Doctor Who Review: The Bells of Saint John
Having unknowingly taken the advice of a young Clara Oswald (watch the prequel to the episode) the Doctor has settled into a 13th century monastery to try and figure out to how to meet up with Clara, when low and behold she contacts him in need of help with her internet because there’s something very strange going on with the wi-fi.
Best Moment: When the Doctor takes his motorcycle up driving it along the side of Britain’s tallest building. I am also thoroughly enjoying the back-and-forth between Clara and the Doctor, and I liked every scene with Celia Imrie. We definitely should have more Imrie. However, my favourite line goes to the Doctr when he says, “I can’t tell the future, I only work there.”
Verdict: The second half of the series got off to an excellent start. It was almost a reboot. The TARDIS had a whole new look. We had a new version of Clara. We got an interesting, almost Sherlock-style episode, with the City of London, the Shard, text graphics on the screen and something lurking in the internet.
Like the weeping angels statue, the bad guy is something so every day and innocuous. Unless you happen to be one of those odd folks living off the grid, and thus not reading this article, we’re all connected to the internet, it’s always present, so the idea of having something lurking in the internet sucking up human souls, well, that’s just brilliant. The episode also featured a few action sequences. The motorbike being one, and the plane sequence. Although, you might wonder why the Doctor couldn’t have parked the TARDIS a bit closer to the cockpit
There was also a ton of references in this episode. For one thing, there was the book written by Amelia Williams. Clara says you’ll cry in the next chapter, chapter eleven. That sounds awfully ominous doesn’t it? We have the motor bike crossing Westminster Bridge a la The Dalek Invasion of Earth. Then there is the opening title sequence with the floating head. Of course we had the return of the jammie dodger. We also got to see the return of UNIT. The telephone rang in the police box, which, a bit of research shows is only the second time in the history of the show, that this has happened. They even took a moment for Clara to say the words “Doctor who?” not once but three times. Then of course there is the return of Richard E. Grant. It does seem like he’s going to be greatly involved this season, although I’m still not sure in what way, but honestly I don’t really care. It’s Richard E. Grant!
The episode left plenty to ponder about. Who gave Clara the Doctor’s number? And why is there years missing from Clara’s book. What happened to those years? I trust that all of these answers will come forth during the next few weeks, and judging by this episode, it should be a very fun ride.