I wasn't very satisfied with last week's episode. I had heard so many plaudits for Neil Gaiman as a writer, that I really expected to have my socks knocked off with his script for "The Doctor's Wife". I even put socks on for the occasion!
But it was somewhat of a humdrum affair. Part of the blame could be laid on the budgetary concerns for the show, as a lot of plot ideas that he had were put aside for lack of money. Here we finally got a chance to roam around in the TARDIS outside of the latest console room and all we got were corridors! No quick peeks into any other rooms, save for another console room and that had to be the last incarnation. I suppose that was a cost-cutting measure as well since they still had the set, but really - would it have been that expensive to recreate the control room from Hartnell's time? It was all cardboard!
Still, the story felt like we had been down this road before, and it wasn't just because of the many touchstones he put in to episodes from the past. (The Ood, the message cube, etc.) And the idea of a human body hosting the living persona of the TARDIS had been done before in a couple of outside-Toobworld venues. In fact, I remember - just before the Christmas special of "Voyage Of The Damned" was broadcast, one of the newspapers over in the UK suggested that Kylie Minogue's character of Astrid would turn out to be the TARDIS. (It's an anagram, you see, Jamie.....)
Suranne Jones, however, was lovely and fetchingly off-kilter in the role of Idris/TARDIS. But the other big name guest star - Michael Sheen? I didn't mind that he was just the disembodied voice of "House", the big baddie, but his voice was augmented so that it could have been just about anybody. (I listened to "Cobwebs", a 'Doctor Who' audio-play on BBC Radio 4 all this week, and the voice of the computer Edgar sounded just the same. They could have hired a much cheaper actor, saved Sheen for a later, meatier role, and used that spare cash to build me that early console room!