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Doctor Who - Episode 7.07 - The Bells of St John - Review

Doctor Who returned in an episode that showcased the worst that modern-day technology has to offer, and gave us the return (for a third time) of Clara Oswald.

I'll start with Clara. Having already appeared in 'Asylum of the Daleks' and 'The Snowmen', and at the end of both of these episodes she... died. And yet, she appeared again in this episode. The Doctor was shocked at her return, despite clearly wanting her to return, as we saw in his painting created in his short-lived career as a monk. The password 'rycbar123' (as remembered by Clara as 'Run You Clever Boy And Remember 123) notified the Doctor of her existence. And they seemed to get along quite well, with the Doctor asking her to be his companion.

However, I am slightly mystified by her return. The Doctor (obviously) remembered her, but she didn't seem to remember him, or the previous 'deaths' that has occurred to her. Despite this, she welcomed the idea of a 1000 year old alien with 2 hearts, a spaceship that's bigger on the inside AND 27 brains (supposedly) rather quickly.

I feel that this episode was quite well written. It presented problems with something that we all use everyday - Wi-Fi. It was one that in 2013, we can all connect with. Clara even made a joke about Twitter, implying that "lost souls crying out for help" was the same as Twitter. As a tweeter myself, I would have to sadly agree with that assessment..

Despite all the changes to the opening credits, and the look of the TARDIS, the Doctor seems to be his usual self. He even broke out his bow tie, and his fez. He also told Clara about his constant problem of running away from people he cares about, and wishing he didn't do that. I think this is the one part of himself that he hates, but he does it anyway because he knows that it's better for said people. I also noticed here that he probably has a strong liking towards Jammy Dodgers. He pretended that he had a TARDIS self-destruct button (back in series 5), which was just a Jammy Dodger. Here, he left a pack of them for Clara to eat when she woke up. Obviously, he is a fan.

This episode seemed remotely similar to two previous Doctor Who episodes. The series 1 episodes 'The Empty Child' & 'The Doctor Dances' (in which we saw a child with a gas mask). Whenever the trapped souls said "I don't know where I am", it reminded me of the repeating "Are you my mummy?". Quite chilling. Meanwhile, whenever the screens were shown with all the faces of people that had been 'uploaded', it reminded me of 'The Idiot's Lantern', where all the people had been sucked into the televisions, and were showing up on the screens.

Near the end, we saw Miss Kislet talk to the 'Great Intelligence'. We saw it in the Christmas special, and its physical being was destroyed. However, it was clearly not. I would expect that it will be a recurring villain.

A few other things about this episode:

  • The Doctor invented the quadrocycle. I would seriously like to see what that looked like.
  • When the power (briefly) went off in the city, it very much reminded me of Revolution.
  • Clara obviously loves her tea. Even when attempting to fly the plane, she still had the cup in her hand! 
  • There was a continuity error that I noticed - the ages in Clara's book went from 9 to her (presumably) current age of 24. However, it skipped out 16 and 23. I found this to be rather odd.

What did you think? Let me know in the comments, or on my Twitter.

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