Saturday, 4 May 2013

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

The episode Whovians have waited years for

The TARDIS is, perhaps, the place least explored in the Doctor Who universe. But this week, Stephen Thompson was given the task of taking us into the belly of the the Doctor's wonderful ship. Does he make for a convincing tour guide? 

I think it's fair to say that there wasn't a single Whovian in the land who wasn't looking forward to this episode, however Thompson's last script, The Curse of the Back Spot, wasn't very well received. However, JttCotT is several steps ahead of that story, making for an entertaining and engaging story. 

The story uses the ideas of time travel and infinity to good effect; whilst we don't see many new rooms of the TARDIS (except one, which I imagine raised the collective eyebrows of the entire nation at once), it certainly succeeds at making the ship feel big. Corridors twist and change, architecture never stays still and director Matt King makes each corridor feel individual. 

Matt Smith's and Jenna Lousie-Coleman's performances are suberb (come on, what did you think I was going to say?) The two are definitely at their best during a confrontational scene, where the two really send sparks flying off each other. Murray Gold's music keeps the pacing nicely fluid, and the script is littered with nice little references to the past (and we got to see the Eye of Harmony properly for once! Result!). 

The dialogue is perfectly fine throughout (although I don't think it's going to win any awards). The monsters of the story, the 'Time Zombies' themselves are pretty creepy and add an extra layer of threat to the story. The ending wraps up everything nicely, even if it is a bit of cheap cop-out. 

However, there are problems. The acting of the Van Baalan Brothers is 'unconvincing' at best and poor at reasonable, and their development seems to come to a grand total of nothing. And I can't help but feel like the explanation to the Time Zombies was a little disappointing; it's not a bad explanation, but it isn't what it was advertised to be. It also seems to lack the rewatch-factor - I really couldn't motivate myself more the three times. 

Overall, Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS is good, but I'm not sure it deserves the place which Doctor Who lore will afford it. It's definitely enjoyable, but, in my opinion, nothing massively special.