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. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm watching BBCA on Charter HD, and it seems fine... colors weren't washed out last night as far as I could tell.
     
  2. ThankQ

    ThankQ Admiral Admiral

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    I thought about this too while watching this episode. I thought back to Tom Baker saying he would do things that were decidedly un-human since the character is an alien. Smith made me think that with little things he does, tasting the leaf, reacting with disgust at the idea of snogging someone everyone alive would snog, and various other little "alien" actions.
     
  3. Ghost Bones

    Ghost Bones Captain Captain

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    He's alien in the way Jar Jar Binks was alien.
     
  4. Shazam!

    Shazam! Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not feeling this episode at all. All of space and time to play with and we get modern day London (oh well, at least it wasn't Cardiff).

    The best bit was taking the TARDIS on the plane. They should've revolved the whole episode around that.

    I do hope Clara's arc isn't nearly as convoluted as Amy's. I don't think I can be bothered investing time into something as ill-conceived as that again.
     
  5. ThankQ

    ThankQ Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not a Star Wars guy, so I'll assume that's why I'm not making the connection :confused:
     
  6. TemporalFlux

    TemporalFlux Commodore Commodore

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    Comments up thread hit on why this episode felt a little "off" to me; this was very much a series one RTD episode. I wonder if the cause is budget. Series one did not have a large budget, and that contributed to its feel as much as RTD did.

    Doctor Who has been blowing through a good bit of money lately (the most noticeable being the second major TARDIS overhaul since Moffat took over). "The Bells of St. John" was a low budget episode; the question is how many more low budget eps we'll see in order to cover the spending gap.
     
  7. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What!? Seriously, go back and watch Fear Her. That is a low budget episode. This was a blockbuster action episode with a fuck ton of money thrown at it.

    Yup. It's gonna really hit it home with viewers in the anniversary special when they see Matt being all alien while Tennant flirts with Rose and references Eastenders or whatever.
     
  8. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    I'm liking it better. I didn't quite like it so much last time, but there definitely appears to be more space here, which was my chief complaint.

    Am I wrong in thinking that the spoonhead the Doctor saw on the street looked kinda like Rory?

    It felt like that for me too. I wonder if that means anything.
     
  9. TemporalFlux

    TemporalFlux Commodore Commodore

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    I don't see it. We didn't even see the TARDIS dematerialize. It had limited CGI with the crashing plane; the way point faces and the Doctor driving up the building (part of which was done 60's Batman style). The rest was costuming and location work (which I don't believe was as expansive as it seemed).
     
  10. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    How big was the speaking cast? How many extras? Every one of those actors had to be paid, fed, costumed, and made-up.

    The cheapest episodes are those with most of the action on standing sets back at the studio. This had a lot of location shooting in London; over 150 miles from Cardiff. That's a five hour round-trip travel time for all cast and crew coming out of the BBC Wales studios, and you'll need to pay transportation and insurance costs for everything being transported. A lot of Doctor Who in the past few years has been shot at Cardiff locations doubling for London. In this case, there were several London locations featured in and around the Thames and the Shard.

    I don't think this was necessarily the most expensive episode, but it wasn't cheap and low-budget, either.
     
  11. TemporalFlux

    TemporalFlux Commodore Commodore

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    ^If that's the case, then I believe they spent lots of money for something that looked and felt like what RTD did for much less. As a producer of "The Bells of St. John", I would find that pretty embarrassing. It's the definition of waste.
     
  12. Ghost Bones

    Ghost Bones Captain Captain

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    They're the same character is what I'm saying.

    Was Bells expensive then? It looks about as expensive as City of Death.
     
  13. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Okies. My own question from a couple pages back... There's a St John's Ambulance sticker/poster on the front of the TARDIS... Were the "bells" the TARDIS making noise that it was time for the Doctor to get up off his ass?
     
  14. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum The Friendly Face of Brutal Facism Moderator

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    Jar Jar is a goofy, cartoonish alien who usually gets into wacky situations and succeeds despite nearly getting himself killed in the process purely by accident.

    They're similar in the regard that they aren't human, but in every other way are exact opposites. So it's probably the most bizarre and highly inaccurate comparison that anyone could make.

    It was the phone ringing on the Tardis.
     
  15. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum The Friendly Face of Brutal Facism Moderator

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    You must not be truly aware of either then, they really don't have much in common.
     
  16. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Russell T. Davies would open a series with gawdy, tacky cack like New Earth. A story which (Forgetting the toilet paper of a script!), is horrible for wasting a ton of money on a landscape shot of a futuristic city for no reason other than trailer time. The Doctor stares at it and then says "But actually, I'd rather go somewhere else!", before the action of the episode takes place entirely in a garish white hospital.

    That, is the definition of waste. Doctor Who from 2006-2009 has aged atrociously.
     
  17. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I believe that series 1 had a larger budget than series 2. The difference, however, is that the cost of the console room set and TARDIS prop was spread across all 13 episodes of series 1, which was an expense that "The Christmas Invasion" onward didn't have. Series 5 likewise had a console room set and TARDIS prop spread across all 13 episodes. And now series 7 has the cost of another console room to spread across the episodes. (The question would be, is the cost spread across all 14 episodes, or just the last nine? It depends on the point at which the production realized they were going to need to build a new console room because the old one wasn't moveable.)

    When Moffat's episodes feel low budget, it's that they seem to function with smaller guest casts. I'm not sure that Moffat's work always works with the smaller casts; the last third of "Let's Kill Hitler" is particularly egregious in that regard. However, that would make sense; pare down the characters and extras in one episode so another episode can have more guest characters and/or background extras.

    Modern Star Trek had its "bottle episodes." Doctor Who can't do that -- only one standing set -- but it can do guest-lite episodes. Makes sense. :)

    Largely agreed. RTD's Who was very much of the moment, and its pop culture references haven't aged particular well, like the Anne-droid. :)
     
  18. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    The Girl Who Waited is basically the closest thing to a bottle episode Doctor Who can do. There's like what, two guest stars, both of them voice actors? Even that had more money spilled on it than Trek's bottle episodes.
     
  19. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I would actually be interested in seeing a true Doctor Who bottle episode, one that takes place entirely in the control room. Imagine how claustrophobic that would feel.
     
  20. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "Midnight" was very close to a traditional bottle episode. Only two sets, limited VFX work. Just a dozen or so actors in a small room for the bulk of the runtime.