A few thoughts on this week's Doctor Who episode. Content behind the break due to spoilers. You have been warned.
First things first, just to get it out of the way, I think half the purpose of Moffat's writing style is to teach critical thinking. The last few series of Doctor Who, to my mind at least, is perhaps the least trustworthy of shows, and the best part of that is how open and honest they are about telling people not to believe everything the characters say. Rule one is the Doctor lies. Rule two is so does Moffat. This is one of the things largely coloring my thoughts about this episode.
First things first, get over the ages thing in the book. Skipping a year or two is certainly not an uncommon thing when updating your age, and if there was something up with it it would have made more sense to write the missing ages in before adding the new one. At worst it's a red herring, at best it's great attention to detail that in my opinion makes it more realistic.
Next up, there's a lot of speculation that the person at the shop who gave Clara the Doctor's number was River Song. It's certainly possible, but please remember rule #2 folks. I would be willing to put money on there never having been a shop, for the simple fact that Moffat likes his little prequel episodes. If we don't see it, don't assume that just because someone says it happened that it actually happened. Failing that, I'd still suspect someone else. River's too much like the Doctor, she likes to brag and if she found Clara before the Doctor did she would have been far more likely to tell him then give Clara the means to contact him, simply so she could lord it over him.
I love how they updated the Great Intelligence, and it actually speaks volumes that it was smart enough to hide its responsibility for things from the Doctor. It's been beaten often enough by him in the past, hiding like that makes perfect sense, and allows for it to pop back up later in the season, possibly more than once. I'm curious to see if it will be the true villain behind things, or if they're going to pull a Final Fantasy and reveal that there's someone else pulling the strings. Personally, if they are going to have Neil Gaiman revive the original universe Cybermen, the Great Intelligence seems like a good way to do it, since it's one of the few life forms in the universe that really doesn't have anything to fear from them, not having a body and all.
Ow. My brain just decided to picture a Cyber-Silence. I'm going to go hide in the corner now.