Doctor Who S07E07 – The Bells of Saint John


What if there was something in the wi-fi? Something living, something reaping the human consciousness and uploading it into cyberspace to build its own intelligence?

Doctor Who finally returned last night with a few changes, most of them fairly welcome. I like the new desktop theme for the console room, I like The Doctor’s (Matt Smith) new outfit (he’s now claiming to be over 1000), I like Clara “Oswin” Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman) and am looking forward to how she fits in with 11 and the mystery around her existence. I didn’t like the visuals for the new title sequence, and I rather liked the DW symbolizing the TARDIS, and that’s already gone as well. Oh well.

The Bells of St JohnSteven Moffat  scripted the long overdue return, and let’s just get this out-of-the-way… the climax is a little… anti.

I do like that it opens with The Doctor finding solitude at a monastery, trying to figure out his next move, as a portrait of Clara sits on an easel next to him, with her final message to him… Run You Clever Boy And Remember. Until the bells ring, as well as the police phone in the TARDIS.

I do love the interplay between The Doctor and Clara, it’s fun seeing him face off against someone who’s not necessarily as clever as he is, but clever none the less, and after being augmented by her download has some impressive computer skills, and we see a flash forward/flashback to Asylum of the Daleks… Hinting that this Clara may be the Clara that somehow becomes a Dalek.

One also has to wonder if this will be the only appearance we see of The Great Intelligence (Richard E. Grant) working within the wi-fi.

doctorThe mystery of Clara and watching our two leads interact overshadows the story a lot, and I wasn’t completely engaged in it. There are moments I like, and the idea of augmenting someone’s confidence, intelligence or even their paranoia. The idea that everyone is so hooked into wifi around us, and that they can be harvested, replaced and controlled is very cool, and the scene in the tea shop is very creepy. And the robots sent out, are pretty cool too.

The motorbike is cool, the giant spinning wheels at the top of the console, the clothes bin at the base of the console column… But overall, it wasn’t my favorite episode. I’m ready for grand adventures again, watching The Doctor and his companion race about time and space, big adventures, turning ordinary things into something scary, and all the emotions!

I’m happy with set-up, but I was hoping to have a stronger story coupled with it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted The Doctor is back, I love Moffat at the reins, and I love the twists and turns we can expect throughout the season arc, and no doubt straight through the 50th anniversary celebration, I just wish there had been a little bit more with the episode’s story.

The Doctor and Clara are off on their next adventure in a week’s time in The Rings of Akhaten!

Doctor Who airs on Space Saturday evenings, and make sure you stick around for Orphan Black afterwards!!


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