Doctor Who: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS Review -

Doctor Who Review

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Episode: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS (Season 7, Episode 11)
  • Starring: Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Ashley Walters, Mark Oliver, Jahvel Hall
  • Written By: Steve Thompson
  • Directed By: Mat King
  • Network: BBC, BBC America
  • Studio: BBC
  • Series:

Doctor Who: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS Review

It seemed to promise loads of insight

By Kimberly McCall     May 02, 2013

If anyone watched that trailer proceeding this weeks Doctor Who episode, “Journey to the Centre of the Tardis,” it seemed to promise loads of insight and maybe even answer a question or two about our mysterious main characters.

At the start of things, we find the Tardis has been magnetically sucked aboard a scavenger ship. While the Doctor (Matt Smith) has managed to be ejected, Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) remains trapped inside the cantankerous blue box. After somewhat forcibly enlisting the scavenger ship crew for help, the Doctor opens up the large and complicated link to the past, present, and future. This, alone, is enough to make any Doctor Who geek jump for joy. 

As Clara becomes more and more lost in the depths of the Tardis, we are able to explore new rooms and passages through her eyes. One of which is a giant Library containing a brilliant amount of Galifrey history! Upon studying a volume, Clara discovers the Timelord’s real name which is...oh wait, that’s right, we never find out. It seems that the entire time Clara is lost, she is being followed by icky lava monsters who seem to inhabit the Tardis. Those pesky demons always seem to show up and frighten her off at the most potentially ground breaking of moments. Nothing new, though. As Doctor Who fans, we are used to the drawn out suspense.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and his scavenger crew are having lava monster issues of their own. By the time they finally catch up with Clara, they discover that there is a tiny crack in the space/time continuum and the Tardis is leaking out spurts of recent history. This bit of insight eventually answers the enigma of the lava monsters and why they happen to be aboard.

Despite the fanboy pleasing journey through the magical corridors and heart of their favorite time/spacecraft, there is no end in sight to the famous Doctor Who tease. Well at least this time, he outright demands that Clara reveal to him who she is and what her significance is. She responds over and over that she has no idea. The doctor seems pleased with this answer. The audience is not.

“Journey to the centre of the Tardies” is definitely a better episode for writer, Steve Thomson than his last Doctor Who attempt, “ The Curse of the Black Spot.” Perhaps he should stick to space instead of pirates. However, this is a first from director, Matt King (Law & Order: UK).

So, we get nothing more on the Doctor/Clara relationship. Actually, the most character development we receive is for the Tardis, itself. And it’s not much. We are only given a tease of the most interesting rooms and the rest is nothing but dark hallways. Still, it is the closest we’ve gotten to exploring the Doctor’s world. A fun ride, as always.


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redhairs99 5/2/2013 8:36:50 AM

This season has been more entertaining than anything else from the Pond years, but none of these episodes so far has moved the overall arc of this half of the season forward.  Every time there's something that moves the story forward, we go 2 steps backward and erase any knowledge of that.  

But I like the dynamic that Matt's Doctor has with Clara.  I don't really dread watching the new episodes as I did with Amy Pond.  Those episodes would sit on my DVR for weeks on end before I'd finally decide to watch.

Overall, I haven't really been impressed with Moffat as the Who Showrunner.  He's done a fabulous job on Sherlock and the episodes he's written/directed of Who in the Russell T. Davies years.  Really still looking forward to the 50th special in November, but the promise of episodes like "The Doctor's Name" have me a bit leary about what's to come.  

Possible Spoilers



Here's hoping Moffat recruits Sherlock star, Benedict Cumberbatch as the 12th Doctor once Matt wraps up his run after the Christmas special this year.

Iridan 5/2/2013 12:10:23 PM

I've not been a big fan of Moffat so far, but I've been rewatching season 5, and it seems better the second time through.

I want to see Colin Morgan from Merlin as the Doctor when Smith is done. I think Morgan is an outstanding actor and would make a great Doctor.

B sounds like a good rating for this episode to me.

TheSilentKiller 5/2/2013 7:50:39 PM

 I'm really not digging the Clara eps as much as the prior ones with the Ponds - except for the intro one.

Noovtere 5/6/2013 6:03:12 PM

Actually, I liked Curse of the Black Spot better.  This episode offered lots of insight into the TARDIS, but in the end all they did was pretty much confirm everything we already knew about the TARDIS.  "The Doctor's Wife" last season was much, much better.

So far I would say this has been the most disappointing season of Doctor Who since the show was reborn.



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