Who you said…?
S08E05 Time Heist
Let me first start with this being my absolute favorite episode in a long time. Let me then say that this will be a more condensed review then normal and it till be paired with S08E06 in order to get me in synch with my new plan for these bits. As I mentioned earlier I will now write these on Sundays the same week as the episode airs and have it publish noon on the following Monday. So the next of these will be on S08E07 and it will go up on the 6 of November.
So Time Heist is a very condensed heist movie in the style of Oceans 11 and similar films. A team is put together to break in to a bank that cannot be broken in to by a shadowy agent calling itself the architect. Beyond the Doctor and Clara there is a shape-shifting mutant by the name of Saibra and an enhanced human called Psi who has a computer grafted to his head. They all wake up around a table having had their memories apparently voluntarily wiped forcing them to not only trust each other but the architect. What follow next is a cat and mouse game as the team tries to infiltrate the bank, aided by the mysterious benefactor, who has promised them anything they want if they do this job and now hand them tools and supplies along the way. It would seem that he has been here before and thus having been able to plant the necessary tools. But the bank has an ace up its sleeve. It has the last of a telepathic race that feeds on emotions, very useful to weasel out people who aim to misbehave in the bank. Fortunately the fact that the quartet know so little of their mission throws the alien known as the Teller of their scent as they are no guiltier then the people around them and another customer intent on depositing fake money instead has his brain sucked dry by the Teller.
Any way they work their way down through the lower levels of the bank trying to reach the vault but end up in the chamber where the bank keep the Teller and it lock on to Saibra. In a desperate attempt to avoid being turned in to a vegetative state she activates an “exit strategy” and is disintegrated. The rest of the team push on and Psi start to hack the vault as the Doctor and Clara try to distract the Teller. In the end Psi sacrifice himself to distract the Teller long enough for the vault to open before using the disintegrator. It is in vain as a sun storm cause the vault to malfunction. But the Doctor realizes that the same sun storm will give them a final shot at the vault and that someone must have planned this with the knowledge of how and when the storm would hit. In short, it is not just a heist, but a time travel heist. To make a long story short, the Doc and Clara hit the vault, find some of the loot but get captured and get brought before the manager who tell her guards to kill the Doctor and Clara while she makes her escape. In a twist it turns out that Saibra and Psi are alive. It was not a disintegrator but a teleporter that gave them an opening to free captive duo. It does turn out that the Doctor himself set this up in order to free the mate of the Teller that was used to force the Teller to work for the bank. But the Sun storm prevented him from just doing a TARDIS drive-by.
Now apart from being a very nice “silly” episode the design and cinematography is absolutely stunning and it has very compelling side characters. Both Psi who erased everyone he loved from his memory to keep them safe from the life he has chosen or Saibra who is unable to have an intimate relationship as she automatically take the shape of the person she touches. They have good motivation to do what they do as their salvation can be found in the vault. The plot is also fairly nice if a bit transparent. But the third act it was pretty clear that the Doctor was involved in the planning in some way. But I like heist movies and I think that is why I have less problem with this episode then for an example the Robin Hood episode. I guess the theme in this episode is about redemption and salvation. That it isnever to late to correct a mistake (especially if you are or know a timelord.) most clearly shown in Psi and the owner of the bank, Psi getting his memory back and the manager who on her deathbed regretted what she did to the Teller being able to reunite the Teller with its mate.
So this was not all that much more compact, but it is a very nice episode and I really think you should see it even if you have read this just to see some of the nice visuals.
S08E06 The Caretaker.
This was a setup episode… Nothing really happened apart form a killer robot and enough loose threads being laid out to knit a flappy ear hat. We might have seen one or two new companions being planted, we had more setup for Missy and a downright unpleasant rivalry between Danny Pink and the Doctor as the Doctor finally meet Clara´s new love interest. I would generally call this episode a filler in some ways as the story is just there to provide some setup and break the tension at times. It is all about the triangle between Danny, Clara and the Doctor.
Not a bad episode by any means but coming right on the heels of Time Heist it felt a bit flat for me but I think a lot of things from this episode will pay off later so I am OK with it.
It does also have a few downright funny moments as the Doctor try to fit in with humans on a more mundane level as he goes undercover at Clara´s School in order to figure out a way to stop the earlier mentioned killer robot.
Not much more to say actually, I guess you could say the theme is love/jealousy and it is a rude wakeup call for the Doctor as he has to face that Clara and his relationship have changed as much as he has.
Next time… Space spiders… By the looks of it.