Idris find a TARDIS graveyard and decide to put together a TARDIS control console out of spare parts. Although Idris is quickly dying, they succeed in putting a console and activating it. They take off in what amounts to a convertible TARDIS, giving chase to the TARDIS.
Meanwhile, Rory and Amy are wandering through the TARDIS corridors, being tormented by House. While wandering, Idris sends them a telepathic map and code to get to one of the archived control rooms where they can drop the shields, enabling the Doctor and Idris to land their makeshift TARDIS in the backup control room.
The Doctor and Idris quickly trick the House entity into getting them into the main control room… but it costs Idris her life. As the body dies, the TARDIS matrix sweeps through the console, pushing out the entity, and reestablishing herself as the Mistress of the House.
While the energy sweeps through the control room, Idris/TARDIS says 'Hello' to the Doctor for the last time.
The Doctor, after making a new bedroom for the Ponds (sorry, Rory), sets about setting a course… and finds the TARDIS cooperates a bit more than usual.

Observations

It's always been this way, hasn't it? A boy and his box. The Doctor thought he 'borrowed' the TARDIS, when really, it was the other way around. She left herself unlocked so that he could take her around the universe, instead of being left as a museum piece. She has taken him not where he wants to go, necessarily, but she always takes him to where he NEEDS to be. She likes being called Sexy… and Old Girl… and she's always loved him.
Tonight we learned about the Doctor's relationship with the TARDIS, more than we've ever learned. It really is marriage like, the way that they interact. I thought it was funny when Amy asked the Doctor if he'd been making wishes--- because she's absolutely right. She's the TARDIS, but she's a woman… it's the Doctor's deepest desire, it's his truest companion for seven hundred years or so.
I'm sorry, but the recap tonight does not even come close to capturing the sheer breathless madness of the episode. Neil Gaiman has crafted an episode that throws more Easter eggs at the audience than I could count. Notable was the appearance of a REALLY old (I'd say Tom Baker era) TARDIS console and the reappearance of the 'archived' control room from the Eccleston/Tennant era.
I need to watch this one again in a few hours. I missed waaaay too much on the first viewing. It moved so incredibly fast for being so moving.

"The only water in the forest is the River". This seems to be the prophecy of the day- but only one element seems familiar. We presume it's about River Song, but who knows?

Will Conservatives Like This Episode

I have no idea. It is nearly completely apolitical (save the marriage to machines implication…), so it's up to your personal tastes. I personally loved it.

What did you think? I deliberately left a bit out of my observations for the sake of conversation fodder. So observe away!

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