Monday, August 25, 2014

Doctor who--"The Bells of St. John"

“The Bells of Saint John,” or what the 13th century monks with whom the doctor is currently living call the ringing TARDIS telephone,  is the first episode of the back half of series seven.  The episode introduces Jenna-Louise Coleman as the version of Clara oswal who will actually become the new companion. 

The plot revolves around aliens stealing human minds via Wi Fi.   I had some hint of that before watching, and was expecting an anti-technology screed.  Aside from yet another Matt Smith slipping in his distaste for social media by way of the Doctor‘s lines, there is mercifully little of that.  ’The Bells of Saint John” is instead an action oriented, special effects laden romp. 

But it is not that great, either.  I do not get a foreboding sense of the worldwide threat of every internet user on Earth being sucked into the world wide web.  Where is the sense of catastrophe?  T only feels like some young, bored Londoners surfing the web one night have disappeared. 

Better to spend more time on what I do like--the doctor’s giddiness at finding Clara yet again.  She gives him his mojo back, and he has what one could amost call a schoolboy crush on her.  It is not romance, per se, but a sense the doctor has found his most trusted pal.  One wonders if the two are not headed for disaster.

Outside of the bonding between the doctor and Clara, “The Bells of Saint john” is quite ho hum.  Not necessarily bad, but much of the plot feels like an excuse for some elaborate special effects like a near plane crash and the doctor riding up the side of a skyscraper on a motorcycle.  Eye candy ads to a story, but the story cannot be an excuse to have eye candy.  Regardless, I want to see more, so the episode does its job.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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