I'm going to say right off the bat that I found this episode underwhelming. That doesn't mean it isn't a good episode. Nor does it mean that I wanted a super crazy episode like "The Impossible Astronaut" either.
It's just... it seemed very bleh to me. Like there isn't much that would make me want to rewatch it. Oh there are plenty of good moments, but overall I didn't find it terribly compelling.
I know. I can't expect Moffat to always write episodes like "Blink" and "The Doctor Dances" and "The Girl in the Fireplace"... only he used to always write those. Being a showrunner has taken its toll on his writing juice, apparently.
In fact, this episode really seemed in many ways to be a rehash of Moffat's original episodes. Or WAS it? Is this all intentional, tying in to who Clara is?
- The opening montage "don't click" was the most obvious, in it's homage to "Blink."
- The phone ringing on the TARDIS was last seen in "The Empty Child."
- Weird head swivel things that are only part human were seen in "The Silence in the Library."
There were other nods as well, most specifically the book written by Amy Williams. But the three I mentioned seemed so blatant that I have to wonder if they are more than just "tips of the hat."
And Clara... oh Jenna Louise is a fine actress, but I found this installment of Clara to be rather less compelling than the other two. That could be an intentional thing, however, as it seems very possible that the computer tech download into her brain was part of 'building' Clara.
Speaking of Clara stuff, did anyone notice when the girl Clara was nannying ran off, she was going over to "Nina's" house? Hmmm, last time the name Nina appeared on Doctor Who, it was an old friend of Oswin's. "I dated a boy named Rory. Actually, her name was Nina..." Echoes upon echoes...
But by far the best part of the episode was the Doctor setting himself up as Clara's Guardian. That whole sequence, followed by the 'TARDIS street art apparation' and the anti-grav motorbike is indeed worth watching over again, even if the rest of the episode is less stunning.
And Clara takes a note out of Donna's page in refusing to travel with the Doctor right away. Or is she just flirting with him? How long will it be before we see the 'snogbox' properly earn that appellation? Apparently there is to be an unusual love triangle between Clara, River and the Doctor. Which could be interesting, honestly. Mostly I just want to see the Doctor excited about something again. It was so dear to see him so delighted at rediscovering Clara, and doing everything possible to get her to travel with him. I don't think he's ever worked this hard for a companion before...
And there. I finished this review just before the next episode gets aired here in the US... I shall definitely try to do a good deal better next week!