Television: Doctor Who and the Journey to the Center of the TARDIS

"Journey to the Center of the TARDIS"

A spaceship salvage team drags the TARDIS on board, sending its systems into meltdown. As the Doctor marshals the motley salvage crew outside, he realises Clara is still trapped within his malfunctioning ship, pursued by a dangerous group of ossified monsters. He has just 30 minutes to find Clara and save his TARDIS before it self-destructs.

I didn’t like how the episode was resolved, but I understood that there was no way else for the episode to end.

What I did like though was how we got a nod to the cracks in time of Series 5, how we got to explore the TARDIS, and the Doctor dealing with the fact that the TARDIS just doesn’t seem to like Clara.

The episode had such potential to be awesome, the premise was brilliant! But I don’t think it was written or directed well. On the former, I felt like the episode writer tried to be too smart that he wrote himself into a corner he could slide away from. We learned more about the TARDIS in Neil Gaiman’s The Doctor’s Wife, than we did in this episode. Both episodes had the companions trapped and running around inside a malevolent TARDIS. The previous episode had an Ood, this one had zombies. And although most of the TARDIS interior in The Doctor’s Wife were hallways, I have to say I still prefer that to the magnificent rooms we saw in this episode.

You see, we’ve been teased about the hidden rooms of the TARDIS since forever. We viewers have been wanting to see these rooms since forever. But having Clara chased down by a monster so we could see the rooms was just… I don’t know. It gave a weird vibe to it all.

Personally, and this is where we get a little bit spoiler-y, so turn away Whovians who have yet to see the episode– I would have had Clara trapped in the deeper parts of the TARDIS, trying to find a way out, and seeing all these grand hidden rooms. If we don’t want her to dawdle, have that initial burst of fire be the incentive for her to find a way out quickly. That way, her gasps of awe wouldn’t have felt weird, seeing as she wasn’t being chased by a zombie as what the episode had actually done.

Every time Clara would pause to marvel at the rooms, especially when she lingered at the library, I was screaming at the screen shouting, “run, Clara! Don’t forget that there’s a zombie chasing after you!” We could’ve had her stumble upon the zombie inside the library instead, and everything would fit again.

And then there’s the scene at the heart of the TARDIS. This one was reminiscent of Series 5’s The Big Bang episode; which, again, I felt had done it better. It had heart, it had stakes. It was nothing like the Journey to the Center of the TARDIS.

After last week’s marvelous Hide, I’m a little disappointed that this follow-up is a little lackluster. Especially since it’s an episode that a lot of Whovians have been looking forward to.

And I’ll leave with that. I’ll see you all again next week when Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax meet the current iteration of Clara.

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