Doctor Who
The Bells of Saint John

Episode Report Card
Tippi Blevins: B- | 5 USERS: B-
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"This is a warning to the whole world," says a young man. He appears to be sitting in an office or perhaps just a very well-organized living room. "You're looking for WiFi," he goes on. "Sometimes you see something a bit like this." He holds up a piece of paper with some symbols that look like a cross between Tetris shapes and cuneiform. All over the world, people casually log into WiFi networks at home, on the train, at restaurants. "Don't click it," he says. "Once you've clicked it, they're in your computer." Either people don't see his warning, or don't pay any attention to it. One computer user after another clicks on the string of symbols while searching for a wireless network. "They can see you, and if they can see you, they might choose you. And if they do, you die." The people we've been watching up to this point all drop dead, their computers near at hand. "In 24 hours, you're dead." He says people's souls are being uploaded to the internet. "Sometimes you can hear their screams on the radio, on the telly, on the net..." The dead people pop up in online videos saying "I don't know where I am" in various languages. The young man who's been warning us is one of those people who is now trapped in the internet. Other victims fill an entire wall of video screens, each calling for help. Cue opening credits.

Far from the computer age, we drop into a monastery in 13th century Cumbria. A young monk pounds on the outer door. "Wake the abbot! The bells of Saint John are ringing!" The old abbot leads him and several other monks deep into the stony cloister. A man in a hooded robe sits surrounded by candles and canvases. "The bells of Saint John are ringing," says the abbot. The hooded figure stands up, lowers his hood and reveals himself to be... the Doctor. Of course. Why do they even bother with these "suspenseful" reveals? "I'm going to need a horse," he says. While he scampers off in search of a horse, the monks muse over a canvas bearing Clara's portrait. The Doctor has been holed up here, trying to figure out how to find her.

He's about 800 years off the mark, because she's currently somewhere in 21st century England, trying to get hold of tech support on the phone while she hustles a brood of children to get ready for school. (They're not hers, as they're quick to point out.) As the kids and their father head out the door, Clara stops a boy to check on the book he's reading. It's by Amelia Williams nee Pond, just in case you were wondering how Amy was getting along in the past. Her job done for the morning, Clara flounces upstairs and turns on her laptop. Her wireless network connections offer her those Tetris symbols. She ponders it while she waits for tech support to answer the phone.

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