Doctor Who Season 8, Episode 5: Time Heist

SPOILER ALERT: Don't read ahead if you haven't watched Doctor Who series 8, episode 5: Time Heist

'Time Heist' takes us into the world's most secure bank as the Doctor tries to free himself and his companions from a mess that surprise! he got all of them into. However it was all to save the last of its kind species that can be blackmailed into wiping minds.

While 'Time Heist' suffered from a few plot oddities, like why would someone build "the world's most secure bank" where it can be easily destroyed by a space flare storm, or what inspired The Doctor's million dollar Banksy impression as The Architect, overall the episode took us on an exciting journey reminiscent of the time where saving the last of the species actually mattered above all else to The Doctor. While that seems like something that should be a given the new Doctor has been acting like a jerk when it comes to putting real effort into saving anyone. Chances are his new laissez faire attitude is a foreshadowing of his internal struggle with saving Gallifrey.

The fate of the Doctor's home planet has hardly been mentioned since he was gifted a fresh set of regenerations on Trenzalore, it would be odd if "Paradise" mystery didn't somehow call back to the narrative launched during the 50th anniversary. We have not seen any mention of the "Paradise" over the last two episodes. The only connection that comes to mind is in form of Psi, an augmented human that The Doctor brings along to assist with the heist. Robotic humanoid creatures have been heavily associated with "The Paradise," it's possible we have not seen the last of Psi's kind just yet.

The major issue with this episode boils down to lack or originality. The story lines that have been explored by the show feel a bit un-inspired. Every episode this season we've been dealing with psychological fears as our heroes are challenged to "Don't Breathe," "Don't move,""Don't turn around" and "Don't think." Unless we see that there is some grand overarching point to the protagonists practicing sensory limitations, the whole thing is beginning to seem rather silly.

'Listen' was a brilliant episode because it really challenged the viewers perception of what a monster is in a unique psychoanalytical manner. 'Time Heist' while fun and exciting, pales in comparison to 'Listen' because it gives us a resolution that we've seen on the show many times before: The monster is not really a monster, the monster is really the victim. Not saying that the episode was bad, but it was definitely formulaic and anticipated.

I was very disappointed by the portrayal of Miss Delphox/Madame Karabraxos. The richest woman in the universe is basically the same person we've seen in Steven Moffat's universe at least 5 other times: Miss Kizlet, Madame Kovarian, Darla von Karlsen, Tasha Lem, even Madame Vestra and to some extent River Song herself. All of these characters depict a one dimensional "woman in charge" that is a mix between a 1950s pin up and a dominatrix head of a corporation in kitten heels. This same Moffat-esque woman is a familiar sight to all Sherlock fans, who've gotten an eyeful of Irene Adler. Working on a show where all of space and time is your limit, why is it so hard to create a woman that doesn't fit into cookie cutter mold of what one man thinks is a strong female lead .

Feminist frustrations aside, at least we were treated to Capaldi going off on this tirade...


"Doctor Who" airs on Saturdays at 9:00 pm EDT on BBC America .



Doctor Who Series 8