Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Doctor's Wife REVIEWED

Oh hai there internet. Our conversations have become a lot more unidirectional lately because of my revision and such. But now I finally get the chance to talk to you after all this time.

Much like the Tardis in the latest Doctor Who episode!

(Nice segue.)

So the Doctor's Wife. Well, I loved it. Definitely in my top 20 of all time, and possibly top 10. God, it was so frikkin' good!

I love everything that Neil Gaiman has ever written, so I was expecting to love this episode too. The steampunk setting of the Tardis graveyard and the patchwork people were such intrinsically Gaiman concepts. I thought the whole episode was so beautifully realised by the design team. It's a world away from the bright garish colours of earlier series, and of that I am hugely thankful. (On Confidential, Gaiman read from the stage directions of the script, which even written is a thing of beauty, and I was particularly taken with his description of the asteroid as the "Totter's Lane at the end of the universe". And if you don't understand that reference, go and watch An Unearthly Child now.)

The idea of the Doctor talking to the Tardis could have potentially been a terrible one. I think if another writer had done it, it could have descended into a sentimental, over-reverent pile of slush. But, Gaiman being Gaiman, he gave the Tardis character, Idris, such a mad, sexy, weird and wonderful characterisation that I instantly fell in love with it. Suranne Jones' fantastic portrayal really brought the Tardis to life, and her interactions with Matt Smith were simply joyous to watch. I loved the Pull To Open sequence, which has in an instant solved a debate that's been going on for forty years in the fandom, and there were so many other little references to Who history that it'll take me a number of rewatches to take them all in, I'm sure.

Finally we got to see the inside of the Tardis! Oh man. So good. The last time we really saw any of the other rooms was way back in The Invasion of Time, where it looked, as Neil Gaiman put it on Confidential, like an old-fashioned brick-built Victorian hospital. Probably because it was filmed in an old-fashioned brick-built Victorian hospital. But anyway, the idea of the Tardis being able to move its rooms around and delete them is very cool, and it was great to see the previous control set once more. It did amuse me that the corridors Amy and Rory were lost in had obviously not changed since the early 1970s! Rory's death this week was very unpleasant, and the whole thing about being lost in time in the corridors I thought was handled brilliantly. Though I don't know where the paint to write "Hate Amy, Kill Amy" on the walls came from....

Other things very quickly: Michael Sheen is a complete dude, I loved Auntie and Uncle and hope similar characters reappear, the built Tardis was brilliant and the little keyboard was such a great touch that only a child could have designed it, and, well, I wouldn't mind being inside Suranne Jones. *clears throat quickly* Er, I mean the Tardis. Yeah. 

Verdict: 10/10

Twitter: antmoorfield. kthxbai

PS. Since I didn't bother to review The Curse of the Black Spot last week, here's a one sentence reaction. Fun, throwaway episode, short on character and with a thin premise that could have been explored further, but still worth watching. Verdict: 6/10.

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