Neil Gaiman, The Doctor’s Wife, The House of Nothing, Doctor Who and me


Neil Gaiman, looking suitably mysterious

Neil Gaiman, looking suitably mysterious

AFTER reading on the SFX website that Neil Gaiman’s episode of Doctor Who is to be called The Doctor’s Wife, I tried to talk to a mate about it and went all Evan Baxter from Bruce Almighty.

If me speaking in tongues revealed one thing (apart from my dabbling too much in Satanism) it’s that I’m excited!

I have been excited since I first thought about the possibilities of him writing for Doctor Who, or when he announced he was definitely doing it back in February 2010 – also for SFX at their first Weekender.

Back then he said: “As anyone who’s read my blog knows, I’m a big fan of a certain long-running British SF TV series. One that started watching — from behind the sofa — when I was three. And while I know it’s cruel to make you wait for things, in about 14 months from now, which is to say, NOT in the upcoming season but early in the one after that, it’s quite possible that I might have written an episode.

“And if I had, it would originally have been called “The House of Nothing”. But it definitely isn’t called that any more. Countdown. You’ve got about 14 months.”

So The House of Nothing becomes The Doctor’s Wife. But what does that mean?

I’d guess that everyone’s first instinct is that the titular wife will be revealed to be River Song, but I would expect that to be too obvious.

Of course, the Doctor is travelling with a wife – just not his – in Amy Pond /Williams. Could the title refer to her?

Possible, but unlikely.

As Jon Arnold pointed out on Twitter, Neil Gaiman’s episode also stars Suranne Jones, meaning she will most likely be the titular wife. But how, who am they and why?

What I can say is that coming fourth in the six-episode first half of series six means it will be pivotal, and of course, most likely brilliant.

Countdown? We’re got a month or so and I can’t wait!

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5 thoughts on “Neil Gaiman, The Doctor’s Wife, The House of Nothing, Doctor Who and me

  • The Doctor said from the start “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.” His previous incarnation once said (after letting an alien plummet to his death because he tried to stab the doc in the back) that his enemies only get one chance with him. Now (spoilers) examine the situation that lead up to House’s death. He’s killed hundreds of timelords, including the doctor’s close friends. He’s tried to kill the Tardis herself. He’s been tormenting Amy and Rory as a prelude to killing them. When the Doctor arrives, he offers House vital information for leaving the pocket dimension in exchange for sparing the doctor and his companions. House agrees. The doctor then gives him information that SEEMS to provide a way to get into the normal universe AND conviently erase the group from existence. House doesn’t hesitate to attempt to kill them again. Instead, they wind up in the control room and the Tardis is able to turn the tables on House. The Doctor literally gave House the rope that hung him. Had House kept his word he would still be alive. To my mind, that was the doctor’s way of giving a second chance to a completely contemptible and remorseless being.

  • PandoricaBob


    The Doctor, the “Man who NEVER would!” instructed the Tardis to kill another being. That’s SO wrong.

    The Doctor wouldn’t even kill the Master. Rose brought him back from the edge of killing a Dalek. This is a BIG deal. To just casually endorse murder, by his own Tardis???

    And that “Snake Eating its own Tail” symbol, endorsed by the Doctor… What’s up with that? I’ve heard lots of explanations for that symbol, but the way Gaiman is using it is as a symbol of the soul eating itself, sucking up the universe, a celebration of entropy.

    Messed. Up.

    The Doctor endorsing MURDER??? And getting the fans to love the episode?

    That’s a very, very dark deed.

    Was Niel responsible for this sickness or did somebody else put all that crap on top?

    Niel is a family man, after all. He should know better than to turn the Doctor into a killer!

    • The Doctor has killed plenty of people: the Sycorax chief in “The Christmas Invasion”; the innocent population of Pompeii in “The Fires of Pompeii”. He just doesn’t do it unless he has to. The “never would” line refers to killing someone out of revenge.

      House had to be kicked out of the TARDIS; if doing that killed it, well, that’s unfortunate, but really it put itself in that position. What ought he have done? Given up his life, his companions’ lives, the TARDIS’s life, and possibly many more, just to preserve a malevolent and purely self-interested being?

  • Neil is a great writer and its fantastic that he’s writing for Doctor Who. It seems his episode might have significance. It seems from my understanding that the Doctor’s wife is really the Tardis. Suranne Jones character is called Idris and it sounds like Tardis and Neil also mentioned there will some sort of connection to the War Games story of 1969 and there were tardises called Sidrats in the story. So perhaps Idris was in the past the Doctor’s Wife and was a Time Lady and that she turned into a Tardis (Sidrat). I can’t wait, I’ll have to watch the episode when its on tv soon.

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