The Battle of Demons Run: Two Days Later, The Inforarium, Clara and the TARDIS & Rain Gods.

TV As with the previous boxed set extras, the minisodes on Doctor Who’s season seven boxed set generally attempt to fill in narrative gaps from elsewhere in the series, either because there wasn’t enough time to relevantly enunciate them within a story or because the content was somewhat implied anyway. Unlike previous releases these aren’t all set in the TARDIS console room and presumably for budgetary reasons whilst they're consequently much more visually spectacular, they're also rather shorter.  But it’s surprising just how much narrative can be fitted into a couple of minutes even though as ever there’s a sense that in a way these are just the kinds of stories the series itself might have benefited from telling.

The Battle of Demons Run: Two Days Later was previously only available on iTunes I think, and explains just why Sontaran Strax is walking around, breathing and in the employ of Madam Vastra in The Snowmen despite the events of A Good Man Goes To War. Like the other two prequels, it’s more of a piece of sketch comedy demonstrating that the BBC need to commission a spin-off featuring the characters as quickly as possible even though they never will and we’ll be eternally disappointed. Does it make much sense?  No. Does it spoil his rather good death scene? A bit. Should we be pleased that unlike so many other great characters who’ve met horrible deaths in Doctor Who that aren’t villains that he was resurrected? Yes, yes indeed.

Set just before the series begins, perhaps, The Inforarium explains one of the ways in which the Doctor manages to wipes the memory of himself from half the known universe and the other half. The density of the writing is such that I missed the Doctor’s justification for keeping the librarian in the timeloop right at the beginning the first time around, but it still seems amazingly cruel recalling his treatment of The Family of Blood (or perhaps its my general solidarity with information scientists). It’s end of a project begun in World War Three when the Ninth Doctor hands Mickey the cd-rom, though it’s worth asking how successful it is if UNIT are still capable of having gathering all of that information about him in The Day of the Doctor.

Functionally, Clara and the TARDIS is doing similar things to the Meanwhile In The TARDIS scenes from season five’s boxed set, with on this occasion Amy being given the once over by her successor. But again this ties into the season as the TARDIS, which has gained a more obvious sentience post The Doctor’s Wife, makes fun of this young woman living within her innards. There’s a dreamlike quality to those closing moments which recall the multiple Worfs in the Trek episode Parallells, or for that matter the multiple Amys in Time/Space and we’re not quite sure if what we’re seeing is Sexy messing about with her internal chronology ala Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS.

Credited to Moffat but written by Neil Gaiman, Rain Gods is the scene which was left out of The Doctor’s Wife, reworked to feature River Song instead of her parents and a rare chance to see another one of those adventures with those two which presumably fill up their diaries. “Have we done the planet of the rain gods yet?” That sort of thing. Of all these stories, it’s the one which suggests the road not travelled which would have been River Song taking over as the companion rather than Clara for the final eight, the possibility of seeing the two of them in adventures which are simple romps and not about some ruddy great plot point, in other words, him taking her with him as teased in The Angels Take Manhattan.

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