There are four strange characters in what appears to be some sort of junk yard, anticipating the arrival of a Time Lord. There is an older woman called Auntie, a man called Uncle, an Ood called Nephew, and a young woman named Idris who looks a bit like a Tim Burton ragdoll. Auntie and Uncle tell the Idris she will soon absorb a new soul. And this episode is written by the incredible Neil Gaiman!
The crew is wandering around space in the Tardis, and Amy is stressing about the impending death of the doctor as usual. All of the sudden they hear a knock at the door. The doctor opens it to a hyper cube not unlike a Howler from Harry Potter, but instead of an angry sentiment, he finds a message from outside the universe.
When they arrive on the junk planet we saw earlier, everything is drained of its power. It appears as though the very soul matrix of the Tardis has simply disappeared. Little do they know that the soul of the Tardis has been absorbed by that steampunky, crazy haired girl called Idris.
When the team exits the Tardis, they are greeted by the junk yard dwellers. Idris has gone bonkers with the addition of this new soul, so she proceeds to kiss and bite the Doctor, noting that biting is “like kissing, only there’s a winner.”
Once Idris is subdued, the Doctor tampers with the Ood’s broken translator. It begins transmitting a distress call from none other than the Gallifreyans. Gasp! Does this mean that the Doctor is not alone in the universe?
Auntie explains that there is one other character in this outside-universe. His name is House, and he is the living asteroid on which they are standing. He can speak through his servants, and they do his bidding. The servants claim he has repaired them several times when they were “broken.”
Amy and Rory go back to fetch the sonic screwdriver at the Doctor’s request, but it’s a trick used to lock them in the Tardis. The actual screwdriver is in his jacket pocket. Apparently, this mission is strictly Time Lord business. He finds a cabinet full of hyper cubes like the one that knocked on the Tardis door, all containing Gallifreyan distress signals, not any actual Gallifreyans. The Doctor’s hopes are dashed yet again. The servants are obviously made of different body parts stitched together in Frankenstein fashion. Are these the remains of the Doctor’s dead brethren?
The Doctor then finds Idris locked away, then discovers that this “bitey mad lady” is his Tardis in woman form. Unfortunately, the only reason House put the matrix into a human receptacle was so he could safely feed on the Tardis. This all occurs to the Doctor a little bit too late, considering he’s already locked his friends inside the Police Box. He and Idris race to build another Tardis from the scraps around the junkyard in hopes of saving Amy and Rory.
Meanwhile, House is toying with Amy and Rory for entertainment. He leads them through a series of mind games, one of which requires Amy to watch Rory die slowly and lonely. Rory even brings up the fact that he waited 2000 years for her, and she still left him to die alone. The part about him dying, of course, is an illusion created by House. But you would think Amy might learn from the guilt she feels and quit being so selfish later in episode 10!
Idris, who the Doctor now refers to as, “Sexy,” begins leading Amy and Rory to another control room by telepathic message. Everyone finally ends up in the original Tardis, where the Doctor negotiates their lives for getting House into the bigger universe where there are more things for him to eat. As usual, the Doctor outsmarts the villain and gets everyone back into the control room where matrix can go home to the heart of the Tardis, thus expelling House.
The goodbye between the Doctor and the human-tardis is sweet, oddly reminiscent of the scene in Hook when Tinkerbell makes herself human-sized to confess her love for Peter. The Tardis has always been the number one girl in his life.
“I’ll always be here, but this is when we talked.” –Idris
One last question. What did she mean when she said, “The only water in the forest is the River?”