Doctor Who: see The Bells Of St John prequel here

News Louisa Mellor 24 Mar 2013 - 14:31

Watch the Steven Moffat-scripted prequel to new Doctor Who episode, The Bells Of St John, here...

"I think I'm probably incredible"

This is a lovely thing. Two and a half minutes of despondent Doctor, the oldest, strangest child in the universe, in a playground, talking to a little girl. 

Read our spoiler-free review of the episode that follows, The Bells of St John, here.

Doctor Who returns next Saturday the 30th of March at 6.15pm (as if you needed telling).


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It's v predictable.

Exactly what I thought. But hopefully that's all we'll see of child-Clara now, seriously doubt they'd repeat that storyline so soon.

Interesting that he's in the tweed. I agree it's very predictable, but I like the quietness and the contained-ness (that's definitely not a word). It's short, sweet, and not meant to be shocking or mind-boggling; it's just a gentle tease into the series.

The real question is: 'prequel', 'prologue', 'prelude', or TARDISode? :p

Very nice. It seems a quiet callback to the childlike fairy tale days of the beginning of Season 5.

Matt Smith is very good in the pensive scenes as well as the more manic ones.

Is there no such thing as the time and space equivalent of the electoral roll? I did like the film, but a trip to the library probably would have narrowed his search.

Know what I'm sick of all the negative comments about this great show. People saying the FREE, EXTRA prequel is predictable! Really? Only if you know where the story is going and unless you happen to have written it I doubt you do. When did we as an audience turn into foot stamping toddlers, throwing a tantrum because we want everything and we want it NOW! As I often tell my children (Hiding behind the sofa with me "Wait and see")
None of us know what the future holds, for the character, the series or the precious 50th. Lets just watch what we get, then decide if we liked it or not. And if you think it fell short of your precious expectations... Try and do better yourself. At least Mr Moffat has the guts to try. Respect to him and rant over.

If I were a child and saw a bloke that looked like Tucker Carlson and he started top chat with me, I'd be scared...

Actually, I kinda dig that scene. Even if modern WHO is more like a cutesie soap opera stuck on modern day Earth than sci-fi/adventure, but the Moff nails the 'fairy tale' quality perfectly and I dig fairy tales ("The Keeper of Traken" being the pinnacle of the trope, for WHO/sci-fi in general since it's not so Earthbound)...

But this is a prequel and while the pattern is there, I must concede to rather liking that prequel...

Personally i cannot wait for Dr Who to get back on our screens. Not many childrens shows could keep such a huge and diverse audience happy, i am really glad that the makers of Dr Who have not listened to the complainers and have, with a few slight exceptions, bought us some of the best science fiction drama on tv today.

It's a nice little scene. Smith's doctor really reminds me of Troughton. There's something subtly manic about both of them, whereas Baker and Tennant were much more over the top.

Sweet little scene,i thought.Are there any credits anywhere for who directed it and the other actors involved?One of those quiet moments...

Yeah sure I knew the girl was Clara but that didn't change how beautiful the scene was. Smith also really reminds me of Throughton & McCoy in their quiet moments. It really reminds me of the scene from Tomb of the Cybermen where Victoria asks him about his family. Lovely little vignette.

When people are claiming that it's predictable I think the underlying disappointment comes at repetition and narrowing of what a companion is. The companion was the trump card of the show, the audience surrogate, the true main character. The best thign about them is they could be anyone, they could be different, all they needed to do was be a good person.

Through repetition, in recent history the show has been full of a single type of companion: Amy and River both had their lives and personality defined by meeting the doctor as a kid, and now we have Clara being dragged into the exact same mold. It narrows the scope of the show, and the role of the companion, in a way that some people feel is predictable. I personally don't think predictable is the right word, but instead of saying people shouldn't post negative comments, it's helpful to think critically about why that criticism arose, to understand the core of it before writing it off as either valid or invalid.


except she struck up the conversation w/ him...

i dig the scene too - whets the appetite for the full episode.

That was a sexy prequel....

Audiences are sophisticated enough they don't need a "surrogate" in order to have fun. Companions are fun and they help maintain the level of reasoning for why the Doctor spends so much time on Earth but there is zero reason for them to always be surrogates. For every person who relates to Rose there is somebody who relates to Amy and another person who relates to Donna but even if nobody could relate to the characters the important part would be do they tell a compelling story? After all, one doesn't need to know how to speak elvish or relate to dwarves in order to like the Lord of the Rings. Fantasy and sci fi can exist without surrogates. Doctor Who has tethered itself to humans but not necessarily audience surrogates.

Of all showrunners/writers I think Moffat has about the most fun with timey wimey-ness.

Sweet little scene. This could be the last time we see him in that jacket.., Until the 60th anniversary of course!

What kind of parent allows their child to play on a set of swings where there is a strange man sat with no kids of his own? Especially since this is a man who is plotting to take her away at some point.

I love all these little things that they do which adds to the universe. They're brilliant.

It's getting a little disconcerting that The Doctor keeps meeting children and then waiting for them to become legal...

That girl is great. She should be in lots of other things.

No doubt, a few years ago they went to the 31st Century and Amy was still on the rolls. Phone company records, census records, there are better ways to find someone than wandering around dressed like an idiot waiting for them to notice you.

I'm sorry, have you not seen Pertwee's run? Have you not seen "A Good Man Goes to War", Impossible Planet / Satan Pit. Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon, Wedding of River Song, Midnight, etc. The show has always spent a lot of time on Earth, and modern Who spends quite a bit of time off Earth. Though, I do agree, it can get a little too cutesy at times, but usually in respect to the romantic stuff they cram in the show.

You just started with New Who, right? I'm guessing this because you're saying the companions used to be the true main character. The Doctor has always been the main character outside of RTD's run, that is.

I'm mostly new who, but I've watched a bit of older who - and yeah, RTD was very companion heavy, but the show also started out that way too in the 60s The Doctor was an exposition device, to allow the characters from the (back then) modern day go on an adventure, and understand it.

The heart of my personal problem with Clara so far, is that her character is increasingly defined by the fact she is a mystery to solve. The impossible girl. Same of River, mystery to solve: who is she? Amy too had a title "The Girl Who Waited," which at least it was her doing the waiting, but still, she's defined by something she did because of the title character, he is a central part of her identity. This isn't a bad thing, exploring how time travelling can affect someone's identity is a legitimate avenue, but now the three women in The Doctor's Life in a row, are all extremely similar in setup, presentation and personality (feisty and flirty).

Whether you're fine with this or not is entirely up to you, it doesn't make the show factually bad, but it's not that audiences aren't sophisticated and need a guiding hand, there's a reason certain people don't like the direction of the show, and it's always worth analysing criticism and praise, because the 'why' of an opinion is way more interesting than the 'what.'

Hey wow, Doctor Who in an ordinary suburban Earth based setting. Never saw that coming.

has anybody else noticed that the two other children playing are Rose and Mickey? And the woman talking to Clara's mum is Jackie? I love little bits like this!

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