Time Heist: Notes

I’m taking a break from writing full reviews of Doctor Who episodes. I’d planned to do so anyway after Time of the Doctor, but was tempted back to write a few more amid the excitement of a new Doctor. My enthusiasm for it is flagging, though, particularly in the wake of “Time Heist,” and a lot of my writing energy is going to my other writing project at the moment. I may pick back up before the end of the season, or I might just relax and enjoy the season purely as a viewer rather than trying to engage with it more critically.

For now, I’ll post a few quick notes about “Time Heist.” I was really disappointed by it the first time through; I’d been hoping for something really fun, and didn’t quite get that. The second viewing was a bit better, but I still couldn’t get that excited about it.

  • This is the first time, as far as I can recall, that a Doctor Who episode has been a full homage to The Wizard of Oz.
  • “Why is your face all colored in?” Really? Look, jokes are jokes, but there’s no chance the Doctor sincerely doesn’t understand dates or the way Earth women get ready for them. So instead he’s just being a dick, and it’s leaving funny behind and heading for annoying.
  • I’m wondering if a nonwhite collared shirt is going to be this Doctor’s equivalent of the blue suit. That is, you know it’s going to be a weak episode when you see him wearing it.
  • This is the second episode in a row to crib from “Hide” — in this case, “aww, the scary monster just wanted to get back to his girlfriend!”
  • I might have liked this better if it had been expanded to a two-parter. It would have had more time to breathe, to fill in some color about the role this bank plays for its customers, to add some future-society fun, to introduce some suspense that wasn’t dependent on the Teller. But actually I’m probably just imagining what I wanted this to be, and not what it would have been if bloated by 45 more minutes.
  • I’m not sure this felt like a leftover Smith episode, exactly, but there’s something slightly generic about a lot of the Doctor’s dialogue that doesn’t quite feel like Capaldi. Probably Moffat rewrote some of the lines to fit him, but not all of them.