This was a lot better than I expected. This is the first episode of part two in the ‘let’s split the series evenly across the year into two very short bursts’ scheme, and we see the Doctor fighting something in the wi-fi. This is also a new chance to get to see Clara Oswin Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman, seen in Captain America).
My expectations for the new companion Clara were at a low after the Christmas episode. Not that she was bad exactly, but I feel they didn’t set the character up too well. I was worried the bad set up would lead to a bad series ‘half’. My worries were amplified when I considered the first ‘half’ of series seven, most of which have been below par (seriously why did they split it into halves?!). However, I was pleased to see a good solid episode, with a likable Clara! It’s like they saw my worries and avoided them. Kind of like they’re watching me! I’m kidding. Though that was the general hidden message about the internet and wi-fi: ‘don’t use it, or they will find you and you’ll die’. While the message was a little annoying, at least it had a good story behind it. I guess kids need to learn about internet safety somehow, why not subtly on their favourite TV show?
It was nice they didn’t go too flashy on the first episode too. It had a good monster/person/thing (I’m hoping it’s explained later in the series as we got no information about it) that wasn’t over-the-top. The doctor seemed himself: not confused, or running over his old problems out of the blue (note: the Christmas episode). There were a few stretched scenes that the episode could have done without (the ‘getting changed from a monks habit scene’, for example), but these often led onto some sneaky-smile visual jokes that were infrequent enough to not be in bad taste (the bow tie).
All in all, a nice episode. Bring on more of these and the series might turn out quite well.