So Doctor Who ended last Saturday. Well, this season/series (for wherever you’re reading from). And obviously it was picked up for another season/series. But some of the deep love for the show is starting to fade.
WARNING: After the cut there will be spoilers. Spoilers galore. Like River’s notebook. But worse. Tread with caution.
So the second half of Season Seven started with “The Bells of Saint John”, which, not gonna lie, that’s probably the coolest title. And we start out not really knowing what the hell is going on. But then it becomes clear: there are monsters in the wi-fi systems around the world. Easily one of the lamest ideas ever, because there aren’t even monsters. It’s just people being downloaded. Anyway. The Doctor has been hiding out in the 13th century with monks, since he couldn’t save Clara from dying in Victorian England. But the phone on his beloved TARDIS starts ringing. And what does the TARDIS have on her door? St. John Ambulance.
It’s Clara on the other end, calling what she believes to be a helpline for her computer. It isn’t until she uses the mnemonic, “Run you clever boy and remember”, that he realizes that the Clara he couldn’t save twice is actually still alive. So of course he runs back to modern day London to try to figure her out. But she doesn’t trust him (because who would trust a guy in ancient monks’ robes?) and she ends up getting almost downloaded into the wi-fi system. He reverses the process, drawing the attention of the people behind the downloading. Who also happen to be working for the Great Intelligence, an old enemy of the Doctor’s. So the Doctor saves the day and asks Clara to run away with him. She says she’ll think about it.
So right now, this early in the season, we think Clara will be this awesome badass full of sass and she’ll be an awesome companion if she agrees to go. But we still have the rest of the season to get through.
The Doctor decides to watch Clara’s life from the time her parents met to now, to try to figure out what’s so different about her, why he met her in two very different times. But she’s just an ordinary girl. And the thought of an ordinary girl being everywhere is very disturbing to the Doctor.
He takes Clara to the Rings of Ahkaten, a system of planets that revolve around a sun god…thingy. The Doctor mentions coming there with his granddaughter ages ago, the first real, legit mention of his family in the revival series. The rest of the episode is kinda meh, except for when Clara faces the sun god. She holds up a leaf from her book, a book her mother had read to her over and over as a child. The leaf that brought her parents together.
So this proves that Clara is a selfless being. She saved the Doctor. And she keeps saving him throughout the season. She saves him from dying in a pocket dimension in “Hide”, she saves him in “Nightmare in Silver” (the best episode of the entire season), and it’s finally revealed how she’s everywhere the Doctor goes in “The Name of the Doctor”.
There were some moments of brilliance throughout the season, don’t get me wrong. Strax, Jenny, and Madame Vastra are all brilliantly written and performed. Clara is cheeky and lovely. But there’s something lacking. And it’s been lacking since Moffat took over. This won’t turn into a Moffat-bashing post, because you can find all my thoughts on him on my Tumblr page. But there’s almost a lack of love for the characters. Yes, the love for the Doctor is still there. It will always be there. But it feels like the Doctor is getting darker. He’s losing his touch of humanity. But Clara, while she does save him, she saves him just because she can. Not because the universe needs him, not out of love, but because she’s the sacrificial lamb. That was her purpose. She sacrificed herself to constantly try to save the Doctor from the Great Intelligence at every turn. And while that was a noble thing to do, and what a companion would do, it’s still not really what I wanted out of the season finale.
Can we talk about how the only time River shows up is as a ghost? Because that really kind of sucks. I like how her interaction with Clara wasn’t like, “Hands off my man!” But I still feel like we were almost cheated.
Hopefully the 50th Anniversary special will be something to truly enjoy, and the Christmas special will hold us over until the return for 2014. I’m giving Doctor Who seven leaves out of ten.