Doctor Who Review: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS
The Doctor must rescue Clara who is lost somewhere in the depths of a badly damaged TARDIS.
Best Moment: I did enjoy the library. And I loved the scene when Clara is finally reunited with the Doctor and punches him because he has zombies on the TARDIS.
Verdict: What a mess. I know a lot of die-hard Who fans will love it for getting a tour of the TARDIS, but honestly, this episode is a total mess. The Doctor and Clara are separated. How? How did this happen? I thought maybe I had missed something. Now I realise there was no explanation, it just happened. Very clunky storytelling. The ending was cheap. They hit the reset switch. Why? Because the writers didn’t know how to handle the ending? We know it will turn out that Clara will remember the Doctor’s name, that much is obvious, so why hit the reset switch? It cheapens the whole episode.
Not that the episode could have seemed less cheap. The journey through the TARDIS was disappointing. Sure, there were a few nice head nods here and there, but not one single pre-Matt Smith TARDIS control room? Aren’t they filming An Adventure in Space and Time? Shouldn’t they have some of that older stuff to hand? And no roundels. What’s up with that?
Going back to the story, I didn’t feel strongly one way or the other about the whole salvage storyline. It had it’s mild Alien references. And of course there was the “surprise” that the android isn’t an android at all, but I can’t say these characters added anything to the story except to make the TARDIS very upset.
The zombies I liked better. They were filmed weirdly and I even liked the explanation for them. They at least served to bring a bit more tension to the episode, although it made for some very odd scenes when a zombie is pursuing Clara and Jenna-Louise Coleman’s expressions seems to flit from fear and then a split second later to wonder as she finds some new interesting part of the TARDIS to go in. Literally, I think at one moment she goes from fearful to an excited smile in the space of a second. And it’s not necessarily Coleman’s fault, I think it was just seriously crappy direction.
It’s as though the Doctor Who writers were more interested in showing off the TARDIS than actually creating a decent episode. As for the mystery that was Clara… I was hoping we might get another small tidbit regarding this, given Clara’s assumption that the TARDIS doesn’t like her. Yet, alas, nothing. Instead we got that Clara, after randomly opening a page of a book about the Timewar, learns the Doctor’s true name.
A lot has been made of this whole Doctor’s name business. But do we want to know his true name? I for one don’t. We’ve already seen with Star Wars what happens when you delve into the background of mysterious characters a la Anakin Skywalker and Boba Fett. I just hope Steven Moffat is smarter than that.