WARNING: This post contains spoilers for Time Heist.
Last night saw the Doctor and his team break into the Bank of Karabraxos in a high stakes time travel heist – but what did our team make of it? Read on to find out!
Owen (News & Previews)
Thrown straight into the epic plot from the first few minutes, Time Heist makes sure to sustain it’s interesting, unique plot throughout the corridor running, timey-wimey adventure that it is. The title speaks all itself, it’s a fun, flamboyant, frisky heist that takes the Not-Dead Team into the future, sent from their pasts (timey-wimey!) Although exciting, Time Heist steals plot points from episodes like Hide without re-imagination however, the episode still thrives from start to finish. Keeley Hawes is an generic, posh villain however adds an aspect of mystery that makes her unlike other villains on Doctor Who. All in all, Time Heist is what it says on the tin (soup!) 8.25/10
Ben (Video & Digital Media)
The idea of the Doctor turning bank robber for a week was a very exciting premise. Although the heist wasn’t all that adventurous and didn’t seem that dangerous, it was nice to have a gang again, with the X-Men-esque Psi and Saibra. The episode also used some old techniques, like the ‘clear your mind’ – which was similar to the ‘hold your breath’ idea – and return of the memory worms, which still look to me like a dodgy prop left over from the 70s. The Architect twist at the end was kind of inevitable, but Karabraxos was a nice surprise. Who’d have thought that [spoiler removed]? 6.5/10
Stylishly edited and directed, Time Heist is a fast paced episode which plays with the bank heist genre as only a show involving time travel can. It’s welcome to see the Doctor (and his eyebrows) firmly taking charge, and Psi and Saibra are both intriguing and likeable additions, making their ‘deaths’ surprisingly moving. Keeley Hawes does well with her portrayals of both Ms Delphox and Karabraxos, so it’s perhaps a shame that the potential of neither character is fully realised. The Teller, meanwhile, spends most of the episode as a genuinely scary threat, but the final revelation that the heist is actually a rescue mission flips that on its head in a thoroughly satisfying way. 8/10
What brilliance from Time Heist! The whole plot was solid and the direction kept the thrill of the chase present at all times. Of course we had the air of mystery running throughout as to who was behind the plot to rob the bank and why. When you think about it, Capaldi’s Doctor left Psi and Saibra to what they thought were their own deaths when they used the soon to be revealed teleporters. This proves the true darkness of this Doctor. Of course we got comedy as well: shut up, shut up, shuttity up, up, up! 9/10
It was always going to be difficult for Time Heist, following on from the phenomenal Listen. By and large, this week’s episode succeeds in restarting the series’s momentum. A bank heist is the perfect shot of adrenaline, yet in Time Heist, it is not quite maintained to its full potential. Pacing is the major issue here. Just when it seems the titular heist is in full swing, the action is broken. For an episode centered around an idea involving planning and fluidity, to go off without a hitch, Time Heist is not evenly balanced. However, it has never being clearer how comfortable Peter Capaldi looks now as The Doctor. His performance in Listen was a masterpiece, as such I was concerned if he could maintain that. Oh he did. A serene equilibrium has been reached between Twelve’s fierce yet caring nature in the last two episodes. This is the formula of Capaldi’s Doctor. Ultimately, Time Heist appears to confuse itself, never becoming the true Doctor Who heist of our dreams, despite containing some great writing and acting in the second half with a complex, if somewhat predictable, plot of twists and turns. 8/10
Despite its scariness, this episode has wonderful comic charm, with an element of romance and a great final twist. Looking to the beginning and ending you could almost say the Doctor is simply out to scupper Clara’s date with Danny (and ultimately celebrates the fact!). The sinister ‘Architect’ has predestined the actions of the Heist team (The Doctor, Clara, Psi and Saibra) and a plot to rob the impossibly secure kalabraxos bank is precipitated by a phone call to the Doctor (which he surely anticipates). The story becomes a rescue mission for the Doctor though he also manages to redeem Psi and Saibra who are each troubled by an unusual affliction. Peter Capaldi is simply brilliant, and if previous episodes haven’t been enough, I am now thoroughly endeared to the 12th Doctor. He volunteers his mind to be liquidised by the guilt feeding ‘Teller’ – adopted Guardian of the bank, which enables the Doctor to do his thing. There is darkness too in that the Doctor again appears oblivious to death, and not for the first time seemingly abandons Clara. 9/10
And the average score is 8.1/10, the lowest of the series so far by a narrow margin. Our spoiler-free review of The Caretaker will be up mid-week, with our team’s spoiler-filled review coming Sunday!