Television: Doctor Who, "The Bells of Saint John"

Well . . . The music was good. Some of it. Although the fact that I was noticing the music either suggests it drew too much attention to itself or the episode wasn't engaging enough to keep me from looking for something else to focus on.

I just . . . Nothing about it was very scary, or eerie, or funny, or clever. It just kind of . . . was. A show. I mean, the fez and bowtie thing have been so overdone at this point that they aren't cute or poignant any more; they border instead on self-parody, though it feels more like the writers and producers (some of them are the same persons) found something that "worked" and keep pushing that button, hoping for the same great audience reaction every time. The law of diminishing returns, however, states the more you do something the less people will enjoy it. You won't get as many laughs if you tell the same joke over and over, even if you tell it twelve different ways.

The Doctor tripping all over himself for Clara isn't cute or funny either. Making her say "Doctor Who" again and again was obnoxious. And Clara stringing him along with, "Come back tomorrow, maybe I'll say yes," doesn't make me like her.

I didn't for a second believe her as someone who didn't know how to work the computer, either.

And I knew the moment the baddies started talking about a "client" they meant the Great Intelligence.

Said writer(s) and producer(s) is/are rather in love with his/their own work, it seems. Use of text on the screen? Didn't I see that on the other show? A lot? It's all become one big lump of sameness. Because it's all the same writer(s) and producer(s) and idea(s).

It's kind of like having that old uncle at family gatherings who likes to hear himself talk and tells the same stories over and over again. Except every now and then he embellishes a little more. And then you say, "Last time he told that one, didn't it have . . .?" and your mother tells you to hush and says the uncle will die soon anyway so let him have his say. Which is fine until, after a few more such gatherings, you start to think, Not soon enough.

Too harsh? I feel like maybe I'm being too harsh.

But I also feel like Doctor Who has very little that's fresh and new. I want to be either surprised, or amused, or creeped out, or made curious, made to really think . . . maybe, on the outside, heartwarmed . . . But I was none of these things. The episode felt very empty to me. Like a bowl. It had shape and the promise of potential content but all I found in it was air.

This doesn't surprise me, but it does hugely disappoint me. I was really hoping they'd step up their game. Maybe this is a toe-dipper and there are better things to come, deeper waters to navigate. One certainly hopes so.

Shout out to my readers in New Zealand who are hitting me up in scores tonight. XOXO

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