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File:The Doctors Wife 8408.jpg
Hello. Hello, Doctor. It's so very, very nice to meet you.
The TARDIS
"Exterior: void space. Bubble universe. Floating in utter starless darkness, a small asteroid that's a junkyard. The Totters Lane at the end of the universe. On the surface, wrecked and abandoned high and low tech things, ripped canvas temporary structures, held together by rope and junk. There are four people there. They're all dressed in patchwork clothes that look like they were assembled from wardrobe castoffs, using whatever was to hand... Holding Uncle's right hand is Idris, who is beautiful. She wears a wrecked Victorian party dress."
—Script by Neil Gaiman

This episode, written by Neil Gaiman and directed by Richard Clark, won the 2011 Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation.


The TARDIS is in flight. There's a knock on the door, and when opened, a far-away cube of light is seen. When beckoned, it hits the Doctor in the chest, whizzes about and then actually comes to him. "I've got mail," the Doctor says with glee.

The hypercube is a form of communication for Time Lords. This one seems to come from one named the Corsair (previously mentioned by the Fourth Doctor in the Expanded Universe) and the Doctor knows him/her quite well. They were friends, through many incarnations, and although the Corsair's sex changed freely with new regenerations, one thing was always the same: the Corsair always got an Ouroubourous tattoo on each new body. The small mail cube has that exact same mark.

The Doctor counts the Corsair as "one of the good ones". The message originates from "outside the Universe", somewhere where the trio has never gone before. They follow the signal. As happened before when switching from the natural home-universe to a different one, the TARDIS loses power -- but this time, it's actually due to a different cause than before. This time, the soul of the TARDIS has been transported into the body of a humanoid female called Idris. And the planetoid they've landed on seems to be a complete junk yard.

The travellers are greeted by two very raggedy old humanoids named Auntie & Uncle. They're closely followed by Nephew, a green-eyed lobotomized Ood. The TARDIS, in Idris' body, is delighted to see the Doctor, greets him with a "goodbye!", realises that that's wrong -- time is all too linear in a humanoid body -- and snogs him instead. The Doctor's a bit confused, especially when Auntie & Uncle warn him about contact with Idris, saying she is mad. And that she'll bite him. Which she promptly does. And she tells Rory what "petrichor" means, which he'll ask about soon enough in the future. But she has no idea how to behave around her "Thief", and before she knows it, she's carried off again by the humanoids.

The planetoid turns out to be accreted matter around a sentient lifeform, which glows green -- like the eyes of the Ood Nephew. The planetoid's name is simply "House". The Doctor's single-minded purpose, though, is to find and help any possibly lost but still alive Time Lords that he senses nearby. Amy conjectures that he might just want to be forgiven for killing his race. The Doctor sends Amy and Rory back to the empty TARDIS husk for an errand, then locks the doors remotely as soon as they're inside.

He discovers a cupboard full of hypercubes in the junk yard, and they keep repeating emergency messages from a number of Time Lords. Auntie & Uncle approach, and the Doctor uncovers how House has been "repairing" them. They've been jigsawed together from bits and pieces that found their way into the "sink hole" where this "bubble universe" exists, on the outer-edge of the natural universe we commonly know the Doctor to travel in. Uncle literally has two left feet. Auntie has a big manly arm with the Corsair's tattoo on it. House, at it turns out, has been luring Time Lords to the planetoid since long before the Time War, and has trapped the souls of their TARDISes in humanoid bodies in order to safely consume the TARDIS husks. The accompanying Time Lords were, to him, simply spare parts for TARDIS soul receptacles.

In the meantime, Amy and Rory slowing realise that a green glow is suffusing the TARDIS. It starts to dematerialize and hurtle off in the direction of the bigger, energy-rich universe. House now has control of the TARDIS and is threatening to kill the inhabitants. He had initially planned to simply consume the TARDIS' Artron energy, but now that he has learned that the Doctor is the last Time Lord and that no more TARDISes will ever arrive, he has decided to transfer himself to the TARDIS and escape through the rift. Rory quickly assesses that this being is in need of entertainment and argues this point in his half-hearted way of making a stand. House tells them to run, if they're so keen on being entertainment. They run through the TARDIS corridors aimlessly while House makes them re-enact the time skip scenes from Cube.

With House gone, Auntie & Uncle promptly expire.

The Doctor sees Idris' body in a holding cell, and she tries to convey to him who she is. "We travel. I go... VWORP... VWORP." She explains that she's the one that stole him. He's her Doctor. While he tries to argue that he stole her, he releases her, and stands face-to-face with his ship. He awkwardly asks for her name. She assumes she's called "Sexy", since that's what he's always called her. She tries to get used to a physical body and linear time, with significant Time Travel Tense Trouble and very little sense of what's yet to happen and what's already passed. They flirt and banter away until they, in non-linear flow of time fashion, figure out that the remains of all the Time Lords and TARDISes House has fed upon in its time has given them access to a means of escape. They hastily build a new TARDIS out of TARDIS corpse parts, and Sexy Thing animates the remains with some feeling of horror.

Since House has raised the shields of TARDIS husk, these need to be lowered so the Doctor and Sexy Thing can materialize. Sexy sends a message to "the pretty one" with the psychic password for the backup control-room: the one from the Russell T. Davies era. "The pretty one" turns out to be Rory, who uses Sexy's psychic message (and the thought of petrichor) to open the locks.

Amy and Rory nearly don't make it, though, since House has brought Nephew along for the ride and tries to use him to kill them. In the nick of time, Nephew is killed, and the Doctor and Sexy are back inside the TARDIS husk.

 The Doctor: Uh, Amy. This is... well... she’s my TARDIS. Except she’s a woman. She’s a woman, and she’s my TARDIS.

Amy: She’s the TARDIS?

The Doctor: And she’s a woman. She’s a woman, and she’s the TARDIS.

Amy: (beat) Did you wish really hard?

The Doctor: Shut up! Not like that.

The TARDIS: Hello. I’m... Sexy.

The Doctor: Oh, still shut up!

Time is running out for the body of Idris, as it also was for Auntie & Uncle without constant repair by House. House is intent on killing again unless given a reason not to. The Doctor seems to be negotiating with House and giving helpful information on how to re-enter the larger universe without much cause for the trust he proclaims to have. As it turns out, it was a ruse, since the Doctor knew deleting rooms (part of the required trickery for re-entry) transports any living entities inside them into the main control room. Idris' body dies while imparting some secret to Rory: "the only water in the forest is the river". The Doctor is happy, because that means that Sexy can recombine with the TARDIS hardware. He tells his "old girl" to finish House off.

Afterwards, the TARDIS reanimates Idris' body one last time in order to share a few tearful last words with her Doctor. Although she's going nowhere, she knows she'll never be able to speak to him again, so she says two things she'd been wanting to tell him: "Hello" and, as Idris' body vaporizes, "I love you."

Amy and Rory get a new bedroom. They hope for one without bunk beds this time, although the Doctor just loves the idea of a bed with a ladder. As they leave to check it out, the Doctor installs a security field around the matrix to prevent it from being compromised again, and gently talks to the TARDIS, not expecting an answer -- only for a nearby lever to move on its own, sending the TARDIS to its next destination.


Tropes

 Amy: It's always you and her, isn't it? A boy and his box, off to see the universe.

  • Alien Geometries: The chase through the TARDIS corridors.
  • And the Fandom Rejoiced: When the title was revealed, fans were a little worried that the wife in question would have something to do with River Song (who is popular, if polarizing, but the idea of the rather Asexual Doctor being romantically involved or married to anybody is offputting to fans). When they realize who the "wife" in question was, well, they were too busy squeeing to rejoice.
    • Rejoicing also occurred when Neil Gaiman, arguably the most prominent writer to ever craft a Doctor Who episode, was confirmed as writing an episode after several years of rumours.
  • Arc Words: Oh we got some again. "The only water in the forest is the river." What, TARDIS, what?
    • Resolved in "A Good Man Goes to War" - it refers to River Song's true identity of Melody Pond, and that the people of the Gamma Forests have no word for "pond".
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: Used very much for drama here.
  • Ascended Fanon: The episode all but confirms a lot of fan theories about the TARDIS and its relationship with the Doctor -- such as the fact that while she might not take him where he wants to go, she nevertheless takes him where he needs to go (or where he's needed).
    • The fact the TARDIS holds actual affection for the Doctor and is female has been suggested numerous times in both licensed novels and short stories and fanfic.
    • Also confirmed the long held fanon belief that (some? all?) Time Lords can change sex during a regeneration.
    • The idea that the TARDIS is alive is not ascended fanon, however, having first been established way back in 1964.
  • The Atoner: The Doctor's motives in seeking out any surviving Time Lords is to be forgiven for killing off the rest in the Time War. Subverted in that there turn out to be no more Time Lords. For the moment anyway.
  • Author Appeal: Gaiman's love of the power of stories is in full effect.
    • The episode proper opens with the Doctor finishing up a story about Robot King Arthur. Rory is skeptical, until Amy tells him she was there.
    • House uses old Time Lord distress messages to lure Time Lords to the planet so he can eat them.
    • Amy was separated from Rory for thousands of years and he now hates her for abandoning him. Then she gets away from him, and comes across his desiccated corpse lying on the floor with "KILL AMY" (and, perhaps even more disturbingly, "KILL ME AMY") scrawled on every wall. Then she finds out it's just a Mind Screw. The story is in the implication of what's been happening between the illusions.
    • Compare the line about people being Bigger on the Inside with Neil Gaiman's own page quote.
  • Badass Boast / Do Not Taunt Cthulhu

 House: Fear me. I've killed hundreds of Time Lords.

The Doctor: Fear me. I've killed all of them.

  • Berserk Button: The Doctor's button is definitely pushed in this episode. Doubles as an ironic echo to his first appearance.

  Doctor: You gave me hope and then you took it all away. Thats enough to make anyone dangerous, god knows what it'll do to me. BASICALLY, RUN!

  • Big No: Amy on seeing Rory's body. Helped on by the fact that she sounds like she's going to throw up in grief.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The TARDIS thinks humans are. ("Bigger On the Inside" was one of the episode's working titles.)
    • This was also the first episode since the series returned in 2005 to give an extensive on-screen "tour" of the TARDIS interior beyond the console room.
  • Body Horror: The Time Lords who came to House before the Doctor were cut up and sewn back together to make Auntie and Uncle. But, for reasons never explained, not Idris.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: The Time Lord called the Corsair, if the Doctor's description is to be believed.
    • In fact, Neil Gaiman has said that he thinks the Corsair "laughed a lot". Can we assume that he's based on Brian Blessed?
  • Brick Joke: The Swimming Pool gets another mention here, though it has unfortunately been Killed Off for Real to use as fuel (It Makes Sense in Context). Also, there is a fun call back to Eleven's first episode: Idris/TARDIS insists her name is "Sexy".
  • Buffy-Speak: Idris. She refers to the Doctor as "Her Thief", Amy as "The Orangey Girl" and Rory as "Pretty".
  • Call Back:
    • Ood? Malicious deep voice? Possession? This sounds familiar.
    • We also see the "coral" TARDIS control room formerly used by the Ninth and Tenth Doctors. Gaiman would have liked to use an even earlier version, but none still existed and the budget didn't stretch to recreating one just for this episode. So after the final David Tennant episode was filmed, the producers ordered that the coral TARDIS set be preserved until this episode could be filmed.
    • The ending with Idris!TARDIS saying goodbye was reminiscent of Ten saying goodbye to Rose in Doomsday, with the roles reversed. Except that once again, the female character gets to say 'I love you' and the Doctor doesn't get to say it.
    • "Another Ood I failed to save."
    • Fish Fingers.
    • At the very end of the episode, there's a nebula in the background that looks like the crack from season 5. Could potentially be more significant.
    • Time Lords sending distress signals in the form of psychic Companion Cubes.
    • Wasn't it mentioned in the first episode of this season what people would do with the body of a Time Lord?
    • A police box in an old junk yard - just like it all began.
    • "I'm a madman with a box without a box!" and "Basically, run!".
    • Also, we hear the Cloister Bell once again when House takes over the TARDIS. (The Cloister Bell was first heard in the Season 18 story Logopolis.)
    • We now have "spacey-wacey" to go with "timey wimey".
    • Do ominous talking green clouds of sentient gas that can possess living things and use familial names like "Auntie" and Uncle"? remind you of anything?
    • At the end of the episode, the Doctor suggests they go to the Eye of Orion.
    • The Doctor clicks his fingers repeatedly when trying to get into the locked TARDIS.
    • The Doctor finds that many Time Lords went to the junkyard at the end of the universe. Earlier, in "Utopia," Captain Jack Harkness said the end of the universe was the perfect place for a Time Lord to hide from the Time War. Also from this episode, Idris seems to confirm Martha Jones' musings on whether the Doctor's companions are just "strays".
    • The spirit of the TARDIS possessing a human female.
    • The makeshift TARDIS control room constructed by the Doctor out of ruined TARDIS junk is something of a hodgepodge homage to the various styles of control room seen throughout the 1963-1989 series, and was designed by the winner of a Blue Peter competition.
    • Different universes are hardly a new thing. How about a disembodied, Eldritch Abomination-like consciousness hailing from one of these universes with an agenda of physically transporting itself to the human dimension through manipulation and mind control? Nope, we've done that one too.
    • People being kept alive with bodies cobbled together from body parts belonging to several aliens, including Time Lords. Hmmm...
    • "I always liked it when you called me Old Girl."
    • When Amy and Rory are wondering whether the Doctor is going to be alright this time, Rory reminds her that the Doctor is a Time Lord, to which Amy replies that that doesn't mean he actually knows what he's doing. This is in stark contrast to Father's Day, when the Doctor is furious with Rose for disrupting the timeline, and when she points out that he's always messing about with the timeline he retorts "I know what I'm doing". To be fair, when it comes to not causing catastrophic paradoxes etc. the Doctor generally does seem to know what he's doing, however unplanned and chaotic he might be in other matters.
    • The psychic container used to deliver the message to the Doctor at the start of the episode is an intentional callback to The War Games.
    • Some have noted that the Doctor's remembrance of the robot king sounds familiar, though Amy claims to have been part of those events.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Idris!TARDIS has difficulty with certain words including her real name. She's not used to having a body, or even being able to talk, for that matter. Anyone would be a bit off under the circumstances.
  • Cargo Ship:

 Doctor: She's a woman...(breathless with excitement) and she's the TARDIS!

Amy: Did you wish really hard?

Doctor: ...shut up! Not like that.

Idris: Hello. I'm...Sexy.

Doctor: Still shut up!

  • Celebrity Voice Actor: Michael Sheen as the House.
    • Ever since the episode aired there has been rampant speculation in fandom as to whether one of the uncredited voice actors heard during the Time Lord distress calls is Paul Mc Gann, who played the Eighth Doctor in the 1996 TV and has since reprised the character in dozens of BBC-licensed audio plays.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Pretty much everything Idris says early on. Okay, not everything ("Biting's excellent! It's like kissing, only there's a winner!"), but a lot.

 Idris: The smell of dust after the rain.

Rory: ...I'm sorry, what?

Idris: The answer to your question.

Rory: I didn't ask a question.

Idris: You will.

    • Reportedly the line of gibberish Idris in her cell spouts was originally intended to be "the only water in the forest is the river".
  • The Chew Toy: It seems Rory is this to the universe. Amy seems to be this emotionally, to judge by the sheer amount of times she's seen him die over the series.
    • a later episode, The Wedding of River Song, will confirm this treatment of Rory as intentional.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Idris, to an extent that can't simply be excused by Time Travel Tense Trouble or being in entirely the wrong shape of body. Unsurprising, though - we always knew the TARDIS was a bit off in the head.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: Anything possessed by House glows a sickly green colour. When it's in control of the TARDIS, not only do the inner lights go green, so does the lamp on the top.
  • Contest Winner Cameo: The winning entry of the Blue Peter TARDIS interior design contest held back in Series 5 appears in this episode. It's the makeshift TARDIS the Doctor builds to get back to his own.
  • Continuity Nod: As in "Castrovalva", the Doctor jettisons TARDIS rooms to give him a boost.
    • Could be that the Junkyard!TARDIS's energy-bubble VFX is a nod to the opening sequence in Sylvester McCoy's run.
    • The House-possessed TARDIS pulling a Mind Screw on the Doctor's companion and the TARDIS appearing in a human form are very similar to events of the Big Finish audio Zagreus.
    • The Doctor has traveled to an alternate universe using only a TARDIS console before, in Inferno.
    • Status Quo Is God: The TARDIS just regrew the rooms jettisoned in "Castrovalva" last season. Easy come, easy go...
  • Corpse Land: The supposed "junkyard".
  • Creepy Monotone: The House.
  • Dead All Along: The Corsair and the other Time Lords, thanks to House.
    • Not to mention Idris. Technically, she's a reanimated corpse.
  • Derelict Graveyard: The asteroid is covered in TARDIS wreckage.
  • Disappears Into Light: Idris/TARDIS
  • Dissimile: Explaining the idea of a bubble-universe leads into this.
    • These seem to be developing into one of Eleven's Catchphrases.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You

 The Doctor: You gave me hope and then you took it away. That's enough to make anyone dangerous. God knows what it will do to me. Basically... RUN!

  • Evil Sounds Deep: House.
  • Expospeak Gag: When the Ood was "redistributed." Translation: you're breathing him.
    • Inverted in the final scene: Steven Moffat's hatred of Techno Babble is in full effect when the TARDIS cuts off the Doctor's explanation of why he can't make her speak again. "YES, IT'S SPACEY-WACEY!"
  • Faux Affably Evil: House.
  • Final Speech: OK, technically The TARDIS isn't dying, but the fact she never expects to be able to speak to her thief directly again makes her final conversation with the Doctor take on much of the same overtones. Her body house dies at the beginning of the episode, but since she's been reanimated throughout the episode, these are indeed her final words before she dies for good.
  • For the Evulz: House. It's how Rory convinces him to keep them alive. Because it's more fun to keep them alive and torture them.
  • Foreshadowing: Lampshaded in the extent that Idris!TARDIS talks about things that the Doctor and the crew have not yet experienced. They all are revealed to be true, in time... (See Chekhov's Gun above)
  • Gender Bender: The Doctor offhandedly confirms that Time Lords can change gender when they regenerate. The Corsair, one of his old buddies, was usually a man but sometimes a woman ("She was a bad girl!")
  • Genius Loci: The asteroid is sentient and able to communicate via its inhabitants. Then it takes over the TARDIS, turning it into one as well.
    • Of course, the TARDIS has always been one, ever since the very beginning.
  • Genre Savvy: Amy gets the honor this episode and is right on the mark.

 Amy: Doctor, listen to me. Don't get emotional, because that's when you make mistakes.

Amy: It's what [Time Lords] called. It doesn't mean [The Doctor] actually knows what he's doing.

Amy: No sonic screwdriver, also the doors seem to have locked behind us. Rory believes there's a perfectly innocent explanation, but I think you lied to us.

    • Rory also displays some by knowing that the villain never wants to just kill someone when there's a chance to psychologically torture then instead.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Amy and Rory asking the Doctor not to give them a bunk bed in their new bedroom, as the old one got destroyed in that battle with House. If you think about it, a bunk bed is not conducive for... fun time.

 "No, bunk beds are cool! A bed — with a ladder! You can't beat that!"

    • It was sufficient to conceive a time-headed baby, at least.
    • When the Doctor explains a bit incoherently that Idris is the TARDIS in a woman's body, Amy's response is, "Did you wish really, really hard?"
    • After stating that there's a word on the tip of her tongue, Idris!TARDIS suggestively moves towards the Doctor and says she has "a new idea about kissing".
    • So she left her door unlocked and the Doctor went inside her, touched her console, and called her the most beautiful thing he'd ever known. Do the math.
    • And then picture William Hartnell doing the stroking. Squick indeed.
  • Grand Theft Me: Unwilling variation - House removes the mind of the TARDIS so he can possess its "body", and since he can't safely destroy said mind he stores it in a human body.
    • In a softer and lighter version Idris/TARDIS initially refers to the Doctor as "My thief", and the scene confirms 48 years of speculation over how the Doctor obtained her in the first place; he claims he stole her, but she claims she stole him.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Nephew, distinguishing itself from other Ood.
  • Hope Spot: The message the Doctor receives in the beginning of the episode, making him think there are still living Time Lords in existence.
  • Ho Yay:

 Rory: "Doctor, do you have a [bed]room?"

Amy: [quickly pulls Rory away]

  • I Call It Vera: The TARDIS's name is apparently "Sexy Thing"
  • Insistent Terminology: Idris keeps insisting she stole the Doctor. By leaving her door unlocked.
    • The Doctor repeats that he borrowed the TARDIS.

  The TARDIS: "Borrowing" implies an eventual intention to return the thing which was taken. What makes you think I would ever give you back?

  The Doctor: You gave me hope and then you took it away. That's enough to make anyone dangerous... God knows what it will do to me. Basically… RUN!

 Idris: There are instructions on the door. What do they say?

The Doctor: Those aren't instructions!

Idris: You've walked by them every day for seven hundred years. What do they say?

The Doctor: ..."Pull to open."

Idris: And what do you do?

The Doctor: ...Push.

  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Idris has strong overtones of this. Fitting, seeing as she's been the Doctor's Manic Pixie Dream Girl for centuries now... and he's been her Manic Pixie Dream Guy.
  • Mathematician's Answer: After being asked how you can leave the universe, the Doctor replies "With immense difficulty."
  • Meaningful Name: Might have been subconscious but TARDIS sounds an awful lot like Idris (and Astrid is already taken.
  • Mind Rape: Done by the House to mess with Rory and Amy as they run through the TARDIS interior.
    • Could also be taken literally in the sense of how House removed the TARDIS matrix against her will.
  • Mood Whiplash: This episode starts off with funny moments ("I've got mail!") Then it segues into Gaiman's extremely scary ending.
  • Moral Dissonance: The Doctor apologises to Idris when he realises that cannabalising various TARDIS components might bother her as a TARDIS herself.
  • Name's the Same: A character called House with a penchant for fixing people? Also, a character called House with a glowing, green visage, a tendency to manipulate people, long life-span compared to others, and makes a Genius Loci of whatever they inhabit?
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever story the Doctor was telling Rory at the beginning. Apparently, it wasn't the Robot King.
  • Not So Different: House and the Doctor bizarrely get a few.
    • The Doctor's plan of building a new TARDIS from scratch, as said by Idris: "Let's take these half digested corpses and sew them together into a single body and then make it go for a run" is basically what House was doing to Aunty and Uncle[1].
    • Or how both react after getting new bodies:

 Doctor: [newly regenerated] Legs! I've still got legs. - "The End of Time"

House: [newly possessed the TARDIS] Corridors. I have so many corridors. - The Doctor's Wife

  • One-Gender Race: Implied with TARDISes, given Idris's reference to her 'sisters' scattered across the planet.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Aunty and Uncle.
  • The Ophelia: Idris has a lot of these traits, right down to the long hair and Victorian clothing. Considering that she was written by Neil Gaiman, this was probably intentional.
  • Ouroboros: The Corsair's tattoo.
  • People Puppets: Uncle and Aunt.
  • Phrase Catcher: "Bigger on the inside," the Doctor Who classic. Extrapolated on, however, because The TARDIS herself uses it in reference to the Doctor, and the reason she can push out House is because he is just so small on the inside.
    • The TARDIS also asks the Doctor

 TARDIS: Are all people like this?

The Doctor: Like what?

TARDIS: So much bigger on the inside.

  • Pstandard Psychic Pstance: Amy adopts this pose trying to think of the passcode to the control room. So does Rory, actually, when Idris aims for the "pretty one" and gets him Semi-justified because they probably don't know any better; in Rory's case the communication clearly gives him a headache.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: There was going to be an actual scene in the swimming pool, but apparantly Karen Gillan can't swim.
  • Revision: Gaiman does a masterful job of revising the Doctor's origin story. It's widely-known canon that the Doctor wanted to see the universe, so he "borrowed" a TARDIS and ran away from Gallifrey. Turns out, the TARDIS wanted to see the universe, so she stole a Time Lord (by leaving her doors unlocked for the Doctor) and ran away from Gallifrey. Turns out they both got exactly what they wanted.
  • Robo Ship: Like never before! The soul of the TARDIS is ripped out and put into a woman, Idris, allowing the Doctor and his beloved ship to talk to each other for the first time. They spend most of the episode flirting and have an emotional goodbye when she has to return to "the box" - and her last words to him are even "I love you". And in the Confidential, they make this music video.
    • Matt Smith even said The Doctor is definitely really turned on by this.

 Amy: Did you wish really hard?

    • The Doctor asks Idris to send a message to Amy. She asks if Amy's the pretty one. Seconds later, Rory gets a message. Given how flirty Rory's wife gets with the Doctor at times, it's fitting that the Doctor's wife should turn the tables.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Amy encounters a section of hallway where all the walls are covered with "HATE AMY", "KILL AMY", and even "KILL ME AMY". The kicker is that those words were written by a long-dead Rory. It was a Mind Rape via The House.
  • Running Gag: The rarely-seen swimming pool - and now it looks like we never will see it again, as the Doctor burns it up for fuel to get into the bubble universe.
  • Scenery Gorn: The wrecked ships.
  • Scheherezade Gambit: Rory convinces House to keep them alive because killing them at once wouldn't be any fun. "I had a PE teacher like you once..."
  • Shave and a Haircut: This is what the message box uses to knock on the TARDIS door.
  • Series Resemblance: Very heavily to Coraline.
  • Shout-Out
    • One of the junked ships resembles, and is positioned the same way as, the wrecked ship in Alien.
    • The Junkyard at the End of the Universe, anyone?
    • House's personality and treatment of Amy and Rory owes a lot to AM in Harlan Ellison's famous short story I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, not to mention resembling a certain other monotoned, malevolent entity controlling a spaceship. Maybe House and HAL are related...
    • Then there's that other malevolent, labyrinthine house
    • The TARDIS corridors seen in this episode bear a strong resemblance to the corridors of the Liberator in Blakes Seven.
    • 'Petrichor', a word for 'the smell after rain', is significant to one of the Discworld books.
    • "Biting's excellent. It's like kissing, only there's a winner!"
    • When the Tardis engages House, the doctor makes a comment that the possessing entity is as big as a planet on the outside of the Tardis but incredibly tiny when the inside and confronting the ship in the heart of its own domain. This trick reminds me of an anticlimatic confrontation Morpheus has with a demon in the Sandman story Season of Mists. The creature is said to be potentially formidable if dream faced in on neutral ground, but in the heart of his kingdom size and distance and reality are his to control, and dream traps the immense creature in a tiny bottle.
    • So Neil Gaiman writes something where there's an evil entity making fake people and posing as one of them to lure in victims to eat... Sound familiar?
  • Sickly Green Glow: The House takes the form of a green cloud.
  • Sleeping Single: An unwilling example. It appears the Doctor is unwilling to change the bed in Rory and Amy's room from a bunkbed to a doublebed.

 The Doctor: But bunkbeds are cool! It's a bed with a ladder!

  • Snipe Hunt: The Doctor sends Amy and Rory back to the TARDIS to fetch his sonic screwdriver. When they're inside, the Doctor turns out to actually have his screwdriver already and locks them inside.

 Amy: We couldn't find your screwdriver. Plus the doors seem to have locked behind us. Rory thinks there's a perfectly innocent explanation, but I think you lied to us.

The Doctor: Time Lord stuff. I needed you out of the way.

Amy: What, we're not smart enough for your new friends?

 Uncle: I only wish I could go in your place Idris...nah, I don't 'cause it's really gonna hurt.

  • Tele Frag: Nephew is killed when the Doctor's makeshift TARDIS lands where he's standing.
  • Tempting Fate: You'd think the Doctor would be more careful than to ask "What could possibly go wrong?"
  • This Is My Time Lord
  • Time Travel Tense Trouble: Idris suffers from this, as it seems she's experiencing every moment of her past, present and future at the same time.

 The Doctor: What did I steal?

Idris: Me. You're going to steal me, you have stolen me, you are stealing me. Oh, tenses are difficult.

  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The TARDIS has 30 console rooms archived. Including at least 17 that haven't been created yet.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: House is never shown to try to Mind Rape Rory. Its later revealed in "The God Complex" when a similar entity tries to pull the same trick and fails, that you simply can't due to his 2000 year heroic run as the Centurion. Rory no longer fears anything.
  • Trolling Creator: After a billion-and-one hints that River Song might be the Doctor's wife, Steven Moffat and Neil Gaiman casually throw out this kind of title. River Song does not appear in the episode.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Explicitly stated in the script that Idris should be this. She is a beautiful woman who fell through a rift in time, which has a similar effect to being dragged through a hedge backwards.
  • Unusual User Interface: You don't speak the password, you think them. And you technically don't think any words, but what they mean. So when Amy thinks "delight", she thinks of her wedding day.
  • Voices Are Mental: In her attempts to explain who she is to the Doctor, Idris opens her mouth and makes the wheezing sound of the TARDIS.
  • What Could Have Been: As described on the BBC website, the Derelict Graveyard would originally have resembled a heap of random objects (like the washing machine Amy notices at the beginning). Idris would have turned off the dead TARDISes' chameleon circuits to reveal their true nature.
    • The original screenplay also included the swimming pool as a setpiece, but they couldn't afford it, so it was scrapped. (That and Karen Gillan couldn't swim.)
    • The original opening involved the TARDIS team on the Planet of the Rain Gods being taken for sacrifice, and then abandoning that adventure when it had just gotten started because of the hypercube zooming up and scaring the locals, leaving the place unsorted. Neil Gaiman has admitted this is one of the cut scenes he misses the most, as it was the one cut sequence that came very close to filming. A 3-page comic adaption of the scene was published in the Doctor Who Brilliant Book 2012.
    • Fan theory is speculating that TARDIS-Idris was written with Helena Bonham Carter in mind. (Which explains why she resembles a Tim Burton character. Any given female Tim Burton character.)
    • Neil Gaiman has a long history of writing Manic Pixie Dream Girl like Death of the Endless... he'd have suggested Tori Amos.
    • The original plan was to recreate one of the old-school console room sets for the climax, but there was no budget or studio space for one. Fortunately, plans for this episode pre-dated the final David Tennant episodes - it was originally planned for Season 5 - so the new producer Steven Moffat requested that the Tennant-era TARDIS set be preserved (and indeed it can be seen in many Season 5 behind-the-scenes videos as it was right next to the new set).
    • Another scripted but cut scene would have revealed that the other human victims of the TARDIS-eating process had either died instantly or gone into comas. Idris was the first one who remained conscious and able to explain what had happened.
    • Nephew was supposed to be a monster of Neil Gaiman's creation rather than an Ood, but they had to go with an Ood because of budget.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Right before something falls off the stitched-together console.
  • Worthy Opponent: The Doctor calls House one, it's part of his gambit though.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Sorry, Doctor, but you are indeed the last Time Lord.
  • Xanatos Gambit: The Doctor pulls one of these on House when he tricks him into deleting the old coral control room in an effort to kill him, Amy, Rory and Idris!TARDIS. Instead a failsafe deposits them into the main control room where Idris!TARDIS can repossess the TARDIS. What separates this from a Batman Gambit was that if House had chosen not to delete the coral control room Idris!TARDIS could have just possessed the coral control console instead.

Notes

  1. Although the Doctor at least wasn't using living ones
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