As always, DO NOT READ unless you're caught up on Series 8 of Doctor Who! As River would say: *spoilers*
This week, The Doctor and Clara travel to the most secure bank in the universe for a sci-fi version of a pretty predictable Ocean's Eleven. While I enjoyed this episode overall, there are a few things that could have been done better, not the least of which is that the supposedly impenetrable bank was pretty damn easy to break into. Don't get me wrong, the Teller was a clever "monster" concept (with just the right amount of creepy considering his "victims" were left alive), but despite the promise of lasers and fire and all things awesome, he seemed to be the bank's sole method of defense. What, exactly would Ms. Delphox have done if more than one band of misfit toys tried to break in at the same time? Clearly the Teller could only focus on one person at a time, otherwise he would have immediately noticed the group of people intending on robbing the bank standing right next to him while he was being introduced on the bank floor. Additionally, the bank's security officers would have been of no use since the group is able to repeatedly outwit them simply be crawling through the ridiculously large and conveniently placed air vents.
|Oh, look, he's busy. Guess now's the best time to pop in a steal some shit!|
Even more annoying, though, was the episode's predictability and the implementation (once again) of an ontological paradox: Karabraxos called The Doctor to save the Teller and his mate by breaking into her bank, because The Doctor gave her the TARDIS' phone number when he broke into her bank because she called him using the number he gave her when he broke into her bank, and on and on and on, again. Seriously, the constant repetition in the show's writing is probably Doctor Who's biggest issue as of late. The show desperately needs fresh ideas and truly clever writing again. Perhaps it's just me, but I really do miss the days when it took more than 15 minutes or so to figure out the basics of the episode.
Despite all that, as I mentioned earlier, I really did generally enjoy the episode. I loved that it was the second episode in a row that had no overt connection to this series' overarching plotline with Missy and The Promised Land. It was a fun, little, one-shot adventure the audience could lose themselves in for an hour. As much as I enjoy long, developing plotlines, Doctor Who has always shined as a one-shot adventure show. Moreover, though, I loved that Clara was largely inconsequential. The Doctor could have easily left her to her date with Danny, with little to no change in the outcome of the story. Clara's main role in 'Time Heist' seemed to be as mediator between The Doctor and the other bank robbers, which was a lovely break from the oh-so-clever, absolutely essential, Clara Show we've been watching since the premier.
We also got another fantastic Easter Egg this week. Torchwood fans were treated to a fun glimpse of John Hart's mugshot (played by the delectable James Marsters) as Psi cycled through the files of historic criminals. It was a lovely touch, and I've really enjoyed all the little Easter Eggs they've been sneaking into the show lately.