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Last week on Doctor Who, Steven Moffat gave us a perfect throwback to classic Moffat writing and scares. After the last two weeks of Doctor Who, the show seems to be on a roll in terms of creativity and adventure. Which makes this week's episode, “Time Heist,” a little bit of a let down. It's very stylish, but reminiscent of Doctor Who's past.
”Picture the thing you want the most in the universe. And picture how bad you want it.”
If there's anything Series 8 of Doctor Who can be prided on above anything else the series has to offer, it is definitely its stylistic tendencies. This series has changed a lot from previous incarnations with a more cinematic look than ever seen before. The transitions, the lighting, even the character and costume designs, are all top-notch this week. It's just unfortunate that in a script that was co-written by show-runner Steven Moffat, the show feels like it is going back to it's Russell T. Davies strategy, infusing the episode with a ton of adventure and only a touch of character.
”Don't be so pessimistic. It'll effect team morale.”
That's not to say this week's episode was a total waste. In fact, Peter Capaldi's Doctor continues to warm up to Clara and the audience. He's able to do so particularly this week, as he's basically arranged an “everybody lives, and goes home happy” scenario for himself and everyone else. It's not the first time that Steven Moffat has done this, but he's been much better at it in the past. This criticism is something that's cropped up more than once this series, and it's one that isn't going away anytime soon if episodes like this one take over.
”You're a good man. I'd have liked to meet one of those.”
While “Time Heist” is low on ideas, and even lower on mythology, it's a decent watch. I love watching the Doctor redeem himself as much as anyone else, but I thought the whole redemption arc really played itself out in The Time Of The Doctor. The Doctor should be getting away from the “moving on” storylines, and getting into more exciting storylines (like “Robot Of Sherwood”) or more mythology setting/scary episodes (like “Listen.”) In short, “Time Heist” lives up to its name, as it steals an hour of what could have been a really fun Doctor Who episode.
Next week, The Doctor becomes a janitor to intrude on Clara's personal life and/or save the world yet again! We'll see you next week when we recap “The Caretaker!” In the meantime, you can head on over to page 2 for this week's Doctor's Notes!
The Doctor's NotesWe have another week without a mention of Missy or The Promised Land, but we do have the beginnings of a Clara sub plot that might spell her ultimate departure. Between this week's events and the preview for next week, it looks like she's probably going to leave in order to have a future with Danny, very similar to how Martha Jones left at the end of Series 3. Something tells me Clara's departure might be the thing that could revitalize the series. Maybe a season of a companion-less Twelfth Doctor could be exciting, dark, and edgy.
If guilt was the thing that killed inside of the bank, then how the hell did The Doctor even survive one moment inside of those walls?
Anyone else notice how both Psi and Saibra possess qualities The Doctor himself can identify with? Psi erases his memory selectively (though there are still moments he wishes he could have held onto) and Sailbra holds the belief that you can't trust someone who looks back at you with your own eyes. Both very self reflective sentiments that The Doctor knows more than a little about.
Psi's little “guilty parties” montage included various real life criminals (like Al Capone) as well as previous Doctor Who baddies (a Slitheen and The Gunslinger from “A Town Called Mercy”).
The Doctor's identity as the true Architect is pretty clear early on. C'mon guys, did you have to leave that many breadcrumbs?
This week is yet another ontological paradox fueled episode. I really hope they don't overuse these this season.