Doctor Who Series 7, Episode 7: Step Into My Snogbox

The Doctor finally returns, can the mysterious Clara measure up to the Ponds?
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The Doctor finally returns, can the mysterious Clara measure up to the Ponds?

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Doctor Who is finally back, and Clara’s journey with the Doctor can finally begin.  The creepiness starts straight from the get go with the show spilling over into the BBC indent, with strange alien symbols flashing on the screen, and the voiceover informing the audiences to continue viewing.

The opening scene is of a man preaching a warning about the dangers of the Wi-Fi, telling people not to click on the strange symbols, or they too will be trapped in the Wi-Fi, showing that the man isn’t alone as there is a whole wall of screens with people asking “Where am I?”

The intro is similar to The Snowman, with a very classic Doctor Who feel to it. This style of intro seems to be here to stay.

We are then taken to see what the Doctor has been up to since he lost another Clara. Once again he has taken himself out of the world to sulk in silence, and to try and gain some clarity on the impossible girl situation. Donned and nicknamed as the Mad Monk, The Doctor has painted a picture of his madness, with the words “Run you clever boy, and remember”.  Monks collect the Doctor, telling him that the bells of Saint John are ringing.

Cut back to modern day London, and Clara is assuming the role of a governess yet again, and seems to be having a problem with the internet, in her own words, “The internet is gone” and she is trying to get through to the hot line. As she goes up to her room, we are taken back to the Doctor as he enters a cave, which houses the TARDIS with the help phone ringing (something that hasn’t happened before). The Doctor cautiously answers the phone, unknowing that the woman he has been searching for on the other end, and even with them not in the same space the back and forth banter feels natural, with the Doctor at one point acting like a proper tech support “have you even clicked the Wi-Fi?” However, he should have started with the age-old advice to turn it off and on.

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Its only near the end of the conversation that the penny drops that this is Clara when she recites the Wi-Fi’s password, “run you clever boy and remember”. This whole exchange was filled with Moffat foreshadowing and humour. For example when the monk asks the Doctor if it is an evil spirit, and he replies that it’s a woman.

Once the Doctor realises that this is the girl he has been searching for, he jumps into his TARDIS and races to her, but not before she clicks on the weird symbols. At first he forgets that she doesn’t know him, and that his monk get up might be a bit odd for modern day London, so after a quick wardrobe change to something a bit more identifiable and got his bow tie from his box he tries again, but not before toying with the fez.

I feel like there was a clue somewhere in this scene linked to the overriding arc, for example who was the woman in the shop that gave Clara the number, citing it as the best help line in the universe? No-one has used that phone before, so who could it be? There are theories plenty, but I think the simplest is that it’ll be Jenny or her wife Madam Vastra (in disguise of course) since both of them will recognise Clara for who she is… but how would they have gotten to now from Victorian London? Then again it could be River, just because it’s Moffat and River.

Now onto the first baddie of part two and it is the spoon heads. Robots hiding as people who download their prey and upload them to the great Wi-Fi cloud. You can tell how they got their names, though the term spoon head is only used once, for most of the episode they are referred either as servers or as base stations. I personally preferred them being called Spoonheads, it made it even more scary with them having a funny name.

For the rest of the episode I was too roped up in the action to be able to write play-by-play notes, the pen dropped from my hand as chills came over me as that old familiar music came on when he finally got to save Clara.

I found this episode fun, charming and child-like in its portrayal of the Doctor. After the loss of the Pond’s, the mystery of Clara Oswin Oswald has got the Doctor back into the swing of things. The tone of the episode had a touch of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror in it. A sense of the dangers of modern technology, being able to hack people’s brains, the using social networking as a tool to find someone, the last one to baddies dismay.

In classic Moffat style, the episode was full of throwbacks, for example, “Oswald for the win, Oswin” and Doctor putting some Jammy Dodgers (Victory of the Daleks) out for the unconscious Clara.

In the end the Doctor manages to save everyone (well as many as he can) from the Wi-Fi after the villain is revealed to the audience with a familiar face. The client was The Great Intelligence. I wonder if he’ll corrupt another youth before the end of this series.

The episode ended, with Clara telling the Doctor to ask her again tomorrow if she’ll come with him in his ‘snog box’. We all know she’ll eventually say yes (the next time trailer gave it away) and will finally find out who Clara Oswin Oswald is?