Doctor Who 8×05 ‘Time Heist’: First a mugging, now a heist?

BBC

While last week’s episode of Doctor Who brought us into a familiar nightmare everyone has had, this episode took everything to a whole new height – with a bank heist. The Doctor and Clara found themselves in a stressful situation, as they were suddenly forced to break into a bank while having no idea why, or how they had ended up there in the first place. Everything was orchestrated by “The Architect”, a mysterious figure who left clues for them to follow.

The episode started out with a rather familiar scene, where Clara is about to go on her second date with Danny before the Doctor interrupts. Once again, he acts completely aloof at the human customs of dating, making a remark about Clara’s heels (“Do you have to reach a high shelf?”). I like this bewilderment over simple human traditions, and it only enforces the idea that this Doctor will not be a stand-in boyfriend like Eleven was. Suddenly, the TARDIS phone rings, which leaves both our heroes looking intrigued. This was probably one of those best opening sequences to a Doctor Who episode that I’ve seen in a while. In mere instant, we were dropped in a completely new environment, just as lost and confused as the Doctor and Clara.

BBC

BBC

They’re sat in a room with two other characters, who we soon learn are Psi, a human with computer bits attached to his head, making him half-human, half-computer, and Saibra, a mutant girl with the power to steal your face with a simple touch. No one can remember why or how they’ve ended here, until a tape begins playing. One by one, we hear everyone’s voices explaining how they’ve agreed to erase part of their memory. The team of four now has to embark on a bank heist, as they will find what they most desire in the world at the end of their mission. Immediately, I was hooked – I needed to know what was in the vaults, and I couldn’t wait to see how they were going to rob the safest bank in the Universe. It’s a very new concept, and it was made even more original once we were introduced to The Teller.

The Teller is a strange, alien creature who can detect your guilt, making it close to impossible for anyone with a crooked plan to get away. It was such a freaky sight to The Teller turn the first victim’s brain into well, soup. The visual effects on his head were really sickening, which has brought some to wonder if Doctor Who is appropriate for children? Was it ever though? After that awful sights, the team continued their mission, slowly uncovering more clues to get them further along.

BBC

BBC

How did you guys feel about the temporary addition to our favourite duo? I actually really liked both of them, which once again reminds me that Doctor Who is not about the fiery explosion or scary monsters, it’s about the characters. In a one-hour episode, the writers made Psi and Saibra so important to the storyline that when they died (or teleported, as we found out in the end), it was heartbreaking. Sometimes I wish the Doctor would bring one of these people along on his adventures too, but sometimes I like that they simply make an appearance. Plus, I’m not sure how many people would fit in the TARDIS.

The more we got to know about Psi and Saibra, the more we cared. Psi had deleted his own memories to save his friends, family, and everyone else he had ever cared about. He was basically no one, as he didn’t even remember where he came from. Saibra lived a life of loneliness, unable to touch anyone (which was strangely reminiscent of Rogue from the X-Men series). Their abilities made them perfect for the task at hand (Saibra taking over the face of a bank superior, and Psi hacking into the system), but they were two broken people looking for a way out. I loved Saibra’s conversation with the Doctor about her mutation. It was simple and heartfelt, and showed that you don’t need much to create a poignant moment.

BBC

BBC

Once the ending was revealed, I told myself I should have guessed it earlier on. Of course, the Doctor was the Architect, it suddenly all made sense. Once again, we had a bit of whirlwind, as it was revealed that the phone call that started it all came from the Karabraxos herself, who had only just gotten the Doctor’s number. Confused? Yeah, me too, just like at the end of “Listen”. This was such an exciting episode, and it came with its own happily ever after. Once Director Karabraxos escapes, we find that she had been hiding the Teller’s other half, a female of his species, making him not the last one of his kind. The Doctor takes them both to an abandoned planet, where they will repopulate their kind most likely. It was sweet and simple.

The Doctor then took Clara back home, just in time for her second date, giving her a cheeky comment about how a bank heist is more exciting than a date. While Twelve isn’t a stand-in boyfriend for Clara, there are still hints of jealousy when it comes to his companion finding their own… companion? Whatever it is – jealousy, ego, confidence – I love it.

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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