Kyle J. Steenblik

Doctor Who: Time Heist is a lighthearted bank robbery adventure

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The Doctor turns bank robber in Time Heist, but as things are when The Doctor is involved, nothing is ever as simple as it seems, so things were in this adventure.  Two new temporary companions proved to be a welcome addition as Clara seems to have been mostly written out of this episode, in spite of the fact that she is in nearly every scene.  It is still unclear if she is going to leave at the end of this series but the signs so far are pointing toward yes.  Clara is growing increasingly distant from The Doctor and closer to Danny, but more about that later.

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Time Heist

Season 8 | Episode 5 | Original Airdate: September 20th, 2014 |

The Doctor turns bank robber when he is given a task he cannot refuse: steal from the most dangerous bank in the cosmos. With the help of a beautiful shape-shifter and cyber-augmented gamer, the Doctor and Clara must fight their way past deadly security and come face to face with the fearsome Teller, a creature of terrifying power that can detect guilt…

Written by Stephen Thompson and Steven Moffat. Directed by Douglas Mackinnon. Guest starring Keeley Hawes.

The temporary companions were Psi (Jonathan Bailey), a converted human who is half computer, and Saibra (Pippa Bennett-Warner) a shape shifting humanoid.  Both were dynamic and fun characters who I wish to see more of in the future, there was a brief interaction in the end between The Doctor and Psi which leaves the door open to future companion adventures, but that wouldn’t be the first time that door was opened and never used.  I didn’t see any similar openings with Saibra.

This stand-alone episode was one where the doctor did not have to save the earth, a planet, or the universe.  It was much more of a one off adventure, a bit like an outing at an amusement park for the day.  We, as the audience, are brought along as they figure out who set them up, how they are supposed to pull off the robbery, and why.  In the end it really is a playful reveal, but one that should have been longer, it could have easily filled two or three episodes.

Another character that may make a return is Madame Karabraxos (Keeley Hawes).  Set up as something of a villain here, and villains that are not killed or reformed tend to wander across The Doctor’s path more than once.  I would like to see her again; I thought Hawes played against Capaldi terrifically.  I may be wrong, but there were hints of some sexual tension between these two.  There are some elements that tie into some of the more mysterious elements that are coming to light in this series.  Forgive my vagueness, but there are spoilers here, and I don’t want to toss my logs of conjecture and speculation onto that fire just yet.  We are not quite halfway thought the season at this point, and things can change course very quickly.

In short Time Heist is a terrific episode, and one that would mark the ever elusive entry point for newcomers to the show.  The performances are light and the shtick is easy to digest.  It is exactly this type of adventure that drew me into the series so many years ago.

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