Doctor Who Review – “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS”

Always keep your eyes open for a big friendly button.

Cast and Crew Information

Matt Smith as the Doctor
Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara
Jahvel Hall as Tricky
Mark Oliver as Bram Van Baalen
Ashley Walters as Gregor Van Baalen

Written by Steve Thompson
Directed by Mat King


The TARDIS is crippled while its shields are down, forcing the Doctor to recruit strangers in a desperate search for Clara.

High Point

“And all the other times.”

Low Point

A secret that closely guarded and she finds it that quickly? We’d better learn that there is some higher power that pointed her in the right direction.

The Review

We’ve been lost in the TARDIS before, and even seen the Eye of Harmony before, although they clearly have a much larger budget for the set this time. I give it 3 out of 6.

The effects are getting a lot more funding this year. The “lost in the TARDIS” bit has never been this impressive. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story is a “monster around the corner” bit. That worked well in “Cold War” and other episodes, but doing it again so quickly left me feeling a little flat. They also need to motivate the behaviour of these monsters a bit more, given the ultimate reveal as to their nature. I see pieces of the Clara puzzle around, but they need to start either putting things together or distracting us with another long term story like the Great Intelligence plot. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting is as strong as ever from our leads, with decent work from the guests. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production is very well handled, with some clearly upgraded budgets here, too, and some great music to boot. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is not as strong as I’ve come to expect from the series. It felt like there was too much time spent setting up later stories and not enough time telling this story. I give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, it’s decent, and has bits that are probably important for the series, but it’s not one of the episodes I’d use to indoctrinate new viewers. I give it 3 out of 6.

In total, Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS receives 30 out of 42.

13 replies on “Doctor Who Review – “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS””

  1. I agree with most of the review. Wandering through the TARDIS has never looked this impressive but, really, we just had bits of varying quality thrown together videogame-style, followed by a literal big reset button.

    Now next week looks interesting.

  2. It kept my wife and I riveted to it for the whole episode, we were very emotionally reactive to it.

    My gripe was the use of the song. We generally don’t hang out and listen to music from a previous millennium, so why do the folks on this show keep doing it? Besides the obvious ‘because the audience identifies with it’, I mean something less meta.

    Though I’m willing to suspend my disbelieve from a thread of ‘The TARDIS translates the song they did listen to into one that Clara (and thus, the audience) would understand and would have the correct context.’

    • Really?
      I like 60’s and 70’s music.

      People like “classical”

      Who knows what people will enjoy when there is so much to choose from in the future?

      *grin* and *huggles*

      • That was my wife’s reply. I said we don’t listen to music from previous ages, but she pointed out that we don’t have recorded music, but we do listen to music from as far back as we have record of.

    • I guess they could forgo the music entirely but music is to set the mood and character, and if you’re going to do that you need an existing genre the audience can identify with so the audience understands the mood and character you’re trying to communicate.

      The thing I find really unsettling is when they try to invent the name of a new great artist that everyone thinks was amazing. They give it a futuristic name so people know it’s supposed to be from the future, and then it sounds dumb since we don’t have any artists with that kind of name.

      I give the music the same pass as I do with language and expressions. I imagine they just happen to have gone through the same cycle of styles we have any they’re also listening to classic rock from 20 years ago (in the distant future).

      • Well, I have a couple songs from the Renaissance on my playlist, and people commonly listen to stuff from the 1700s and 1800s in our culture (though obviously not recorded then– though in the Doctor’s case, maybe). The idea that they might be listening to classic rock seems entirely believable, especially given the Doctor’s tendency to turn up in the 20th and 21st centuries.

        • True but it’s a very exclusive group of artists from a specific genre. I think the problem is we think of the people who’s work survive, the Mozarts and Beethovens, as almost mythical geniuses. It seems really presumptuous to think of our contemporary artists at that same level.

          • Really?
            You are going to presume that you know what the future is going to enjoy?
            And specific individuals in said future as well…
            I still listen to groups like April Wine, that many “young ‘uns” have never heard of. Do you really think that just because they are contemporary means they don’t have the ability to last a few hundred generations?

            either way,
            Please share your TARDIS with the rest of us!! ;P

          • The thing about that is until recently, to be played on any kind of scale, you needed to already be famous, you needed to catch a break like the emperor or something liking you. Getting a high-powered sponsor. Not to mention coming form a family that could own a piano.

            Might’ve been thousands of talented people in the 15th century and we’ll never know about them.

            Nowadays any idiot can make “music” using a computer, put it on the internet and it’ll stay there forever and ever. In between that we had various entry-level requirements to get into the music industry.

            • Yes but some of those idiots still make good music. The Doctor has variable tastes, so I can see him picking up interest in classic rock.

              • I agree, however, the Doctor didn’t choose the music, the “salvagers” did. :)

    • I thought the music was perfect. The whole scene leading into it felt straight out of the movie Heavy Metal.

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