Lets be honest, last week's episode sucked. Nothing happened, the characters weren't interesting, and overall it was just a waste and had nothing to say. And in all fairness, the season opening two-parter, while interesting and grand, wasn't nearly as good as "The Time of Angels" and "Flesh and Stone". So, with Neil Gaiman's first foray into the world of Doctor Who, does he bring some life into this so far unimpressive season?
Episode 4 - "The Doctor's Wife"
There are a lot of things to say about this one. First things first, one of the "fan theories" I've heard regarding River was that she was the TARDIS, and I angrily dismissed this theory because while the TARDIS is referred to as living, it's never once been shown as a humanoid lifeform and just the idea of the theory was so stupid and canon breaking that it upset me. And then this episode showed up (with no River thankfully)...
The Doctor, Amy and Rory travel into what can only be described as a bubble outside of the universe, but not really, after the Doctor receives a piece of Galifraen mail, filling him with the hope that the Time Lords are indeed still alive. But instead, he's led to what is basically a TARDIS scrapyard, with a few strange inhabitants. Oh, and the soul of the TARDIS is ripped out and put into the body of a strange Victorian woman. Just the Doctor's type.
The episode follows the Doctor as for just one day, he lives his ultimate fantasy of traveling with his TARDIS as a woman... while Amy and Rory are trapped inside of the actual TARDIS, which is now controlled by an evil entity (voiced by Michael Sheen).
Overall this episode, unlike the last few, was just really interesting to watch; there was an actual sense of risk (something this season lacks from the last) and the creep factor was actually creepy and not just looking like it it's trying to force it. The moments with the Doctor and his living TARDIS are quite tender, and it was pretty sweet to see that Eccleston's and Tennant's TARDIS 'desktop theme' is still intact somewhere as well as seeing some familiar classic TARDIS pieces on the junkyard world. Gaiman's first attempt at Who was a great one, and I hope he comes back to it at some point.
Overall Score: 9.5/10
Sadly, next week's is the first of a two-parter from the writer of "Fear Her" probably the most hated episode from Tennant's run. Whoever's idea it was giving that guy another chance hopefully made a wise choice, or I'll be quite upset.