Doctor Who: The Bells of St John

Attempted damsel dazzling with a 'snog box'

The baddies are drawing people’s very essences into their computer systems via the world’s wi-fi and it looks like The Doctor may yet again have to attend the death of Clara, a mysterious girl he’s been pursuing through time and space.

The title isn’t a very apt label for this story but it's fun when when the ‘bells’ do turn up.

It was also a treat to see another story about modern networking; it differs well from the 10th Doctor serial 'The Sontaran Stratagem.’ Both stories are winners but this is the new one and it benefits from its 2013 setting immensely. Everything from the familiar Thames embankment to a residential neighbourhood and an outdoor cafe have a fresh feel to them.

Matt Smith keeps coming up with creative and new turns in his performance. My favourite this time is when, at the cafe, The Doctor double- or triple-takes as Clara addresses the notion of romance between them.

That said, the elaborate bringing together of The Doctor and Clara is a bit strange. At Christmas, this girl (or someone just like her) meant a lot to The Doctor but the charming music played over his manic visit to Clara’s bedroom didn’t stop me feeling that his attentiveness and leaf-tasting were a little out of order at this stage. Still, it was reassurring to see Clara less than keen to follow The Doctor into his time-travelling 'snog box.'

A great season opener with huge scale and loads of glamour – and a good attempt to breathe something new into an ultimately common event for The Doctor: the arrival of a new companion.