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29 July 2015 @ 10:30 pm
NuWho Rewatch: The Doctor's Wife  
There have been rumours of one sort and another, I think almost back to the days when Neil Gaiman first came to prominence with the Sandman comics, that he was going to write something... or other... for Doctor Who. It became a bit like the rumours that someone... or other... was going to make a Doctor Who feature film. So it was, perhaps, more of a surprise to me than it should have been when he actually was announced as a writer for this episode. In The Doctor's Wife a sentient asteroid sucks the personality out of the Tardis and dumps it in the head of a woman. It's a good episode for Gaiman, allowing him to be playful and dark and to mess around with the show's mythology, which combination is basically his forte.

There is lots to like about The Doctor's Wife, I feel slightly badly about it because, I suppose, it is such a blatant fan-pleaser of an episode. On the other hand, it does what it does whole-heartedly and with a fair amount of skill and finesse, delivering a stack of lovely moments. It irritates me slightly that the personification of the TARDIS, while not exactly a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, certainly borrows a good many of the trope's mannerisms and ticks. Suranne Jones does an excellent job with the part, though, and forms a nice partnership with Matt Smith and a human personification of the Tardis was always going to have to be quite strange in order to work, and probably a bit manic in order to avoid being dull - particularly if placed opposite one of the modern doctors, all of whom have also been on the manic side.

NLSS Child struggled with it a bit, and tended to need points explained to her. I'm not sure if it was the rapidity of the delivery of some of the key information, or that the plot was actually drawing on tropes and expectations that she was unfamiliar with. She loved the concept though.

I've been forgetting to add the [community profile] metanews coding assistance, but meta news is now following me on two platforms which is mildly confusing. I don't know if [personal profile] metanewsmods/metanewsmods have a preference for which post they want to link to?

metanews coding (LJ): <a href=http://louisedennis.livejournal.com/304915.html>NuWho Rewatch: The Doctor's Wife</a> (LJ) <i>Discussion of the sixth series episode</i>

metanews coding (DW): <a href=http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/165963.html>NuWho Rewatch: The Doctor's Wife</a> (DW) <i>Discussion of the sixth series episode</i>

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/165963.html.
dm12 on July 31st, 2015 04:48 pm (UTC)
This is actually one of my favorites. Suranne Jones really got it down, and the interaction between her and Matt Smith's Doctor was indescribably touching. We always knew that the TARDIS was sentient, and the Doctor thought of her as female, but this brought the whole thing home. We never quite heard what the TARDIS thought of the Doctor or his companions until now, and we also found out that (while we suspected it)she really does have a mind of her own, that she might actually know more about Time and Space than the Doctor (even if tenses confuse her). That's why she says she may not take him where he wants to go, but she always gets him where he needs to be. That was an essential part of their relationship.

Then there was the bit with him stealing her; it seems that, as much as he chose her, she chose him. She is the only constant in his life.

Of course, a TARDIS mind does not belong in a human, just as a Time Lord mind doesn't. So Idris's body had to give out, but not before she got him home.

The rest of the sub plot really didn't have much bearing, except to get Amy and Rory out of the way so Idris and the Doctor could interact. Well, I did love that Idris referred to Rory as the "pretty one!" Oh, and I loved the glimpse of the old console room. The coral was so much more organic and gave a sense of life within those walls.
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on August 1st, 2015 11:18 am (UTC)
While the Amy+Rory subplot is mostly there to give them something to do while the Doctor and Idris are setting their plan in motion, I think it serves some purpose. They are needed in the console room at the end, and while I different hand wave could have been devised, the plot clearly requires some notion that the Doctor and Idris have outwitted House, and having someone let them in to the crucial part of the Tardis from within the Tardis is a reasonably good one.

As well as the "pretty one" joke, we also get another "Rory dies" joke (and I think Rory dieing was being treated as a joke at that point), and the show gets to underline once again that Rory isn't a Mickey duplicate about whom Amy has ambivalent feelings (though this was becoming somewhat over-worn territory).