Season 8, Episode 5 review.
“Everything has a price tag, I think you’ll find”.
The overall question constructed in this episode is simple, ‘what could the Doctor and Clara desire in order to rob a bank and consent in wiping their memory?’ – the answer is as irrelevant and forgettable as this episode is. My expectations of ‘Time Heist‘ weren’t too high; after last weeks outstanding episode, it was bound that the predecessor could never compete with ‘Listen‘ , however ‘Time Heist’ still managed to disappoint me, with it being my personal worst of this season so far.
The episode commenced as has many episodes this season, a Clara-centric scene. We see immediately that Clara and Danny have been progressing their relationship since we’ve last left them, so when the Doctor meets up with her as she prepares to leave for her date, it’s only obvious that he would be oblivious to all the efforts Clara attempts in order to attract Danny. I didn’t necessarily have a problem with this scene, the dialogue exchanges between the Doctor and Clara were witty enough and the writing here was the best compared to the whole episode – hence, I’m only going to assume that this was the scene which Moffat wrote, leaving Stephen Thompson to tackle the actual ‘Time Heist‘ plot.
The actual episode plays on bank robbery clichés, as it should have done. A Sci-Fi bank robber would have a minimum probable chance of success without not taking itself seriously, so the clichés of American accents, guns, gadgets and working as a team is really appreciated. Apart from that, the episode as a whole doesn’t work. Doctor Who has committed too many fake death scenarios for to even believe that the two guest characters Psi & Saibra have actually died. ‘They teleported’ I immediately hypothesised, just as characters have done before in the show (namely Rose in ‘Bad Wolf’); however even if they did die, I still wouldn’t have cared. The actors Jonathan Bailey and Pippa Bennett-Warner tried their best to pull-off as much of a convincing role as they could, but the poorly handled script restricted their acting skills to actually make me care for them!
In the later half, I myself predicted that ‘the Architect’ was in fact just the Doctor (earlier I just joked if he can be ‘the Curator’ in the 50th anniversary, then he can just as easily be ‘the Architect’ here), it was also predictable that there’d be some form of life in which he’d have to rescue which would have been the ‘price‘ as Ms Delphox mentioned to the Doctor and Clara. What was a pleasant twist was discovering that the Doctor also used the heist as an excuse to allure Clara to prefer the companionship of himself, rather than Danny; it alludes the conflict which we are expected to witness between the Doctor and Danny next week, so it did cause a genuine chuckle from me.
Other segments in the episode managed to just about came to interest, before the whole pace of the episode was ruined. The comedic route which Clara and the Doctor continue to portray provides this wonderful chemistry which could even beat the hilarious friendship from the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble! The Teller was also a peculiar creature which I feel was underused, with no actual empathy portrayed to the fact that it’s being held there against its will. However overall, the whole episode has already transformed itself into such a blur, that I couldn’t care to witness again. Instead, here’s hoping that the next episode ‘The Caretaker’ (which is being aired at a later time at 8:30 BST) will manage to engage me unlike this failed attempt!
+ ‘Why is your face all coloured in?‘ and ‘Do you have to reach a high shelf?‘, the Doctors understanding of the stereotypical attributes in a human date is absolutely hilarious!
+ ‘Soup‘, the weird analogy for becoming absent-minded could only sound creepy from Capaldi’s harsh Scottish accent!
+ I loved all the references shown on the screen of past criminals, some of them linking not only just to the modern/classic series, but also the spin-offs from ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’ and ‘Torchwood’ too!
– Too fast paced to have enough time to savour the plot, there’s so much potential for being a grand tale, however there’s little gain from the potential.