Doctor Who – The Bells of Saint John

Doctor Who series 7 finally recommended last night with The Bells of Saint John. It’s been a long gap since the first five episodes in September last year, with only the Christmas episode to keep us going in the meantime. What follows has some mild spoilers so be warned if you’ve not seen the episode yet.

The Doctor is hanging out in a monastery in 1207 a little dejected at not being able to find Clara, the girl who has died twice already (once in the future and once in Ye Olde Victorian times). He is roused from his sulk by the news that “the bells of Saint John are ringing”, meaning the phone in the Tardis door beside the St Johns Ambulance sticker.

Well, that’s never happened before…

And it’s Clara, phoning what she thinks is a helpline to get her Internet working. She was given the number by a “woman in a shop”. (Place your bets now as to which former companion this will turn out to be. It would be wonderful if it was someone from the old series, but I doubt it.)

The Doctor pops around to discover that Clara has clicked on the wrong wi-fi button and as a result is having her mind downloaded into a robot girl with her head on backwards.

I know, right?

Without going into detail there’s a bunch of people controlling the downloading for not terribly clear reasons and at the behest of a “client” that we have seen before. I suspect it will all lead up to the finale where we will see said “client” again.

Overall the episode is fairly light and frothy as most series openers are. It also pays homage to the First Doctor story The War Machines in suggesting that a new arrival to London’s skyline may not be entirely benevolent.

Matt Smith is on his endearing best. Witness his love of Jammy Dodgers for example.

Watch out for the author of a book seen early in the episode. I totally missed it.

And I really do like the new Tardis control room.