Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS
Written by Steve Thompson
Directed by Mat King
Broadcast: 27th April 2013
Reviewed by Steve Taylor-Bryant
Due to the TARDIS’ reluctance to get on with Clara, the Doctor sets the controls to basic and decides to teach Clara how to fly when they get caught by a salvage ship. The Doctor awakes to see a crew of brothers and a crashed TARDIS but no Clara. The Doctor convinces the crew to help rescue Clara and, once inside the TARDIS, he locks the doors and sets the self destruct, warning that he will not switch it off until Clara is safe.
Not being able to help himself, one of the salvage crew tries to take an essential part of the TARDIS which infuriates the ship, killing the salvage man and locking the others and the Doctor in a series of tunnels. Clara, meanwhile, is being chased by a ghostly figure and runs. She finds herself in the TARDIS library and reads The History of the Time War, finding out the Doctor's real name. Clara eventually finds herself in the console room and is being mimicked by the mysterious figure which, it turns out, are echoes of themselves.
The Doctor saves Clara from the echo and they must venture to the engine room to repair the TARDIS before the Eye of Harmony explodes. They come across a void and, believing there is no hope for survival, the Doctor questions a confused Clara on how she keeps appearing in his life. Taking a leap of faith the Doctor and Clara jump, landing to find an exploded engine room trapped in time stasis for protection. A burn on the hand Clara had received during the initial crash was revealed with 'Big Friendly Button' scarred into her palm so they race back to the console room to undo all that had been done.
I love Steve Thompson. His writing on The Reichenbach Fall during the second season of Sherlock was immense so the chance for the talent of Thompson to take a closer look at the workings of the TARDIS had to be seen. The episode though turned into an old school sci-fi run around escaping aliens tale with the salvage crew and the family story becoming largely irrelevant. I did however enjoy the sideswipe at the social media haters with the Big Friendly Button. An okay episode but far from being a classic.
©BBC Doctor Who 1963