Not having cable sucks sometimes, y'all. I've grown accustomed to watching things on Hulu, though, so you get used to it. I'm home this weekend at my family's house in Flatwoods for the Easter holiday and while they have cable, they have not subscribed to BBC America. I think my mom would love it, honestly. She watches Copper and Ripper Street on On Demand, but it's been terribly unreliable as of late. I think they should just bite the bullet and add BBC America to their package.
So, when I went to watching Doctor Who this morning, it was not there and I was, needless to say, disappointed. I found another means and have now watched "The Bells of St. John" which I do think was a good episode. It was a bit rushed with the "bad guy" of the episode being too easily sacrificed for this season's new Big Bad, the Great Intelligence. More on that later though.
The episode starts with The Doctor in Cumbria in 1207 where he has retreated to continue is search for the elusive Clara. I suppose this is following the meeting of the younger version that we met in the Prequel. I'm sure at this point he still has no idea that it was her. Even still, he's holed up in a monastery and is alerted that the bells of St. John had begun to ring. No doubt this is where we get the name of the episode, as we discover that the bells happen to be the ringing of the phone on the TARDIS. Who is on the other end, but none other than Ms. Clara Oswald. I would have thought he'd recognize her voice straight away, but he didn't until she said, "Run you clever boy and remember" because that was the way Angie had told her to remember the WIFI password when the shot cut away. Of course, the Doctor hops in the TARDIS and gets to Clara's day without delay because who wants to hang out with monks forever? Monks are not cool.
She's phoned because a woman gave her the number because it was the "best helpline in the universe." What I want to know, and this is something that I noted as I was watching the episode, is what would would know the number to the TARDIS? Has River become a shopkeeper in addition to an assassin, detective, and archaeologist? Also, St. John Ambulance... is this something that the Brits would know?
The visual effects in the episode were great. Doctor Who has gotten tremendously more flashy over the years, even down to the movie posters for each episode. We had android sort of things walking around impersonating people, the Doctor driving up The Shard, the TARDIS landing inside an airplane bathroom. It was all very flashy and fantastic. There was also this:
Here are some other random thoughts:
When Angie and Clara are talking about the book, it cuts to the cover and we see that it's written by Amelia Williams! It would seem that Amy might be publishing more than just the Afterward in the Melody Malone novel. Speaking of which, when the Doctor reads the Afterward and it begins the narration by Amy, she says something to the effect of "Hello old friend. Here we are... on the last page." When he asks Clara about the book of 101 places to see and about the leaf she says, "It's page one." I'm sure that's no conicidence. And Clara totally found the leaf when she met the Doctor at the park.
I loved the way when he was changing from the monk outfit into his normal clothes, he kind of whipped around and was dressed. Very whimsical. The fact that he keeps in bow tie in a special case was awesome. I am still digging the new interior of the TARDIS. He put a plate of Jammie Dodgers on the bedside table for Clara!
This episode was a whole heck of a lot better than "The Angels Take Manhattan." While the real problems were with the pacing and the lack of a coherent plot, I thought this reintroducton to Clara was pretty good. Third time's the charm, right? And she even got sucked into the cloud twice. Does that honestly mean she's died four times in three episodes? I hope that's it for now. Sheesh.
The Bells of St. John was probably the best episode of this season. I won't say that just because it didn't have the Ponds, but that's part of it. I think we'll see great things from Clara this season. I'm anxious to see how the Great Intelligence plays into the bigger picture. Right now he's just pretty annoying.
I'm looking forward to the next episode, The Rings of Akhaten. The preview leaves a bit to be desired, though. I hope the episode is better!
All GIFs were found while scrolling through Tumblr. I unfortunately do not know who made them. But thanks Tumblr!