The Doctor: “There’s a living Time Lord left, and it’s one of the good ones!”
Rory: “You said there weren’t any of the Time Lords left.”
The Doctor: “There aren’t any Time Lords left anywhere in the Universe, but the Universe isn’t where we’re going! See that snake? The mark of The Corsair – fantastic bloke! He had that snake as a tattoo in every regeneration; he didn’t feel like himself unless he had that tattoo, or herself a couple of times, ooh-hoo-hoo, she was a bad girl!”
The Doctor: “Why am I thief? What have I stolen?”
Idris: “Me! You’re going to steal me! You have stolen me. You are stealing me. Oh, tenses, they are difficult, aren’t they?”
Rory: “We’re not actually going to stay here, are we?”
The Doctor: “Well, it seems like a friendly planet… literally.”
Rory: “So, as soon as the TARDIS is refueled, we go, yeah?
The Doctor: “No! There are Time Lords here, I heard them, and they need me.”
Amy: “But you told me about your people, and you told me what you did.”
The Doctor: “Yes, yes, but if they’re like The Corsair, they’re good ones, and I can save them!”
Amy: “And tell them that you destroyed all the others?”
The Doctor: “I can explain… tell them why I had to…”
Amy: “You want to be forgiven.”
The Doctor: “Don’t we all?”
The Doctor: “You gave me hope then you took it away, that’s enough to make anyone dangerous. God knows, what it will do to me. Basically… run!”
The Doctor: “You know, since we’re talking with mouths, not really an opportunity that comes very often, I just wanted to say, ya know, you have never been very reliable.”
Idris: “And you have?”
The Doctor: “You didn’t always take me where I wanted to go.”
Idris: “No, I always took you where you needed to go.”
Idris: “You ever wonder why I chose you, all those years ago?”
The Doctor: “I chose you. You were unlocked!”
Idris: “Of course, I was. I wanted to see the Universe. I stole a Time Lord and ran away… and you were the only one mad enough.”
The Doctor: “Hang in there, Old Girl. We’ll be there soon.”
Idris: “…always liked it when you called me ‘Old Girl’…”
House: “Fear me; I’ve killed hundreds of Time Lords.”
The Doctor: “Fear me… I’ve killed all of them.”
Idris: “There’s something I didn’t get to say to you…”
The Doctor: “Good-bye?”
Idris: “No… I just wanted to say: hello… hello, Doctor. It’s so very, very nice to meet you.”
The Doctor: “The House deleted all the bedrooms, I should probably make you two a new bedroom, you’d like that, wouldn’t you?”
Amy: “Okay, um, Doctor, this time could we lose the bunk beds?”
The Doctor: “No! Bunk beds are cool! Beds… with a ladder! You can’t beat that!”
Idris: “The first time you touched my console, you said I was…”
The Doctor: “…the most beautiful thing I’d ever know.”
The Doctor: “Oh, sorry, uh, do you have a name?”
Idris: “700 years and finally he asks.”
The Doctor: “What do I call you?”
Idris: “Don’t you call me… Sexy?”
The Doctor (flustered): “Only when we’re alone!”
Idris: “We are alone.”
The Doctor: “Huh. Come on then, Sexy.”
House: “So are we having fun yet? I rather enjoy the sensation of having you running around inside me.”
The Doctor: “She’s a woman, and she’s the TARDIS.”
Amy: “Did you wish really hard?”
The Doctor: “Shut up, it’s not like that.”
Idris (To Amy and Rory): “Hello, I’m… Sexy.”
The Doctor: “Ooh, still, shut up!”
The Doctor receives a distress signal from an old Time Lord acquaintance, and races to the rescue, all the way through a rift into another universe. The TARDIS lands onto a living planet named House, which has accrued piles of junk that has traveled through the rift over the years. The distress signal turns out to be a trick for luring Time Lords, so that House can consume their TARDISes. House extracts the living soul of the TARDIS, implants it into the body of a woman named Idris, possesses the TARDIS itself, and takes off with Amy and Rory trapped inside. The Doctor must team up with Idris to pursue the TARDIS before it escapes to the real universe, leaving The Doctor trapped forever.
I must admit, I was a little apprehensive about this episode, despite it being written by the brilliant Neil Gaiman, because the title put me in mind of the utterly disappointing, not to mention misleading, season four episode, The Doctor’s Daughter. Whereas that episode was a rigmarole of hopeless nonsense, this episode is a delightful exploration of the relationship between The Doctor and his TARDIS, something that has never been done in the 20-plus years of Doctor Who’s tenure on television. We’ve always heard that the TARDIS was a living ship, but never had we the opportunity to meet her, besides, perhaps, the time that Rose was possessed by the Time Vortex in the season one finale, The Parting of the Ways; even then, it was rather ambiguous.
The other parts of the episode, the characters of Aunt, Uncle, and even the main baddy, House, are absolutely superfluous – even , at times, slightly annoying. Amy and Rory don’t have much to do but run around, being terrorized by House. Speaking of which, it must be said, Rory has died onscreen more times than any companion in Doctor Who history. Poor Arthur Darvill must be a nervous wreck, wondering which death will be the last. If this keeps going on, eventually Amy will find Rory’s lifeless body, and, instead of collapsing into tears, she’ll just roll her eyes in annoyance.
Finally, after so many years, the TARDIS temporarily gets a voice of her own, and it’s a wonderful experience. I loved how The Doctor and Idris, the woman within whom the TARDIS is forcibly installed into, bicker and reminiscence like an old, married couple. Guest-star, Suranne Jones, and Matt Smith have fantastic chemistry, which greatly helps believe the long-term nature of their characters’ relationship. Credit should also be given to Neil Gaiman, who managed to deliver an episode worthy of the series, and one that will probably be a fan favorite for years to come. Not since Douglas Adams (who wrote the famous Fourth Doctor story, “City of Death”, among other gems), has a famous writer been able to leave such an indelible mark on the show. I am definitely crossing my fingers for Gaiman to write another for next season.
After watching this episode, I do believe that the TARDIS is, indeed, The Doctor’s wife, and one with no equal.
BTW> Did anyone else notice how the Doctor mentioned how The Corsair regenerated into a woman a couple times? So, apparently, that answers the question on whether or not a Time Lord can switch genders during regeneration... interesting...
Next time... "The Rebel Flesh"...