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Saturday, March 30, 2013

"The Bells of Saint John" chime the return of DOCTOR WHO!

It took me an hour and a half after the episode aired on BBC America before I could turn in a blog post about "The Bells of Saint John"...

So along with statues, shadows, clocks, gas masks, cracks in the walls and Lord knows what else, now we have to be afraid of our Wi-Fi networks.  Damn you Steven Moffat!  DAMN YOU!!

(But he sure knows how to run Doctor Who like nobody's business, doesn't he?)

Three months after we last saw The Doctor (Matt Smith) in the 2012 Christmas special "The Snowmen", our hero is again sulking in solitude: this time at a monastery in England circa 1207.  Considered mad by his fellow monks (not the first no doubt), we find the last Time Lord contemplating, perhaps obsessing, with the newest enigma of his long life: Clara Oswin (Jenna Louise-Coleman, in her first regular Doctor Who episode as a companion).  When the telephone on the TARDIS's exterior starts ringing - by itself something which should not be happening - it isn't long before The Doctor is flying off again into time and space.

I'm not going to say anything else about "The Bells of Saint John", except that I thought it was a fairly strong return of both Doctor Who as a series as well as the start of an entirely new period of The Doctor's life.  Jenna Louise-Coleman came to the show in this season's premiere episode "Asylum of the Daleks".  "The Snowmen" made it clear in no uncertain terms that her character... or characters... is going to become a significant part of the series' mythology for the foreseeable future.  "The Bells of Saint John" begins that next era in earnest.  And judging by the myriad of sly references to previous material (hint: look at the author of that book) this promises... or threatens... to be a hella wild and scary ride in the lead-up to the big fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who this fall.

A pretty solid episode, and one that continues the fine Moffat tradition of giving us something new to keep a watchful eye on.  What's he gonna frighten us with next... vacuum cleaners?  Fish and chips?  Toilets?

(Hey, it'd still be better than "Love & Monsters" was... :-P)