Doctor Who Recap - The Bells of Saint John
By Edwin Davies
April 4, 2013
Since Doctor Who has basically reset Oswin twice now, this just serves to highlight the juddering nature of the meta-narrative storytelling that the show has struggled with over the last year or so. In trying to create long arcs that work over the course of a whole season, Moffat and his writers sometimes falter when it comes to episodic storytelling, which is very much the case here. The introduction of the new Companion should be a big deal, yet it felt like a piece of a much broader puzzle, a piece which in and of itself wasn't that interesting. You know, like a bit of sky or something. Not even an edge piece.
That's no fault of Coleman's, who's a very charming presence and fits in nicely as a part of Moffat's patter-driven world and has a nice rapport with Matt Smith, who in turn still manages to be endearingly goofy and deadly serious without the trick every getting old. Unfortunately the same can't be said about the episode around them, which felt a little like it was going through the motions. However, those motions are still pretty fun, and even if there is something a little mechanical about Doctor Who these days, it is at the very least a well-oiled machine. I just hope that its heart, or more accurately hearts, can begin beating more passionately again, and that this happens sooner rather than later.
- As I said in the review, it's kind of hard to know what to think about Oswin at this point. So far, she seems like Amy Redux, but without the weird obsession with The Doctor. I'm sure Moffat has some interesting things planned for her, but so far the show hasn't topped her appearance in "Asylum of the Daleks", which was far and away the most interesting use of her.
- Nice to see Richard E. Grant being brought back in. I felt that he was severely under-used in the Christmas Special and hope that he gets plenty of opportunity to mess shit up for The Doctor in the coming weeks.