Anything after last week’s Listen would surely have been an anti-climax by comparison, and that’s indeed befallen the latest episode of Doctor Who, “Time Heist” – but at least it’s a fun let down. The episode is an odd fusion of ripping off Back To The Future (somewhat), spends the first fifteen minutes or so as if it were a Michael Bay film, and throughout you’re left wondering if it would’ve been better if Capaldi had spontaneously regenerated into Danny Dyer or Jason Statham for this story.
“Time Heist” concerns Clara’s continuing double life being constantly interrupted by the Doctor and his escapades, which here spirals into confusing adventures quicker than the Doctor telling everyone to shut up. Finding themselves in the most impregnable bank in the galaxy with a half human/half computer and a knock-off X-Man, the foursome suddenly loses their immediate memories in order to rob the bank.
In true Doctor Who fashion, its plot-twist galore, with the viewer fully expected to expect the unexpected. Written by Moffat and Stephen Thompson (Sherlock) and featuring the return of last week’s marvellous Douglas Mackinnon, it’s a well-executed parody of the heist genre that manages to stick to being a solid, dependable Doctor Who episode.
However, in terms of where this series is going, “Time Heist” offers no immediate credibility for it to reward repeated viewings. It’s an enjoyable episode, for sure, but it fails to offer anything new to this season’s suddenly forgotten story-arc. Missy and her Heaven appear to have been left behind for now, as if we’re being force-fed this new Doctor with as little distraction as possible. But thank the Lord this Doctor goes down a treat.
But “Time Heist” does pull through on several more levels than just being a fun episode. The Teller is the best monster of the season to date, which actually isn’t saying much given that last week we didn’t have one and the rest have been mixtures of the old and some robots. In both his appearance and his stature, he’s a fearsome creature that doesn’t actually induce any physical pain to anyone, instead using his mind as the ultimate weapon.
But perhaps the Teller sums up “Time Heist”, an episode that revels in its spontaneity and its dizziness while still managing to offer a tightly-wound story that keeps the audience’s attention. But in the world of Doctor Who, that very often just isn’t enough.
Overall grade: B-
Extra thoughts: The Doctor gave Ms Delphox his ‘number’ before the discovery of the Teller’s mate. This turned out to be the entire reason for the Doctor being there, so why did the Doctor give Ms Delphox her ‘number’ before he knew why he would have to be in the bank in the first place?
What did you make of “Time Heist”? Let us know in the comments section below!