Television: Doctor Who, "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS"

It's evidently important to The Doctor that the TARDIS and his companion get along. I would think it would be pretty clear if the TARDIS didn't like someone, since surely she would and could simply jettison the offender into space? Or maybe the TARDIS simply tolerates the ones she doesn't like since she knows there will be a new one along eventually.

In any case, the TARDIS has been taken in by a salvage vessel. She holds up valiantly under torture (the salvagers' attempts to break her open). Clara is trapped inside . . . Time to bond and play nice?

Desperate to save Clara, The Doctor promises the salvagers the TARDIS if they'll just help him get it open and Clara out. I would hope he's insincere. If the TARDIS knew, I don't think she'd take it well.

The Doctor and the salvagers get inside. Then The Doctor locks them all in and sets the TARDIS' self-destruct for 30 minutes to force everyone to look for (and ideally find) Clara.

The whole situation seems to force The Doctor out of character. Are we supposed to believe that the existence of Clara is starting to get to him? Make him mental? That he's so obsessed with her he's willing to go to outrageous lengths to find her, keep her, discover what makes her tick? I can see and surmise these things from all the various episodes—cobble together an understanding—but the writers and actors have failed to make me feel anything. The stories and acting have been terribly flat.

The only character to like at this point is the TARDIS itself. I'd be glad for her to eat everyone and go on her merry way. Or really, I'd like to see the TARDIS be the one to beat the villain for once. Her against the Great Intelligence? That'd be pretty damn awesome. (The TARDIS  is like the High Priestess in Tarot. She always knows more than she's telling.)

The problem just now happens to be some random monsters on the TARDIS. Upon seeing them I immediately assumed the TARDIS was the one to send/create them. And what was with the use of blur when the monsters were on screen? Dimensional shift? Or just for show? And then there was the echo thing . . . ::shrug:: Once again there is no tension to any of what happens. That's been the prime problem with this season.

Okay so: they find Clara, and the TARDIS' engine is overheating, and there are monsters (who have eaten one of the salvagers) . . . And the writers and actors and directors have failed to make us care much.

And now there are multiple Claras and Doctors due to a tear in time, a tiny leaking of the past inside the TARDIS. And we still don't care. And when we find out the guy who thinks he's an android is really human? Nope, don't care.

It's pretty bad when a show I once enjoyed immensely (several seasons ago) and then just kind of enjoyed becomes something to be "got through" each week. So why do I still watch? Hope springs infernal, as they say, and I keep hoping Doctor Who will get good again at some point. That something clever or amazing will happen that will make it all worth it. Because no one likes to think they've wasted that much time watching something that isn't any good. So they throw more time at it because eventually they have to believe it will pay off.

And of course it turns out the monsters are actually Clara (or at least one of them is): her future is to be burned in the TARDIS. She dies again.

But then what threat are they to the living people? Why would these things wish to harm their own selves? Do they not recognize, are they really trying to warn? Where is the logic in this?

And finally, thinking they're about to die, The Doctor demands to know who or what Clara is. He tells her that she's lived before, and died before, and supposedly scares her with his insanity except there's simply nothing at all intimidating about Matt Smith, so . . . Plus, Clara doesn't really act or sound all that frightened. And it all happens so fast, like so much being thrown away (something that really should have had more time and been handled with more force).

Oh, but it turns out the monsters are meant to scare Clara and The Doctor away because the TARDIS needs them to leave. But they find the rift (we had one of those a few seasons back, didn't we?) and some rock music and are able to tell themselves to reset time with a "big friendly button." Um . . . okay. Whatever.

Sum total: Clara forgets everything The Doctor has said about her living and dying before. And about the library and the book and The Doctor's name. Or we're at least supposed to assume she has. If she has . . . so what? And if she hasn't . . . so what? ::shrug::

I'm gonna go watch Game of Thrones.

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