Doctor Who Review: Time Heist

Time Heist is very entertaining. A straightforward adventure story with enough of a spin to keep it interesting. At no point does it become pointlessly complicated or repetitive. The pacing was brisk and a little rushed, but energetic. Many of the sets were bland, but the lighting made up for it. The guest stars did their jobs well and their characters were interesting enough to keep me engaged. Peter Capaldi was just as good as ever. Jenna Coleman was just kind of there. The Teller stole the show – a great creature design, creepy abilities, and the heart of the episode.

There was a bit of Moffat repeating himself here with the “clear your mind” gag being similar to warnings against blinking and breathing, but it’s nothing like last week’s episode. In Listen Moffat created something you can’t see, watching while you think you’re alone. Very much like The Weeping Angels, The Silence, and the Vashta Nerada. The idea was so derivative that I had a hard time getting past it. I went with the “clear your mind” concept just because the alternative was so unpleasant. There’s a healthy dose of timey-wimey done tastefully. Where Listen exploited time’s ability to fold over itself in a way that destroyed a lot of the story’s power, Time Heist does it in a way that gives the episode a soul.

The only real problem I had with the episode was how slow The Doctor was at figuring out who the Architect was. There was a comment made that he was being “very slow” but the idea that it took him THAT long was a tad insulting to his character. By no means should The Doctor just know everything all the time. It’s more fun when he has no clue and needs to really work at figuring it out. Right away I knew who The Architect was. If a hooded character with a modulated voice pops up in a show like Doctor Who, chances are it’s someone we already know. If this figure with the weird voice has managed to get The Doctor to agree to something like a memory wipe, the number of suspects drops DRAMATICALLY. The Tardis is missing? The Architect is in the future? This isn’t very hard.

It was like watching the previous season of Sherlock again. Somehow I was ahead of Sherlock in two of his cases. That shouldn’t happen. I’m NOT a smart person. Even if the mystery isn’t all that difficult I never want to feel like I’m ahead of The Doctor. As difficult as it was to accept his ineptitude in that particular regard, it didn’t take away from the fun of the episode. I was content through most of it. By the end I was smiling.

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