Warning: this is a preview of a forthcoming Doctor Who episode. It contains the official synopsis of the episode taken from official BBC PR. It does not contain any spoilers and serves to wet appetites but would advise that if you don’t want to know a thing about this Saturday’s episode then look away…NOW!
After last week’s slightly pedestrian episode I feared this new series had peaked a tad too early, what with all the wonderfulness of the first two episodes. Much has been predicted about The Doctor’s Wife, mainly because Neil Gaiman is on scripting duties here and the man has done us proud.
The Doctor receives a distress signal from an old friend. Could there really be another living Time Lord out there? Hopes raised, he follows the signal to a junkyard planet sitting upon a mysterious asteroid in a Bubble universe, populated by a very strange family. The Doctor, Amy and Rory are given the warmest of welcomes by Auntie, Uncle and Nephew. But the beautiful and insane Idris greets them in a more unusual fashion – what is she trying to tell the Doctor? As the Doctor investigates, he unwittingly puts his friends in the gravest danger.
Bizarre, off-kilter and totally original, this is without doubt Matt Smith’s finest adventure so far. It is a beautiful piece of emotionally charged drama, swathed in bold humour with lashings of sentiment and heart. Do not let these words put you off, there’s plenty of sci-fi here but the sort that has you punching the air in appreciation.
Starting as traditional as you would expect a story set on a planet seemingly constructed in junk, the location soon turns into a surreal and rather unpredictable corner. The characters of Auntie, Uncle and Idris are the sort of people you’d expect to meet in a Gaiman piece, but you soon realize just exactly what is going on here and you start to wallow in Gaiman’s total genius. There are more nods to the past in the episode than the whole of the new run put together and will have hardcore fans just as emotional as the rest of us. Also don’t be put off by the appearance of an Ood (this has been seen in most trailers so not a spoiler) believe me I sighed when I saw it in the “Next Time” snap shot but don’t panic.
The sets, effects (ooh the effects) and direction are first class and a huge improvement on last season’s. Suranne Jones is a revelation as Idris. The way she interacts with the regular cast is joyous and surreal. Here is a complicated character that all will fall in love with I promise you. Rory and Amy aren’t just tacked into the episode either and I have more respect for Rory after this adventure. He gets to be more than just a drippy husband. As for the Doctor, well I just can’t say for fear of giving anything way, but Matt is just perfection.
There are too many highlights in The Doctor’s Wife to choose from, maybe the middle section will hold a special place in every fan’s heart. One thing is for sure, this has raised the benchmark of quality. Doctor Who has never been this good. Believe the hype!