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Monday, 1 April 2013

From Jen's Journal- The Bells of St. John

The Bells of St. John Promotional Image
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

I want to start off by saying that the very first scene did an excellent job of gripping my attention and drawing me into the endless possibilities that is Doctor Who. It's a feeling I'm sure many of us know all-to-well with the beginning scenes of a brand new episode.

I was genuinely surprised, however, at how much this beginning scene had drawn me in compared to other episodes before it. Maybe it was because I was excited for Clara's return, maybe it was because I am naturally a curious person, or maybe it's just because my addiction for Doctor Who was finally being fed.  Whatever the reason, it drew me in.

My curiosity grew when in the very next scene we were transported back in time to the year 1207, where the Doctor is in a monastery and receives a phone call from 21st century Clara Oswald.

But enough of the scene-by-scene recap - most of you have seen the episode by now. Instead, I'm going to throw 10 questions at you that this episode does a good job of asking.

1) Clara Oswald's modern-day character is a bit more calm and manageable as a companion, but still very clever. I thought this was a wonderful tie-in and a brilliant balance. But how exactly is it possible that Clara can be found in many time periods?

2) The author of the book was Amelia Williams, possibly referring back to Amy Pond. I will freely admit that I did not notice this, but had read it on a review. Something we were told by Moffat himself is Amy and Rory's story is indeed finished. Is this connection could just be a friendly reference, or something more?

3) Clara tells the young boy that it's chapter 11 of this book that will make him cry. Does this have more meaning to the story-arch of eleven we keep seeing throughout Smith's Doctor, or again, is it just a friendly reference?

4) The episode ends in such a way where the Great Intelligence could be returning. I was surprised they returned so soon considering they were the enemy in the Christmas special, but to be honest I wouldn't mind seeing more of the Great Intelligence. They make a wonderful enemy for the Doctor. Will they become a reoccurring enemy?

5) I was really happy that there wasn't any "snogging" between the Doctor and Clara this episode. I know I'm probably not the only one who thinks that every female companion falling in love with the Doctor gets a bit old. Will this version of Clara fall in love with the Doctor?

6) Who was the woman in the shop who gave Clara the number to the external phone on the TARDIS? River Song comes to mind, but if it was indeed River Song, what could she possibly know about Clara?

7) We get to see an introduction of a cool new gadget! The Doctor now has an "anti-grav" motorcycle that allows him to drive up walls! Who knows how long he's been hiding it in the depths of his TARDIS. Will we be seeing more of this bike in the future?

8) The hand written numbers in Clara's book started at 9, and skipped the numbers 16 and 23. In her past life as a Victorian nanny, Clara was born on November 23. Is there a connection? Will we be seeing more of  this mysterious book?

9) We've seen Clara come close to "death" in this past episode, and die in the other two episodes she was featured in. (As Combom points out) - Maybe she's already becoming a bit like Rory in that regard. Will she die in every episode? Will she always say the words "Run you clever boy and remember" whether she is in danger or not?

10) Clara obviously has a knack for children. This is the second time she's been portrayed as a nanny. Is there more to this than meets the eye?

All in all, I think this episode did what it was supposed to do. It brought in a new character, made us ask many questions, and managed to complete an entire story line, all in about 42 minutes. For this reason, I give this episode a total of 8.5/10.

I'm sure there are many more questions this episode asks, here are only some of the few that I have found. Feel free to comment below with your opinions, or other questions I may have missed!

6 comments :

John Ruschmeyer said...

I thought it was an "anti-grav", as in anti-gravity motorbike.

pcjonathan said...

True, I've fixed it for her :) Cheers

vanillatasting said...

4 - see Scream of the Shalka, the Doctor's secret an evil regeneration (somewhere in the lineage), 6 - Rose.

http://www.madein-scotland.com/2013/03/the-bells-of-st-john.html

ahoj, enjoy

Mariam Watt said...

Seriousy I NEED to know who the woman in the shop was. Shop girl, helping people connect to the doctor- sounds a bit like Rose in Turn Left. Fire the dimension canon!
But why hasn't the doctor been like " tell me where this shop is!" Everyone's supposed to think I'm dead.

Daniel said...

The great intelligence is an old enemy of the doctor first appearing in the abominable snowmen episode from 60s, his reference in the Xmas episode to giving the intelligence the idea the London underground is a strategic weak point (or something like that) was a reference to an episode where the great intelligence takes the form of a Web and takes over the underground. The intelligence is an old being before the existence of the current universe and can access alternate realities, I think this will be linked into bringing back Rose and the meta crisis doctor from the alternative reality... And it won't be the the actual 10th doctor... If you get me.

Mercy Reborn said...

Is the leaf in jennas book important and it was a brilliant episode