The Doctor Goes all “Oceans Eleven” in “Time Heist” with Mixed Results

Photo: Adrian Rogers/BBC
Photo: Adrian Rogers/BBC

Welcome back Whovians to our weekly Doctor Who recap.  This week’s episode was definitely very different to the episodes of the past weeks.  Time Heist found the Doctor and Clara pulling of an Oceans Eleven style heist on the most impregnable bank in the Universe.

What you need to know:

  • Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is definitely more alien than previous incarnations, as is shown in his lack of understanding of make up; “Why is your face coloured in?” as Clara is appearing to be getting ready for a date with Danny Pink.
  • The phone on the TARDIS is ringing, which is usually a sign of trouble as Clara points out and boy how right she was.
  • The Doctor and Clara suddenly arrive in a room with two other people, and none of them know why they are there.  They have been subjected to a memory wipe thanks to the imaginatively titled memory worms.  Audio recordings reveal that all of them have agreed to undergo the memory wipe of their own free will.
  • The unseen Architect has brought them together to rob The Bank of Karabraxos, which is apparently the most secure bank in the universe with access only being granted via DNA match.  So a nice easy job for all then, oh and add the fact that they don’t actually know what they are meant to be stealing!!
  • The Doctor, Clara, Psi and Saibra realise the only way to escape the Bank is to rob the Bank.  We discover that Saibra can shape shift into anyone she touches, so we see Saibra turn into a customer of the Bank.
  • Cue the awesome Oceans Eleven slo mo entrance into the Bank; this is a fun little segue into what is to come.
  • Whilst our four piece is busy trying to get into the bank, we meet Head of Bank Security, Ms Delphox.  The bank staff are aware that there people trying to break into the bank.  Ms Delphox is hell bent on discovering the identity of the would be robbers for fear that the Director will sack them, and apparently that is a painful process.
  • As our intrepid gang enter the Bank lobby, we see Ms Delphox and her version of a sniffer dog, an unknown creature she calls “The Teller” who can literally smell people’s guilt (wouldn’t that be a cool gift to have).  The security team are looking for someone who has come into the bank with less than honourable intentions. Cue lots of furtive looks between the Doctor and the rest of the heist team.  The Teller finds someone else with guilty thoughts and proceeds to turn his brain to soup and we are left with a man with a VERY gross looking head.
  • Once the crew get into the vault in question they discover an explosive device which allows them to descend into the bowels of the bank and yet again evade capture from the ensuing security team.  Once out of harms way for now, they discover The Teller cocooned in his tank (well I assume it is a he), however as he starts to wake up the Doctor tells everyone “Don’t Think” because if the Teller can’t read your thoughts you are safe.
  • So we have “Don’t blink”, “Don’t breath” (as in opening episode ‘Deep Breath’), last week’s “Don’t look around” and now we have “Don’t think”. That’s a whole list of don’ts in a person’s ability to stay alive however seeing as Clara survives being stalked by The Teller, they are all useful pieces of advice.
  • All the time as they fight their way through the Bank, no one has any idea why they trying to rob the bank, and as the Doctor says “I’m an amnesiac robbing a bank? Why would I be ok?” which is a fair and valid point.
  • Psi sacrifices himself to save Clara from the Teller because he has no family or friends to remember.
  • There is a solar storm which makes the bank vulnerable and the Doctor realises that the Architect (whoever he is) is in the future and has sent them to the exact moment in time where the bank can be robbed.
  • The Doctor and Clara discover that Psi came to the bank to get his memories back and Saibra came to retrieve a gene suppressant to make herself normal.  Whatever the Doctor and Clara came for is hiding in a private vault because nothing is that easy for the Doctor.
  • The Doctor and Clara are captured by the Teller and taken to meet Ms Delphox. The Teller is the last of his kind, and the Doctor has realised his brain is full of chatter that must make him in pain.
  • Saibra and Psi are the guards that are meant to be disposing of the Doctor and Clara.  Saibra and Psi aren’t really dead, and they were taken to an escape ship where the TARDIS is safely stored.
  • Director Karabraxos is cloning her staff to ensure the safety of the bank.  Ms Delphox and Director Karabroxos are the same person.
  • I have to say that the one part of the episode that made me laugh out loud was when the Doctor told everyone to “Shuttipy Up Up Up!”. I could not help but think of Capaldi as his role of Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It and I wonder whether this was a sanitised nod for the Capaldi fans out there.
  • “How can you trust someone that looks back at you with your own eyes?”
  • The only way the Doctor can get his memory back is to let the Teller read his mind to open the block and to show him why he is there.
  • Madame Karabraxos is the person who phoned the Doctor because she does indeed have regrets. The Doctor is the one that found the memory worms, and found Psi and Saibra and he knew he had to rob the bank, the Doctor was the Architect.
  • The Teller was under the control of Madame Karabraxos so he could protect his mate.  He is not the last of his kind.
  • This was never a Bank heist, it was a rescue mission, to free the Teller and his mate – to save an entire species. The Doctor and Clara release the creatures to a place of solitude to protect them from the mental noise of the world. Awwww cute
  • Psi and Saibra are safe and well and back in their own time and space, with Psi having his memories back, and Saibra no longer a shape shifter.
  • Robbing a bank, robbing a whole bank – beat that for a date!!!!!

So there we have it, everyone lives happily ever after.  I will admit this wasn’t my favourite episode of the season so far, I found it quite laborious in places however I do love a good happy ending.

Next week we have “The Caretaker” which is co-written by Steven Moffat and it sounds like Clara’s safe world of keeping the Doctor and Danny apart is about to come crashing down.  Here is what Moffat has to say about next week’s episode.

“Clara has it all under control; her life in school, her life in space; her boyfriend and her mad old Time Lord. Everything is humming along just fine, so long as everybody never actually meets. And then, one morning, just before assembly, Coal Hill welcomes a new relief caretaker with a Scottish accent. With Clara’s world about to explode around her, terrifying events near the school make it clear that the rest of the world is about to do the same.  The Skovos Blitzer is ready to destroy all humanity – and worse, any second now, Danny Pink and the Doctor are about to meet ….”

Check out the trailer for next week’s episode which I think has a lot of promise as I love it when John Smith makes an appearance, but we will see.  See you all next week, and remember that Doctor Who is moving to the new timeslot of 8.30 on BBC One.

Kirsty Wallace
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