Doctor Who – Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS

by Alan Rapp on April 29, 2013

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Doctor Who – Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS
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“Don’t get into a spaceship with a mad man. Didn’t anyone ever teach you that?”

Doctor Who - Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS

While letting Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) fly the TARDIS something goes terribly wrong when the Time Lord’s craft is caught in a Magno-Grab by a salvage ship looking for scrap. With Clara still trapped onboard, lost in the maze-like bowels of the ship, The Doctor (Matt Smith) convinces the two brothers (Mark OliverAshley Walters) and their android (Jahvel Hall) to help save Clara by offering them “the salvage of a lifetime” in exchange. After boarding with the salvagers, The Doctor activates the TARDIS self-destruct and locks them all aboard, giving them a half-hour to rescue Clara before they all die.

While exploring the TARDIS, she even finds the pool and the Seventh Doctor’s umbrella, Clara is pursued by a mysterious creature. Meanwhile, the two brothers take time out from the search to try and strip the ship of its valuable technology. Refusing to listen to The Doctor’s warnings one of the brothers removes a piece of living technology from the TARDIS forcing the ship to begin fighting back. Finally reunited with Clara, The Doctor, the android, and the remaining brother head for the center of the TARDIS before the rupture in time destroys them, but not all of them will survive the trip.

“Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS” is full of interesting ideas, not all of which seem particularly well-thought out or developed. The Doctor is able to save himself and Clara by creating a paradox by using the crack in time. How exactly he creates the big friendly button (or what it actually does) is unclear. Although it’s foreshadowed early on, the concept feels more like a cheat to save time than anything else.

I enjoyed Clara’s discoveries, except for the book on the Time War. Its existence makes no sense as only the survivor could have written the book. We know it’s unlikely that The Doctor wrote the book, and even if he had certainly wouldn’t have used his “real name” (a concept I will fight all the way to the season finale). During the day which was rewritten The Doctor discovers Clara has no memories of her other selves who have met him before. We’ll have to see if that changes with The Doctor and Clara heading back to Victorian England next week.

CoosCoos April 29, 2013 at 9:01 am

I feel like a broken record, I keep saying how disappointing this season has been. I was excited about the idea of exploring the TARDIS but ultimately I felt let-down. Your logic about the Time War book makes sense, and I don’t like this idea of Clara having seen his name in print. Plus, the whole “it never happened” erasure of time is a cheap tactic for bad writers.

The only glimmer of hope was the part when the Doctor goes through the time rift and is yelling to himself, trying to get his other self’s attention: “Doctor! Doctor!” Reminds me of the time in The Pandorica Opens when he sees himself get “killed” by a Dalek and whispers in his own ear. It almost feels as if the writer turned in a crap script and Moffat fixed it up – some parts were okay, some were rubbish.

tor April 30, 2013 at 3:12 am

This episode started really well but the longer it went on the more it felt like a missed opportunity.

I think you knew this, but the button the Doctor uses is the magnetic control that he stole from one of the guys at the beginning of the episode, but I don’t really understand how him pushing it resets time.

I laughed out loud when Clara found the book for the exact reason you mention. So dumb!

lynn May 1, 2013 at 11:42 am

I haven’t watched much of Doctor Who other than this season but my current boyfriend is a huge fan. He was a little disappointed but I really like Jenna-Louise and loved her exploring the ship even if I didn’t get all the references he did.

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