Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Doctor's Wife, Doctor Who, S.6, Ep.4 (Review)

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.
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