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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > 523 > The Doctor’s Wife

The Doctor’s Wife

The Doctor has an adventure alongside his longestserving companion… his own TARDIS, in the form of a young woman called Idris!

Exploring the hidden depths of Doctor Who’s most intriguing stories…

The Fact Of Fiction

We knew it, right from the start. Before we knew the TARDIS was a time-and-space machine, before we knew it was bigger on the inside, before we knew it had a chameleon circuit and a console and ‘roundels’ and a scanner… the very first thing we knew about the TARDIS was the conclusion reached by Ian Chesterton (William Russell) in An Unearthly Child (1963). After detecting a “faint vibration” from the police box that he and his fellow schoolteacher Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill) had found in a London junkyard, he declared: “It’s alive!”

Strange that it took the Doctor so long to arrive at the same conclusion, though. Several episodes later, in Inside the Spaceship (aka The Edge of Destruction, 1964), the First Doctor (William Hartnell) rejected the idea that his ship might be sentient, and had been seeking to communicate with its occupants in a bid to avert disaster: “My machine can’t think!” But she could. We always knew. I know I knew, because – if you’ll forgive the indulgence – 21 years ago, for DWM 250, I authored A Life of Matter and Death, a comic strip in which the essence of the TARDIS appeared as a ghostly Grey Lady, haunting its corridors. ‘The TARDIS has shared all the Doctor’s adventures…’ began the final caption. ‘Sometimes, he shares hers.’

That’s not meant to brag; around that time, novels were written featuring TARDISes incarnate, too (‘Marie’ and ‘Compassion’ in the BBC Books range, for example). Rather, to prove that The Doctor’s Wife came as on-screen confirmation of that thing we’d always known – ie, it’s not just that he’s shared all her adventures. We’ve shared all her adventures, too…

And she always took us where we needed to go.

The Doctor’s Wife


In an unearthly junkyard…

00m 44s ‘Auntie’ (Elizabeth Berrington) and ‘Uncle’ (Adrian Schiller) watch as an Ood named ‘Nephew’ (Paul Kasey) drains the mind and soul of Idris (Suranne Jones).

In the readthrough script (dated 27 August 2010), Auntie was described as ‘female, black’. Uncle was ‘hairy and odd’, wearing ‘a patched and improvised thing that might have started out as a Victorian morning suit’ – not a hunchback in remnants of Confederate army uniform! And Idris wore ‘a wrecked Victorian party dress’ – because, writer Neil Gaiman claimed in a post-transmission Q)A on his personal blog (, ‘she’d been at a Victorian party.’

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Contents include: • An exclusive interview with new executive producer Matt Strevens • Showrunner Chris Chibnall's Production Notes • An interview with Michelle Gomez, who is returning to voice Missy for a new Doctor Who game • Out of the TARDIS returns, with Strax actor Dan Starkey answers random questions • A tribute to the late David Fisher, who wrote four stories for Tom Baker's Doctor • New insights from the designers responsible for creating Doctor Who's 2005-10 logo • Performance artist Richard De Domenici tells DWM about his recreation of a scene from Frontier in Space at London's South Bank • Actor-impressionist Jacob Dudman is interviewed about playing the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors • DWM finds out what happened at a Dalek world record attempt in Milwaukee last year • Christel Dee’s guide to cosplaying a Time Lord • Part five of The Phantom Piper, a new comic strip adventure featuring the Doctor and Bill • The Fact of Fiction explores the 2011 Eleventh Doctor story The Doctor's Wife • Previews, book and audio reviews, news, DWM's Season Survey results, The Blogs of Doom, prize-winning competitions and crossword and much, much more!