Doctor Who

Season 7 Episode 6

The Bells of Saint John

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Mar 30, 2013 on BBC America
out of 10
User Rating
180 votes

By Users Episode Review


    Doctor Who "The Bells of Saint John" Review: The Most Outsourced Technical Support

    I really liked this episode when I first finished watching it, but after giving it some time to ricochet around in my head, it started to fall apart a bit for me as a fully executed story.

  • Episode Summary

    The Doctor comes to modern-day Earth when Clara calls him through the TARDIS. They discover that someone--or something--is occupying the wi-fi networks of the world and harvesting human minds. Not because of hate or a desire for power, but because they care.

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    • spoilers :)

      well, so we're all uploaded to the wifi are we now? seems that way. At least in this episode.

      the story shows how peoples minds and/or souls get sucked into the www by connecting to an open wifi. it is run by some sort of (more or less) secret facility located in a room flashing hundreds of screens that are showing paranoid people who don't know where they are. once they'd clicked the button they were hunted down by some giant spoon thingy and their mind got uploaded to a "cloud". all as some sort of harvest for the "client" -which will later on be exposed as the great intelligence itself- .

      the doctor is meanwhile still looking for clara in the strangest place (you'll see) which will also explain the title of this weeks episode. SHE happens to find HIM however and et voila he comes to the rescue as of course clara ends up being uploaded as well. he downloads her right back into her own body, presenting some serious hacking skills, and she turns out to be all computer-genius-upgraded.

      that's not really according to the facility's plans, so they send the creepy spoon thingys (which by the way sorta remind me of the library "donna noble has been saved"?!?) to catch them.

      clara and the doctor escape in the TARDIS and save a plane from wrecking on the way to breakfast.

      while clara uses her not-at-all-creepy new hacking skills to locate the facility, the doctor is given a taste of just how powerful they are. having the ability to turn pretty much anyone into a walking talking robot, they happen to trick clara into being uploaded again. needless to say the doctor me... drives to the rescue once more. but because running a motorcycle straight up to the- almost- top of a skyscraper is sorta dangerous, he sends his stunt double instead. while the bad boys - or in this case bad girl- aren't really awed by the doctors appearance and tell him how they still have the upper hand- he manages to trick them into tasting their own medicine while sitting comfortably at his breakfast table.

      once the evil boss lady is uploaded herself, she begs the team to download the whole cloud of people -including herself- back into their bodies. Given a little slide on the obedience bar, the facility releases the souls and is shortly after taken captive by the SWAT team of UNIT (wherever the hell they came from). Before having the chance to spill any information, they get rebooted to factory settings though, so the gret intelligence is still savely out there.

      a very sunny morning later the doctor reappears at clara's doorstep to ask her to travel alongside her. she doesn't go for it though and tells him to come back the next day and ask her again. he is puzzled by clara and the riddle that is her and we are left equally puzzled to wait for next weeks episode.

      as for this episodes personal thoughts:

      good thing is: the doctor is back, and so is clara "oswin" oswald, which i really liked in the asylum of the daleks and the christmas special. thankfully we will be explained where the heck that weird middle name comes from in this episode. jenna-louise coleman brings a fresh breeze into the doctor/companion relationship. sort of like river song does, even though you can't top river. btw, did anyone realize just how much that girl equals christina ricci?? actually more like a mixture of her and rory gilmore aka alexis bledl. we'll see what the mystery around her turns out to be, at least thats what moffat promises.

      bad thing: bbc tries to pretty much "be cool" and In my humble opinion... fails. new isn't always better and we don't really need the doctor to become a mixture between james bond and indiana jones in his old days, and we most certainly don't need the tardis to resemble yet another space ship in the ranks of the star trek universe. Plus: please dear bbc, if you must mess with the intro (again) at least keep the time vortex where it belongs. And once again, I'm really sorry matt, i do think you're a funny guy and probably really nice to hang out with, but shoving your face into the camera isn't really acting. please don't make me say make me beg for david tennant to return to the series in public. Just show me you have the ability to at least show some emotional range. There was some hope in the last few episodes so please return to that.

      rating is gonna be hard though. let's see. We'll start with a ten for having the series back after what felt like an a huge fan of the intro -0,5 not a fan of the new tardis -0,5 either. story was okayish but not great and neither much to remember so -1. another -1 for the eleventh doctors acting but plus 1 for the new companion whom i really like so far. that leaves us with an 8. seems an oddly high ranking for the mixed feelings it leaves behind but i've had episodes do that before and i turned out to like them later on.moreless
    • it won't let me watch

      why can't I watch an episode without buying

    • RYCBAR123

      I didn't know what to expect in this episode. And what it turned out to be was really fun. The plot was good, the actors were good but not great, and the monsters were okay. This episode was definitely the most fun of season 7 but not the best. The whole wi-if monster situation seemed silly at first, and wasn't great in the episode but not bad. I do like it that The Great Intelligence came back. And, since The Great Intelligence mimicked human thoughts, maybe it's mimicking the Doctor's of Oswin which continues making Clara come back over and over again. This episode was incredibly fun and almost every scene kept me going. The only thing I really didn't like is the ending. It was too simple. All the Doctor did was hack into their technology and kidnap Miss Kizlet. Overall, this episode was good and entertaining and I really enjoyed it.moreless
    • AWSOME!

      Hey but i'm having a problem i cannot find on hole internet or programmes ''CROATIAN SUBTITLE'' pls help! :/
    • Good start, just not great

      I caught this one off the DVR last night and was very much looking forward to seeing our favorite Time Lord start the second half of the season. Besides that, Clara is cute as all get out! The story line was rather pertinent in this day and age as well. There was a lot of good give and take between the Doctor and Clara, particularly good since their relationship is just starting. The new Tardis is nice but maybe a bit too modern, I rather liked the eccentricities of the old version, the new one is just too sleek inside. But it will grow on me I'm sure. My only complaint with the episode was there really was hardly anything relevant to the bells of St. John much at all. Finally, while the story line was interesting it seemed a bit slow or dull, I can't quite put my finger on it. I liked it but it seemed it could have been better. Well on to the next episode, I'm sure it will be quite good at a minimum, maybe great.moreless

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (1)

    • QUOTES (11)

      • Paul: Is it an evil spirit?
        The Doctor: It's a woman. (Paul crosses himself)

      • Clara: Who are you?
        The Doctor: The Doctor. No? The Doctor?
        Clara: Doctor who?
        The Doctor: Who. Just the Doctor. Actually, sorry, could you just ask me that again?
        Clara: Could I what?
        The Doctor: Could you just ask me that question?
        Clara: Doctor who?
        The Doctor: Okay, just once more.
        Clara: Doctor who?
        The Doctor: Oooh, yeah. Oooh. Do you know, I never realized how much I enjoy hearing that said out loud. Thank you.

      • Kizlet: I'm ever so fond of Alexei, but my conscience says that we should probably kill him.
        Mahler: I'll inform HR.
        Kizlet: Actually, he's about to go on holiday. Kill him when he gets back. Let's not be unreasonable.

      • Clara: How'd you get here so fast?
        The Doctor: I just happened to be in the neighborhood on my mobile phone.
        Clara: When you say "mobile phone," why do you point at that blue box?
        The Doctor: Because it's a surprisingly accurate description.

      • The Doctor: Right! Don't be a monk. Monks are not cool!

      • The Doctor: It's something in the Wi-Fi.
        Clara: Okay.
        The Doctor: This whole world is swimming in Wi-Fi. We're living in a Wi-Fi soup. Suppose something got inside it. Suppose there was something living in the Wi-Fi, harvesting human minds. Extracting them. Imagine that. Human souls trapped like flies in the Worldwide Web. Stuck forever. Crying out for help.
        Clara: Isn't that basically Twitter?

      • Clara: What is going on? Is this real? Please tell me what is happening?
        The Doctor: I'm the Doctor, I'm an alien from outer space. I'm a thousand years old, I've got two hearts, and I can't fly a plane! Can you?
        Clara: No.
        The Doctor: Ooh, fine. Well, let's do it together.

      • Clara: Okay, are you going to explain to me what the hell's going on?
        The Doctor: It's breakfast.
        Clara: What? I ain't waiting until breakfast.
        The Doctor: It's a time machine. You never have to wait for breakfast.

      • Clara: So what happens if you do find them? What happens then?
        The Doctor: I don't know. I can't tell the future, I just work there.
        Clara: You don't have a plan?
        The Doctor: Oh, you know what I always say about plans.
        Clara: What?
        The Doctor: I don't have one.

      • Clara: I have insane hacking skills.
        The Doctor: I'm from space, and the future, with two hearts and... 27 brains.

      • Kizlet: The people of this world are in no danger whatsoever. My client requires a steady diet of living human minds. Healthy, free-range human minds. He loves and cares for humanity. In fact, he can't get enough of it.
        The Doctor: It's obscene. It's murder.
        Kizlet: The abattoir is not a contradiction--no one loves cattle like Burger King.

    • NOTES (3)

      • After the TARDIS appears on the Southbank, and the Doctor collects tips for their breakfast, the villains detect it. The supervisor asks "Are we sure this time?  Earl's Court was an embarrassment!"  There actually is a police box outside of the Earl's Court tube station. If you go on Google maps for the Earl's Court Tube Station and find the Blue box and click on it., You will be taken inside to find the TARDIS. You may have to try a few different positions.

      • Injoke: Among the staff files that Clara brings up are Amy Pickwoad (standby art director), Adrian Greenwood (production buyer), Christina Tom (graphic artist), and Sam(antha) Price (production assistant)

      • International Airdates:
        UK: March 30, 2013 on BBC1
        Australia: March 31, 2013 on ABC1

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

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