Time Heist is the 5th episode of Series 8, and probably the hardest episode, so far, I have found to review.
Like, Robots of Sherwood, Time Heist is one of those episodes from this series, which divides fans, and I have to admit on first viewing, I wasn’t particularly impressed.
But, that’s what rewatches are for, and on my second viewing of Time Heist, I think there’s actually alot to commend it.
And on with the review…
Let’s start with what I feel are the strongest parts of the narrative, and the things that work best.
Saibra and Psi
Also known as the Augmented Human and the Mutant Human.
Psi is a hacker who has replaced most of his brain with a computer, and Saibra is a shapeshifting mutant human, so far so Sci-fi, what lifts this pair from being quirky guest stars of the week, are both actors’ excellent performances, and the way that they interact and bond with The Doctor and Clara.
Helpfully, both Psi and Saibra arrive fully formed characters, with their own tantalising hints of back story, which I for one would love to know more about.
Time Heist in an episode that finds The Impossible Girl in a romantic mood, well she had been bound for another date with Mr Pink, before The Doctor interrupted all that.
Anyway, Clara is enjoying the flush of romance, and she and Psi bond over love, lost and forgotten in Psi case, since he wiped all memory of his friends and family before undergoing torture in prison.
Clara and Psi only share a view scenes together, but they are poignant, and charged enough to give a hint of what Psi may have made himself forget.
But as sweet Clara and Psi interactions are, it’s what goes on between The Doctor and Saibra I find the most interesting.
In many ways The Doctor and Saibra share a real connection, a woman who is forced to wear many faces due to a quirk in her genes, and a man who has chosen to do the same thing, due to a quirk of his own.
While Saibra longs to touch, the 12th incarnation likes to keep people at arms length.
Since we’re getting a new Doctor this year, I have started to think about who might join him aboard The Tardis, and while I would love to see Bill Potts return, it seems logical, and only fair, that the new Showrunner would want to usher in his own companion. If I’m honest, I’ve seen enough of contemporary companions, while I’d love to see a Jamie or Victoria, i.e. a companion from a historical era, I think a mutant human, similar to Saibra, could also open up some interesting angles when it comes to story telling.
I would have loved for Saibra to join The Doctor and Clara for an extended stay aboard The Tardis, but hey, who knows what’s in the future, and also that’s what fanfiction is for.
While The Teller may not be the scariest looking of Doctor Who monsters, the power, which it possesses is another story.
For The Teller can read minds, sort through the lies, and when it has finished, it turns your brain into soup.
The only way to escape The Teller is by not thinking, and once it has honed in on all your not thinking about thinking, there’s no way to escape, unless your name happens to be Clara Oswald.
The fact that in the end your own guilty conscience will betray you is a nice twist, especially when it comes to an episode build around the premise of stealing.