7x06 The Bells of St John - review/ discussion

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by 3chordboy, Mar 30, 2013.

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How do you rate 7x06 "The Bells of St John"?

Poll closed Apr 9, 2013.
  1. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    1.4%
  2. Okay

    17 vote(s)
    12.2%
  3. Good

    21 vote(s)
    15.1%
  4. Great

    39 vote(s)
    28.1%
  5. Outstanding

    42 vote(s)
    30.2%
  6. Geronimo!!

    18 vote(s)
    12.9%
  1. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I thought it was really clever and fun. And perfectly in keeping with Moffat's sillier, more fairy tale style.
     
  2. Ghost Bones

    Ghost Bones Captain Captain

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    ...who was that, the old man out of A Christmas Rip-off? Either way, you know exactly what I'm saying. The Steven Moffat guide to writing a likeable female character is just thinking "she's supposed to be sassy" and then making her sound what he imagines hip young people are like. Which means post-modern "urrhurr, it's all SOOO ironic" interchangeability with all his other female characters that makes even Ace look reasonable by comparison. It's only that Carey Mulligan is demonstrably a good actress that she wasn't exactly the same and found a bit more about her character, whereas Gillan and Jenna are clearly just glad to be there and playing it as written. Alex Kingston's performance screams someone delighted to pretend to be young. All his female characters are essentially Dexter Fletcher in Press Gang plus pretending Matt Smith is shaggable in every other sentence.
     
  3. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Glad I'm not the only one who thought Sally Sparrow when Clara said that line. Not sure why Sally would have the Doctor's number or why she'd be giving it out to Clara (assuming she knew who Clara is and isn't handing out his number to anyone who needs Help Desk).

    As far as RTD, I got an RTD-vibe from the opening. The vibe got less as the episode went on. Though things like the Anti-Grav bike did seem more RTD than Moffett.

    It seemed a very British thing to do. From what I've heard, they really value taking vacation time there, versus here in America. In America, I think we would have done it right before he went on vacation! ;)

    Doesn't bother me that much, but I get what you're saying. While I loved James Robinson's Starman series, I got very tired of everyone talking like Jack. Even the supervillains seemed to have Jack's love of collecting kitsch from the past.

    "Idiot's Lantern" had him and Rose pop out of the TARDIS on a scooter. With the similarities to "Idiot's Lantern" in-terms of an alien intelligence sucking people through a TV/computer it seemed intentional.

    There are some people who are woefully dumb about computers, but Clara was a special level of dumb. Especially the Doctor's comment about her going from not knowing anything to making a Twitter joke. I find it odd that she was too dumb, computer-wise, to make a Twitter joke before getting her upgrade.

    It reminded me of "Rose" where they showed the skyline and had the Doctor clueless as to where the bad guys could be. I've never been to London, but it was obvious to me it was one of the buildings they kept showing in the background of that cafe scene.
     
  4. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, Bones, Moffat's "A Christmas Carol" wasn't a rip-off, it was an homage. It deliberately used settings and archetypes familiar to Dicken's A Christmas Carol to tell a time-travel story. Despite the happy ending, though, there's something darker at play in the Who version, where our care-free Timelord uses time travel not to educate Kazran, but to rewrite his history. By the end, Sardick isn't a changed man because he's seen the errors of his ways, but because he's literally a changed man. The ends the Doctor achieved are definitely positive, but the means by which he got there? Well, just imagine his reaction to a villain who tries to rewrite Amy's history to achieve a noble outcome.

    Anyway, I found "The Bells of St. John" to be a fun, fast-moving episode. The only trouble I actually had with it was the execution of the antagonist's plan, which felt a little half-baked, but in the rubbery-super-science-which-can't-be-distinguished-from-magic way that's typical of Doctor Who new and old. Aside from that, the it was a tight screenplay that made great use of foreshadowing and formally introduced the Doctor's latest companion in a solid, enjoyable fashion. And I loved that bit about taking the short cut to breakfast, leaving the bad guys tired after a night of searching. Moffat proves again he really does get time travel.

    Two thumbs up, Geronimo, five stars, etc., this was more like the kind of show I was expecting in the Smith Era.
     
  5. Worf2DS9

    Worf2DS9 Writer Rear Admiral

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    Canada, eh
    Enjoyed the episode. JLC is adorable and I'm happy to have her aboard the TARDIS. Not overly thrilled that there needs to be some BIG MYSTERY surrounding who she is though. Can't the Doctor just pick up a regular clever girl? Hopefully the payoff will be worth the ride.

    The motorbike up the building was goofy, and the "doctor who?" gag was cute initially, but went on too long and, over all, is getting stale quick.

    As someone else mentioned earlier, I too got a Judi Dench vibe from the evil wi-fi woman.
     
  6. cylkoth

    cylkoth Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
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    Thank you. It's probably a combination of both production choice and BBC America transmission. They ran Torchwood Children of Earth today, and it had the same washed out color look as DW did last night..
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wow. That looks like a degraded VHS tape! :lol: Definitely a problem on BBCA's side.
     
  8. Worf2DS9

    Worf2DS9 Writer Rear Admiral

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    ^ Wow, that does look pretty awful. It's like the contrast/saturation was toned down for some reason. (Transmission for DW looked beautiful on SPACE here in Canada). And that BBC America thing for Orphan Black in the lower corner is so distracting!
     
  9. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
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    There's certain codecs, like H.264, that don't display properly in Quicktime on Windows machines, which causes an effect like that. It looks like BBCA may have received the episodes as a QT file and just ran it on a Windows box straight to air without checking the quality.

    In fact, I just checked the white and black values of the Torchwood caps and they match the listed ranges in that link, so that's probably what happened.
     
  10. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    That's a detail that doesn't really make sense, when you think about it: the Doctor takes it as evidence that she now knows about the internet when she didn't before, but she did know about the internet, enough to want to log onto it even if she didn't know how, and similarly she'd have heard about politicians or actors or footballers saying stupid things on twitter even if she didn't use it herself.
     
  11. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Great Britain
    This was the ep that cemented Matt Smith as my favourite Doctor since McCoy. Eccleston and Tennant were intentionally less eccentric, less alien and more accessible for The Saturday Night Takeaway crowd whereas Smith is truly The Doctor.

    Found his little dance hilarious too when he described what young people do :).
     
  12. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    As soon as I can figure out where the Upvote button is, I'm giving you karma for your insightfulness. This is one of my favorites of the Matt Smith Era.
     
  13. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The Girl Who Waited and Amy's Choice remain my favourites of the Matt Smith era. Gave both solid 10/10s.

    Last night's was great though. Saw people online complaining it was "Too confusing!" but I like these complicated story arcs and much prefer them to dumbed down, bare bones storytelling.
     
  14. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Another simply ok, non-sensical episode. Definitely like Clara though, she brings some personality to the scenes she was in..

    Deadly wifi? Din't see much purpose to the episode.

    I am SO GLAD that got rid of that awful, awful TARDIS control room!!! I think the new one is the best ever.

    RAMA
     
  15. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    As for washed out, make of this what you will...
    *deleted*

    EDIT: oops wrong TV setting between inputs, this is more representative
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    I thought it was ok, and it got better towards the end, especially with the reset of Celie Imrie et al. I dunno, I'm reserving judgement till I see it again because I have a sneaking suspicion I'll like it more second time around. I don't think I was in the right mood to watch it last night.

    A lot of it seemed very familiar though, a kind of mix of Partners in Crime, The Idiot Lantern and the library two parter (spoonheads seem v similar to the library nodes- "Clara Oswald has now been saved".)

    I'll be back once I've watched it again :p
     
  17. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    Then you haven't paid much attention to Moffatt's style of storytelling. At least as far as Doctor Who is concerned. (Hint: The first episode tells you just about everything you need to know in retrospect.)
     
  18. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Your avatar is from the greatest videogame I've ever played. Much respect!
     
  19. cylkoth

    cylkoth Commodore Commodore

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    I should note that those screencaps were made using VLC Player, from a recording made on a dvd recorder, in SP mode, from a SD (digital cable) channel. Comcrap Cable.

    The End of Time Pts 1-2, also shown today, looked normal, as in colorful, rich, textured film grade quality. The Eleventh Hour is playing now, and it too looks fine.
    That's what had me so concerned when I watched last night.
     
  20. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    At least you're watching them in color! ;)

    I'm disappointed with Comcrap HD anyway, I don't know if it's BBCA or Comcast to blame. I get nasty noise breakup sometimes when there's heavy action with certain colors. I suspect it's heavily compressed.