If there’s one thing we should have come to expect by now is Moffat doesn’t really know how to do time travel well, and when he does he manages to mess it up the following week.  Such is the case with Time Heist.

SPOILERS AHEAD – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

The story starts off decent enough.  Clara’s going on about having a date with Danny, the Doctor really doesn’t care much and he needs to go off somewhere with her.  Next thing we know they’re in a room with two other people, have their memory wiped for why/how they got there, and are told they have to rob the most secure bank in the universe.  This leads into an overly angst filled episode reminiscent of something from Matt Smith’s era.  What do I  mean by that?  Allow me to explain.

The creature of the week is very similar to the Nimon in The God Complex from series 6.  Where the Nimon fed on beliefs the monster this week (sorry, I don’t recall what they refer to him as, and yes, it’s a him, because Moffat shoehorned a love story into the episode) feeds on regret/guilt/memories, it’s really never that clear, but both ultimately kill their victims by feeding on something in their head.

Another Smith era inclusion are two sidekick type characters.  They don’t really do much or develop much or really have anything interesting going on.  One is a cyborg who can plug into things and hack them and the other is a shape-shifting mutant who cannot touch anyone because she’ll turn to look like them (think Mystique and Rogue from X-

Initiate slow motion walk, no seriously, this was in slow motion

Initiate slow motion walk, no seriously, this was in slow motion.

Men).  Capaldi isn’t the type of Doctor to go palling around with an entourage, after all, last time that happened for Smith it was for the painfully bad Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.  It wasn’t much better here, but at least there weren’t any duos of robots to drive the viewer mad.  The problem is, they’re just not very interesting and they feel hollow.  At least in The God Complex I wanted Rita to live and was a bit upset when she didn’t.  Here I just didn’t care much about either sidekick, they just existed to progress the plot, die, and conveniently come back at the end.

Before I get to my time travel issues I want to note Capaldi is yet again brilliant as the Doctor.  It took me a couple episodes to get into him (I now know how Tennant fans felt when he left, I much preferred Smith to Tennant so his departure took a bit of adjusting to) but now I’m completely on board with him and I hope the writing of the past few weeks continues, as it was stronger and allowed him to really shine.  That said he did the best with the script given to him here and did not fail to disappoint.  I also like how they’ve been writing Clara and it seems she no longer exists simply to have a companion for the 50th.

Right, to the time travel issues.  The episode starts off with the Doctor and Clara getting a phone call from the phone on the outside of the TARDIS, which nobody knows the number to.  They then find themselves in the room without their memories of how they got there and a man – who calls himself The Architect – tells them they must rob the bank.  So they go about their business doing that.  Eventually they make it to the end of the episode to the final vault where Ms. Delphox resides.  She owns the bank and we find out she made clones of herself, which explains why it appears we’ve seen her earlier.  The Doctor begins to understand what is going on and realizes he is The Architect who sent them to the bank.  So he gives Ms. Delphox (hmm, they even gave her red hair, perhaps someone behind this episode was playing Pokemon at the time) his number and says to call if she ever finds herself having any regrets.  Which she does when she’s on her deathbed.  Her call reaches the Doctor and Clara in the beginning of the episode and kicks off the events of the episode.

Wait, what? Moffat did it again?

Wait, what? Moffat did it again?

The problem with this is the Doctor’s first time meeting Ms. Delphox, so it’s a weird loop.  If that’s his first and last time meeting her then there’s the issue of how she originally got his number.  After all, he would not have known to set the whole heist up if he had never met Ms. Delphox before the beginning of the episode.  It’s a loop that doesn’t make any sense because there is no path A and path B.  It is a continuous path A that does not make sense.  Because Ms. Delphox would have had to originally gotten his phone number to call him there, which she could not have done in the beginning of the episode because she did not have his number at that time, and in turn the time travel makes absolutely no sense.

Now with that out of the way, the episode ends with us finding out the heist was all about reuniting the monster of the week with his girlfriend/wife.  If this sounds familiar it’s because the same thing happened in Hide just last series.

So what was this episode?  Predictable, very predictable.  My sister correctly guessed the entire plot just 1/4 into the episode.  Rather forgettable since there was nothing in terms of story arc or character development.  It really felt like filler, which is always disappointing in Doctor Who since there are only a handful of episodes per series and shows like Once Upon a Time are able to have over twenty episodes a season with just one or two not so good episodes per season.  Still, the rest of the series has been pretty solid, so one bad one isn’t a killer, just a bit disappointing.

Definitely looking forward to next week with more Danny, it should be fun having him and the Doctor interact, though I have to say, the evil robot thing looks really pathetic, which isn’t surprising since the writer of the upcoming episode wrote the past two Craig episodes, which were very good if you ignore the fact the actual threats were as lame as possible:

 

 

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