Time Heist – Review and Frustration

Oh look. More timey wimey, more references to old episodes and more rehashed ideas.  Well isn’t that *exactly* what I want from Doctor Who?


If you know me at all, then you’ll know that’s not what I want from my beloved Who at all.  It’s a contentious issue, but I beleive that one reason ”Classic” Who died, was that it became mired in it’s own mythology and couldn’t get through an episode without making nudge-nudge, wink-wink references that only fans would get.  John Nathan Turner out stayed his welcome as showrunner and . . .  I’ll let you fill in the blanks there.

Of course, where this arguement falls down is the extraordinary glee I felt on seeing Absalom Daak appear on one of the security monitors; a reference to the ‘Dalek-Killer’ strip in the back of the old Dotor Who Weekly comic.  However, I am beginning to worry.

After last weeks sublime “Listen”, “Time Heist” is a tiny bit disappointing.  Had it aired post-Robot of Sherwood, though, I’d probably have liked it a lot more.

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with “Time Heist”, it’s actually bloody good fun, but . . . I’m not entirely sure what the point of it was.

Sure, we learned more about the Doctor and the way he works; we learned that he’s extremely manipulative, a reflexion of Sylvester McCoy, I think; we learn that he’s quite happy to hand out the tools for suicide without a second thought, which is, frankly, a bit scary.  Of course, that’s not what they turn out to be, but the intent was there.

It gives the impresson that despite all the soul searching on the nature of being a hero in Robot of Sherwood, the Doctor is far from that.  He’s a curmudgeonly, selfish old man.  Which sounds a bit familiar. . .

None of this is bad, by the way, just a little underwhelming.

Tonally, however, it was all over the place, the soapy elements clashed with the heist, the heist clashed with the denouement. The individual bits were fine, but they really didn’t gel. Again, I find myself lamenting that a sterling cast was given something lack-lustre to do as the supporting cast were fantastic, particularly Psi and Saibra. And it really annoys me that ‘timey wimey’ is becoming nothing more than a replacement for deus ex machina.  Auto deus ex machina. Give it a rest and tell some bloody stories!

The ending was a strange hybrid of  “The God Complex” and “Hide” and because of that, was a bit of a damp squib.

Keeley Hawes, was good as Ms Delphox and her clones, but I can’t help but feel it was all a bit ‘Miss Foster’.

Maybe I’m being selfish, but I wanted Capaldi’s tenure to be at least as explosive as Christopher Eccleston’s run and, for the most part, this series has only barely kept it’s head above water.




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