Review of Doctor Who ‘Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS’ – Series 7, episode 10

Neela Debnath

Doctor Who Journey to the Centre of the Tardis 1848896 300x199 Review of Doctor Who Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS   Series 7, episode 10SPOILERS: Do not read this if you have not seen ‘Doctor Who’ episode 10 of series 7/33

This week was essentially Tardis: Confidential where viewers got a behind-the-scenes, all access tour of the Doctor’s vessel. While the episode was nowhere near as strong as the previous two instalments, it was watchable enough and built upon Doctor Who mythology.

Rarely do we see the interior of the Tardis beyond the control room and usually these fleeting glimpses are few and far between. We saw Amy and Rory dashing through the corridors of the old girl when House took over the ship in The Doctor’s Wife. In William Hartnell’s era we discovered he had a room where companions could rest on sun loungers. In Peter Davison’s era the Doctor’s assistant Nyssa had her own bedroom. In the 1996 film viewers saw the Eye of Harmony. After this week though, we finally glimpsed the swimming pool and the library and some other rooms which gave an intriguing insight into the Doctor’s stolen ship. Although we saw some rooms, I would have liked to have seen some more given all the hype.

This was clearly more an  episode for the fans than anything truly substantial. Saying this, I did love the audio clips from An Unearthly Child where Susan explained the name of the Tardis – an acronym for Time and Relative Dimension in Space. It was a really lovely touch to include this despite the weakness of the story itself.

Overall I felt quite nonplussed by the end of this adventure and didn’t really give two monkeys about what happened to the crew of the outer space salvage ship. I didn’t care if one of them had developed a shred of decency or if another was or was not a robot. I was really disappointed by the subplot involving these characters. Clara seemed to share my thoughts and spent the whole episode ignoring their constant bickering. These characters felt totally redundant and added nothing to plot, and I kept wondering why they were there at all.

Sadly this adventure just felt like an excuse to explore the Tardis but that was about it. While it was an interesting idea the story was thin on the ground. On a more positive note, the show continues to look filmic and stunning and unlike Doctor Who. While the story quality is questionable, the aesthetics do add value to this adventure, in particular the Doctor’s library.

Something for viewers to mull over is what Clara has read in the book about the Time War? What has she discovered about the Doctor? And are we any closer to discovering the truth about soufflé girl?

Before I forget and if I am not mistaken, Clara died again several times this week and was even terorrised by charred zombie versions of herself. I think I have now lost count of how many times she has kicked the bucket.

Next time on ‘Doctor Who’… The dynamic trio Strax, Vastra and Jenny are back and on a journey to the north to investigate scary goings on in Sweetville in Victorian England. This is Dame Diana Rigg and Rachael Stirling’s episode and there are people getting dipped into a red liquid which may be ‘The Crimson Horror’ of the title. It certainly takes the notion of poor working conditions in the Victorian era to a whole level – David Copperfield eat your heart out.

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  • Tazmon L’vis Sims

    I’m right there with you….I don’t get it this is the Best Show on Television it moves between a Sci-fi…..horror…and love story all in one episode (i.e: Hide) and I don’t know of any other show that has that ability… is Brilliant!!!!!!!

  • Tazmon L’vis Sims

    I understand what you mean I feel that way about all the shows on NBC…but the way I see it with “Doctor Who” is that Mr. Moffat/Matt Smith/David Tenant are truly fans of the show first and foremost and what they place in it is the amount of love and respect one would show for their child….i.e every parent thinks their child is perfect and they would expect the individuals watching it to have that same level of care and sometimes they may go overboard, but it always comes from a true love of “Doctor Who”, but thanks once again for your statements, because it helps me understand that fans care and “Doctor Who”….. fans care about this show and were it’s going which means I have invested in the right type of show…. one that brings out passion in those whom watch!!!!!!!

  • Craig Moorhouse

    your comments are bang on Tazmon L’vis Sims – there are always people who get bored with story-lines that reward long time Whovian fans – should the shows producers pander to the non-fans? Should Hanna Barbara of listen to focus groups that told them that adding an annoying talking puppy with big head to Scooby Doo would be a good idea? I am so glad the show doesn’t pander – pandering gets you stuff like “Jersey Shore”

  • Craig Moorhouse

    and what newspapers are you reading? – always been positive and negative reviews attached to Who and to quote Paul Simon ” a man only hears what he wants to hear and then he disregards the rest”

  • Simon_99

    It’s now halfway through series 7 and there has been almost zero character development. Yes, Smith brings a different interpretation to the character but nothing at all that has happened to the Doctor over the last 7 seasons appears to affect this character in any material way.

    To quote South Park, what would be great to see is “emotional character development based on what’s happening in the storyline. Not at all like Family Guy”. Except Family Guy is what we currently have.

    This is why, I believe, so many people are disappointed in Doctor Who and will, unfortunately, continue to remain disappointed.

  • reverend61

    I think that you’ve hit upon one of the core problems with the programme in its current incarnation, which is that it’s being written and produced by the fans, who are now all grown up. And the fans – let’s be honest – don’t know what’s good for the show. We can’t be trusted to come up with decent stories or ideas, or at least not carry them through. Case in point: Snakes on a Plane was a film that was essentially rewritten by the ‘fans’ and the internet community. It was dire. Insofar as Who is concerned, Doomsday pitted the Daleks against the Cybermen, which was a fanboy’s dream as written by a fanboy, but it simply wasn’t very interesting. I’m not arguing for a totally detached view where they kill the show by completely misunderstanding what it was supposed to be about, which I’ve seen happen elsewhere – but the current environment seems a little, well, inbred.

    (The other problem is Moffat’s tendency to consistently refer back to his old boys’ network. This is why Mark Gatiss keeps getting commissions even though most of his episodes are rubbish, and why Steven Thompson – whose previous track record was Curse of the Black Spot – was given another chance. It’s not how you write, it’s who you know.)

  • Chris Hughes

    No – it never was a ‘kids’ show’ – never made by a children’s department.
    A ‘family show’ maybe…

    My own view is that it’s all been terrific since the re-boot, and that the old shows – most of which I watched from 1963 on – were fine, but don’t match up to today’s.

  • WhistlingNeil

    I fell asleep it was so boring. Visuals are very impressive, sadly the stories are not, someone really needs to tell Mr Smith sometimes less is more.

  • Darren Smith

    Moffat’s mojo is clearly on the wane and has been for some time. With the exception of one or two stand out stories during his entire tenure, its all set-up and no trousers; the ‘NEXT TIME’ teasers are often the most exciting part of each show – the one failing to deliver on the promises of the other. Despite the ‘movie-feel’ colour timing, the Hollywood style ‘everything is exciting’ music – NOTHING is happening in these episodes. Rule One, Chapter One BASIC Robert Mckee – if the character is the same at the end of the story as at the beginning then NOTHING had happened to them. There is no dramatic action – however many times you run up and down a corridor – and this episode was the mother of all ‘corridor drama’ episodes.

    But how can you travel in time and space, visiting innumerable dimensions, planets, alien races and tell an elaborate 900 year back story resolving everything in 45 minutes???? Answer – very superficially at best. The biggest failing of the 2005 reboot is the idea that ‘kid’s today’ don’t have the attention span to follow a story over four weeks. Everything has to be wham-bam brand spanking new every week. The writers have an impossible task, rather like cooks – they have to create an exquisite full course dinner but we have to bolt it down in three quarters of an hour. So, perversely, the more imaginative the set-up the greater the disappointment we feel at the inevitably crass and hurried way it has to be resolved.

    I’m sorry to say, although the budgets may have gone up and it all ‘looks’ really great – story wise its starting to feel very 80’s, very JNT.

  • jason mulryan

    I bet Clara becomes the next doctor – that is why she is impossible.

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