Title: The Bells of Saint John
Air Date: 30th March 2013
Writer: Steven Moffat
Well we've seen Oswin the Dalek (Asylum of the Daleks) and we've seen Victorian Clara (The Snowmen) so this is our first proper look at new companion Clara Oswald in her modern-day guise. Not to mention that Steven Moffat once again takes an ordinary, everyday thing (wi-fi this time) and makes it into something scary.
This episode is one of those times when the title is accurate for roughly about 3 minutes. Although good for you if you guessed what it meant. So, new companion, new TARDIS desktop and old Doctor. A good combination that hasn't suffered any of the pitfalls that previous companion changeovers have done.
Jenna brings a breath of fresh air back into 'Who after quite a long run with the Ponds and her and Matt have a chemistry that is both familiar and vastly different than what we've seen before. She follows the trend of 'modern woman running rings around clueless Time Lord' that's been commonplace since the days of Rose Tyler (shush, I know older companions have been the same but some people might not remember Sarah Jane or Ace) but rather than make the audience groan with feelings of boredom and predictability, Clara Oswald's story is unexpectedly tragic. Really, for all her attitude, she's got an undercurrent of loss. In other words, she's pretty much a perfect companion.
So, onto the plot. Well, just like the Silence in series 6, we have The Great Intelligence (Richard E. Grant) as the antagonist in series 7. He likes humans, well, likes eating them at least, and to do that he has his lackeys download some very unlucky people and stuff them in a network cloud. I would love to see how many people are now paranoid about their wi-fi, it has to be quite a few.
I'm not sold on the idea of such a long wait between 'The Angels Take Manhattan' and this though. With the new faces it does seem rather like a new series altogether instead of a continuation. I know the gap was to allow people to get used to Clara but still, I'm not too sure it works.
All in all, a good introduction and a good story. Funny, heartbreaking and actually a bit scary all rolled into one handy 45 minute package.
For filming from this episode, click here: Clara at the window