By Will Barber – Taylor
The Tardis is captured by a spaceship salvage team, sending its systems into meltdown. As the Doctor introduces himself to the motley crew of galactic rag-and-bone men, he realises that Clara is still trapped within his malfunctioning ship. He persuades his new acquaintances to help find his companion, taking them deep into the heart of his beloved blue box. Their hopes of a straightforward rescue are dashed when it turns out Clara is not the only one down there.
Journey into The Centre of The TARDIS promised to be an exciting episode which would show us more of the TARDIS than ever before. Well, it certainly did that. Plot wise though, it couldn’t give a fly’s arse about any form of narrative.
After the TARDIS crashes in what can only be described as the back of an intergalactic Steptoe and Son’s cart, the Timelord discovers that Clara is still aboard and needs help. The Doctor decides that he needs the help of the salvage team even though they don’t do anything apart from trying to knick parts of the TARDIS. In actual fact, they are there to bounce off Smith’s Doctor unfortunately, that doesn’t happen. This isn’t the actors’ fault but rather the lack of empathy that Thompson can create with the supporting cast and the central Timelord. After lots of dashing about and showing off the TARDIS, The Doctor and Clara are finally reunited and both discuss the strange creatures that inhabit the TARDIS. Realising that there is in fact a problem in the core of the time machine, The Doctor decides to go into the centre of the TARDIS.
The second half is messier than the first. We discover that the “android” is in fact the brother of our gruesome duo of intergalactic space hoarders. After an accident in which Tricky lost his sight, his ability to speak and his memory (What sort of accident does that?!) the other brothers decide to tell him that he is an android. Surely by the fact that he needs to go to the loo and eat, Tricky can deduce by himself that he isn’t an android? Apparently not. Not long after this The Doctor informs us that the zombies are stalking the TARDIS and are in fact future versions of themselves who got boiled in the TARDIS and have come back in time to kill themselves. This is explained when Clara sees The Doctor and herself from earlier and that due to the TARDIS exploding, they are seeing their pasts and futures. Of course, it is also stated in the scene that they are simply projections and can’t interact with them. So how come the future zombies can attack and kill etcetera? Journey is unique in the fact that it sets up a series of daft laws which it then manages to break.
After some more daftness including one scene in which Clara says The Doctor is “the scariest thing on this ship” but is then perfectly fine when he hugs her, the plot is resolved. The Doctor chucks a big button back into the past and changes everything. So the fact that Clara saw The Doctor’s name, the beginnings of actual normal brotherhood between the scrap metal duo and anything vaguely interesting is wiped. Was there even a point to watching this story? I fear not and I and many others probably took away nothing from watching this horrendous episode.
There isn’t really any outstanding acting in this episode, this is not down to the actors but to the god awful script. So instead I’ll focus on the excellent backdrops. The set of the TARDIS library is brilliantly designed and would fit in with any Doctor’s era. A particularly nice touch is the beautifully made History of the Time War.
Journey into The Centre of The TARDIS is a weak episode to say the least. Even such flops as Bells and The Rings of Akhaten had some strong moments. The strongest link were the sets, which we didn’t get to see that much of. Hopefully, when the show decides to go into the bowels of the TARDIS again, it will have a stronger plot.
NEXT TIME ON DOCTOR WHO:
- Doctor Who: Journey to the Centre of the Tardis, BBC One, review (telegraph.co.uk)
- These Maps of the TARDIS Interior Are Maddening, Beautiful (tor.com)
- Doctor Who: Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS – A Review via Den Of Geek (musingsofamildmanneredman.com)
- ‘Doctor Who’ Season 7 Episode 11 ‘Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS’ Recap: The Doctor And Clara Explore The Depths Of The TARDIS (latinospost.com)
- Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS review (girishkumar.me)
- “Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS” – Doctor Who (parallelevision.wordpress.com)
- Doctor Who: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS (BBC1) (takingtheshortview.wordpress.com)
- TV REVIEW: Doctor Who Series 7 Episode 10: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS (geeksyndicate.co.uk)
- Doctor Who: “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS” Review – Breakdown (expertscolumn.com)
- Television Review – Doctor Who: Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS (mediaventreviews.wordpress.com)