Suspension of Disbelief: The Doctor’s Wife
Suspension of Disbelief is a weekly feature, in which we review movies, books, TV shows, and other popular culture for the skeptical teen.
Review: First off, if you’re not familiar with Doctor Who, a bit of background. It’s the longest running sci-fi TV show ever, starting in 1963 and running more or less continuously ever since. Now, this means there’s 48 years of backlog, right? Well, according to the writer of last Saturday’s episode:
There’s a blue box. It’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. It can go anywhere in time and space and sometimes even where it’s meant to go. And when it turns up, there’s a bloke in it called The Doctor and there will be stuff wrong and he will do his best to sort it out and he will probably succeed ’cause he’s awesome. Now sit down, shut up, and watch ‘Blink’.
This really is the basic premise of the show. All of time and space, traversed by a mad man who changes his face and body instead of dying, his little blue box called a TARDIS, and the people he brings along for the ride. If you’ve never watched the show before, I recommend starting with either Rose, the first episode in 2005 when the show was revived, or Blink, an episode midway through the second season, or The Eleventh Hour, the first episode of Season 5.
Now, as there is no possible way to do a review on Doctor Who as a whole show, I’d like to review the latest episode, The Doctor’s Wife. I’ll try to avoid spoilers as much as possible, but if you’re not at all familiar with the show, I make no promises. This is the fourth episode of season 6, and takes place in a bubble universe outside of our own. In this tiny universe, there’s a planet made up of the junk of our universe, that’s alive and seemingly welcoming, supporting the four lost souls on it’s surface and welcoming the Doctor and his companions. But all’s not as it seems, as one of the inhabitants of the House turns in to a “mad bitey lady” and the TARDIS starts acting strange…
This is about all I can give you without going into too much detail and spoiling the whole episode, which is well worth the watch. Suffice it to say, Gaiman has put a fascinating spin on the idea of The Doctor’s Wife. It’s a simple story, focusing mainly on the TARDIS, for once. In an hour, it manages to be funny, sad, creepy, uplifting, scary, and absolutely brilliant. While it’s not my favorite episode, it’s certainly in the top 10, and has some of the best acting I’ve seen. It answers some questions raised over the long arc of the show, and raises some new ones. I recommend this episode as a highlight of Doctor Who.