Archive for April, 2013

Here is my review of episode 7 of doctor who which returned to BBC1 on Saturday 29th March 2013.  Please don’t read if you have not seen this episode, spoiler alert.drwho

When we last saw doctor at the end of the Christmas episode he had just witnessed the death of the 2nd incarnation of Clara Oswin Oswald and he’s determined to find her once again. At the start of this episode we find him in a thirteenth century monastery trying to figure out who/where “Clara” is.  Clara meanwhile, now a nanny in present day London is having computer issues – so she rings a Help line she was given by “a woman in the shop” after being told that it’s “the best help-line around”.  This gets her (amusingly) in touch with the Doctor. The bells of saint john, is the telephone on TARDIS ringing.  And that’s why the reason for title of the episode, nothing to do with the story of the episode itself.

Clara find herself connected to a different Wi-Fi network labelled by alien-like symbols. This alerts a technician working under Miss Kizlet, who instructs him to send a mobile server, a humanoid robot that can take the appearance of anyone taken from a person’s memories, to her address. The servers are nicknamed ‘Spoonheads’ because of a spoon-like antenna dish on the back of their head that they use to upload their victims to Kizlet’s cloud storage.

The Doctor investigates and is, ultimately, able to save Clara from being permanently trapped in the Spoonheads network. This kicks off the partnership between Clara and The Doctor, as he courts her with bedside flowers and cookies, ultimately explaining to her who/what he is. Clara is initially disbelieving, but she’s quick to accept The Doctor and his alien nature, as her reticence is outweighed by her curiosity and her ambition for travel.

The Doctor explains that someone is using the Wi-Fi networks to download and conform human consciousnesses all over London for some purpose; he demonstrates that Clara has gained newfound computer skills due to her encounter. When Miss Kislet’s agents discover the pair, she orders the Wi-Fi network to be activated, causing the crew of a jetliner to fall asleep as it is landing at Heathrow. The Doctor drags Clara to the TARDIS and boards the plane. The pair help to prevent the aircraft from crashing and ensuring the crew and passengers are protected from the Wi-Fi, as they begin to wake, before departing.

The Doctor and Clara land the next morning and take a motorbike to a café adjacent to St Paul’s Cathedral. The Doctor is unable to find the base of operations for the Wi-Fi network from Clara’s computer, but she offers to use her new skills to do so. The Doctor enters the café to get coffee when Miss Kislet, using the various patrons in the café, taunts the Doctor and shows her abilities to control the London population. Meanwhile, Clara discovers by hacking the webcams and using social media that all of the technicians for Miss Kislet work at The Shard. She tells this to the Doctor, only realizing that the Doctor before her is a Spoonhead, and her consciousness is downloaded; the real Doctor arrives too late to stop this.

The Doctor, not wishing to lose her again, rides to the Shard on his motorbike, and uses its anti-gravity feature to scale the Shard, crashing into Miss Kislet’s office. She calmly explains she is doing the work of her client who needs the human consciousness for its purposes and refuses to release the stored consciousnesses. The Doctor reveals that he is really the Spoonhead she sent to the cafe, being controlled by the real Doctor who is still there. The Doctor downloads Miss Kislet into the array of other consciousnesses, and then alters the obedience of her second-in-command to release all of them. Clara is restored to normal. As UNIT forces rush in to secure the facility, Miss Kislet explains to her client, the Great Intelligence, that she has failed him, and proceeds to do a “system reset”; she and all the other technicians are reverted to a mental state before they were part of the Great Intelligence’s plan. Last spotted in the 2012 Christmas Special “The Snowmen”, The Great Intelligence has long been one of The Doctor’s most enigmatic nemeses. What his exact plan is this time is anyone’s guess.

I really enjoyed this episode. It was a welcome return for Doctor who.  The story is pretty good and it is pretty scary to think that something maybe lurking in the Wifi network waiting to zap us. The effects and action sequences were good. And the chemistry between the doctor and Clara Oswin Oswald was fantastic to watch. Clara’s comment about the TARDIS being a snog box was very funny. But just who is she? We still don’t know.

Did anybody note that “Summer Falls,” the book Clara grabbed at the start of the episode was written by an Amelia Williams.  Her comment about a chapter of the book, “11′s the best, you’ll cry your eyes out” seems to either be a tease about what’s to come, or a call out to the emotional end to Amelia Pond and Rory Williams’ adventures with the 11th Doctor, nice touch.

The episode may also give us a bit of a link between Clara and Oswin. At the start of the episode, the new girl is completely computer-illeterate but over the course of events she becomes a computer genius. Not only that, but it’s alien computer genius. Which links to Oswin’s computational-prowess in Asylum of the Daleks. 

So well worth a watch in my opinion and a welcome return to the series.

But what did you think? Do you agree?

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