Saturday, May 14, 2011

'Doctor Who' gets the Gaiman treatment

"The Doctor's Wife" gave fans exactly what to expect from a Neil Gaiman episode, a crazy head spinning, steampunk fantasy. But somehow it still worked as an episode of "Doctor Who."

It all began with the Doctor receiving a knock on the TARDIS door, followed by a glowing box he referred to as mail. This sent the intrepid team outside the universe to a junkyard, sentient asteroid known as the Host. The production design on this set was a spectacular steampunk dream.

Of course, it turned out this was just a ploy to lure a timelord to the asteroid, kill him and strip him for parts. When the Doctor figures this out, his wrath is undercut by the sadness of his lost hope. Giving the Doctor hope and then taking it away is a dangerous situation.

The comedy of this episode came when the conscious of the TARDIS was ripped out of the blue police box and placed into Idris, one of the asteroid's inhabitants. Everyone knows how much the Doctor loves his TARDIS, so seeing her personified by actress Suranne Jones, was like watching an old married couple rehashing all their previous fights.

The subplot of this episode revolved around Rory and Amy being locked in the TARDIS with the Host and him messing with their heads. In a particularly haunting moment Amy was confronted by an aged Rory, who seemingly had to wait another 2000 years. She then returned to find him dead below hateful messages carved out for Amy. This turned out to be another trick, thankfully and ultimately the team reclaimed the TARDIS.

While this episode felt slightly off kilter from Gaiman's stylistic choices, it still offered fans some long awaited revelations and dropped a few tidbits about the ongoing story.

The best of the rest:

  • Not only did the Doctor steal the TARDIS, she chose the Doctor

  • Rory and Amy have bunk beds

  • The TARDIS thinks Rory's the pretty one

  • The TARDIS doors open outward, thus the Doctor's been opening them wrong all these years

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