Mar 13

Time Considered As A Hastily Scrawled Set Of Notes On A Livejournal Beermat

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Doctor Who: The Bells Of St John

This one came off as a remix of a few previous companion-intro episodes. Disembodied intelligence and London landmark from Rose, whimsical Doctor and companion-as-kid backstory (well, sort of) from Eleventh Hour, and hardass businesswoman villain plus everyday-menace plot from the Adipose one.

Which was fun, but all a bit odd since Clara’s already been introduced to us twice – for all that this is (maybe) the “real” one. Should we trust her? Do we care? I am more interested in who the mystery woman in the phone shop is. (Please let it be Donna!) (Do we think the return of [OH COME ON WHO DIDN’T GUESS] and [I DOUBT THEIR AGENT PLAYED HARDBALL ON THIS ONE]* are the only Anniversary revenants?)

Has Moffatt done an RTD “Look! A modern thing we take for granted is AN ALIUM?” story before? He didn’t seem particularly enthused by it. I quite like the Great Intelligence as a misnamed recurring villain – there’s a reason he’s not called the Great Imagination though (“What shall I do this time, eh? Take over London… something to do with webs…”)

Actual worst moment: “Doctor Who? Doctor Who?” – just in case you’d forgotten that woeful bit of foreshadowing.

Actual best moment: Motorbiking up the Shard – shades of HELL KICKSTART, earthlets – and another great Doctor-Robot switch.

*The writing was on the wall for Tennant’s return some months ago. Said wall being the London Underground, and said writing the posters for “Nativity 2: Danger In The Manger”


  1. 1
    Kerry on 31 Mar 2013 #

    Said wall being the London Underground, and said writing the posters for “Nativity 2: Danger In The Manger”


  2. 2
    Mark M on 31 Mar 2013 #

    Considering that ever since The Shard started rising above Borough High Street, people have said, ‘That looks like something from Doctor Who’, its appearance in the show seem fairly inevitable, but I thought was largely wasted. Like most of the episodes of Who Nouveau I’ve seen (which is probably about a third), the resolution seemed awfully hurried. And Matt Smith has a weak, wheedling voice – he’ll be annoying as hell if he ever does (has done) the radio/audio thingy version*.

    *On Radio Four Extra it’s possible to stumble across McCoy, Davidson, Tom Baker or Paul McGann’s Doctors on any given midnight. I like McGann (with Sheridan Smith as the companion) best.

  3. 3
    weej on 31 Mar 2013 #

    Watched the first half on the way to work, hated it (especially the RTD-does-Blink intro), then the second half on the way back home, loved it. Quality or mood? Not sure at all. The needless wi-fi stuff will date it terribly, as will the sub-Tennant mugging around, ‘snogging’, use of new landmarks for no obvious reason and the like. The great intelligence is good though, and the anti-grav motorbike. Looking forward to this arc, hoping it actually gets resolved properly.

  4. 4
    old man sukrat on 31 Mar 2013 #

    where actuall was the rooftop cafe between st Paul’s and the shard? I liked that bit — very sherlock

  5. 5
    Kerry on 31 Mar 2013 #

    I think that was the roof terrace at One New Change, although I’m not 100% sure.

  6. 7
    Alex S on 2 Apr 2013 #

    Mark – be warned, the McGann/Sheridan stuff ultimately got bogged down in a real miserable slog of Grim’N’Gritty TM episodes in which lots of people die so it must be meaningful, right? Which is a shame, because they had indeed made a charming pairing earlier on.

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