Doctor Who Logo 'The Doctor's Wife'
(Story Code 6.3)

by Neil Gaiman
The Doctor and Idris

“She’s a woman. And she’s the TARDIS.” – the Doctor

”Did you wish really hard??” – Amy

On a strange junkyard asteroid, two bizarre-looking people called Auntie and Uncle lead their ill-fated companion, Idris, to a chair made of scrap; having taken her seat, Idris prepares for her forthcoming death by allowing her mind to be drained by her other companion, a green-eyed Ood named Nephew... Elsewhere, in very deep space, the Doctor, Amy and Rory are astonished to hear a knock at the TARDIS doors. Looking outside the Doctor is greeted by the sight of a glowing white cube: a Time Lord emergency messaging system that brings a distress call from one of his oldest friends, the Corsair, who is trapped inside a bubble universe. Spurred into action to rescue a fellow Time Lord, the Doctor provides his TARDIS with an extra burst of energy by deleting several of its interior rooms, allowing the ship to leave the real universe and travel through a rift into the bubble universe. However, after arriving at its destination the TARDIS inexplicably loses all power; turning to his companions, the Doctor announces that, as impossible as it sounds, the very soul of the ship has vanished. Back in the junkyard, Idris suddenly comes back to life, her body now glowing with golden Artron energy as the TARDIS’ soul transfers into her… Stepping out of the now-lifeless TARDIS, the Doctor, Amy and Rory find themselves on a world apparently comprised of one of a massive scrap-heap. Leaving the ship to refuel itself with energy from the rift, the Doctor and his friends explore their surroundings, which the Doctor dubs as “the universe’s plughole”. The trio soon encounter Auntie and Uncle – and also Idris, who welcomes the Doctor first with a passionate kiss, and then with a vicious bite. Idris’ behaviour is erratic: she uses past, present and future tenses, foretelling events yet to come, including the fact that the Doctor will be angry at seeing “all the little boxes”. When Idris collapses Nephew appears, ready to take her back to something called ‘the House’. On seeing the Ood’s broken communicator, the Doctor mends the device – and then listens in astonishment at the sound of lots and lots of distressed Time Lord voices, all crying out for help. As Nephew takes Idris away Auntie and Uncle explain that the whole world is a sentient asteroid creature called House. Then House himself speaks, informing the Doctor that he has encountered many Time Lords and TARDISes, all of whom he repaired. Deciding to accept House’s offer of a place to rest and feed, the Doctor then decides to look around for the Time Lords. When Amy hears her friend’s belief that these lost Time Lords are good ones, uninvolved in the Time War, she deduces he is seeking their forgiveness: the Doctor killed so many of his race, after they became evil through the events of the War. Realising that he has left his sonic screwdriver in the TARDIS, the Doctor sends his two friends back to the ship to get the device; however, this is merely a ruse to get Amy and Rory out of the way: the Doctor has had the sonic all along, and when they enter the console room, the Doctor uses the device to seal them inside the ship. Exploring the ramshackle building where Auntie, Uncle, Nephew and Idris live, the Doctor follows the Time Lord voices to a small cupboard; inside he finds lots of glowing cubes, each crying out in distress. Turning round to find Auntie and Uncle behind him, the Doctor realises he has been tricked: House has used the distress calls of the long-dead Time Lords as a lure. Now properly looking at Auntie and Uncle, the Doctor notices how they are made up of a patchwork collection of stolen body parts: Auntie has an arm bearing Corsair’s snake tattoo, while uncle has that Time Lord’s spine and kidneys. The Doctor is furious – almost as furious as Amy is when she phones him from the TARDIS, having worked out that he has gotten her and Rory out of the way. Unknown by all, a mysterious green cloud has begun to encircle the ship… Recalling Idris’ warning about the boxes, the Doctor rushes to find her, only to discover that she has been locked inside a cage. To the Doctor’s amazement the confused “Bitey Lady” tells him that she is his TARDIS – House has somehow transposed the matrix of the Doctor’s vessel into Idris’ flesh body. Releasing Idris, the Doctor then races back to the TARDIS, only to watch as it dematerialises before his eyes, taking Amy and Rory with it... Aboard the TARDIS, Amy and Rory discover that they are not alone: House’s consciousness has taken control of the ship. Deciding to keep Amy and Rory alive for entertainment, House subjects them to a deadly game of cat-and-mouse through the ship’s corridors…. Back in the junkyard, Auntie and Uncle inform the Doctor that the hijack of his ship was his own fault: when House learnt that his was the last TARDIS in existence, he realised that he would no longer be able to feed on such time-space ships, and so decided to use it to travel to the real universe instead. Without House to support them, Auntie and Uncle collapse and die; Idris is also affected, her weak flesh body unable to contain the energy of a TARDIS. However, the Doctor has a plan to escape: by using the remnants of the many broken TARDISes strewn across the junkyard, he can build a makeshift console. Back aboard the stolen TARDIS, Rory and Amy are subjected to House’s mind-games: Amy is separated from Rory, only to find him again – but now Rory is an old man, his mind snapped from waiting years for his wife’s return… Back in the junkyard, the Doctor and Idris only have three hours before the bubble universe reaches absolute zero – although Idris’ body will die in just eighteen minutes. As they work, the Doctor is surprised to learn that, just as he always thought he stole the TARDIS (or “Sexy”, as he calls her when they are alone) so that he could travel the universe, the TARDIS in turn believes that she stole him for exactly the same reason! When the Doctor finally completes his work on the jury-rigged TARDIS console, he finds he doesn’t have enough power to activate it; luckily Idris uses some of her own Arton energy to jump-start the console – a sphere of energy enfolds them both, and the makeshift console room dematerialises. Meanwhile, Amy makes her way through darkened TARDIS corridors daubed with the words “Hate Amy”, “Kill Amy” and “Die Amy”. Turning a corner Amy is shocked to find a skeleton lying nearby – but as she breaks down in tears the real Rory appears, still very much alive and well. Approaching the rift in his home-made TARDIS, the Doctor tells Idris to contact his friends telepathically; obeying the Time Lord’s instruction to speak to the “pretty one”, Idris contacts Rory, and tells him to go to the old console room, which House will be unable to detect. On hearing this, the Doctor tells Idris that he deleted the previous console room, but she merely replies that she archived all the console rooms, both past and future. Making their way through the ship, Amy and Rory are menaced by Nephew, now under orders to kill them. Reaching the doors to the old console room Rory tries speaking the access codes given to him by Idris; when they fail to work, Amy deduces that the words are meant to elicit experiences, and so she recalls the moments in her life that the words refer to, allowing the doors to open just before Nephew can reach them. However, as Amy and Rory explore the console room used by the Ninth and Tenth Doctors they are detected by House, who immediately opens the doors to allow Nephew to reach his victims. But as the homicidal Ood closes in for the kill he is atomised by the arrival of the Doctor’s makeshift TARDIS, as it materialises inside the old console room. After a happy reunion with his friends, the Doctor flabbergasts them with the introduction of his TARDIS’ new human form; unfortunately their amazement is short-lived, as House begins playing with the ship’s gravity and air supply. When the dying Idris collapses, the Doctor is forced to bargain with House, instructing the entity on how to delete rooms to provide the necessary energy to travel through the rift and into the real universe. House seizes this opportunity – and promptly deletes the console room containing the Doctor, Amy, Rory and Idris… As the TARDIS returns to the universe, House is astonished as the Doctor, Amy, Rory and Idris materialise inside the main console room. The Doctor explains that his ship has a safety measure hardwired into its systems, which causes anyone inside a deleted room to be transported to safety. As the Doctor and his friends watch, the TARDIS’ matrix leaves Idris’ body and returns to the ship itself – but not before it has dealt with House, whose unwelcome presence is swiftly dealt with. With House destroyed, the TARDIS reanimates Idris so that she can speak to the Doctor one last time to say not goodbye, but hello. Then, as the Doctor sheds tears of regret, Idris’ body dissipates into nothingness, her final words a heart-wrenching “I love you”… Some time later, the Doctor finishes restoring Amy and Rory’s deleted bedroom (this time without bunk-beds) and then bids his friends goodnight. Alone in the console room, the Doctor looks forward to continuing his travels in space and time with the TARDIS – only now, he sees her in a completely different light…

Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams), Suranne Jones (Idris), Michael Sheen (Voice of House), Paul Kasey (Nephew), Adrian Schiller (Uncle), Elizabeth Berrington (Auntie)

Directed by Richard Clark
Produced by Sanne Wholenberg
Executive Producers Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis
A BBC Wales production

TX (BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD):
14th May 2011 @ 6.30 pm

*Featuring the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory

*This episode was originally scheduled as episode 3, but was later rescheduled to episode 4

*Working titles: 'The TARDIS Trap', 'The House of Nothing' and 'Bigger on the Inside'

*The title 'The Doctor's Wife' was originally used in the 1980s as a fake title by producer John Nathan-Turner, as a means of identifying possible leaks in the production office

*The junkyard TARDIS console is based on a design by 'Blue Peter' competition winner Susannah Leah