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Doctor Who - Time Heist Review

Doctor Who - Time Heist Review

Scified2014-09-21 09:33:40https://www.scified.com/sites_pics/2122411657225607.png
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***WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD***

Well it wouldn't have even taken George Clooney to bust open this bank!
The universe's most secure financial facility riddled with human sized air vents, not exactly what I would classify as secure.
Overall this is a pretty weak episode, I had previously mentioned that I was enjoying some of the retro styling of the show, from the set design to sound production, however this came across as a "retro" entry into season 8 and not in a good way.
The general plot and execution had a real 1984-86 feel to it, the era when the original run of Doctor Who was under budgetary constraints and was widely considered to be at its weakest point. 

The twists and turns throughout "Time Heist" were obvious and often groan worthy.

What really stood out was the directing and editing which ultimately was a jumbled mess of differing styles that amounted to handfuls of scenes that just distracted from the Dr Who filming "style".
Obviously being a heist adventure there was the temptation to shoot the episode in a similar way to films such as "Ocean's Eleven" and the BBC show "Hustle". The pace, structure and flow of the narrative hit all the usual clichés of the "master plan robbery" genre, just poorly. Each reveal was less "oooh" and more "eh" as nothing was a surprise, with everything from the identity of the "architect" to the dis-integrators actually being teleporters was either too telegraphed to rouse excitement or just a non thing that you really didn't care about. 

One element that stood out as lazy was yet another female antagonist portrayed once again as a strict school mistress. This re-occurring character is wearing thin now, can the show's writers, who normally are top at what they do, not think of another set of traits to give a female enemy? Or is a posh accent, bitch attitude, some eye wear and a retro 40'sesque hair style their equivalent of a Nazi uniform or a black suit of armour? 
All bad female characters must fit this clichéd stereotype to save time actually having to construct fresh characterisations, it's just grabbing a stock character from the shelf and shoving them into a new adventure, lazy. 

Also I was underwhelmed by the performances overall. 
Keeley Hawes (Ms Delphox/Madame Karabraxos) was by the numbers and had little to do but try to out bitch Frances Barber's "Madame Kovarian" from Matt Smith's run.
Pippa Bennett-Warner (Saibra) had a great character motivation to join in on the heist that was explored just about enough, it was very similar to "Rogue" syndrome. I of course make a comparison to Rogue from the X-Men and her plight of loneliness from the inability to have that basic need of contact. Also like the "Skittles Man", that poor bastard!
So that was a positive as it once again brought up the question of gifts or curses etc that forms much of the best comic book dilemmas.
However overall the acting was shallow.
The real highlight, until a cringe worthy bit of writing towards the end, was Jonathan Bailey's performance as the "Johnny Mnemonic" inspired "Psi", no, no, not that Psy, there will be no Gangnaming on my watch!
There were points where Jonathan's delivery, animation and ability could have made a case for himself having been the guy to replace Matt Smith.
What's that? You want another Keanu Reeves reference? Okay then!
When the intrepid adventurers are on the run from the extra from "Space Precinct" the red/blue mood lighting that separates the  Doctor's corridors to Clara's were reminiscent of the same red/blue split from "Bill&Ted's Bogus Journey" when the duo are separated in the corridors of hell. In fact a scary ass Easter Bunny would have been a great "Easter Egg" in the episode.

The final revelation was not too much of a revelation and overall it is an okay episode, it wasn't a scary one, it wasn't a funny one, it wasn't a serious part of the series' arc, so it was just a pretty drab bland one. Capaldi was great as usual and once again he was definitely the right man to take over.

The "Teller" was again the off the shelf "not a monster just a tortured, confused or abused beastly creature that just wants peace etc etc".
That was the main thing I took issue with from "Time Heist" as an episode, everything was middle of the road, uninspired and re-hashed from previous story lines. The "Teller" may as well just have been the Minotour from "The God Complex" or any other stock creature concocted during lunchtime the day before the script deadline.

So to the curve...man I am grumpy today! Must be the Capaldiness rubbing off on me!
Sadly no decent insults this week, wow I really didn't enjoy this episode now!

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Official "Next Time" trailer below...


Written by Beyond The Box OfficePublished on 2014-09-21 09:33:40
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