On the eve of Clara’s second date with Danny Pink, the Doctor swept her way. Before we learn much of what is going on, we learn that their memories have been wiped. They all did it willingly and were then submitted to a SAW like voice instructing them to rob a bank. On this planet was a big old alien that could telepathically scan people on the planet for criminal intent. We saw how the teller operated and took out a man (his next of kin were immediately incarcerated as well).
Guilt was the driving force in this episode filled with a motley crew who agreed to the heist. The more one thinks of their guilt the more dangerous they are to the mission. Why they are doing it is entirely unclear through much of the episode. Instead they just accept that they agreed to perform this heist and go about it. Which is interesting in some aspects, but at the same time it’s terrifying. The episode created a delicate balance. While I didn’t care for one minute that they were thieving from the most difficult bank, I did care that they got out of their safely, especially after seeing what would happen if the teller got hold of them. All the while, you wanted to know what it was the agreed to risk their lives for.
This season feels like the season of basic conceits. We started the season with “Deep Breath”. The idea behind that episode one was to take a deep breath or the mechanical robots would detect you. The longer you could hold your breath the longer you could deceive them. Then there was last week’s “Listen”. There the focus was to listen closely when you panic in the night. That dream that comes at you and brings you all the fear in the world. The goal was for them to just listen. (Which lead to Clara giving some sweet encouragement to a young time lord). Now we have “Time Heist”. While the title didn’t give away the conceit of this episode, it was still there. Don’t think. The more you think, the more guilt you will feel and if you feel guilty the teller will find you. We saw it happen in at least four instances on the show. The teller is highly effective and very dangerous.
Each member of the heist had a target. What they valued most and could be given. Unfortunately when we learned what the Doctor and Clara came for they were interrupted. the most interesting part of the episode comes when we meet what was in the private vault. Turns out Ms Delphox was just a clone and one of many. Turns out the original doesn’t even like her clones and willingly disposes of them when they disappoint.
With the knowledge that the teller was only aiding the bank because his partner was locked up there is hope we may see more of the creatures. I am certainly hoping to see more of them. While again, this felt fulfilling seeing the episode play out. There was a happy ending, but again the ending felt rushed and not completely fulfilling. Thankfully, that didn’t damper my enjoyment of the episode. A legitimate threat was present the entire time and the teller’s prisoner garb made more sense once the ending was played out. That said, I do hope going forward the episodes have more time for closure as things feel rushed.
Oh and did I mention that this is the first time this season I actually cared about the additional characters helping out the Doctor. it’s nice that they were very capable and also unique.
What did you think of the episode?