Doctor Who 8×05 ‘The Caretaker’: Torn between two men

BBC

It wasn’t a happy day for Doctor Who fans. A quick Internet search has shown that I’m not the only one who’s no completely keen over the new Doctor. It’s not Capaldi’s fault – he’s a great actor who’s doing really well in spite of the bad writing – but it’s that, it’s the writing. I feel like the episodes in this season start out with so much potential, and then fizzle out in the last half hour, only to leave me wondering – what was this episode about? Plus, there’s the constant cryptic endings that have yet to give us any clues about this “Heaven” we keep getting a peek into. Regardless, let’s talk about tonight’s episode!

BBC

BBC

Let’s talk about our villain of the hour, shall we? Skovox Blitzer was its name, and it was some sort of robot-alien who had decided to appear near Coal Hill School – giving the Doctor a good reason to don his ‘John Smith’ alias once again, as the caretaker. Where did this alien come from? Why was it alone? Maybe I’m forgetting details, but I felt like we didn’t get much about the villain. Plus, the extent of the damage it could do was not as scary as I thought it would. Maybe it’s because robot-aliens look clunky in comparison to a creature like The Teller, who we met last week. Maybe it’s the fact that he didn’t have much of a backstory, we never learned where he was from, or why he had ended up on Earth in the first place.

Skovox Blitzer wasn’t the main conflict of the episode, as the focus was put on Danny Pink vs The Doctor. From the moment he arrived as ‘John Smith”, Danny didn’t like him. First, the Doctor insisted on calling him ‘PE’ (in spite of Danny being a maths teacher), then Danny couldn’t help but think this new employee was a little suspicious. Danny was trying to figure out what he was doing at school when he interrupted the Doctor’s plan to get rid of Skovox Blitzer. By thwarting his intricate plan, Danny made himself an enemy. Plus, the Doctor was under the impression that Clara was dating another  professor, who had a strange physical resemblance to Eleven (a nice touch in my opinion).

BBC

BBC

In one of the best scenes of the episode (in my opinion), Danny finds out about Clara’s time-traveling adventures with the Doctor, and like any normal human being, he’s hurt that she’s been lying to him this whole time. The Doctor on the other hand was still acting as a grumpy old man with Danny, refusing to let him help or even listen to him. I get it – the Doctor doesn’t like soldiers, but in this episode his annoyance with Danny was actually… annoying? It seems like they’re making the Doctor such an angry, grumpy character at this point, when part of his charm was his joie de vivre, his child-like wonder at humanity. Capaldi’s version of the Doctor thinks we are all inferior, tells everyone to constantly ‘shut up’, and insults his companion at least once per episode. I’m not a fan, and I blame the writers for this. There was something about his fight with Danny that simply turned ugly, it was also much too soap-opera-y for me.

In spite of the confrontation between Danny and the Doctor, I like that they don’t agree with each other. Sometimes the Doctor needs someone who doesn’t agree with everything he decides to do (Donna was great at this in my opinion), and Danny seems like he would fit in just right fighting bad guys in space (I like the over-the-top flip, okay?) For now, it’s unclear whether or not Danny Pink will start traveling with the Doctor as well, but I can see it happening. Plus, it’s always nice to have an extra male character traveling with the Doctor.

BBC

BBC

We also got a strange appearance from a younger girl from Coal Hill, ‘Disruptive Influence’ as she called herself, which was completely pointless in my opinion. Yes, it was funny to see the Doctor trying to shoo her away, but taking her to space? It all seemed like a forced moment of cuteness for me. Maybe an older, future version of her would make an interesting companion, but for now I rather hope that was the last of Courtney Woods.

As for the ending in Heaven? Again, until the writers decide to give us another clue and not the same scene of someone landing there, I can pass. We keep getting glimpses of this place, but we have no more idea about what it is then we did in the very first episode. Unless we get some advancement regarding the mysterious woman who runs Heaven, then I’d rather it not appear at the end of almost every episode. There are some improvement to be made with this season, and sometimes it feels like I’m watching it with expectations that are way too high. Am I the only one? What do you guys think of the Danny vs the Doctor confrontation? Would you like to see Danny Pink join the Doctor and Clara in space? Did anyone like ‘Disruptive Influence’ or do I have an aversion to loud-mouth children?

Rebecca Ireland-Silva

is a recent university graduate with a passion for television/movies. She’s moving to the UK this summer, and wants to work in the media. She also writes her own lifestyle blog, which sometimes features some tv/film bits. Her three loves are dashunds, shoes, and the perfect red lipstick. You can also find her on Tumblr!

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