DWO’s spoiler-free preview of episode 7.10 Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS:
When the TARDIS is dragged aboard a salvage vessel and begins leaking time, the Doctor and the Van Baalen brothers must fight through the labyrinthine corridors of his ship to find Clara before the ship can explode. But they're not alone, and something sinister is stalking them through the TARDIS, angry, and ready to attack...
It’s safe to say that Stephen Thompson’s contribution to Series Seven, Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS has been one of the more hotly anticipated moments of the 2013 run. The title alone promises so much, and after years of fans clamouring to see more of the TARDIS interior, this is the opportunity to deliver.
In the most recent issue of Doctor Who Magazine, Thompson says that showrunner Steven Moffat felt ‘duty bound to atone for’ 1978’s The Invasion of Time, the last story to take us deep into the TARDIS’ many winding corridors. Industrial action taken during the production of that story meant that the TARDIS interior had to mostly be filmed on location in an old Victorian hospital - perhaps not exactly the way the production team, or the audience, expected the ship to look.
Journey takes the brief to make up for that story and really runs with it, giving us more to see of the Doctor’s machine than ever before. It would take a whole season (or several!) to see every room the ship has to offer, but the ones we catch sight of here are sure not to disappoint. There’s an appearances for both the library and the swimming pool (though, sadly, neither is inside the other), alongside some less-well known rooms, too.
The design of the whole ship has clearly been the subject of an enormous amount of effort, and praise must be given to all involved, from the art department through to the set decorators, who’ve really pulled out all the stops to get this to screen. It’s everything you could possibly want to see from the TARDIS interior. Director Mat King guides us expertly through the many levels of the ship, managing to show us the beauty and the terror of the TARDIS at every turn.
Tapping the cast together in a confined space (it it’s fair to call the ship that) means that we get to confront some of this season’s on-going story arcs head on. The Doctor has been trying to solve Clara’s mystery for some time, now, and the cracks are starting to show. The dynamic between Matt Smith’s Doctor and Jenna-Louise Coleman’s Clara continues to develop in interesting new ways, and the distrust between the pair reaches boiling point when subjected to this kind of pressure. Both of our regulars shine as bright as ever - it’s electrifying to watch them share the screen.
Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, with many nods to the history of Doctor Who, and many hits as to what may be yet to come in the remainder of Season Seven is sure to be a fan pleaser, and is definitely one of the gems of this era of the programme.
Five things to look out for...
1) “You’re like one of those guys who can’t go out with a girl unless his mother approves”
2) ‘The History of the Time War’
3) It’s rude to whisper.
4) Lancashire, South.
5) “You call yourself ‘Doctor’. Why do you do that? You’ve got a name. I saw it..."
[Sources: DWO; Will Brooks]