Review: Time Heist

Peter Graves as The Doctor, Barbara Bain as Clara, Martin Landau as Saibra, and Greg Morris as Psi
I have watched it twice since it aired yesterday and I am stuck in a paradox, much like the episode, of like the episode but diskling the Deus Ex Machina, the air vents, and the Paradox at the heart of the episode.
The Paradox being that the beginning of the episode can’t happen without the end of the episode!
The Doctor doesn’t receive the phone call from the now-dying Madame Kalabraxos to set up The Architect, The memory worms, etc and save Mr & Mrs Teller beast without having already done it and given her the “call me” note to begin with.
Yes, that’s why it’s a Time heist, I know.
But this time timey-wimey just annoyed me. The pay off for why those suitcases were sitting out in place sight inside the most impregnable vault in the universe (and no one noticing or caring) drove me mad the first time I watched it.
I like the fact that the Doctor is doing this essentially to save the last of this species but the paradox annoys me.
That and the air vents. The old Doctor Who trope of crawling through air vents was virtually laughed off by how easily they just went from one scene to another scene by opening an air vents and going into the next corridor (which was a different colored lighting) and straight into Mrs Delphox’s annex where the Teller was kept! (Plot point!)
For God’s sake the “Private Vault” was easier to break into than my tool shed out back! 2 Air Vents and you’re in!
True, you’re not supposed to be able to get into those areas to begin with, but still that’s like having a Massive Castle moat filled with alligators, a 500 foot wall, electrified, missle launchers, motion detectors and cameras–but if you get over that the only security we have is a puppy who will lick your face!
As Foghorn Leghorn would say, “Son, it just don’t add up!”
But I didn’t hate the episode. I watched it again and I could enjoy the more fun aspects.
Like any good heist caper, this episode is going to lead more with its plotting than with its characters; we’re in Ocean’s Eleven /Mission Impossible territory, where a core part of the appeal is that it’s just so damn cool to watch everything play out.
So over analyzing it just makes you annoyed! 🙂
“Time Heist” shares many of the same faults as co-writer Steve Thompson’s previous two Doctor Who scripts, the Matt Smith-starring entries “The Curse Of The Black Spot” and “Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS.” On paper, the premises of all three stories are irresistible. The Doctor has a pirate adventure with a mythical being and a crashed starship! The Doctor and Clara learn the Time Lord’s most deeply buried secrets as they venture into the heart of a self-destructing TARDIS! An amnesiac Doctor and Clara find themselves teaming up with a shape-shifting mutant and a cyber-augmented hacker to rob the most impregnable bank in the universe! (All right, that last one is in its own category of fantastic, something we’ll get back to shortly. But you get the idea.) But as brilliant as these initial ideas are, the resulting episodes have a curiously inert quality to them. A bunch of cool stuff happens, yes, but none of it ever quite coheres into a story.(AV Club)
I agree it was a cool idea and it’s well executed but it just annoyed me so much that I just can’t get over that yet.
I wondered also if I wasn’t British enough for this one. As many reviewers have noted this could very well have been a parody of The Bank Crisis of a few years ago in Britain so not having lived through it I missed some of the subtext.
I thought of this last night while watching part (I missed the first part) of an episode of 1987’s Cop-Parody “Sledgehammer” and there was a Gary Hart joke in the episode and several of the younger crowd didn’t get the joke because it was a very temporally specific reference. If you want to know what the reference meant look it up on the internet.
My point is, I got that joke. I was cognizant of it’s meaning.
Ever see Darmok from Star Trek: The Next Generation, where you have an alien race that talks in metaphors?
The only way to understand them is to understand what the metaphors mean.
That’s tough.
And it’s a GREAT episode. One of the finest of the show.
So that’s where I am with this episode, it’s cool, it’s hip, it’s funny, but in the back of my throat it just annoys me.
The central idea of “Time Heist” is so wonderful that it’s kind of impossible to screw up. The pre-credits sequence— which throws the memory-wiped Doctor and Clara into the middle of the chaos, their own voices assuring them that they submitted to this amnesia of their own free will is hilarious and off-putting in a good way but the pay off at the end just annoys me.
Doctor Who as espionage thriller ala Mission: Impossible. Love it.
Paradox, don’t love it.
Air Vents everywhere, in virtually every scene in the Bank itself, don’t love it.
The Deus Ex Machina. Not in love with it.
Peter Capaldi’s Doctor : Yes, please.
Love the Sinner, but not the Sin?? 🙂
“Time Heist” is a lot of fun, buoyed along by five strong performances and an irresistibly cool central premise. This is the kind of episode that can still be pretty damn good even without coming close to living up to its full potential. I’m honestly not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but, yeah, that’s very Doctor Who. (AV Club)
“Happiness Patrol” anyone? 🙂

“Big scarf. Bow tie. Bit embarrassing”

“I was hoping for minimalism, but I think I came up with magician!”


So despite my annoyance I proudly present… Doctor Who:Impossible 🙂



About mydoctor1962

Doctor Who fan like few others. Also a fan of Science Fiction, Cooking Shows and more.

Posted on September 21, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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