Doctor Who, series 7.7, “The Bells of Saint John” by Steven Moffat


DW bells-of-st-john-poster

So I may have missed blogging about the first half of series 7 of Doctor Who, mainly because of a pretty significant move across the world, starting a busy new job, and all that going along with such things, but I’m going to try at least picking back up with my reviews. I’ll try to keep them shorter, just for time’s sake (bad pun intended).

London2013. “Danger. This is a warning. A warning tothe whole world. You’re looking for Wi-Fi. Sometimes you see something, a bit like this. Don’t click it. Do not click it. Once you’ve clicked it, they’re in yourcomputer. They can see you. If they can see you, they might choose you. And if they do… you die.”

When Clara Oswald has problems with her Internet, she’s given a telephone number: the number of “the best.” When the Eleventh Doctor answers at the other end, Clara is pulled into a life of adventure and mystery. But danger is lurking in the signals, picking off minds and imprisoning them. “It’s like immortality, only fatal.” But can the Doctor save Clara before… “I don’t know where I am.” [via Tardis Wiki]

After The Snowmen Christmas special, we’ve been on hiatus from The Doctor, but “The Bells of Saint John” picks us up, dusts us off, and reminds us that it’s all OK–The Doctor is here to help. 

The Doctor is still searching for Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman), and he finds her in London. This episode does what episodes like “Rose,” “Smith and Jones,” and “Partners in Crime” have done: introduce a new companion and set up the Doctor’s relationship with her. This is a bit different, though, because we’ve met Clara before, but we keep re-meeting her, trying to figure out the Moffat-esque, labyrinthian mystery surrounding her many impossible existences. Clara is a compelling, intriguing character, more interesting than Amy Pond, and I’m just as interested to see where Moffat will go with this arc.

I’ve read an article recently which compares Clara to Rose Tyler. I’m fairly cure this is unforgivable, but I can see why this comparison was made. The mystery shrouding her existence is certainly convoluted, and Coleman’s chemistry with Matt Smith’s Doctor works nicely. I think she’ll be a stellar companion. She just can’t hold a candle to Rose Tyler. End of story. Though there are a certain number of comparisons that can be made to River Song’s introduction. We now have another woman whose existence is a mystery, yet in this case she doesn’t know more than she’s letting on.

Just as in the other introductory episodes, the mystery here is completely secondary, though it certainly does give some nice allusions to movies or shows permeated with hacking and high-tech espionage, yet still putting an outrageous Whovian spin on those plots. However, despite the ease and panache with which The Doctor (inevitably) wins the day, I think that this is actually a part of something bigger (come on! this is a Moffat-driven show after all). We see The Great Intelligence again, represented by Walter Simeon from “The Snowmen,” connecting back to the Christmas special. No further reference or credence is given to this appearance, but I’m sure we’re not done with this plot thread.

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