As the Doctor tracks down Clara, and the Great Intelligence attempts to create a World Wide Web of Fear, James Willetts gives us his appraisal of the opening episode, The Bells of St John. Don’t forget to check out our commentary!
It’s that time again – new Doctor Who! And a new companion too – well, newish. Admittedly Clara has appeared in two episodes already, not that that’s done her much good, she’s already developing a habit of dying. She’s a more female Rory, basically.
And this then is her third introductory episode, and Moffat pads around the issue a little bit. We’re given a cold open first, to introduce the threat of the episode. The Internet has started killing people – it’s not Black Mirror, but it’s a pretty horrible conceit. Unlike Gas Mask children, clockwork dolls, statues or even libraries, we all have wi-fi in our house, which is always a good sign that something is going to be creepy.
In a break from our usual content, our very own P.G. Bell takes part in ‘The Next Big Thing’, a short interview that’s bouncing from writer to writer on a weekly basis. Next week, he passes the torch to our Editor in Chief, Caleb Woodbridge, as well as writer and film maker Aurélien Lainé.
1. What’s the working title of your next book?
‘An Unwanted Miracle’
2. Where did the idea for the book come from?
I’ve always been a zombie fan but it’s easy to forget they weren’t invented by George A. Romero in the 60s as so many of the stories out there follow his model – society crumbles, leaving a small cast of characters under siege from the flesh-eating hordes. That can be great fun, but the zombie has very different origins. They weren’t usually dangerous in themselves, but were more often tools of some more calculating, malignant force, operating in secret. (“White Zombie” or Hammer’s “Plague of the Zombies” are great examples). That’s something I wanted to revisit, whilst grounding the story in a thoroughly modern setting.