Broadcast Date: Saturday 27th September at 8.30pm on BBC One
Reviewed by Owen Bush for The Gallifrey Times.
The Gallifrey Times have seen The Caretaker and have put our spoiler free preview together.
We’ve always enjoyed episodes from Gareth Roberts, especially 2010’s The Lodger, which shone as a Series 5 favourite. However, we’ve also seen episodes with rushed conclusions and a threat that is too large for the type of episode trying to be portrayed, for example 2011’s Closing Time. This weeks adventure with the 12th Doctor takes the positives from The Lodger and removes the negatives from Closing Time, to give us possibly the funniest, wittiest and most fun episode of Series 8, The Caretaker.
Following the trend of episodes in Series 8 so far, The Caretaker begins with another excellent pre-titles sequence that introduces the main plot of the episode. With some funny sequences that show Clara battling between Danny and The Doctor as well as slick, quirky transitions, the episode already feels like a hit.
“Problem. Solution. Destroy.”
After the mysterious Teller last week, this week shows a real monster in the sense of the Skovox Blitzer. Amazingly realistic, the monster forms a story behind the central focus of the episode in order to carry the character development thrown between Clara, Danny and The Doctor. The Skovox Blitzer may be well built and creepy, but the monster lacks any developed back story and feels like it’s only there because if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be Doctor Who.
The relationship between The Doctor, Clara and Danny is the central focus for this episode, and it’s done perfectly. To rival any comparisons to the 11th Doctor, Amy and Rory, these three work together in opposite directions and compete between themselves with witty comebacks and hilarious arguments. Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink shines throughout the episode as a prominent, well developed male character, which was definitely needed since the lack of a male companion since Rory Williams. The characters bounce off of each-other with energy and fun, causing a massive comedic response.
Although an episode that will be majorly loved by fans, The Caretaker does have its flaws. The Skovox Blitzer feels underused, especially with the interesting concept of the monster, it’s back-story feels rushed and rather ignored, only used to carry the characters rather that have a major fitting in the episode. With a scary premise, the monster is another Series 8 villain that may be forgotten about when the series concludes, due to it’s lack of information. However, the conclusion is satisfying and won’t follow the bad reviews of Closing Time.
Overall, The Caretaker is fun, hilarious and enjoyable. Its premise keeps you going till the 45 minute mark, but fails to have an interesting enough villain to be remembered. The ending of the episode, slightly dark and mysterious, contradicts the tone of the episode perfectly, intriguing and very clever. The Caretaker will fit alongside The Lodger in popularity with the public although it won’t be an episode that gets you thinking.
Thanks to the BBC for providing a preview of this episode.