What’s been refreshing about this season of Doctor Who is the absence of unwieldy arcs. Patient Zero, The Silence, the ‘mystery’ of River Song… They never really convinced, did they? Instead of enticing, they sort of weighed things down like the Doctor was swimming through treacle. I think I realized this when I was asked by my sister, who was returning to show after an absence, to briefly explain the backstory of the aforementioned Song and the Silence. It was impossible. Like trying to a do a join the dots puzzle without numbers on the dots. Or dots. Or a pen.
This time, Moffat seems to have taken a leaf from RTD’s book, giving us something to look out for each episode without it staining the episode too much. As the Ninth Doctor had Bad Wolf and the Tenth danced with Saxon, we’ve been meeting Missy, who seems to be gathering a nice collection of collateral damage from the Doctor’s adventures. Yep, we’ve had no throwbacks to two year old storylines whatsoever… Until now, when Twelvy rather rudely reminded us that he never did clear up the mystery of the woman in the shop was who gave Clara his private number. Sneaky Moffat.
And then, and then! He and Stephen Thompson, who wrote this episode with him, led us to a plot resolution that cruelly suggested it was going to tell all, before skirting off into another direction. Confound you men!
But what of the rest of Time Heist.
Well, it was okay.
The Doctor and Clara are seemingly kidnapped with their memories wiped and encouraged to rob a bank with two other people to get the TARDIS back. All in all, it was a perfectly watchable episode of Doctor Who that was only ruined because of my constant need to second guess everything. By the time, the Doctor had dropped several elephant sized clues as to who the ‘Architect’ of the bank heist was and the fact the episode has the rather spoilerific title of Time Heist, I was waiting for everybody else at the finishing line to hear him confirm my suspicions that he was the number one suspect. And I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.
Then there was the two ne’er-do-wells also caught up in the action: Psi (Jonathan Bailey) and Saibra (Pippa Bennett-Warner). Painted in angst and black, this duo of cybertech and mutant felt like they’d been ripped out of the pages of The New Doctor Who Adventures Novel from the 90s. Oh, but I’m being mean. Maybe after all the character development we’ve had between Twelvy and Clara, I was so hungry for more I was left unsatisfied with what was essentially a rompless romp. It’s certainly not the worst episode of Doctor Who, but I won’t be reaching for it in the future when I’ve got an hour to spare.
About The Author
My name is John Noonan. I’m a freelance writer that specialises in arts and entertainment. From genre flicks to chick flicks, I love the stuff. So much so, I started a film review blog at earlybirdfilm.wordpress.com. I also contribute to online and hard copy press, including FilmInk magazine.
If you like what you see, I am available for hire. You can contact me via the social media channels above or the form on my home page.