23 September 2014

Doctor Who S8E5 "Time Heist" is good enough, I suppose

It's taken 5 episodes, but the new series seems to have settled back into Moffats signature of being 'just good enough' with the latest episode, "Time Heist".

"Time Heist" has The Doctor and Clara robbing the most secure bank in the universe without actually knowing why, with the help of Psi, a technologically upgraded human, and Saibra, a shape shifter who can take on the form of any living thing she touches. The bank is guarded by a psychic alien who can sense guilt, and as such the group have to have their memories erased in order to enter undetected, forming the central mystery of the episode - who hired them?

This episode feels very standalone, with seemingly no link to the seasons overarching plot or anything to link back to later on, allowing for an episode that focuses on the story at hand and the mystery created by it. Unfortunately, said mystery may be one of the most predictable that the show has ever offered, leaving only the slowest of viewers genuinely surprised at who organised the heist.

In fact, it would be fair to say that this may be one of the most predictable episodes of Doctor Who ever. "Time Heist" has several attempts at surprising viewers with various twists and turns, but the majority of them are either things we've seen before, or blatantly obvious attempts at misleading the audience. There are one or two little surprises near the end of the episode, but there are too many failed attempts to really say that this episode successfully surprised anyone.

Other than that, "Time Heist" is a pretty solid episode, even if it never rises above 'good enough'. It's the first episode in a while where The Doctor has really taken control of the situation and hasn't had to be lectured or taught something deep and meaningless by Clara, and in that regard it feels quite fresh, while also reminiscent of the Tennant era of the show. The plot moves at a real pace here, throwing us into the action with the convenient memory wipe premise, and it never really slows down from then on, with surprisingly few 'running down corridor' sequences for this kind of episode. And the monster of the week was well designed and semi-original, if not particularly menacing.

Following the over-whelming disappointment of "Listen" and "Robot of Sherwood", "Time Heist" feels like a return back to form - but without that comparison, it is still another episode of Doctor Who that can only be classed as good enough to keep an audience interested for 45 minutes. It's no classic, but it's one of the better episodes that the season has produced so far - which could be taken as a sign that this season isn't shaping up to be the change in quality/return to form that many were hoping for.

No comments :

Post a Comment