‘Doctor Who’ Who’ series 7 – ‘The Bells of Saint John’

I’ve tried really hard to keep this post as spoiler-free as possible, but if you’re a bit cautious it might be worth avoiding.

It’s no secret to anyone that knows me, and possibly no secret to anyone who’s encountered my Twitter feed or this very blog, that I am a huge Doctor Who fan. Since the very first time I encountered the regenerated series when it began in 2005 I was hooked. Its combination of adventure, science fiction (with a childish slant) and sharp and clever scripts appealed to the nerdy twelve year old girl that I was. I’d been interested in space and the universe for as long as I could remember, and I wanted to run and see more of the world as countless others do. Doctor Who appealed to me because it understood that desire, and it had so much fun presenting it.

Since I’ve grown up, the love I feel for Doctor Who hasn’t diminished, but it has changed. I still desperately want to see the world, I’m still fascinated by the universe, and I’m still a total geek, but there are other things about the show which appeal to me. Mainly its fizz. Not a technical term I know, but ‘fizz’ (in my mind) accurately describes what it is that makes the show so special – at the hands of showrunner Steven Moffat the scripts have burst with wit, and some of the finest exchanges I’ve ever enjoyed. The characters, and the actors who portray them are superb. The story arcs – a concept that Doctor Who has used before, but never to quite the same degree – have escalated. The combination of these factors is what makes Doctor Who so fantastic to watch. Which brings me to my next point.

Last night, on the evening of the 30th March 2013, the first episode of the second half of series seven aired in the UK. In my house this was a highly-anticipated event, for me and my dad in particular. Having successfully avoided as many trailers and spoilers as possible, we looked forward to a new and exciting episode: which we weren’t denied. I’ve already shared my love for Clara Oswald in a previous post, and my first impression wasn’t wrong – while not hugely dissimilar from those who’ve gone before her, she’s still sharp and bright and fantastic. Her wardrobe is also highly enviable. Matt Smith’s Doctor is as awkward and as wonderful as ever. The episode itself – ‘The Bells of Saint John’ (the relevance of the title contributing to one of the finest moments of the episode) – was a solid episode, basing itself around there being “something living in the Wi-Fi”. Not particularly scary, apart from moments involving little children not being as they initially appear (a frequent trope, but an effective one nevertheless), but exciting. Absorbing edited, witty as ever, and the inclusion of a gorgeous Triumph motorbike (I want it so badly) – it lived up to the standards we expected of it.

As we’ve already discovered, there is more to Clara Oswald than there appears – after all she’s only made three appearances in the Who canon so far and she’s ready rivalling Rory in the  ‘dying and dying again’ stakes – and I’m sure we won’t be disappointed as we discover more about her. In the meantime (assuming we remain clueless for a little while yet) I’m just looking forward to seeing where the journey of the series takes me.

Oh, and a quick word on the 50th anniversary casting news which emerged over the weekend (no spoilers here, on this topic anyway): I didn’t really want to know but now I do, I’m excited. It should be a fantastic special.

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Posted in: TV

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