"Doctor Who: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS (#7.11)"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Doctor Who" Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS (2013)

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31 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Oh what a great show this could have been, except it was an episode short!

Author: EdWrite
27 April 2013

Oh what a great show this could have been, except it was an episode short! The new format of one storyline to an episode is IMHO destructive to character development and ultimately to Dr Who. When capable, intelligent actors are turned into shadow puppets with no substance then interest can but wane.

Quite a few holes in the plot and continuity. Like when the youngest brother gets a pole right through his shoulder and he then picks a fight with his brother when freed only to remember he is hurt after the fact (no blood and no hole). Also if the engine was based on a nuclear rod principle then he'd have been melted anyway.

Dr Who has got a lot to offer but not as a fast food meal with no substance and not as a science fiction show without the basic science included. If these flaws were a one offs in a good season I'd forgive and forget but as the whole season has been flawed I think the buck stops with Stephen Moffat. Come back Russell T. we never had to forgive you anything.

On the plus side some good acting by Matt and Jenna-Louise. Poor Jenna hasn't been treated very well up to now with her character reverting from cool, assertive adult to a silhouette of a 14 year old looking for the Dr's approval. Not her fault just poor scripts. Lets hope this episode is indicative of the old Clara's return.

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32 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Lazy Ill Thought Out Writing Ruined This One

Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
27 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Tardis is in trouble and the problems multiply when it's captured by a salvage ship . The Doctor is trapped outside the Tardis on the salvage ship and Clara is trapped inside the Tardis only to find she is not alone and is being stalked by mysterious beings

This had all the hallmarks of being a classic Who episode . Okay it's not the most original story but DOCTOR WHO is always perceived by Joe Public as being " The show that sent countless generations of children hiding behind the sofa " and this episode tries to keep up the noble tradition . Nothing is groundbreaking but then it doesn't have to be . Perhaps one advance criticism might be " why don't the BBC broadcast the show in the Autumn months when it'll be be dark outside and the whole family can enjoy the show with the lights turned out ? " . Make no mistake this episode shows the programme at its most traditional

The problem is that the episode is written by Steve Thompson who wrote the previous season's Curse Of The Black Spot , another traditional story that saw every potential undermined at every turn and this episode suffers from more of the same in that there's some very lazy writing and ill thought out plotting going on . That said on a whole it's better than Thompson's previous effort . The salvage team of androids give the impression that this how a group of urban black characters might have worked better in ATTACK THE BLOCK . They're rather amoral and greedy but not enough to alienate the audience and the scenes of the zombie creatures chasing Clara round the Tardis are effective enough though one wonders why director Mat King feels the need to smear the camera lens with Vaseline ? Is this to hide the lack of budget ? An artistic flourish ? What ever the reason it is noticeable but not enough to spoil the episode that chugs along rather nicely

The episode is ruined by the last ten minutes that are simply dreadful . In Curse Of The Black Spot the audience effectively got a remake of The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances and here we get a medley mega-mix of Russell T Davies . We get angst ridden family nonsense with the salvager's who reveal they're not androids at all and we get a dues ex machina ending involving a reset button just like in Last Of The Timelords a story that is known in some fan circles as the biggest cheat the show has come up with . The only segment of the last ten minutes that didn't rip off RTD was more timey-wimey paradox nonsense and yet another character piece involving the enigma of Clara that seems shoehorned in by Moffat and has quickly outlived its welcome

In summary this is a relatively enjoyable episode let down by ill thought out writing and producing . The ending is a massive cheat and not for one second does one believe writer Steve Thompson is giving a massive post modernist nod to RTD . Moffat should have insisted on a much better ending with a rewrite that does away with time paradox and as it stands this episode doesn't merit a rewatch and why should it since in reality it didn't happen

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A Fantastic "Journey"

Author: SightSpirit from PA, United States
15 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(I originally wrote this review on 28 April 2013 for my Tumblr blog.)

Last night saw the premiere of "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS," the eleventh episode of Series 7 of Doctor Who and the fifth episode of the spring half of the season. The episode was written by Steve Thompson, who wrote the critically-meh'd Series 6 episode "The Curse of the Black Spot" and who is one of the three writers on the smash-hit series Sherlock along with Who Head Writer Steven Moffat and Who enthusiast/actor/writer Mark Gatiss (who wrote next week's episode of Who, "The Crimson Horror").

Fans of the show have been looking forward to this episode with bated breath because of its title alone; we knew that we were going to get a good, long look at much of the TARDIS's interior, which we got a small taste of for the first time in Neil Gaiman's Hugo Award-winning Series 6 episode, "The Doctor's Wife." Well, we got a pretty good look: lots and lots of dreary corridors. And this probably disappointed a lot of people. Me? Nah. The ship was pretty badly damaged, so of course, the corridors were going to be leaking steam and be quite dimly-lit, etc. It definitely lent itself to the episode's dark atmosphere. And this episode was definitely the darkest one since "The Angels Take Manhattan," the absolutely heartbreaking mid-season finale that aired at the end of September.

This episode had a lot going on: the huge emphasis on the TARDIS as a living thing, the whole dynamic between the van Baalen brothers, the many chase scenes involving the horrifying Time Zombies, Clara's (sort of) learning the Doctor's name, the Doctor (sort of) telling Clara about her multiplicity in the Universe, the TARDIS actually (almost) blowing up (again‽ XD), the time paradoxes, WHAT IS GOING ON I CAN'T PROCESS ALL OF THIS AT ONCE!

...That last part was a lie. Anyway, this is the kind of episode, perhaps more so than "Hide," that most people will need to watch more than once to really get the whole picture into their brains. (Oddly enough, I haven't needed to, even though I did for "Hide.") More happens in this episode than in...probably any episode since the series returned in 2005, actually.

The pacing seemed a bit rushed to me, at least at the beginning, but as I got used to it, and as I realized just how much plot Steve Thompson had stuffed into this almost-45-minute episode, the pacing definitely grew on me, and I was hooked. Some people just don't like to have to keep track of fifty billion different subplots and slowly-progressing story arcs when they watch an episode of Doctor Who, but the flow of this one really worked to its advantage; it makes sense (for the most part), it isn't (too) overwhelming, and it certainly isn't boring.

I loved this episode. It is, by far, my favorite of Series 7, Pt. 2 so far. Thompson's "The Curse of the Black Spot" was an...interesting romp that has grown on me somewhat over the past couple years. But "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" does not have to grow on me because it is just brilliant already! The suspense, the thriller/horror-style chases throughout, and the wonderful character dynamics throughout make watching this story a fantastic, nail-biting, cinematic experience. And perhaps more so than any episode since "The Snowmen," "Journey..." progresses the season's primary story arc and even introduces a new one— season finale title, anyone?

I would give this one a 9.5 out of 10! I hope Steve Thompson continues writing for Doctor Who in the future because this episode has shown his true potential as a writer for the show.

P.S. Stop hating on "...Black Spot" so much; apart from the pacing and the somewhat predictable ending, it was a pretty good episode!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

When the past catches up with you, what do you do?

Author: Paul Evans from Swansea, United Kingdom
14 September 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The TARDIS is picked up in space by a Salvage crew (illegally.) The Crew of three try to gain access to the inside of the TARDIS but fail. The Doctor has been flung out and Clara is stuck inside, with poisoned fuel leaking out. They gain access to the TARDIS and the Doctor forces the crew to help him seek out Clara. Clara is chased by menacing looking beasts as she runs aimlessly around the TARDIS's corridors. Realising the TARDIS is in trouble they need to travel to the centre of the TARDIS.

I love that we get to see the on board swimming Pool, reference a lot, it's been ages since we last saw it (possibly the Invasion of Time?) The Library too is fantastic, great that we see them. I also liked how Clara saw the book on the time war, future revelations now make sense.

This had the potential to be an absolute classic, it is brilliant in parts, truly scary, unbelievably imaginative, and in other ways it feels a little bit off. The ending loses it a little and it goes a little astray, great ideas nonetheless. 7/10

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Their future has come back to haunt them

Author: gridoon2016
25 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A "Doctor Who" episode with a title like this has A LOT to live up to. You could argue that it promises things that loyal followers of the series have been waiting for years to see. So is the actual episode the answer to all prayers? Not really. But it does have enough clever twists, mind-bending concepts and carefully placed details to be a respectable and worthy effort. As I was watching it for the first time, I was wondering "WHY must there be monsters in every "Doctor Who" episode? Why can't they simply walk around inside the TARDIS and explore its infinite secrets?" But there is a reason behind the monsters' presence, which, coupled with all that business with the "Big Friendly Button", makes this "Journey To The Center Of The Tardis" the most "wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey" episode since the departure of Amy and Rory. *** out of 4.

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13 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Salvaging the Tardis

Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
28 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When a salvage vessel pulls the Tardis aboard it is damaged; The Doctor is thrown clear somehow but Clara is trapped somewhere deep inside the Tardis; if The Doctor is to save her before she is killed by a fuel leak he must re-enter his damaged Tardis along with the three man salvage crew. Finding Clara won't be easy though; the Tardis is infinitely large and it will do what it must to protect itself… this becomes a problem when the salvage team decide to start helping themselves to parts they think might be valuable. If that wasn't enough to worry about there are strange creatures within the Tardis and they appear to be dangerous. If Clara is to be saved they will have to overcome many obstacles and as they do Clara will learn things that The Doctor would rather she didn't.

As a general rule all we see of the inside of the Tardis is the control room so like many fans I was intrigued when I learnt that this episode would show much more of the ship The problem is there is no way to really show its infinite size on television; we get lots of similar looking corridors and a handful of rooms, some more impressive than others, but nothing that makes the ship feel anything close to infinite. Given that complaint it is odd that one of the things I did like about this episode was the claustrophobic feel as they moved through the maze of corridors only to return to where they had just come from; this sense of unease was increased by the constantly rolling camera. The creatures roaming the Tardis were suitably creepy; more so when we learn their true nature and while the salvage crew weren't malevolent they weren't exactly friendly either; especially their leader who only wanted to make a profit and had played a particularly mean joke (which I won't spoil here) on one of his crew. As the episode approached the end it looked as if Clara had finally learnt why she was special to The Doctor… then there was literally a reset switch ending which was a little bit disappointing. Despite these flaws I still rather enjoyed the episode though.

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15 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

The Hero of Eleven Faces

Author: boblipton from New York City
27 April 2013

Joseph Campbell was one of the great students of myths. It was he who pointed out the basic structure of all mythic stories: the Hero enters the Underworld to save his home/lover and, after a long journey, gains the knowledge to do so. He returns with the knowledge and achieves his goal, but learns that he has changed and cannot go home.

Sometimes the hero is a woman, of course, and sometimes the Underworld is the Woods or Outer Space or Beyond the Fields We Know or even the Center of the TARDIS.

Doctor Who is interesting because of its mysteries; at the center of those mysteries is the TARDIS, a time-and-space traversing device bigger on the inside that enables the Doctor and his companions to go anyplace and anywhen. We have had hints in earlier episodes -- and views in versions of Doctor Who in other media -- that the TARDIS is in some ways infinitely large. This is the first time we have seen that infinitude on the TV screen and the execution is weird and fascinating.

Steve Thomas, who earlier Doctor Who script was the mediocre "Curse of the Black Spot" has done better this time. However, I have an issue: we cannot see infinity. The writer and actors and cinematographers cannot show us infinity. They have to reduce the scale so that we can see what we are supposed to be looking at. The Eye of Harmony cannot be larger than a TV screen. Then they must reduce it further so that the plot can encompass it. In the end it turns into a bunch of weird-looking stuff that isn't weird at all.

Still and all, I enjoyed the episode, for its audacity in offering us a glimpse of the immensity and mystery. In the end, though, the hero returns home and saves the village, but is not transformed. Nor is the viewer.

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