Doctor Who series 7: The Bells Of Saint John review

Review Simon Brew 30 Mar 2013 - 18:57

Doctor Who blasts back onto our screens, with the enormously entertaining The Bells Of St John. Here's our review, with spoilers...

This review contains spoilers. Our spoiler-free review is here.

7.7 The Bells Of St John

Shall we start with the questions, then?

Where did Clara's 16th and 23rd years go in her book? Is there meaning to their absence? Also, what is The Great Intelligence up to? Who else let out a strange noise of glee when Richard E Grant reappeared? And can we have more Celia Imrie in Doctor Who in the future please?

It'd be remiss to say that The Bells Of St John felt like a return to form for Doctor Who, because even in its weaker stories, there's been a good deal to enjoy over the past 12 months. Yet it builds on the excellent Christmas special, and tells a terrific, logical and enjoyable standalone story, with a few bits and bobs left around to tie it to Who past and present.

At first, it felt a bit like Blink mixed with Sherlock. The recorded video message with the assorted graphics appearing on the screen certainly gave that flavour, but just as it was settling into that, Steven Moffat yanked us back to 1207. There seemed to be three reasons for this. One, to do a gag about the time later in the episode. Two, to get Matt Smith in a monk outfit (as if he'd been reading Tom Baker's autobiography). And thirdly, not really touched on for too much of the episode, to add to the mythos of Clara just a little more. Note it in your head for later in the series: there's a painting of her in the 13th century. Who knows why, but we're told it's her final message. "Run you clever boy" may yet become the new "hello sweetie".

To be fair, that mythos of the increasingly-brainy Clara is being handled really very well. It's never dominating, but it's always bubbling away. She doesn't know the Doctor when we first catch up with her here, acting as a nanny for two young children. Via a fun technical support call (and a very long phone cord), Clara and the Doctor are brought back together, with the former oblivious to the fact that the man she's looking at has been responsible for her death. Twice.

Jenna-Louise Coleman settles into her role as Clara - again - as if she'd been working on the show for years, and the easy chemistry she has with Matt Smith, where both are giving as good as they get, adds a fun heart to the episode. There's still a nod of the head to the Ponds in here, given that there's the small matter of Amelia Williams' book (Summer Falls), but this is Clara and The Doctor's show, and they seem to be having a ball. And not snogging. We're quite happy with that.

The story itself is a really good one. Doctor Who has always traded in secret transmitters and communications devices, not least because they tend to be speedy ways to resolve seemingly intricate plots, but Moffat here decides to go for wi-fi networking, tying it into a thriller set in and around London (with a mild sprinkling of The Idiot's Lantern to it). It works well, too. He builds things up exceptionally confidently, as it becomes clear that Celia Imrie - God love her - is, on behalf of someone else, behind some scheme that uploads people to a cloud computing storage system, collecting their souls together. Thinking about it, this might just be the first Doctor Who story to ever be inspired by its writer having a long, arduous phone call to technical support at some point in their life.

Imrie is working for a higher power, as it turns out (and by the ending, it seems as though she's been working for him for a long time - what other established characters are also under his control?), and the covers are now firmly off The Great Intelligence, courtesy of a fleeting, but very welcome, Richard E Grant cameo. It feels, and the rug may yet be pulled, that the main underlying antagonist for the upcoming episodes has been revealed, and there's something to be said for having the key foe in close to plain sight. It hardly did Sherlock any harm.

The spoon creatures fit logically into the story too, and feel less daft than when they were first announced. There's an element of Moffat's Silence In The Library about them, granted, but having them as walking wi-fi base stations fits in well. They're not likely to give anklebiters nightmares, certainly, but they suit the story.

Debut Who director Colm McCarthy does terrific work. Whether he's shooting an action sequence as the Doctor rides a bike up The Shard, or putting together the witty comedy moments, he, like Coleman, settles into Who exceptionally well. Furthermore, he makes the most of London, not least when he sends Matt Smith on a bike ride around the capital. He clearly has magical powers as well, as it's not pissing down with rain on the day he shot the sequence.

Matt Smith's Doctor - and Smith is excellent again - is almost in his own Grand Theft Auto game here too, given that it's three different forms of transport he uses throughout the episode. The plane sequence in particularly was really well handled. It continues to impress just how much can be squeezed out of the working budget.

Sometimes, Who stories can build up really well and then rush the denouement, such is the need to squeeze so much into 45 minutes. The Bells Of St John, though, feels like a pretty much bang-on fit for the running time. It's packed, certainly, but to just about the right amount. Perhaps once the Doctor and Clara have had their coffee, and Clara's fingers have done an impression of Data from Star Trek, the momentum wobbles a little. But it's a very temporary blip, and the episode storms into its ending with real confidence. We've have loved more Celia Imrie though. Have we mentioned how much we love her?

Bursting with ideas, but not too many so as to overburden the episode, this is one of the most downright entertaining and rounded Doctor Who stories in a while, and a real contender for the highlight of series 7 so far, perhaps with the exception of The Snowmen.

And sure, we've seen sentient computers, communications issues and Jammie Dodgers before. But Doctor Who is bloody good at making the most of them, and it's on really good form here. A lovely return for the series, and really fun to watch too.

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The chemistry between the Dr and Clara was fantastic!!!!!!!!!!! really loved this episode but wish it was 2 hours long! It ended too quick!

The episode went in a flash for me, my favorite of the series and I love the refrences to the past and to what's coming.

who was the shop keeper who gave Clara the phone number - Donna perhaps?

Phah. A re-run of The idiots Lantern from 2006 with wi-fi rather than TV signals. Only with less of a story and more of Matt Smith pratting around. He makes Shatner looks a model of restraint.

Just to show how out of ideas the BBC is, its followed by The Voice.

There was a lot to enjoy, though the "no one loves cattle more than burger king" line was unfortunate given recent news stories! Clara is great Matt Smith is at his best loved it, did anyone else pick up on Claras line that chapter 11 will make you cry maybe a reference to something coming up with the 11th Doctor or maybe Im just overthinking things!

Brilliant - well worth the wait. One of my favourite 11th Doc stories so far. Much better than the past stories it appeared to draw inspiration from (The Idiot's Lantern, Partners In Crime).

I think the reviewer watched a different show to me; that was awful

I expect River Song

I was wondering who the shopkeeper was too...

It was ok. Not the best episode in a while but it had it's moments, I think an extra 15 mins per episode would let the story breathe a bit, lots of rushing around and sometimes that's not a good thing. Clara's good though, different enough from Pond to be interesting, and we still have who she is or what she means. Which is nice. Can't wait for the Cybermen episode. 6.5/10

Why do people always assume that just because they did not like something that everyone else ought to be of a like mind?

Click on this link for wi-fi ┓┏ 凵 =╱⊿┌┬┐

Oh no I didn't like this at all, a great idea but I *did* feel it was rushed. It felt like a story told in bullet points, scenes often didn't move smoothly or logically into the next, such as when the Doctor rode out of the Tardis, Clara was standing away from the Tardis yet the door was miraculously shut when they drove off. Proper stories please not jumping around on a bungee rope.

The Tardis is sentient, it can think so I'm pretty sure it can close it's own doors

Could it not just be that Clara bought her laptop in a shop and so was given the number of a support service, or am I over-thinking things?

You have a point about the doors, just not used to her shutting up shop for the Doctor unless it's for really dramatic effect. I still think it's a bullet point episode though.

Good episode, with a corker of a line "I can't tell the future, I just work there"

While I enjoyed it, I continue to believe that the best of Doctor Who continues with the Big Finish audios, while the new tv series is an interesting diversion.

Doctor Who doing what is does best - making the familiar scary and making kids think about everyday objects and tools. I also love the reveal of The Client at the end. Mum watched because it had Celia Imrie in it, although I had to explain about the big baddie...

I don't think the Great Intelligence will be the key foe here. It clearly didn't recognize Clara, so I'd say it's not responsible for the mystery behind her. Which means there's something else behind it all.

First, Eleven fights the Weeping Angels, ideas come to life through faith, then he fights a religious movement called 'The Silence' and now he faces the Great Intelligence, which is practically a god for all intents and purposes, which controls and connects everything.

And as for Clara, she's clearly tied to the First Question. First Moffat had the mystery of River Song, brought to the fore in season six. 'Who is she?' we wondered. Then he coined the First Question, before introducing Clara, and had her say 'Doctor Who' three times as a reminder to the audience that the Question hasn't been forgotten. He had her say it three times to tell us she's connected to it somehow. But how?

The title of the episode 'The Bells of St John' referred to the Tardis telephone... There was a woman in a shop who gave Clara the Doctor's number...And there's still the unidentified person who resurrected Strax. And I don't think the Amelia Williams book was thrown in randomly. It's not the first time Clara's been connected to Amy, as she used the word 'Pond' in "The Snowmen". So maybe there's something locked in her subconscious mind. And the words 'Run, you clever boy' and 'Remember' feature a mayor role in this.

Except the words weren't hers. It was the mnemonic used by the girl for her dad's wifi-password. So either fate keeps conspiring to bring the two together (the karma, or universe, the Doctor spoke of in 'The Snowmen' with which he tried to strike a deal) or it's a giant conspiracy, which only the likes of the Daleks, Time Lords or Great Intelligence could be capable of, or Scaroth, because we still don't know where those crashed ships from 'The Lodger' and 'Impossible Astronaut'/'Day of the Moon' came from. Or who blew up the TARDIS (it's assumed to be the Silence, but there's no details).

Donna would be a bit of a stretch. Most likely River.

Yep, was meet character, meet bad guy, save companion then repeat around 3 times

but they said it was the best support in the whole universe (or something like that). I am totally over analysing lol

We know she is back but I can't imagine River working in PC World lol! Can you imagine it - "Hello Sweetie, this is one has a duel core processor!"

She wasn't give it personally I recall, wasn't that number on the window?

I loved it and I absolutely love how clara hacked them and used their pictures to find out where they worked with their FB profiles . often contemporary fashions like that never worked but the pitched it perfect.
And I keep loving how Smith can go from young and naive to seemingly an ancient tired man that really looks worn down.

Probably River or maybe it could have been someone exciting like Madame Kovarian.

Am I the only one who thought that the bow-tie that he got out of the box may have belonged to Patrick Troughton's Doctor?

Now you've pointed it out there are a lot of questions and having this ongoing mystery about the Doctor alongside the ongoing mystery about Clara is going to get frustrating pretty quickly without some clear answers soon. One thing that has been cleared up is Strax and his ressurection, he didnt die he just fainted there was a Strax prequel released recently showing the aftermath of a good man goes to war.

I enjoyed it - The Doctor on an anti-grav Triumph Bonny for starters! I
didn't get many of the references (for shame!), so it was good to get a
run down of the main ones in the review. One problem: Jenna-Louise tends
to gabble a lot, an old git like me with dodgy hearing (I'm 50 this
year - so that makes me a "Who Baby" I suppose!), has a lot of trouble
catching the words. As such I missed out on clues, I'm sure.

I thought the hieroglyphic symbols on the wi-fi links were clues to Dalek involvement!

Simply awful episode, marking the end of Doctor Who for me. Concerns itself with the social media frenzy created by little hints and nods here and there that get fans chattering and guessing all week long, and practically ignored plot, peril, scares, decent villains, and most shamefully of all, forgot it was Doctor Who. I don't want to have to guess how it will all end by following ambiguous breadcrumbs while the Doctor mewls over a pretty girl, stalks her, then realises he needs to save humanity before The Voice comes on BBC One, and wraps it all up in a bow(tie) in minutes flat. I just want to watch an alien genius have to think his way round a perilous challenge and allow others to sacrifice themselves for him and for the greater good, like the old days. Killer WiFi? PLEASE. Ridiculous. More like Black Mirror-lite. Quit trying to think up new evil plots and just revive a classic villain, for pity's sake. Make it scary, make it good British Sci-Fi. Make it without Moffat.

Yes, and over analysing the show is what Moffat expects from the audience. That way he can save himself from having to actually write a decent Who episode in 4 years.

I really enjoyed it. It wasn't up there with Blink or Midnight as classic New Who, but it was a solid opener, which we've come to expect from Doctor Who, I suppose. I loved the concept and I much prefer the chemistry with Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman than I ever did with him and Karen Gillan. It did take a while to pick up pace, but I think it hit a sort of family-friendly Die Hard tone mixed with Sherlock by the second half. I do think Moffat needs an extra 15 minutes of episode time though. As gloopy and sentimental as Russell T. Davies was, he could make you care about a character ensemble and make you fully aware of the threat in 45 minutes. Moffat's lore is far richer and I've felt, since he took over, that it's pushing his characterisation and tension to one side a little. A little extra breathing space would go a long way to balancing that out. And it'd give us more Doctor Who each week!
Criticisms aside, I really did love it and I'm feeling very positive about the next seven weeks. Especially looking forward to the alien planet (a PROPER one for the first time in a while!) next week and I'm feeling that Hide might be a highlight. I love the more horror-oriented Who. Keep it up, Moffat, you're doing well!

Moffat did say that we would definitely know the answer to who Clara is by the end of this run of episodes. I'm fine with that as well as The Great Intelligence being the main or one of the main adversary's of this year.

Five pence says it's Rose, given recent news.

Great Intelligence has overtones of Great Healer i.e. Davros.

He didn't really suggest that everyone thought it was awful.

The motorbike was rubbish, a bit of nuking the fridge there.

Im waiting for someone to say it was the Rani or the 12th Doctor when hes regenerated into a woman played by Julie Walters!

The book was written by River about the Ponds if I'm correct. Chapter 11 was where she predicted they would die. Hence 'will make you cry'. A nice nod back to The Angels Take Manhatten.

Aaaaah! Didnt realise that! Nice touch, that River gets around a bit!

A great episode IMO, good pace, witty script, and I am loving Clara...some quality dialogue as well especially when Miss Kislet was expalining how her client was like "a good shepherd looking after it's flock" even though they take their sheep to the abatoire eventually....chilling stuff, reminded me of Sutekh's conversation with the Doctor in Pyramids of Mars where he says your evil is my good...where I walk there is only dust....more like this please :)

The Eleventh Hour, The Time of Angels, Flesh and Stone, The Pandorica Opens, The Big Bang, A Christmas Carol, The Impossible Astronaut, Day of the Moon, A Good Man Goes to War, Asylum of the Daleks, The Angels Take Manhattan, The Snowmen.

All episodes Moffat has written in the last three years, and all exceptional. Were you hoping he'd take a step back?

Can someone please help me with this? How did the Doctor know that they were in the Shard when Clara figured it out while she was outside by herself? She was unconscious and uploaded by the time the Doctor came back outside, and it was already made apparent that he couldn't find that information himself. Am I missing something?

What makes you say that? The book has Amy's name on the cover but doesn't appear to be about anyone important besides that first spoonhead girl. Amy could definitely have made 11 the saddest chapter, though.

Ah sorry I think you're right. I'm getting this book confused with the one River wrote. Can you remember the title of that book? Now you mention it I think the cover of River's book was a picture of her, because she comments that she doesn't like it.

A little loose string, but I just figured he looked at the laptop that Clara was working with and it was still on screen.

Simple solution. I like that!

Yeah, I think it was called Melody Malone or something similar. That family turned out to be quite prolific authors!

The Angel's Kiss by Melody Malone was the title. And it was a picture of River on the cover of that book.

No - you are correct in that he didn't suggest that everyone thought it was awful. He simply stated 'that was awful' with no hint of suggestion.

That's a bit of a sweeping generalisation to make about something as subjective as a TV show.

No - I had that feeling too.

Did anyone else notice that the theme tune, over the last few episodes, has gradually become, stylistically, much more like the Peter Howell arrangement of the theme used from late Tom Baker in 1980 through Peter Davison to early Colin Baker in 1985?

Same here, the longer navy jacket felt like a nod as well.

Great fun opening, and correct use of The Shard as a centre of evil goings on (if only they'd filmed on one of the days when it creepily vanishes into the cloudline). Noticed the costume is nodding towards the early Doctor days, makes me think I should be on the look out for a few more references in the lead up to the anniversary.

Fantastic episode slightly spoilt by the appearance of a BBC Camera crew on the Doctor's shiny helmet. Loved the bit where he told her to shut up.

Easy, it was all over her laptop

So many plot holes...such sloppy writing, I was really disappointed myself.

Uhm....Great Intelligence IS a classic villain.

Here Are A Few Problems I Had With The Writing:
-13th century Europeans talk with amazing American accents.
-Clara reveal as becoming tech-savvy is done via bad Twitter joke. She must know everything about computers to know about Twitter or, you know, she could pay attention to pop culture every now and then.
-Doctor can't hack the Shard's grunt computers, Clara makes the bad guys' computers take photos of them in around three minutes. Did I mention her amazing credentials for computer hacking?
-On that note, is everyone who was pulled out of the system now a genius at computer hacking? What's gonna happen with that?
-Clara completely un-phased by the robot girl on her stairs after spending the last five minutes making sure the Doctor couldn't get into her house.
-Doctor fixing Clara seems to stop the spread of the virus globally- No wait, everyone's indoctrinated again by nighttime. You're not very good at your job, are you Doctor?
-Why black out all of London again? The Shard would evidently still need power, and nobody's gonna notice that?
-Where on a passenger airliner would the TARDIS fit?
-Also, why even crash the plane in the first place? The villains must have known that the Doctor would rush up there and solve the problem with relative ease, escaping that completely conspicuous tap they've laid.
-The Doctor, after desperately trying to get into the house where Clara was, puts her in bed and waits outside her house, saying he'll guard her all night. Clara doesn't seem the least bit concerned about what this strange man could've done while she was sleeping.
-Coming back to the passenger jet, The Doctor says so himself that time is essentially irrelevant with the TARDIS (this point is bludgeoned home several times), so why not go back in time and tell everyone to avoid that flight at all costs.
-I'll but into the idea of hacking people for the sake of the plot, but if that's the case, why not just hack the pilots and tell them to nosedive the plane into the ground? Would've been a lot simpler in my opinion.
-Also, the villains thought that they could explain mysterious deaths, human synchronization out of a Carlos Fuentes novella, and robots with the back of their heads hollowed out as "riots?" Did they lower the intelligence of everyone around the world while they were at it?
-I hope that girl that Clara was babysitting in the beginning wasn't important. Oh good, she wasn't. She vanishes into thin air after a minute of screen time.
-Why collect money in the fez and try to pass yourselves off as street performers who appeared in a blue police box out of nowhere in the middle of a crowded park? It's pretty clear you're not street performers.
-Revealing the Doctor to actually be the robot when in the shard was clever. The Deus Ex Machina that was the "Obedience Switch" was not.

My head hurts from all of this analyzing. Good night Doctor Who fans.

very few plot holes...

- definitely not american accents...clearly english. also for the sake of argument the tardis translating for the viewer.

- someone who doesn't know how to connect a computer to the internet isn't going to know the purpose of twitter. therefore cracking a joke that makes sense about it would be pretty difficult.

- clara had a different approach/way of thinking. the doctor was too focused on breaching the security instead of thinking outside the box.

- it was stated that since she was "very clever" but had no computer skills that they would upload her with computer knowledge/skill. not everyone would neef it, but since her tech savvy was so poor they gave it to her.

- she was surprised at the time and after being rescued her memory was a little off. she only remembered the little girl not the spoonhead.

- it was never implied that the doctor solved the problem when rescuing clara. the animation was only implying clara's unsuccessful download.

- they black out london so as to create a visible target for the aeroplane. the shard may need power but it wouldn't need lights...all they did was turn out the lights. not turn off the power. the tardis would easily fit in a commercial jet in the "kitchen" area. height wise it would fit anywhere in the aisle.

- the villains were warned about the doctor, not that he had a teleportation device. their plan was to have the plane wipe out the doctor and clara. end of.

- since the doctor managed to avoid the plane crash why would the passengers have to be told to avoid the flight? they were just sleeping as the doctor told clara during the crash.

- it's 6 of one half a dozen of the other. hack the pilots or hack the plane? why does either way make a difference?

- the crack about the riots was to do with media spin. i'm sure a well funded organisation could have whatever they want reported all over the news with the right people doing their bidding via wi-fi.

- she stays over at a friends house and is back at the house the next day. crazy coincidence or normal kid?

- ok so this point is ridiculous. it was a moment of comic relief. it is still logical in that plenty of street performers/magicians have done bizarre random tricks that defy explanation. it is also poking fun at our nature of seeing somethiing shocking and attaching a simplified explanation.

- the obedience switch was hardly a deus ex machina...i;m sure if it had not of existed the doctor/spoonhead could have entered the computer room...zapped all of the members of staff and proceeded to download everyone again. although it wouldn't have been quite as choppy and well paced eh?

I'll reply where I can 1- The monks and the abbot all had British accents. I just re-watched their scenes to be sure.

2- Good point about the Twitter joke.

3- She was spliced a computer package when they first attempted to upload her so we don't know the extent of her abilities but they seem pretty formidable based on the speed of the hacking and the speed of her fingers.

4- They really did gloss over what happened to everyone else. Did the factory reset just apply to those in the Shard headquarters so they won't give up their connection to the Great Intelligence or did it affect everyone who got out? Also how many people were returned to their bodies vs how many people just died was this really a large mass murder?

5- She was unphased due to the fact that she thought it was one the girls friends from earlier who had been over. Once she heard the whirring sound of the head being turned around coupled with the repeating of everything Clara was saying she really did start to freak out.

6- The doctor may have stopped it temporarily but he didn't know where the headquarters were so they just got things back up and running.

7- Not sure why they blacked out London but maybe they needed to concentrate their efforts in the area around the doctor to control all those sent after him.

8- It looked like the Tardis was coming out of the bathroom or the from the door they seemed to pass. That must be one hell of a bathroom on the plane or it was very damaged by the landing of the Tardis.

9-They never said how much they knew about the Doctor only that the Great Intelligence warned them to look out for him.

10- It's a kids show. I doubt they wanted to go too deep into unconscious molestations.

11- Can't cross timelines. Even though he does from time to time.

12- I think they did then just knocked them out when they knew they were on target. They were kind enough to want to kill the Shard worker from earlier after his vacation why torture the living with seeing their deaths even if they were in a zombie like state.

13- Riots can be explained and sold if done correctly. They can hack anyone within the wifi to make sure they believe these lies. Anyone who saw the robots heads were uploaded.

14- Nothing wrong with using her as a plot point to connect this Clara as a governess just like the Christmas Special Clara. She served her purpose.

15- Why not they showed "magic" skills of appearing out of thin air followed by producing a motorcycle from a box that if not bigger on the inside, as the crowd would see the police box, had to hold 3 people and said motorcycle.

16- Nothing wrong with the obedience switch. They were completely controlling the people by hacking their minds. It's only logical that something that afforded the controller complete control of the situation would be available.

Just my opinon. It wasn't the best episode of Who but did it's job introducing us to a new companion and the new dynamic between her and the Doctor.

Great answers I like them much better than mine.

haha cheers! Ah yours are spot on also.

To the dud

There are many nods to Troughton, and the Great Intelligence is the nemesis he had as the second Doctor.

Not at all. The GI is an enemy from the second Doctor, it faced him and UNIT twice.

I've noticed it, and I'm glad I'm not the only one. (The presence of Smith's face in the credits is also a bit of a nod back to those days)

Don't know if I'm dreaming it or not, but I think I remember an interview where Gold said that the 80s version of the theme is the one he's most fond of or most familiar with ... or something like that.

It was also nice to see them drop the "fake website where it's Google / Facebook but we won't use that name" thing and show Facebook, Twitter and Google+ profiles. The Google-with-a-different-logo stuff irks me.

I wonder what happens if you search for those names, too...

Everything surrounding Clara, the Doctor, and the Silence has to do with memory. "Run you clever boy and remember". "Silence will fall when the question is asked." When you can't remember the answer to a question, silence follows. Doctor Who? The Doctor couldn't remember who the Great Intelligence was during The Snowmen. What if the Doctor's memory is fading to the point where he asks, "Doctor Who?". He forgets who he is and maybe Clara is a device someone has set up to help him remember.

American accents isn't a writing issue
It's less knowing about Twiitter and more knowing it well enough to make a joke about it.
They said they were giving her computer abilities as she lacked them previously, where is this bad writing?
So the plane had a target to hit
In first class or in the kitchen area... just. But a fair point.
She knows something happened and he wasn't responsible and he's OUTSIDE. Probably why he intentionally didn't wait by her bed.
The pilots would still die, who would listen to him, the tickets would become cheaper and then OTHER people would book them. This is kind of a "d'uh" question. He can't avert the plane entirely as he's already seen it.
Yes they did, or rather we know they can manipulate enough peoples thought patterns to pass off that kind of cover stary
Well Clara is coming back to her
How is it clear they're not street performers? They do something impressive on a street... that's what a street performer is. The fez was to collect money, they collected money to hide out in a coffee shop with wi-fi.
You've misunderstood Deus Ex Machina.

No offence but this was largely a VERY VERY VERY flawed analysis. But now you've pointed out the TARDIS on the plane thing that is going to bug me every time I watch the episode now :P

Wow... you should spare the world your opinions.
It uses social media as a tool for hacking, which hackers DO, in fact it's one of their primary methods so it shows an understanding of the issue.
How is killer wi-fi ridiculous, especially when compared to classic monsters like man-eating sofas?
And in what world is the great intelligence NOT a classic villain? It's been around since the Patrick Troughton days.

I thought the detective work in this episode was pretty good, finding where someone works through social media...that's not exactly a far fetched plot device to use.
Also Killer WiFi...this you have a problem with? Did I miss the classic episodes of Doctor Who when realism was at it's height? Hasn't this always been a kids fantasy show with some sci-fi trappings that captures the hearts, nightmares, fears and imaginations of both kids and grown ups?

Nope, the other girl just said "R Y C B A R 1 2 3". Clara made up the mnemonic.

The one missed question here is who gave Clara the TARDIS phone number? Thinking it was River Song.

Might rename my home wifi network to this, it'll stop people trying to connect to it.

Wow, is EVERY episode gonna be this divisive from here on out? I didn't like any of the first six eps of this season, but I LOVED this one!

I said in a different review (the finale of Season 6), that I really appreciated the story being wrapped up by the Doctor DOING SOMETHING CLEVER, rather than some goofball emotional outburst, like Victory of the Daleks and several other eps, including that Gatiss dollhouse one. Ugh. Those horrible "Deus Ex Feelings" episodes are pure cheats, and while there might be holes in this episode, at least it tries to make sense when it has to!

It easily cleared the bar for me, and I hope at least one of the upcoming eps is as good. The airplane coming for them, then them hoping ONTO the plane was a standout wonderful moment, among many, as well as the Doctor, just casually sitting on the street, taking apart a robot. :p

Most of those names seemed to be production staff. So they may very well exist ;)

Interesting, we know that books associated with Amelia Williams (nee Pond) have potent significance:

* her childhood picture book created the plot that turned Rory roman and led to the Pandorica and the BBII

* her potboiler novel drove the failed rescue plot in Angels Over Manhattan

* and now her novel Summer Falls (anything to do with the fall of the 11th?) is a plot point in Clara's First Real Adventure

We also know that People in Shops are important narrative elements.

* Sally Sparrow giving the 10th the papers at the end of Blink

* Clara being given the Number of the Beast (sorry, Best) by someone in a shop.

And need I mention the Gift Shops in the various hospitals mentioned by 10th?

It all adds up.....

What's wrong with "MI5 Surveillance Van"?

can you explain this further, who was the client is he a new enermy or an old one??? thanks

can someone explain who the client was further???
is he a new enemy or an old one??? thanks

"given that it's three different forms of transport he uses throughout the episode." It's four - horse, TARDIS, aeroplane, motorbike.

He's an old one. He appeared in two Second Doctor stories "The Abominable Snowmen" and "The Web Of Fear", and in the latest Christmas special, "The Snowmen".

As usual with the Moffat, it was incomprehensible and Too Fast Paced, I understood it at the very end but god help new viewers , it was good but felt more like a mid season episode, it doesn't rate higher than "The Power of Tree" or any urban stories of the last 50 years, it's serviceable but not acceptable as a series opener , After the brilliant Xmas episode I was a little disappointed , when they showed the news broadcast why wasn't used like in the RTD Stories. Lets hope he slows down the pacing and tells a coherent story soon, but the res of the episodes look as confusing as this, The ones I'm looking forward to is Hide and Cold War. I worry for the 50th.

What a classic "Mi5 van" lol

another question, who was the lady in the shop that gave Clara the doctor's number? i feel like it may be River, seeing as we know she is going to appear again

How , those symbols aren't on the keyboard ?

That would have been a better reveal than , the great Intelegence

I'm really sorry.

There are posts that start with objective statements like "Brilliant" and "Great episode". Presumably they also need to be subjective and everyone needs to write "I though it was brilliant" or "I thought it was a great episode" just so we know they are not representing all mankind. It sounds more like you are irked that he didn't like it.

I hate that, why can't and actor be the same , he still can't do dramatic acting to save his life, Tennent will out act him in the 50th

The time of angels 2 parter and the season finale and angels take manhattan are his worst Epiosde I actually hate them, but the rest of his eps are amazing , he best are the eleventh hour and the American eps

I'm not going to attempt to answer every point but the Doctor can't cross his own time line which is why he couldn't stop the passengers getting on the plane before it happened. The last time he did he got eaten. !hen Clara was being uploaded the first time they gave her a computer package. They can't hack everyone just the ones who have exposed themselves to their wifi for an extended period of time. Which would be a lot of people I mean if free wifi appeared on your network you'd use it. At least I would. And the villains didn't know the Doctor has a tardis, in fact it's implied they don't know much about the doctor at all. So to them their plan was foolproof.

Im a viewer - that was my opinion. I suppose your sweeping generalisation was the opposite but is perfectly sound? Moffatt has outstayed his welcome. Its a shallow hollow show with no resonance now. He's wasting a great Doctor in Matt Smith making him run away and mope after every story instead of getting out there and fighting monsters. Last night took elements from The Idiots Lantern, Silence in The Library, Partners in Crime and rolled them together into something that less than a day Iater I find hard to remember yet I recall other opening nights from Baker, Davison, Baker 2, McCoy, McGann, Eccleston, Tennant and Smith vividly. Moffatt is out of ideas and its all The Emperors New Clothes and Im the little boy shouting "The King Is In THe All Together" I repeat - it was awful.

It pretty bad, could have wrote a better Evil Wi Fi episode my self

It was pretty bad

Why do people always assume that just because they *did* like something that everyone else ought to be of a like mind?

Indeed well said Bunter. I thought (see what I did there) that the Christmas episode was great. This was not. And all of Humanity may rest in peace that I speak on their behalf (apparently!!)

1) it *is* a midseason episode. It's episode 7. Smack dab in the middle.
2) Just because you can't see every little detail the first time through isn't a reason to call something bad. Ever see Arrested Development? You NEVER see everything in there the first time.Or the 2nd. And that show is freaking amazing.
3) "wasn't used like in the RTD stories" - Something being different than the way RTD would've done it sn't necessarily bad.
4) This story was coherent. It wasn't confusing, it was complicated and complex. Those might not be your cup of tea, but they are mine, as well as a lot of other people's.

k, Tardis fits into places smaller than it by materializing partially around those things then putting them back when it leaves. Or by shrinking to fit those spaces. It's really not implausible based on past episodes. Kind of like the 1st Doctor episode where the Tardis shrinks itself and its occupants WAY down in size.

Oh please, he's a time traveler with a box that can go ANYwhere. He's allowed to have technology from the future.

k, it was an enemy from Patrick Troughton's days called The Great Intelligence, featured twice with the 2nd Doctor. It's also the same enemy that was formed in the Christmas episode 3 months ago.

Maybe, some of the audios are excellent, but some are just atrocious. Hit and miss like everything else maybe? Maybe I should listen to more.

I am lost about what to think. It was ok, and good, and bad. Its obvious that they are never going to get any depth into45 minutes. Its very hard Having no two parters any more is amistake. Ice Warriors in 45 minutes is not going to be as good as a two parter. Anyway, it was nice to see it bak, even if it is for only eight weeks.

Hello, Chris Eccleston's credits. How I have missed you.
Also, I did not let out a squeal at Richard E Grant (though I did grin), but I nearly had a cardiac arrest at the Sherlock-esque graphics.

A Good Man Goes to War exceptional? Don't get me wrong, I love Moffat's writing, but even I think that is a step too far.


If you're going to insult him, for God's sake spell his name right.
Also - it's a shallow, hollow show with no resonance now.
Not - its a shallow hollow show with no resonance.

Did anyone else hope for the Meddling Monk to appear, when they mentioned a mad monk, or was it just me? I thought it probably would be the Doctor, but I can dream...

Clara asked her how am I supposed to remember that? The leap would be they didn't show the little girl say it because it removes the dramatic element when she says it over the phone to the Doctor

Timelash... when all the Doctors went on a pub crawl?

*and *Tennant. Fixed it for you. Enjoy your gurning spiky-haired One Direction Doctor next year, though.

i tried renaming my wifi ┓┏ 凵 =╱⊿┌┬┐ with that and it won let u it just resets the name and give 20 random numbers its kinda annoying, so renamed it The Great Intelligence Network

I stated that I thought it was one of my favourite 11th Doc stories. That cannot be disputed - it really was one of MY favourites.

I said 'I thought it was brilliant'. I did think it was brilliant and that cannot be changed.

Nothing sweeping about anything I said. My opinion and my opinion alone.

I don't know. I am not one of those people. Not sure why you think I am. People who do either are just as bad as each other.

TV Detector Van is another good one to get the neighbours in a panic!

Not at all. I'm all for a mixed reaction and a balanced discourse. I am not a fan of people's post which come across as "I have spoken and my opinion is the only one that counts."

Mark may not have intended to come across like that but sometimes the intention and the reality do not match.

It's my favourite take on the theme.

A large number of people seemed to have followed it just fine - the coherence of the story not being a problem to them. Therefore your claim of it being incomprehensible and too fast to follow surely speaks more about yourself than the episode...

Go on then...

Well, that was extremely pleasant.

Love Moffat's metaphor about souls being uploaded and minds harvested by social media. The harvesting of minds is precisely what Facebook is really about, as a massive exercise in data mining.

London looked fabulous, the action bits were, if hardly Bond or Bourne, certainly spirited, the humor and wit were definitely on, and Matt Smith is terrific as ever.

Clara seems the most natural fit of the New Who companions. (Don't know that much about Old Who, which was mostly a miss in America and in any event I was busy watching every episode of every Star Trek.)

JLC and Smith have excellent chemistry, which makes what to me is the big mystery of the new season all the more compelling: What the heck is she really about, anyway?

The Great Intelligence, on the other hand, as big bads go seems not especially great nor all that intelligent. But that's okay. Perhaps that struggle, if struggle there is, is just a way to draw out the Doctor-Clara relationship and help define who/what she is.

So Moff is off on another arc of intrigue. I find his stand-alone episodes such as The Girl In the Fireplace and Blink to be much better, frankly. After all, they require, and get, proper resolution.

These guys are having a friendly (ish) debate about the semantics of opinions. Is there any need to start insulting minor grammatical errors? It's a bit (well, a lot) petty and potentially inflammatory. God save us from Grammar Nazis.

well--Moffat DID say in the BBCA special about Troughton's Doctor, that HE was the "key" to Matt Smith "finding his way" to play the Doctor. They even suggest that EVERY Doctor since was, at least in part, "based" upon his interpretation fo the character.


I don't know who it was, since we never saw her, but I am willing to bet that there will be endless online speculation and debate on this based on absolutely no information.

I didn't notice the bad parts. Definitely noticed the okay/not great stuff.

It was a good return for the show, and good new start after the Ponds finale last year.

What about nightingale from blink?

I thought Sally Sparrow?

Maybe I will then

Or how about "The Great Intelegence Network" because the numbers from the ep don't work

Im glad you agree its a shallow, hollow show lol

How can finding his work low rate be an insult? If I frequent a favourite restaurant and find one meal or one chef's meals inferior and say so am I insulting him? No.

As for the grammar nazi comment, (not the comma) it shows you need to get a life.

I will qualify something, too; Moffat (one T just for Lotti) has written some of my favourite episodes since the show's return. Then in 2011 it all went pear shaped. He had a season long arc that went no where and was built on a poor McGuffin, then bounced back with a pretty good run last Autumn, then opens a new run with IN MY OPINION - a stinker. The plot should have been better thought through and WAS shallow and lacked any resonance

Casual viewers I speak to (work mates) don't know or care about these years long arcs and then stuff that you believe will go somewhere doesn't (the Doctor MUST die its a fixed point in time, oh no its not because you can put a robot in his place for example) . Its all indicative of a writer who got what he wanted; the keys to the toy store and then didn't fulfil the promise of building something wonderful in the Lego section - just fooled around in the window.

It certainly looked old enough.

Moffat is making an indictment of the social media phenomenon. Souls uploaded, minds harvested -- which is exactly what Facebook is really about, as a massive exercise in data mining.

Remember that Moff dropped Twitter after getting attacked by the usual shallow envy folks who unfortunately infest the Internet.

No wait Ive got it! Its Jenny! Or maybe the Doctors mother...

Or Sir Harry Pearce Network.

Ah, you buy a police box time ship but not a special motorbike?

I see you are rather free ranging in beginning responses with outright personal attacks ...

>Wow... you should spare the world your opinions.

It's thrilling, it's fun, it's dark, it feels much bigger than it is. Yeah, it's excellent.

Series 7 is on a roll! Doctor Who is back in form with this series after Series 5 and 6 dissapointed for me. I'm also happy the Doctor is back again in 21st century Earth, we don't get a lot of big stories (Londen, thousands in peril) in that era with this Doctor. Also glad to see UNIT make a appearance.

Could have called it "The World Wide Web of Fear"

I thought it was pretty decent

there were a few bits that didn't work:
1. the acting/dialogue in the scene where they end up on the plane ruined a pretty decent and quite epic idea.
2. The CRIMINAL underuse of Celia Emry throughout the episode was MOST annoying
3. The shortness of the episode seemed to mean everything as rushed through
4. Clara dying twice?! In 1 episode... c'mon, that trick will get very old, very quickly if thats a regular for this series.

however, it was a nippy episode, everything done at a lightning pace.

Bits i enjoyed and i thought worked:
1. the baddies/henchmen, the walking wifi hubs, BRILLIANT
2. Clara in general i thought was ACE! She's a fantastic companion

Overall, i've got to give it an 7/10. Fun, frantic and very "Matt Smith's doctor". But also, quite run of the mill and nothing special or new to really light the screen up. I'd say a solid, but not special start.


I want the spoonheads to be reccuring, they're a throwback to the scary despite being silly looking enemies from Tardis travels of yore.

Did anyone else notice when Clara was asleep her breathing sounded like the tardis very softly ????

I could have definitely gone for more Spoonheads and much more Imrie. More time showing the Spoonheads would have possibly improved the bit towards the end.

Otherwise, a lovely episode. More Imrie in the future would be wonderful (on TV generally, really).

I do start to fear these days whenever something that looks like a 'clue' turns up, because the past 2 Moffat arcs haven't quiet lived up to their potential when it came to their finale.

Did anyone notice that for the first time in a while someone actually said 'it's bigger on the inside' and this time the Doctor was too busy to enjoy it?

I do wish they'd do two-parters more. It would surely help them budget-wise as well. I'd even be happy with the odd three part story line which was slightly more convoluted.

When did we stop thinking kids had memories?

I'm still not over how poor Asylum of The Darleks was compared to what it could have been with a 2 episode budget and 90 minutes.

Different from RTD is applauded by me for sure. I've had enough treacle in my Doctor Who to last a lifetime.

To be pedantic - knowing how computer code works doesn't equate to knowing about twitter.

The line was at best a little clumsy, as Doctor Who often is when it tries jokes about current culture.

Reading the boards, it really seems like a lack of substance plot-wise is being put out there as a general criticism.

It's a fair point to a degree, but this episode was also dealing with finding Clara again, which takes time away from the plot.

But that said, it's a common critique of the Moffat era, he has great ideas and great dialogue yet often falls down a little by trying to push too much into each 45 minute show. In comparison to Moffat's show some of RTD's two-parters look almost sedentary in comparison.

Logic sometimes gets forgotten and solutions are often found in one line and delivered immediately, sometimes via a deus ex machina. Often you don't notice, due to the fast pacing and the funny lines, but it seems to leave more than a few people empty.

Personally I'm of a mind that if there's a few holes here and there, it doesn't matter as long as the rest of it works well.

Could have WRITTEN. Looking forward to it. ;)

Seriously, if you do it, good luck. I'm sure it's tougher than it looks. :)

Solid episode, even if it did rush the resolution of the threat a bit. Jenna looks like she's going to be a great companion and the Wi-fi idea worked really well.

the client , the great intelligence was richard e grant who played the bad guy in the christmas special the snowmen. so somehow he is important to the story... my theory is that the doctor will change into richard e grant who will then be the evil incarnation of the doctor the valeyard... from classic who.

valeyard ;)

valeyard !

Sorry Since Mat the prat took over its been downhill slide , Dr poo not doctor who, i will watch 50th Anniversary but only s there will be some proper actors and proper doctors in it. if they left out Matt Smith that would be ideal, cant he be lost in time for that episode, Seriously he's a bad actor and the way he prances around?? Graham Norton would make better, more manly doctor who and more believable.

Yeah and my point was other people wrote stuff like "Brilliant" or "Great episode" and you didn't feel to the need to comment on them not being explicitly subjective, but Mark said "It was awful" and you criticised him for it. You only went for the one who's opinion differed from yours, from what I can see.

I wasn't being serious but ill give it a try, I won't write a story just one paragraph of a synopsis that's all.

That is a really ingenious solution. I've been quite dubious about us 'finding out what the Doctor's name is' I would be quite happy if the silence that falls when the question is asked is the doctors own silence as he loses his memory of who he is.

The last two Moffat arcs are still unresolved. We know that the TARDIS exploding caused the crack in Amy's wall but we still don't really know why it blew up in the first place... We know what happened to Amy's baby, who killed the Doctor and how he escaped but we still don't know where the Silence come from. And now we don't know how the same person can live and die three times over...

Annoying as this is, I suspect it is deliberate and I have a sneaking feeling the answers to all three of Moffat's story arcs are going to be resolved come November 23rd 2013... I hope I am right in this.

Not forgetting the ad placed in the shop window in 'The Lodger'

anybody else realised what a missed oppertunity there was in this episode just imagine if they could have integrated this story into the 50th episode how many of the former doctors who cant for obvious reasons appear in the 50 th and their companions could have been put up on the wall of wi fi think of all the fun we would have had spotting them all but never say never it could always be fired up by the great intelligence again at some stage

Or how about spelling "intelligence" using some?

Great episode! Clever for the writers to totally sum up the sentiments of ICloud. I know it's somewhere but I don't know where!

I have had time to think about this episode now. I am not that bothered to be honest. It was good without being amazing and I have tried to think why. I liked the fact that it was back on Tv. Matt Smith and Jenna were really good, but I was not that amazed by the rest of the plot or story. It wasn't terrible, I just found that I did not really care.

Part of the reason for me I think, is that it was just another biff bang pow, its over run around. I also found myself thinking that I am not really bothered about who Jenna turns out to be, the mystery or why she has died twice in two places. I am not that eager to find out. Because It will either make sense or it will be more slight of hand and a disappointment. I just sort of went "shrug"

One thing is becoming clear though, we need two parters back properly and we need the show back for a full season run to keep momentum and interest. I just could not care less anymore now and I find that sad, and I still cant work out exactly why.
Looking at whats coming next week, I could not get excited about that one either....


The only two I want to see are the Heart of the Tardis and the Ice Warriors in Cold War. Then whatever comes for the 50th. The rest I could take it or leave it. And I have a feeling that both of those episodes, while hopefully being good, will be over too fast as well. Without enough depth or running time given to them.

Oh well...its not like I am going to stop watching, I just feel a bit empty and let down by it for some reason. Maybe I am getting old....

Does anyone else understand what I am trying to say here?

10 was good, but 11 will make you cry.

I'm seeing credible reports elsewhere that Matt Smith will be back as the Doctor next year.

(And, not related but still great, that Robert Redford will be in the next Captain America.)

No. Mark suggested that the reviewer must have watched a different show to him just because he did not enjoy it. That is what I criticised.

Considering you had 5 grammatical errors in one sentence, I'm incredibly happy to hear you weren't being serious. Phew! Lol

I seem to recall Smith mentioning the he preferred Troughton's Dr. over the others (I believe Tom Baker preferred Troughton, as well) . SOme of the aspects, like hand wringing are pure Troughton, tho Dr. 2 was considerably more prone to pessimism and tantrums.

That the episode is about the Internet (the World Wise Web) was fitting, as the GI was previously involved with another web, that one a Web of Fear.

Too-late edit: World Wide* Web.

My keyboard and proofreading skills apparently did not improve despite 3 semesters of typing class!

Tennant seems a lovely fellow but his Dr. was the most bland and emotionally predictable pain to watch, imo. His run, and Davies' ridiculous writing (aside from the excellent "Midnight"), had me abandon watching the show for that last season until Matt came on board.

@ Mr. Brew, the reviewer:

I believe the painting in the abbey was made by Our Man From Gallifrey himself. He had sequestered himself obsessing over finding her and had likely painted it in the process of gathering his thoughts on the matter. There are paintbrushes protruding from jars, and sketches of a woman with dark hair, on the small table next to the painting behind him.

When I got my broadband installed they asked me what i would like it to be called......I chose Tardis, Why I hear you ask. Well With it being Fibre optic it's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside :-) Thank you Virgin Media engineer!

My money's on Clara herself, a bit older.

I thought it was a bit of a Trek reference, from The Voyage Home:

Dr Taylor - 'Don’t tell me, you’re from outer space.'
Kirk - 'No. I’m from Iowa. I only work in outer space.'

First the good news, DT is returning for the anniversary special. So is Billie Piper, but that's of no interest to me, also acting royalty John Hurt is guests starring, so as you can imagine, my excitement is at fever pitch, I can't wait for DT to outclass MS in the acting game. It will prove once and for all that MS is a poor replacement indeed.

Now the bad news, I was busy over the weekend attending a bedroom tax protest, so I wasn't able to watch the episode until today. However, I have made it quite clear for a time that I would not b watching this series of Who, in protest to how dreadful it's become.

Well, I will be watching it, but the Beeb won't be getting my Saturday night figure, nor will they be getting my Iplayer statistic. So. I will still watch, but my viewing will not be added to the tally of bemused morons who think this is Who at it's best. Anyway, I'll offer my opinion on the episode in the morning, after I watch it tonight. Can Steven Moffat restore m faith? Can Matt? I doubt it, but we'll see.


after READING YOUR INPUT, IT'S NOT LOOKING GOOD. WE SEEM TO SHARE SIMILAR LIKES AND DISLIKES IN WHO. Just turned the capslock off. Sounds like it's going to be another lacklustre, underwhelming, flashy, slick episode. Roll on Ice Warriors and the 50th.

Moff sucks

After reading Davros01's input, it's not looking good. We are still watching, but it seems faith is falling faster than an MP's expense claim is rising. I will be interested to see the declining overnights, this season, on the 50th year too, Does not bode well.


Bit late commenting here, but whatever.
Episode had ups and downs for me, but for some reason I came away from it a bit disappointed (sorry, Moff fans). Was I really the only person who found the ending a bit deux ex machina?
Good bits firstly though: Love the new TARDIS design, and the new theme tune is excellent, way better than the space-storm-plughole thing. Thought Smith was good and hilarious in places, and JLC is a good new companion, the best since Billie Piper's 9th Doctor series (subsequent series' she got a bit cocky for me). I also liked the Doctor going further into the TARDIS, hopefully we'll get more of that in the next 7 episodes!
Parts I wasn't so fussed on then. Plot. Can I just point out at this stage that Moffat's best episodes (in my opinion) have contained very little reference to plot arc. Blink, Empty Child/Doctor Dances, 11th hour, Time of Angels, Girl in the Fireplace, The Library two parter. For me, Moffats finest moments seem to come when he's concentrating on a single episode and not trying to cram series arcs, plot devices and long term clues in there. When he concentrates on the main story, he's come up trumps for me every time.
The plot and trying to set up stuff for the series are the parts that brought this episode down for me, the only other things I want to mention are just minor quibbles such as Clara somehow still having tea in her mug when they re-enter the TARDIS after being on a nosediving plane, and the TARDIS doors closing despite nobody closing them.
6/10 for me. It'll do, but I really hope the series picks up from here, as I didn't particularly enjoy S7 part 1 a hell of a lot either.

"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!"

Michael Corleone,

The Godfather 3

Ok, normally this is where I moan about how far Doctor Who has fallen under the current show runner and current Doctor, but today, just to show everyone (TardInSexy) that I'm not a complete miser, or anti-Moff/Smith, I will actually go out of my way to show you all what I thought Moff got right in this particular episode, even though, for my part, it was still an awful long way from perfect and was anything but a classic episode.

So, things I liked, for once, there were actually quite a few, so here goes:

*The opening title sequence was great. A throwback to the classic era intro's. The music isn't as good, but the visuals themselves were worthy of Who.

*The new TARDIS interior is great. I love the time rotors that rotate above the console, and the all round general look of the interior. It gives a great scale to the inside of the TARDIS. Vibrant, and alien.

*Matt Smith! I know, can't believe it myself, by far he is my least favourite Doctor, however in this episode, he did actually seem like a Doctor, all his own, rather than a second rate DT clone.

*Matt's new outfit, very subtle Who dress code, I like it.

*The excellent classic motorbike stored onboard the TARDIS. A couple of points though, what's with the anti-grav that we never actually saw on screen? Also did anybody else think of Hagrid and his magical bike flying Harry over London as the Doctor and Clara sped towards London?

*The cinematography especially the moment with the plane. When I saw that part, felt like I was watching a veteran director at work in a huge budget Hollywood film.

*For once, a half decent story, not hampered by a last second resolution, although it was, sort of. What I liked though was the fact the Dr defeated the enemy not with his sonic, but with his wits and hacking skills. Brains over technology, that's what Who should be about. The plot wasn't anything of magnitude, but at least it was passable and self contained, and coherent. It's about time, Moff. Stick to the basics, solid story, not overindulgence and fan*ank.


*Sinister government middle men, who had no control over their actions, nice excuse about "riots" and I loved the Doc's ref's to "I'm going to have to have a word with this nasty government" kudos, Doctor, now get your backside over to Tory HQ and work your magic.

*The Matt-bot base station. I don't know about you, but if I was a child, Matt would freak me out anyway, but seeing his head spin around Exorcist like must have freaked out kids, everywhere. That's what Who should be, play to it's strengths. If your Doctor is no looker, exaggerate his ugliness in the moments where he is supposed to be evil, ie, here, when he was a base station doppelgänger There's nothing more upsetting than seeing your familiar, lovable hero, turn ugly.

*The Great intelligence, recurring Richard E Grant. I love the classic villains, is the G.I the underlying villain for the rest of this series? I hope so, though I'm not to keen on his inconsistent motives, for instance, in the Snowmen, he killed a bunch of people for no reason, yet here, he let's everyone go, under his control, unscathed. Tighten upon the G.I's agenda, Moff. As we all know, morally ambiguous bad guys are not your forte. Stick to your strengths.

*Uploading souls via wi-fi into cloud, nice touch. A good way to use current technology as a thing to be afraid of, almost classic Who. Even the pseudo-science was logical, for once. I'm impressed, keep up the good work, Moff.

Ok, now for the things that irked me and stuck out like an unused expenses receipt.

*Moff is really overusing the "everyday objects are scary" motif. What's next? Alien controlled loo rolls? Toilets that eat their users?

*More Dr Who? in-jokes, although I will admit, this time Moff didn't over-egg the pudding, or suffle girsl. Even the Dr seemed to acknowledge the in-joke, bored with it, and used it has a pun.

*The dialogue was poor, but at least this time they spoke like actual people, and Moff refrained from reducing the cast to using one liney timey wimey nonsense, instead of Telletubbies.

*Clara, I'm not convinced, at moments she seems almost likeable, then she resorts to the manic speaking (clever but not really) in your face "look at me, I'm a genius" clone acting we saw in Amy Pond, even though, she is a massive improvement upon her. If Jenna can nail the subtlety needed to portray the character, then she could be interesting, let's hope Moff keeps her annoying traits, low key.

*Snog box? What is this, Twilight? Why does every line of dialogue have to be a flirty sexual innuendo? Adults don't watch this show for the constant sexuality, we watch it to escape that, if we wanted that, we would watch Eastenders. We watch it for the mature writing, and thought provoking stories, not childish innuendos that want to be clever. Take note, Steven, they aren't. They just pull your show down to the level of rom-com teen nonsense.

*The sound, whilst epic, it really drowns out the dialogue, perhaps this is Steven's way of disguising some of it, since it is hardly what we have come to expect in a sci-fi show, even one as fantastic as this. I want more "sort of makes sense" technobabble, and inspiring lines from the Doctor. Moff's "rousing" speeches have proven to be anything but.

*Harry Potter wand moments, albeit, I will admit, they seem to have been a bit more subdued this episode, thank Voldermort.

*Another secret time travelling diary? Doesn't Mary Sue have one of those? Crikey, how many companions have future knowledge of events, which they all conveniently write down, in this era of Who? Are they clairvoyants? Enough with the cryptic nonsense. Not even the most discerning viewer will be able to suss out what the leaf was all about, come on, Steven, stop isolating your audience (mostly children)

*There seems to be a certain underlying, middle-class pomposity that as pervaded into Who, these days. Maybe it's just me, but I preferred it when the Doc's companions were working class estate girls who I could relate to. In case you missed a trick, Steven, most of the country, and people who watch this show, are not middle class Etonian wannabe's living in big houses and privately educated.

*What was the point of the title? Besides a solitary throw away line from a bit cast member?

In conclusion, whilst this was one of Moff's better episodes, it was nothing to write home about. After watching it I found myself unable to think of any one thing that stood out, a mere five minutes later. I couldn't find anything that would make me want to revisit this episode again, even though I missed a small portion of the garbled, drowned out dialogue. Which is odd, because even the worst episodes under RT, I could re-watch again, and again, despite knowing every line, backwards. They were still fun to watch. I don't know what it is, but since Moff took the helm, something distinctly Who, seems to not be translating from script to screen, nevertheless, this was still one of Steven's more tolerable episodes. It seems Moff's episodes are the type of thing you watch once, just so you can get it out of the way and onto next weeks, Matt seems to be trying his best to carve his own niche as the Doctor, but there is just not enough for him to work with. At moments, I feel as if I am watching the Ganger version of Dr Who, something almost genuine but not quite. On the outside, it looks, and sounds like Who, but scratch the surface and it soon becomes apparent that it's nothing more than a cheap, knock-off fuggazi plastic imitation of something much grander.

Next weeks, looks interesting, but was that the Doctor casting off yet more regeneration energy? Add that to the secondary character, River Song, regenerating so many times, and Moff as successfully eliminated all the "regeneration risk element" from the show. Not good. Regen should be used sparingly if at all. It seems like the Doctor is immortal, these days, and so too, are the companions. After awhile, there's no reason to continue watching.

As I expected: New(ish) companion in full 'Carry On' mode ('Oooh! What a cle-ver boooy!' and 'Is this your snog box?!')... Just give us a break! Does every companion Moffat brings in have to be young, glamourous and 'saucy?' This Is Doctor Who, not Benny Hill!

Also (again, expected!) The Doctor is hell bent on finding out who Clara 'really is' (I thought she was Nigella Lawson inside a Dalek!)... Meaning (Just like with River Song!) this will be 'The Clara Show' as far as Moffat is concerned... ... I wonder if Clara's 'story' will be as lazy and 'EastEnders' as making River Song Amy's daughter?!

I now look forward to the remaining episodes: One shot stories written by good and intelligent writers... And not some egomaniac who sees Who as 'his show', and who has an unhealthy fixation with domineering women (see River Song, Amy in police uniform, Sherlock etc)....

Oh dear, just been reading the review over on The Telegraph, the majority are not impressed, it seems. Is Dr Who about to hear it's own knells of death?

I agree.

6.2 million watched it on broadcast. I'm shocked, tbh. If it hadn't of been for the protests, the figure would have been higher, however, it's been on hiatus since December I doubt the figures will be so high, next week. I'd say a significant drop of at least 2 million, people keep watching out of dedication and loyalty to Who, not because the program is good in it's current form. Stop watching, they will change it for the better.

So, he should just kiss Moff's backside and be grateful for the sub par trash he puts out? No wonder quality is declining in programs who people like you hold it up on pedestals.

I agree.

I cannot stand Clara.. really worst companion ever.

Funny you mention the episode needing another 15 minutes. I thought this was the first episode in ages that didn't feel rushed. There were actually some quiet moments and slower pacing.

Wow ! It was really an amazing episode ! The return of the great intelligence, the mystery around Clara, the jokes on Twitter and Facebook, the anti gravity bike, the reference to Amy's book... Clara is really awesome too, she's becoming my favourite companion in the new show, I may like her even more than Rose ! It was fast, funny, referential and modern too. Really a great episode ! This anniversary season is huge right now, 7 episodes, no filler !

And ironically, that bit of acting from Coleman was the ONLY bit of acting in the entire episode (ending at the end of the plane crash) that was questionable... a bit cringe overall actually. But totally agree that Imrie needs to be around more and it just lacked a bit more of the "urban thriller" elements they were going for and seemed a bit too comedic at times

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