Doctor Who Series 6 Episode 4 – The Doctor’s Wife

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What’s It About?
Summoned by a psychic message from a Time Lord, the Doctor travels to a pocket universe to answer the call… On a junk-filled planetoid, he meets a strange assortment of habitants and the TARDIS is left drained of it’s very essence …

Review It

I had no idea what to expect from this episode, written by Neil Gaiman. The title itself offered many possibilities and I’m sure many expected an appearance by a certain Doctor Song. What was delivered was possibly my favourite episode of New Who so far. And I do not say that lightly. The Doctor’s Wife pressed exactly the right buttons for an old fan like me while remaning fresh and intriguing for newer fans too.

The guest cast performed admirably this week. Quirky, fun and yet maintaining a “truth” by not overplaying the roles. The voice of “House” was superbly chilling and the moment where it first speaks through Aunty and Uncle was performed magnificently by all involved. Top praise has to go to Suranne Jones, however who performs what could have been an impossible feat in bringing her character to life. The interplay between her and Matt Smith was wonderful and although there were elements of dialogue that could be seen coming, this in no way diminished their worth or impact. In fact this somehow enhanced them, linking the show back to it’s past and fitting like a comfortable pair of slippers.

The lighting and direction were also spot on this week. The Green lighting effect gave the TARDIS an eery and uncomfortable feeling which greatly enhanced the atmosphere. Also, the scenery placed in the quarry location really had me convinced. It wasn’t until Confidential that I even realised there was quarry work happening!

We finally get to see more of the TARDIS interior. And I don’t even care that it was just corridors. Not one bit. Somehow all the talk of swimming pools and libraries and bedrooms and studies (DW: Adventure Game: TARDIS) somehow becomes more “real” as a result. I love the idea of the TARDIS becoming a threat somehow and thought the execution here was superb. The scenes in those corridors were creepy as hell and the re-introduction of the Ecclestone console room was nice, though see my niggles below!

And the niggles?

Damn you Neil Gaiman! I shall explain. The first day I met David Monteith, we had a chat about stories we’d like to see in Doctor Who. Dave was on about wanting to see more of the interior of the TARDIS. I suggested it’d be great if something took control of the ship and the Doctor and co. had to get to a secondary control room past traps and obstacles to regain control of the ship… I guess great minds think alike.

But I have only one actual, serious niggle. And it’s tiny. I’d REALLY like to have seen a different console room picked from the archive. I guess that’d have taken a lot of budget though. I did also get mildly irritated by the music this week, which I thought slightly overplayed in parts. Saying that there was great use of the “I am the Doctor” track.

In summary:

Back on form and in spades! This is an episode that hit pretty much every nail on the head. Chilling voice from all around, fabulously quirky supporting characters – a spooky chase AND some truly throat-lump inducing dialogue. Excellent stuff which more than makes up for Episode Three’s mediocrity!

I honestly can’t praise this one enough and keeping this review spoiler free is quite a challenge. If you know me then be prepared to hear my praise this a lot if the subject comes up in conversation!

Rate It: 5 / 5.
Dry Slaps: 0
Reviewer: WedgeDoc

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One comment

  1. Sok /

    I was so very much hoping they’d show the Second Control Room: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4REtaM5WcQ&feature=related

    Definitely a fantastic episode, although I think it would’ve been better served as a two-parter. Much of it seemed a bit rushed.

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