Sunday, March 31, 2013

Doctor Who: The Bells of Saint John

Steven Moffat said in numerous interviews in recent weeks that “The Bells of Saint John” was as close as Doctor Who could get to James Bond. I don’t know about all that, but the episode does sport some nifty action sequences, there’s a great deal of running to and fro, and the mechanics of it all work as long as you don’t analyze them too closely, which opens the door to a special kind of hell for those of us who must write about this show.

What the episode really smacks of is Russell T Davies. This is the closest thing that’s been done on Moffat’s watch to what Davies was often doing before him. It’s as if Moffat was haunted by the ghost of “Partners in Crime” while he plotted this, which isn’t a bad thing, because this style of action romp/social commentary has been missed. If anything, in the past it was easy to take these sorts of stories for granted, because they appeared so effortlessly written. Moffat’s guiding hand isn’t quite as steady as Davies for this kind of material, but as season openers go, it more or less accomplished what it set out to do. Oh yeah, that’s right…this isn’t a season opener. Though we’re still in the middle of season seven, “The Bells of Saint John” has that “the story’s starting over” vibe; the sort of thing you’d feel at the top of a new season.

Read the rest of this recap by clicking here and visiting Vulture.