Doctor Who: Series 7, Episode 7 - The Bells of Saint John

Published April 1, 2013

Doctor Who spoiler

Ahh, it made so much sense when finally we realised what the bells related to. It made sense, and also made me feel stupid. There’s so much about Doctor Who that should be obvious but it never is until it is revealed. It’s one of the joys of Steven Moffat’s era of the show, that you can concentrate too hard on unravelling the riddles, or you can just ride the wave and see where you wash up.

I’ve previously been guilty of the former, but now I feel like the new companion encourages an easy-going attitude. I mean, the girl clings on to a cup of tea wherever possible!

Doctor Who series 7 episode 7

This was a fun adventure - a besuited lady in London, in league with a greater force, to create a bit of chaos on Planet Earth. I’m still not entirely clear why people were being sucked up into the wifi, but it seems like The Great Intelligence is going to be a fixture for the second half of this series. There was enough distaste from the Doctor about how connected the silly human race is, and we know already that he’s not a fan of Twitter. Really, it just shows how much more education is required - stop clicking on wifi connections that you can’t even read!

I was perturbed by the fallout of the story though - the Doctor saves his girl by a bit of manipulation, both turning the spoonheads on their master, and by using the iPad app to control the personality traits of nearby staff (I need one of those apps, by the way). Eventually, the trapped souls are returned to bodies - but, from the sight of Celia Imrie sprawled on the floor asking for her mummy, you’d have to say not necessarily to the right ones. I found that creepy and a little disturbing, not an image I wanted to be left with. I hope they managed to sort that situation out but just didn’t show us the resolution.

Meanwhile, along the way, the Doctor was doing a lot of gallivanting around. From the interior of houses to inside a falling plane, to rooftop cafés to riding up the outside of the Shard itself, he was all over the place. He tries out a motorbike, he’s a monk, he’s a guard, he’s a spoonhead, he’s everywhere. He’s sniffing scones, he’s picking a new outfit, he’s setting up camp outside the house.

And then there’s Clara. Brand new, and yet twice seen/died, Clara Oswald. I actually didn’t enjoy her appearance here as much as I’d hoped, mostly because she has been introduced to us twice already and by the third episode, you’re hoping to have moved on from the “it’s bigger on the inside” conversation. Still, she remains a spunky companion, clearly impressed by the Doctor but not bowled over in the way previous travellers have been. Using skills implanted in her brain to locate the source of the problem was good, arguing that the Doctor should just let her get on with it was even better.

As ever, it was the little things that made the big difference with this Saturday night feast of action and adventure. The book written by Amelia Williams. The Jammy Dodgers left by the bedside. Inventing the quadra-cycle!

I enjoyed the episode, and although I wasn’t blown away by it, it’s so good to have the Doctor back it really doesn’t matter. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series and seeing how we move further away from the Ponds (and if they have more mentions in the future). The next episode looks set to show a lot of space, a lot of bright coloured landscapes, a lot of CGI!

← Previous A case of mistaken identity
Next → The Archers - March 2013