Doctor Who Recap

Time Heist

By Edwin Davies

September 30, 2014

Doctor's Four

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A much older version of Madame Karabraxos was the one who called The Doctor and asked him to assemble his team, all so that they would be able to free The Teller and its mate, whom Karabraxos has been holding prisoner in her private vault as a way of controlling the two of them. At the end of her life, she realises that this is an immensely cruel thing to have done, and enlists The Doctor to help her undo her great crime. (It's all a little Bill and Ted, in terms of using time travel to resolve a story, but like "Listen" it employs time travel in a way that is dramatically and conceptual interesting.)

After all the heist shenanigans, deceptions and disguises, it turns out that the whole job was just to rescue two creatures who were the last of their kind, and to redeem a sad old woman who realised her error too late do anything about it, but not too late for The Doctor to do something. It was a big, elaborate plan to achieve a relatively small result, but that's what The Doctor does: He cares about the little things, even when the little things are six-foot tall monsters who can psychically crush someone's head.

Rating: 9/10

- There were a lot of great lines and exchanges in this episode, but I think this was my favourite:

"Don't be so pessimistic, it'll affect team morale."
"What, and being blown up won't?"
"Only very, very briefly."


- Though this episode was going for an Ocean's 11 vibe (Oswald's 4, perhaps?), the thing it reminded me of most was Farscape. That's partly because Farscape is one of my top five science fiction shows ever, so I like to make connections where possible, and because The Teller looked like the sort of practical creature effect that show did so well, but also because Farscape had lots of episodes that were basically heists, and they also had a penchant for telling stories in which the monsters turned out to more than their appearance suggested.

- Another week without the mysterious Missy, but there was a little more movement on the Clara/Danny relationship front. Judging from the previews for next week's episode, it looks like the show is going to deal with the practicalities of dating a time traveler (though not in the weepy Audrey Niffenegger sense). I'm hoping for a spin on the classic "two dates at two restaurants at the same time" sitcom trope, but instead of two restaurants, it's one restaurant and a Sontaran battle cruiser or something.

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