The other major reference of the episode though seems to have implications for the future. In the library, Clara stumbles upon a book whose title made me smile in excitement: The History of the Time War. Oh, if only we could get a peak. Yet, the mystery is necessary. Anyway, Clara opens the book, and I hoped we would find out something interesting. Instead, she magically lands on the pages that reveal the Doctor’s name. I’ll get to that soon as well. But the monster chases her again, stopping her from finding out more. That monster spoils everything doesn’t it?
We get to see how brave of a character Clara really is though with this episode. She keeps her cool despite being chased by a horrific monster in seemingly endless corridors. She is cautious, but not afraid. When she’s finally reunited with the Doctor she doesn’t hug him like you would expect from all the other companions (ahem, Rose anyone?), instead she slaps him. She isn’t your typical companion and she shows it once again.
The TARDIS is a genuinely scary place to be in especially when the fuel rods start breaking apart, but on the way to the centre and heart of the TARDIS, the crew passes by the Eye of Harmony, something that was mentioned last episode. It was another neat little treat for the long time fans. It’s here that the monster is revealed to be future Clara. And Clara finds out that she’s died before, as someone else.
Once they get out of the place the Doctor asks Clara in frustration whether she’s a trap or a trick. She has no idea what he’s talking about, but knows something’s going on. This scene reflects our own frustrations as viewers who have no idea who she is and what she can possibly she be. But for now, she’s still just a girl, and I’m enjoying her character without the mystery surrounding herself anyway.
The visuals for the episode are pretty good despite some spotty CGI in some places, but the best visual scene comes at the end when they’re at the heart of the TARDIS and everything’s broken apart but held in time. It seems like a serene and peaceful place, not what you would expect for the engine room. There’s a nice little moment where the Doctor has no idea what he can do to save the TARDIS after all its years of looking after him. But then he finds a solution, one that involves some time travel craziness.
The momentum of the episode keeps the ending from being bad, but basically the Doctor has to rewrite the entire day by sending his older self the ‘Big Friendly Button’ that the TARDIS created. Rewriting time stops Clara from dying in the future, but she will also have to forget everything she found out about her other selves, as well as the Doctor’s name. But the Doctor seems to remember by the end of it, and the brothers seem to have been changed by the events of the day even though they don’t know it. I wonder then if Clara knows something or if she’s actually forgotten everything.
To Clara, the Doctor’s name didn’t seem like a big secret. She clearly has no idea what it means and why it is a big deal, so that tells us something about it in itself. I feel as though the Time War will be something that comes back later in the series too, and for all we know, the Time Lords may even return. It wouldn’t be a proper 50th Birthday without them.
The ending may have been a bit too ‘timey-wimey’ for some people, but it worked for me within the episode. It wasn’t something that came out of nowhere as the remote was set up early in the episode and it all came together nicely even if it may have been an almost cheap ending. But like I mentioned, I suspect some of the events of the episode ‘bled out’ into Clara’s head.
The music was once again great, but it seemed to play at the wrong moments. But that wasn’t a big deal and didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the episode overall. The Doctor truly seemed like a mad scientist this episode, especially without his long coat. One moment he was dangerous, the next he was compassionate and caring, for both the TARDIS and Clara. I will never get tired of talking about the fantastic work Matt Smith is doing as the Doctor.
Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS was a hit for me as it was jam packed with treats for long time fans, but did not drown the main story at hand. The episode was a great addition to the Doctor Who mythology as many sides of the TARDIS were revealed; we may not get an episode like this for a long, long time.
Next week we get The Crimson Horror by Mark Gatiss, which I’m not incredibly excited for. But then again, we do get the return of Strax. Right now, Doctor Who is on a roll and I couldn’t be happier with what it’s doing. With a Neil Gaiman episode still to come, we can rest assured that it’s only going to get better.
Before I conclude this review, I would like to wish the happiest of birthdays to both Russell T. Davies–the man who brought back Doctor Who for a new generation–as well as to Jenna-Louise Coleman, the newest addition to the Doctor Who family, and who is making the show that much better with her presence.
What did you think of Doctor Who this week? Let us know in the comments as always.