Review: Doctor Who: The Bells of Saint John

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The Bells of Saint John” was written by Steven Moffat, directed by Colm McCarthy, and stars Matt Smith as The Doctor and Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara (Oswin) Oswald.

From the BBC Site:

The search for Clara brings the Doctor to London, 2013, where something deadly is waiting in the Wi-Fi.

The Bells of Saint John takes place an indeterminate time after the Snowmen.  The Doctor has sequestered himself away in a monastery in 1207, in order to contemplate Clara’s 2 last sets of words to him. “Run you clever boy, and remember”


In the current day people are being downloaded when they connect to a strange WiFi network.  Remember you should only connect to a familiar WiFi network, otherwise your consciousness might be downloaded out of your body and you could be trapped in cyberspace.  This goes hand in hand with the lesson TRON taught us, you know; Don‘t hack into a computer with a particle scanning laser pointed at your back.  Oh yeah, and you can’t trust a cat named Dr. Zaius.  When will people learn common computer security?


***** Spoilers*****

All in all I rather enjoyed this episode.  It had some nice Science Fiction elements in it, the kind worthy of deeper thought, not just cool flashy stuff.  It did seem more like a re-re-introduction for the character of Clara.  I think this could have benefitted from a 2 parter allowing for more time to deal with the possibilities of downloading people’s brains, and the ability to remote control people through WiFi signals.  Also possibly getting U.N.I.T. involved earlier on.


While Spoon Heads is an accurate descriptive name of the WiFi Soul Devourers, it’s not one that sounds impressive or will look good on an action figure package.


There was one thing I didn’t quite pick up on.  When someone was downloaded out of their body, and they went to the great video wall in the Shard, what was the purpose?  I mean I know the Great Intelligence was involved, and I’m always glad to see a reappearance of a classic Doctor Who Baddie from the 60s or 70s.  But what was the end game; is it using them as processors for a super computer?  Also the Great Intelligence kind of cuts and runs a little too easy at the end.  Although I suspect it will be making another appearance latter in the season.  There is no reason to bring in something like that and not really utilize it.  I guess the simplest explanation was the Great Intelligence was just feeding on them, but it seems overly complicated for that.  Also if it were just feeding on them, why would it matter that Clara didn’t have any computer knowledge?


The Children’s book Summer Falls written by Amelia Williams was a nice touch.  Summer Falls will be released as an ebook on April 4th.


Check out our “The Bells of Saint John” photo Album.

Next week’s episode will be “The Rings of Akhaten