Doctor Who, Episode 706: The Bells of Saint John

So we left The Doctor in Victorian London, gleefully throwing himself into the Mystery of Souffle Girl, having nominally defeated Withnail and his snow globe via the magic of ruining Xmas. Which was touching and funny and if Souffle Girl has a nebbishy and eternally persistent boyfriend I quit this show forever. I enjoyed the Pond period but I can’t face any more bickery love triangles.

Our long-awaited new season of Doctor Who begins with a YouTube conspiracy video, warning us not to click on unsecured Klingon wifi networks, since apparently that dumps you into a clunky Soviet-looking version of the singularity. And boom, we get the full-on version of the Iron Butterfly credits from the Xmas ep. I find this version unfocused and too orangey. I much prefer the gentle blue-green of Cumbria in 1207. That’s Wales, and so a slight nod to Torchwood, but let’s not get overexcited.

The Doctor throwing himself into the Mystery of Souffle Girl apparently consists of holing up in a monastery painting tourist-quality portraits and waiting for the phone to ring. I mock, but it apparently worked, since some iteration of SG is on the line, having gotten the TARDIS landline number from “the woman in the shop”. Write that down. Also note the the TARDIS phone has a super long cord.

Also, just noticed the the tip of SG’s nose bobs as she speaks. Once I notice that there’s no going back. Anyhow, she tips The Doctor to her identity with the mnemonic for her wifi password and we’re off to the races.

Noted: Any of you who use rycbar123 as a password for anything ever are in for some epic regret. As is SG, who seems a bit less mentally charged up in this version. Luckily, she has The Doctor pounding at her door like a dog after his dinner.

And at the Ridley Scott Orwellian open-plan office of the clunky singularity, the opinions seem to be similar. has a pretty dull dress code, but I love the mission statement: “It’s like immortality, only fatal.”

Back at the Maitland home, The Doctor is striking out with SG and we find out what a Spoonhead is. If this show does anything well, that would be creepy, slow-moving, oddly-camoflauged evil automata. And we get to see The Doctor selecting this season’s look, which is less chappish and more dandified. My approval is pending. And duelling keyboards and SG is zapped back into her body.

(Yes, I noticed who wrote the book. I’m sure it’s significant.)

The Doctor has apparently picked up some care & nurture tips from Rory or Strax, as evidenced by the flowers and Jammy Dodgers. And it’s an odd neighborhood where no one notices a jumpy guy camped out in your drive with police box, experimenting on a bent-over bipedal robot. And a bit of insight into the bit where there are sliders to adjust attributes, and apparently you can run planes into stuff on TV again now. Or threaten to. And SG sure knows where her mug of tea is at.

And nice bike, and we all love London, it’s why we watch this stuff. And are they having breakfast on top of the Tate Modern, or am I just in a fog of Anglophilia? Anyhow, more speedy keyboard fighting and some Matrixy body snatching, and “The abbatoir is not a contradiction” is a very nice line. And The Doctor makes a truly disturbing Spoonhead. (He’d be a fantastic Joker, too.)

Riding a motorbike up the side of a skyscraper? Stylish. Using the Spoonhead as an avatar? Classic. Throwing the villain into their own infernal machine? Double-classic. And it appears that we get to keep Withnail as a baddie this season, which pleases me immensely.

It also appears that the Great Intelligence has kept up the habit of grooming small children, which is almost too grim.

And SG is not so easily seduced in this iteration, which is interesting but annoying because I want to get the ball rolling. Really. This was fun, but now that we’ve established companion, look, and baddie for the season, I want the actual fun to start for real.


Posted by on March 30, 2013. Filed under Headline, Popcorn. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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