“And then you stole me… and I stole you.”
I was talking with a friend a few days after this was first shown in 2011. I had enjoyed the first series of Sherlock, which aired here on PBS’s Mystery! (or Masterpiece Mystery or whatever it was called then) in October and November 2010. That show, of course, was also spearheaded by Steven Moffat, with Mark Gatiss. And after “The Doctor’s Wife,” as far as I was concerned, the episode’s writer, Neil Gaiman, should be Who‘s showrunner, and Moffat and Gatiss could be left to work on as much Sherlock as they’d like. Everyone would win.
So yes, I absolutely adore this story. It’s a clever and sweet love letter to the series, wrapped in just as many horrific ideas and scary bits as it needs to have a good creepy undercurrent to it. The kid figured it out incredibly quickly and watched it all with a big grin, even if he did mishear the actress Suranne Jones as saying “Thing” when she was really shouting “Thief!”
Just in case the next few weeks of Who posts get too grouchy or grumbling as we hit a long patch that I don’t enjoy, this hour was magical. I’ll probably always love Doctor Who even when it doesn’t thrill me, because from out of nowhere, they’ll pull out something wonderful like this. Things I love completely: the grim discovery of the Corsair’s arm, confirming the death of this unseen character, the Ood, the remarkably malevolent sound of Michael Sheen’s voice, the TARDIS identifying all the Doctor’s companions as strays, and of course its amazing little ending.
About which… one of the saddest and most perfect moments in any comic book is Alan Moore and Curt Swan’s farewell to the classic, Silver Age Superman. It’s called Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? and it features a beautiful scene where Bizarro dies. His final word, of course, is “Hello.” Gaiman certainly wrote his fair share of funnybooks. That simply had to be there somewhere in the back of his mind when he wrote this scene. And he betters it.
“I just wanted to say hello… hello, Doctor. It’s so very, very nice to meet you.”