Doctor Who, “The Bells of Saint John”

It’s been a long winter without the Doctor to warm our hearts.  But now he’s back with a plucky new companion.  “The Bells of Saint John” was a great way to kick off the second half of season 7.  Let’s get into it!

For the Whom The Bell Tolls

The Bells of Saint John

There’s a whole bunch of stuff on the side of the TARDIS that I’ve never really paid any attention to.  I never would have guessed that St John was a reference to something on the TARDIS.  I wonder if there’s a deeper meaning than just a logo on the side of a Police box.

What the hell number did Clara dial to get the TARDIS?  While it seemed that her previous two meetings with the Doctor (or three if you count the prequel) were all accidental, this phone call had the feeling of some serious deux ex machina, as if the universe guided her hand to dial the exact wrong number to reach the Doctor.  I have a bad feeling that Clara is a trap of some kind.  She’s a walking impossibility which makes her absolutely resistible for the Doctor.  Moffat is exactly the type of writer to make us fall in love with a trap.  I don’t know if I’m ready for that.  I like her far too much already.

A Jacket of a Different Color

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At first, I thought he was chucking away David Tennant’s jacket which made me a little sad.  But upon further screen shot analysis, I don’t see Tennant’s trademark pin stripes.  So I’m thinking this is Matt Smith’s jacket from the previous part of Season 7.

He also grabs a black tie.  There were a few theories about the Doctor’s tie color flying around during the whole River Song saga, but I don’t know if anything ever came of it.  A black tie could signify much darker times for the Doctor ahead, but I may be reading too much into it.


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The Doctor creeps around Clara’s room after he successfully downloads her back into her body.  I know it’s supposed to be a nice quiet scene, but I thought it was a little creepy.  Certainly, the Doctor wants to know more about her.  But why not wait until she wakes up to ask her a bunch of questions?

It did give him a moment to find her unused travel book.  More book imagery.

“Is that what you do? Bring a booth? There is such a thing as too keen.”

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I died when Clara called the TARDIS a “snog box!”  I suspect that by season’s end, there will be some snogging in that there Time And Relative Dimensions In Sexytime!

Clara also drops the classic “it’s bigger on the inside” line.  I thought she’d go with “It’s smaller on the outside” like she did in Victorian days.  Unless, of course, that’s not the same Clara.

Clara Oswald For the Win! OSWIN!

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“It’s never about the security. It’s about the people.”

This Clara became a super computer genius when she was partially downloaded. The Clara trapped on the Dalek planet because a computer super genius when she was transformed into a Dalek.  Or did Dalek Clara already have some computer skills?  Is Dalek Clara rooftop coffee Clara in the future?  Does rooftop coffee Clara get separated from the Doctor in the future and get turned into Dalek Clara?  How does that fit in with Victorian nanny Clara?  Are they three different Claras?

This rooftop cafe scene was really charming.  And I know I’ve been saying “I loved” a lot in this review, but I fucking loved the interaction between the two.  My favorite companions are the ones who challenge the Doctor, who aren’t completely taken by his whimsy.  That’s why Romana I, Donna, Amy, and now Clara are among my favorite companions.

The Great Intelligence

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We learn that the Great Intelligence was ultimately pulling the strings.  I know he’s a classic Who villain, but that’s about it. I hope he shows up again.  He’s seems like the right kind of bastard for the Doctor to face.

So we got a lot more questions than answers and possibly a big bad for the rest of season 7.  Not a bad way to bring back the Doctor.