"Oh my beautiful idiot, you have what you've always had. You've got me."
Watched 'The Doctor's Wife' tonight, and I'll just say it -- this is destined to be a classic story. It was, as Gaiman said, a love letter to the fans, but also a love letter to the show itself.
The idea of the Tardis taking form is such a simple, brilliant conceit that it's surprising it hasn't been done more often then the couple of times it's been attempted. In the end, if you stripped the Doctor of his companions, he would still have the Tardis. Tonight we learned that the reverse is also true: she has him as well, and by her design, too. Has there ever been a more romantic line than "Then you stole me. And I stole you"?
So many interesting avenues to explore in this episode, but one stand out is the way the Doctor averts his eyes, or turns his head away when he's speaking of emotional issues like the Time Lords with Amy and Rory. Close as he is to them, there's a line separating them from the intimacy he has with th e Tardis. He looks at her, really looks into her eyes when he's speaking from the heart.
She already knows him - she's been anticipating his needs and looking after him for 700 years, but this is the first time he can fully interact with her on his level and once the preliminary pent up from 700 years bickering is over, the truth can come out: "Look at her! She's a woman and she's the TARDIS!"
Far from the sad Lonely God from the past, this Doctor is never really alone. Companions may come and go, but he always has his fellow runaway to protect him from the vastness of space, a fitting metaphor for his loneliness. It occurs to me that it's equally fitting she's not there when he dies in TIA - how could she have endured seeing her 'Thief' taken from her?
And, the more I think about it, the more that the Doctor's relationship with the Tardis and River shares so much in common. "Look at my girl..." "This is my friend River..." The Doctor is proud of their power, and is fine with them taking care of some really bad characters. Then, there's the married couple bickering between couples who know each other very, very well, or even the protective nature of River and the Tardis. So much there to think about from the dying Tardis needing water to telling Rory repeatedly that the only water in the forest is the river.
So much to think about...
Yeah, I loved it. Thank you, Neil Gaiman, for making this fan's heart beat a little faster tonight.