Doctor Who

Season 6 Episode 4

The Doctor's Wife

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM May 14, 2011 on BBC America
out of 10
User Rating
427 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A distress signal from an old friend brings the Doctor to a junkyard planet in a bubble universe. A family consisting of Auntie, Uncle Nephew greet the Doctor and their companions, but it is the fourth resident, the seemingly insane Idris, who tries to warn them anyway.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • The Doctor's Wife

    The Doctor's Wife was a perfect and very entertaining episode of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of character and plot development. It was awesome to see The . soul inside a human host. The story was well written and very intriguing. I liked the action, drama, and the acting. The characters where phenomenal and it was awesome to see their development. I liked how every thing played out and look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • A great episode with a lot of pathos

    I think I just saw this episode for the second time on my DVR and found it to be a great episode. The plot line was very intriguing and the imagery was perfect for the plot. What was even better though was how Gaiman developed his idea and how he wrote the story for the Doctor and his TARDIS. It had a pathos about it and developed the idea of the two being more than just man and machine, the TARDIS is part of the Doctor and this story carries that idea further with it being a living machine. He also got a lot of emotion out of Matt Smith for this episode and the ending was perfectly bitter sweet.moreless
  • In a plot that has good ideas but never quite gets off the ground, Neil Gaiman misunderstands Doctor Who.

    Neil Gaiman combines Doctor Who, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Harlan Ellison's "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" into a story filled with unrealized potential.

    The Doctor, receiving a distress call, apparently from another Time Lord, rushes the TARDIS beyond the universe to a place almost, but not quite, entirely unlike a soap bubble on the edge of the universe. The TARDIS' matrix is captured by a "family" trio and stored in Helena Bonham Carter (played by Suranne Jones), which allows her (the TARDIS) to finally express to the Doctor how good it is to meet him. Unfortunately, the planetoid-junkyard they've landed on is actually a malevolent TARDIS-devouring space urchin called "The House." The House, upon learning that the Doctor and the TARDIS are the respective last of their kinds, hijacks the TARDIS for a joyride, with Amy and Rory inside.

    After two of the trio, "Auntie" and "Uncle", die for no particular reason, the Doctor and Helena attempt to construct a minimally-functional TARDIS from the half-digested remains strewn about, and the House entertains itself (at Rory's suggestion) by torturing the two humans and apparently killing Rory twice (but it's okay, he picked up some extra 1-Up mushrooms after that nasty bit with the Romans so he's safe). Now en route, the TARDIS and the Doctor telepathically guide Amy and Rory to an archived control room, where they land, and callously obliterate the ood that the House was controlling.

    Finally, the Doctor tricks the House into bringing them all to the main control room ("Don't throw me in the briar patch!"), Helena dies and the TARDIS' matrix regains control of the TARDIS. Everyone lives happily ever after, especially Amy and Rory, since they no longer have to sleep in bunk beds.

    Throughout the entire episode, I just can't shake the feeling that Gaiman doesn't *get* it. His attempts at humor are lame ("humans are bigger on the inside!"), the Amy/Rory chase sequence in the TARDIS is boring, and, while some of the ideas are cool, they just aren't well executed.

    Sadly, everyone else seemed to really enjoy this episode, so I'm sure we'll see more like it.moreless
  • My, my...

    The TARDIS really loves the Doctor, even biting him. Weird... Well, what happens when the Doctor receives a hypercube that should even exist now that he's the last of the Time Lord's? He goes to the bubble unverse to investigate if he really isn't alone in the universe.

    What's weirder than a gree-eyed Ood? Patch-work people jig-sawed togetehr from the remains of dead Time Lords. Talk about making a House call, hahahahaha! Get it? House called the Doctor to his bubble universe. Oh! We get a bit of sneak preview for later in the season this time. The TARDIS tells Rory a secret before Idris dies, "The only water in the forest is the river." Oh, what oh what could it mean? You'll have to stay tuned to Doctor Who to find out.moreless
  • Neil Gaiman delivers a triumph of imagination and character.

    Since its return Doctor Who has been a program where the writers have been stars as much as the actors. And Neil Gaiman turns out to be a perfect fit to the illustrious series. What's so striking is that Gaiman creates a story that is epic in scale and complexity with a cast of only eight characters (including a disembodied voice and a mute Ood). It's a triumph of imagination and character. Giving voice to the TARDIS is not a new idea, but Gaiman's examination of the relationship between the Doctor and his one constant companion is touching and poetic (and fun). It's easy to concentrate simply of the big ideas and acrobatic dialogue that sustain this episode, but there are also plenty of thrills and shocks as well. And let's not forget the attention given the oft-overlooked Rory. His heart to heart with the Doctor demonstrates that he is more than merely Mr. Pond. Would that more writers gave the character the same consideration. This is an episode that embodies all the best qulaities of Doctor Who, combining imagination and adventure with wimsy and personality. It's brilliant. And it's guaranteed that you will never look at the the TARDIS quite the same way again.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • The Doctor comments that he had a patchwork umbrella, referring to the multi-colored umbrella that his sixth incarnation used.

    • The concept of deleting TARDIS rooms to generate thrust was first shown in the classic episodes Logopolis and Castrovalva.

    • The old control room that Idris sends Rory and Amy to is the one used by the Ninth and Tenth Doctors (Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, respectively).

    • The Doctor receives a cube with a Time Lord message in it. A similar cube was seen in the classic serial The War Games when the Doctor sent a message to Gallifrey requesting help.

    • This marks the first time that the TARDIS internal corridors are seen in the new series.

    • When Uncle and Auntie die and the Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver, it has a green light as normal. But when the Doctor and Idris run through the junkyard in the next scene (approximately 22:56), it is giving off a blue light.

    • Idris states the Doctor stole the TARDIS 700 years ago. She later says there are instructions on the TARDIS door which he has been walking past and ignoring for 700 years, but the Doctor had already had the TARDIS for a long time before the chameleon circuit broke (in the original series serial An Unearthly Child) and the instructions became a permanent feature.

    • The Doctor offers to take Amy and Rory to the Eye of Orion. In the twentieth season of the original series, the Fifth Doctor made several attempts to travel to that location, finally succeeding in the special The Five Doctors.

  • QUOTES (23)

    • House: But you haven't answered my question, children.
      Rory: Uh, question?
      House: You remember. Tell me why I shouldn't just kill you both now.
      Amy: Well, because... Rory, why?
      Rory: Because... killing us quickly wouldn't be any fun. And you need fun, don't you? That's what Auntie and Uncle were for, wasn't it? Someone to make suffer. Had a PE teacher just like you.

    • Idris: Are all people like this?
      The Doctor: Like what?
      Idris: So much bigger on the inside.

    • The Doctor: Oh, it's the warning lights! I'm getting rid of those, they never stop.

    • Rory: What is happening?
      The Doctor: We are leaving the universe!
      Amy: How can you leave the universe?
      The Doctor: With enormous difficulty.

    • Rory: What is this place, the scrapyard at the end of the universe?
      The Doctor: Not end of. Outside of.
      Rory: How can we be outside the universe? The universe is everything.
      The Doctor: Imagine a great big soap bubble with one of those tiny little bubbles on the outside.
      Rory: Okay.
      The Doctor: Well, it's nothing like that.

    • Idris: Biting's excellent. It's like kissing, only there's a winner

    • The Doctor: I see. This asteroid is sentient.
      Auntie: We walk on its back, breathe its air, eat its food...
      Amy: Smell its armpits.
      House: And do my will.

    • Amy: What do you need from me?
      The Doctor: My screwdriver, I left it in the TARDIS. It's in my jacket.
      Rory: You're wearing your jacket.
      The Doctor: My other jacket.
      Rory: You have two of those?

    • Amy: I told you to look after him.
      Rory: He'll be fine. He's a Time Lord.
      Amy: It's just what they're called. Doesn't mean he actually knows what he's doing.

    • The Doctor: You gave me hope and then you took it way. That's enough to make anyone dangerous. God knows what it will do to me.

    • Idris: I'm the... oh, what do you call me? We travel. I go... (makes dematerialization noise)
      The Doctor: The TARDIS?
      Idris: Time and Relative Dimension in Space. Yes, that's it. Names are funny. It's me. I'm the TARDIS.
      The Doctor: No, you're not. You're a bitey mad lady. The TARDIS is... up-and-downy stuff in a big blue box.
      Idris: Yes, that's me. A Type 40 TARDIS. I was already a museum piece when you were young. And the first time you touched my console, you said...
      The Doctor: I said you were the most beautiful thing I'd ever known.
      Idris: Then you stole me. And I stole you.
      The Doctor: I borrowed you.
      Idris: "Borrowing" implies the eventual intention to return the thing that was taken. What makes you think I would ever give you back?
      The Doctor: You're the TARDIS.
      Idris: Yes.
      The Doctor: My TARDIS.
      Idris: My Doctor. Oh, we have now reached the point in the conversation where you open the lock.

    • Idris: You're the Doctor. Focus.
      The Doctor: On what? How? I'm a madman with a box, without a box. I'm stuck down the plughole at the end of the universe in a stupid old junkyard! Oh.
      Idris: Oh what?
      The Doctor: I'm not.
      Idris: Not what?
      The Doctor: Cause it's not a junkyard. Don't you see, it's not a junkyard.
      Idris: What is it, then?
      The Doctor: It's a TARDIS junkyard. Come on. Oh, sorry. Do you have a name?
      Idris: Seven hundred years, finally he asks.
      The Doctor: What do I call you?
      Idris: I think you call me.. Sexy.
      The Doctor: Only when we're alone.
      Idris: We are alone.
      The Doctor: Oh. Come on then, Sexy.

    • The Doctor: Burial field of half-eaten TARDISes. You thinking what I'm thinking?
      Idris: I'm thinking all of my sisters are dead, they were devoured, and that we are looking at their corpses.
      The Doctor: Ah, sorry, no, I wasn't thinking that.
      Idris: No. You were thinking you could build a working TARDIS console out of broken remnants of a hundred different models. And you don't care that it's impossible.
      The Doctor: It's not impossible as long as we're alive. Rory and Amy need me, so yeah, we're going to build a TARDIS.

    • The Doctor: Yes, I have actually rebuilt the TARDIS before, you know. I know what I'm doing.
      Idris: You're like a nine-year-old trying to rebuild a motorbike in his bedroom. And you never read the instructions.
      The Doctor: I always read the instructions!
      Idris: There's a sign on my front door. You have been walking past it for seven hundred years. What does it say?
      The Doctor: That's not instructions.
      Idris: There's an instruction at the bottom. What does it say?
      The Doctor: "Pull to open."
      Idris: Yes, and what do you do?
      The Doctor: I push!
      Idris: Every single time. Seven hundred years, police box doors open out the way.
      The Doctor: I think I have earned the right to open my front doors any way I want.
      Idris: Your front doors? Do you have any idea how childish that sounds?
      The Doctor: You are not my mother.
      Idris: You are not my child.

    • Idris: You ever wonder why I chose you all those years ago?
      The Doctor: I chose you. You were unlocked.
      Idris: Of course I was. I wanted to see the universe so I stole a Time Lord and I ran away. And you were the only one mad enough.

    • The Doctor: You're doing it, you sexy thing.
      Idris: So you do call me that! Is it my name?
      The Doctor: You bet it's your name!

    • The Doctor: Uh, Amy, this is, well, she's my TARDIS. Except she's a woman. She's a woman and she's my TARDIS.
      Amy: She's the TARDIS?
      The Doctor: And she's a woman. She's a woman and she's the TARDIS.
      Amy: Did you wish really hard?
      The Doctor: Shut up, not like that.
      Idris: Hello. I'm... Sexy.
      The Doctor: Oh, still shut up.

    • House: Doctor. I did not expect you.
      The Doctor: Well, that's me all over, isn't it? The lovely old unexpected me.

    • House: We are in your universe now, Doctor. Why should it matter to me which room you die? I can kill you just as easily here as anywhere. Fear me. I've killed hundreds of Time Lords.
      The Doctor: Fear me. I've killed all of them.

    • Idris: Doctor, are you there? It's so very dark in here.
      The Doctor: I'm here.
      Idris: I've been looking for a word. A big, complicated word but so sad. I found it now.
      The Doctor: What word?
      Idris: "Alive." I'm alive.
      The Doctor: Alive isn't sad.
      Idris: It's sad when it's over. I'll always be here, but this is when we talked. And even that has come to an end. There's something I didn't get to say to you.
      The Doctor: "Goodbye."
      Idris: No. I just wanted to say... Hello, Doctor. It's so very, very nice to meet you.

    • Amy: Are you going to make her talk again?
      The Doctor: Can't.
      Rory: Why not?
      Amy: It's spacey-wacey, isn't it?
      The Doctor: Well, actually, it's because the Time Lords discovered that if you take an eleventh-dimensional matrix and fold it into a mechanical... (Rory shorts out two wires) Yes, it's spacey-wacey!

    • The Doctor: Nearly finished. Two more minutes, then we're off. The Eye of Orion's restful, if you like restful. I could never really get the hang of "restful." (to the TARDIS) What do you think, dear, huh? Where should we take the kids this time?
      Amy: Look at you pair. It's always you and her, isn't it, long after the rest of us are gone. A boy and his box, off to see the universe.
      The Doctor: Well, you say that if it's a bad thing. But honestly, it's the best thing there is.

    • The Doctor: The House deleted all the bedrooms. I should probably make you two a bedroom. You'd like that, won't you?
      Amy: Okay, um, Doctor, this time could we lose the bunk bed?
      The Doctor: No, bunk beds are cool. A bed with a ladder. You can't beat that.

  • NOTES (5)