Doctor Who – Series 8, Episode 5: “Time Heist”

(Warning: spoilers)

The Good

* I really liked Psi and Saibra. They start out just having just cool physical features but end up getting good development too given the limited screentime. When making notes through the episode, I was going to say that they died too early – but then it turned out they were alive, so that was okay!

* I was also going to say that we’d seen the prim, heartless businesswoman villain more than once before (Partners in Crime, The Bells of Saint John) – but then that was subverted too, both with the “original” having a little more personality, and her role in setting the whole plot off.

* The Teller was a suitably scary monster, with another suitable twist at the end of its tale.

* More good moments of Peter Capaldi being the Doctor. We see him being both enthusiastic and serious, sometimes with quick switches from one to the other. His reaction to Saibra’s death is similar to Into The Dalek, with perhaps a little more of an effect on him, showing that he is developing again since his regeneration – also see his reaction when Psi and Saibra turn out to be alive after all. Plus when he’s in the private vault, jabbering and wandering around as he tries to figure things out – a very Doctor moment.

* For all its twists, the story still managed to make sense for the most part, and is given more substance by its ending, coming around in a neat little loop.

* For some reason, I really loved that little shot towards the end of all four players standing together in the TARDIS, cheerfully eating Chinese.

The Not So Good

* Some scenes didn’t really feel thrilling enough, given this is about a bank heist.

* Why did the Doctor and Clara get taken up to the Head of Security’s office instead of the Teller just killing them there and then? And why did the Head tell the guards to kill them at that point instead of letting the Teller do it? It felt very forced, just to keep the plot going in the right direction.

Brilliant episode with plenty of interesting subversions – best of the season so far. Rating: 4/5.

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About velociraptor256

Hi, my name's Richard. I created this blog to talk about my interests - and I have quite a few of those. I love zoology in general, herpetology in particular (especially snakes!), writing (have won National Novel Writing Month seven times so far, plus three Camp Nanowrimos), reading, astronomy, palaeontology, and travel. Thank you for coming to my blog, and I hope you find something that interests you here!
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