Doctor Who Review: Trapped Like Flies in The World Wide Web

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"The Bells of St. John" are ringing in Cumbria 1207, and Clara is phoning The Doctor to discover where the Internet might be.

The Doctor didn't recognize her voice - after all of his divine thinking - but her password was "RYCBAR..." - or run you clever boy and remember. How do they come up with this stuff?

There is something about Matt Smith as The Doctor with Clara that is just different. When he was getting excited over hearing her say "Doctor Who" he looked downright giddy. I got a smile bigger on my face than he had on his. Can anyone not laugh at his declaration that monks are not cool, while jumping into his signature outfit complete with bow tie? Cool indeed!

The bottom line is The Doctor is back, Clara is wonderful and that he is enamored with her is perfect. I am one happy fan girl.

Doctor and Clara

The premiere episode was full of action and adventure, covering the distant past and the near future with a vision of The Doctor as a monk as well as a half robotic mind claiming machine that harvests souls for its master. Really, a little something for everyone.

But, the one thing I did notice was we were put through, yet again, another beginning for Clara and The Doctor. That makes three. Not that I'm complaining too much, because Jenna Louise Coleman is an absolute doll and her chemistry with Matt Smith is incredible. I have no doubt they will make a wonderful team. I would just like to get through the "let's meet again" phase and onto the more daring adventures where Clara has a bit of an understanding of what she's in for.

The Doctor's continued intrigue with Clara will be interesting. He has no idea why she has been recurring through so many timelines, and he wants to find out. As long as the messages come in ways of hints such as the leaf not being in her book but being the first page of it, making him marvel at her mystery all the more, I'm in. I did have a thought after the first two encounters that we might be in for a relationship wherein every meeting met with her dying. I can't express enough how wrong I was with that.

Clara sees herself as a girl who got stuck after her mother died caring for children when their own mother passed, hardly the least bit interesting, but The Doctor has so much more knowledge about her history that he sees someone inside her that she never knew existed. They will each benefit from the partnership in ways the other wouldn't imagine, and if their exploits are anything like what we witnessed tonight, we're in for a hell of a ride.

It's always fun to see someone's first glimpse into the Tardis, and what I found even more engaging was how throughout the encounter into the airplane as The Doctor tried to keep it from crashing into her neighborhood, Clara held on tightly to her coffee cup, only letting it go after they landed the plane, were once again safely in the Tardis and she had finished her drink. Little things like that must be so difficult to do while filming such a rushed and chaotic scene.

The idea of our lives being overrun by the Internet, and our souls being harvested for food,

The Doctor: Human souls. Trapped like flies in the World Wide Web. Stuck forever. Crying out for help.
Clara: Isn't that basically Twitter? | permalink

is especially timely as social media permeates the world we live in and shows like Doctor Who premiere in the United States and the United Kingdom on the same nights. We're growing ever closer and ever farther apart through the power of the Internet. I was shocked more than once at the turns the story took because I get so wrapped up in what's happening that I'm not over-analyzing the storyline. In other words, I'm enjoying it for enjoyments sake.

Examples: Even though The Doctor was surrounded by the wireless souls in the cafe while Clara tried to find a way to stop the UNIT, I never for an instant realized it would be his own image that would be the one to capture her soul a second time. Until he was out on the balcony, behind himself, I somehow thought they had him trapped. I am such a sucker! Additionally, I had no idea he sent his soul-sucking self to take out the UNIT and was still sitting beside Clara's soulless body protecting her. But, where else would he be?

Finally, I kept thinking to myself this story would be so much more interesting if I knew who was doing this. Really? Granted, it's been three months (and about a hundred and fifty years) since "The Snowmen" but I couldn't pluck out THE GREAT INTELLIGENCE was behind it all? Seriously. On the plus side, it actually made me feel sorry for the people working for the UNIT and for Miss Kizlet in general. She had probably been plucked as a child and grown up under his control, having no idea what it as like to live a life. What on earth would she do now?

I'm super stoked for the remainder of the season, short as it may be. What did you think of the spring premiere and the third introduction of Clara and The Doctor?

The Bells of St. John Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (54 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Doctor Who Season 7 Episode 7 Quotes

Monks are not cool!

The Doctor

Clara: How'd you get here so fast?
The Doctor: Because I just happened to be in the neighborhood on my mobile phone.
Clara: Why you say mobile phone do you point at that blue box?
The Doctor: Because it's a surprisingly accurate description.