Saturday, 20 September 2014

Dr Who Series 8: Episode 5 — Time Heist

You know, I’ve one or two friends who’ve criticised me.

Basically, by repeatedly telling you I’m impressed by a given episode of Dr Who.

They may or may not have a point.


I think I’ve a possible counter argument.

Or had a counter-argument.

I wish I could remember what it was, though.

I’m sure it was cogent, pithy, to-the-point … and very effective.

But, like I say … ?   I’m blowed if I can remember what it was … 


Either way, there’s a point, here.

Their point … ?   Simply that I seem to be easily impressed by an episode of Dr Who.

The question I’m asking myself, right now … ?   Is “Am I worried?”

Am I worried, though … ?


Because I think series 8 — Peter Capaldi’s first in the lead role — is proving itself worth of the word impressive.

And tonight’s episode, Time Heist … ?

Time Heist may or may not be on a par with Deep Breath and Into The Dalek.   But I’d certainly say it’s on a par with Listen.

And, like Listen, a hell of an improvement on Robot of Sherwood.

Let me try and summarize, if I could … 

Time Heist opens as the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) meets Clara: to see if he can’t persuade her into a journey somewhere exotic.

Clara, however … ?

Is preparing herself for another date with Danny.

It doesn’t go as planned, though: when the phone in the TARDIS goes off.

And suddenly, and unexpectedly, the Dr and Clara are sitting across the table from Saibra (Pippa Bennett-Warner) and Psi (Jonathan Bailey): being given orders to rob the Karabraxos Bank.

Possibly the most impregnable bank in the known universe.

With layers of security higher than those at the TSB.

Security guards more formidable than you’d give credit for: lead by Ms Delphox (Keeley Hawes).

And a Teller that — despite that friendly hammer-head shark look — is a nasty piece of work … 

Trust me on this … 


Now … 

I said impressed, didn’t I … ?

Yes, I did.

I’m really going to have to get the hang of Lion*’s on-board thesaurus.

Either way … ?

Either way, I think Time Heist is an impressive piece of work, taking the basic idea of a heist movie and putting it into a Dr Who/sci-fi context.

It’s also one that gives each of its characters to general good use.   Although I’m sure we could argue that Clara was (possibly) underused, as beyond running away from the Teller, and getting her mind probed at one point, having little to do.

Saying that … ?

Saying that, it’s worth adding here that I say arguably underused.

Either way, I think Time Heist is a great little episode: one that romps along at a good pace, has enough excitement, adventure, and really wild things to keep us entertained.   It, like Robot Of Sherwood, has one or two sly references to classic Dr Who to keep long term fans happily in trainspotter mode† for a while.

Impressive may — or may not — be the word.

Enjoyable is spot on!

*        I can’t afford a more recent version of OS X: but must say, I’m generally impressed with Lion.   However, the Wikipedia entry highlights the complaints that have been made about the removal of the Save As command: in many applications.   I have to agree, there.   Granted, the Duplicate  and Revert commands are easy to learn.   However, I find them fiddly to use: at least, a lot fiddlier than Save As.   I can only hope that in Mountain Lion, Mavericks and Yosemite, Apple have re-introduced Save As.   Or, at least, included activating the option  in System Preferences.

†        The Doctor bangs on an ornament gong‡, when confronting Madame Karabraxos, towards the climax of the episode.   If that’s not a reference to The Talons Of Weng-Chiang, I’m a Muscovy duck.   Quack.

‡        OK, as light and frothy as Robot Of Sherwood was, it did see the Doctor going Haaaaaiii.   Venusian Aikido LIVES … !

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