Three men, two brothers and an android, are on a salvaging ship, diligently working through its slim pickings. Meanwhile the TARDIS is whizzing through space; inside the good Doctor and Clara are having a... Can we call it an argument? She’s still convinced that sexy doesn’t like her and the Doctor’s solution has her in a spin; talk to her.
“You’re not getting me to talk to your ship, that’s properly bonkers!” Clara tells him. Between you and me, I don’t think she’s caught on that the TARDIS is alive. Instead the Doctor offers up a plan B; take the wheel. Out of the goodness of his hearts he even puts it into basic mode for her. With a key engraved “Smiths” as well - anyone else spot that? “Basic?” Clara says, “because I’m a girl?”
“No!” The Doctor assures her, though his smirk tells a different story. Now, is it just me or should the Doctor stop putting his TARDIS into basic mode and stop letting his companions play with it? It never bodes well. Remember the Titanic?
Boy doesn’t that prove to be a mistake! The TARDIS is leaking poisonous gases, with Clara trapped inside somewhere in the infinity of corridors and the Doctor doesn’t have enough time to find her. The Doctor, offering the salvagers the haul of a lifetime, gets the trio on board where he locks them in and sets off the TARDIS’ self destruct mechanism. Thirty minutes to find her or they all go boom! When the Doctor said salvage of a lifetime, he wasn’t talking about the ship. He meant Clara.
So off the foursome go, into the TARDIS, looking for Clara, They’re quickly reunited - but not before one of the salvagers steals a valued piece of Sexy’s equipment - the Doctor gleefully tells his captive trio that the ship was never going to explode. It was all just for show. An elaborate act. Remember rule number 1? The Doctor lies. He goes to turn off the countdown and... Ah. The ship is exploding after all.
It’s safe to say that we Whovians might just have a new rule; don’t get into a spaceship with a madman. Also the brief visit to the Doctor’s junk room brought back some memories; Adolf Hitler, Melody Pond and Agatha Christie. Then we were thrown another nugget of nostalgia with the voices of Doctor’s past;
“The assembled armies of Ghengis Khan couldn’t get through these doors, and believe me, they’ve tried.”
In addition, we see something we’ve been waiting to witness for a LONG time - The Eye of Harmony! The power of the TARDIS... and boy did it look stunning!
On the positive side however, yet again Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman’s chemistry is just bubbling. The speedy exchange of dialogue and little looks make the stories that little bit sweeter. Her teary reaction to the revelation about the ‘other Claras’ was beautiful and really showed the genuine vulnerability she has deep down, and how attached she has become to the Doctor. And now Clara knows the Doctor’s name! Well, she doesn’t remember, but as the brother’s remaining shred of decency shows, she still has the answer to the oldest question hidden in her mind...somewhere.
I will say the idea that the Doctor taking Clara aboard the TARDIS to keep her safe was, frankly, ridiculous. Since when has anyone ever been safer inside the TARDIS or closer to the Doctor? The safest thing he could do for her, or anyone for that matter, was to stay the hell away! But the Doctor can’t help himself and neither can we - we’re going nowhere!