Series 8, Episode 5
How do you break into the most secure bank in the Universe?
Easy! Kidnap The Doctor and Clara, throw them in with couple of specially skilled individuals, and let the future unfold. The Bank of Karabraxos holds a secret, and to get it, The Doctor will need to rely on more than just his brain to survive this caper.
IMAGINE IT FROM MY POINT OF VIEW!
The second of three episodes “co-authored” by Steven Moffat. Granted, the other writer for this one is Stephen Thompson, whose DW track record (Black Spot, Journey) is less than stellar. Fortunately, this time seems to be his best or at the very least, a better offering. This is likely due to his strengths in caper-style prose (Sherlock) and being confined somewhat by the editorial hand of Mr. Moffat. The bank on Karabraxos is impenetrable, except of course for this particular year, on this particular day, when everything goes bonkers thanks to locally grown solar flares. So a time-travel (or Moffaty Loop, if you like) allows for The Doctor and his crack team of one time use players to abscond with whatever it is they need to vamoose with. It's love, by the way. Love conquers all. Think “Hide” without the ghost story.
The Good Things
Don't Always Soften The Bad Things...
The intro to this episode grabs you by whatever parts are most dear and hurls you into something like a fast moving train. It's awesome and you can't help but get excited for whats next.
Every good heist team needs the right players, and the characters of Psi and Saibra (expertly played by Jonathan Bailey & Pippa Bennett-Warner) are engaging and welcome fresh faces to the Doctors growing list of associates.
Big & Bad:
Keeley Hawes and The Teller round out this episode, each uniquely soaking up the focus during their time on screen. The notion that Mme Karabraxos is her own security is creative and the Teller is a frightening if underutilized concept.
...But Vice-Versa, The Bad Things
Don't Necessarily Spoil The Good Things...
Crimes and Misunderstandings:
The actual caper itself is not tricky or imaginative. Saibra's ability gets them literally in the door. The tech gets them the rest of the way. Psi is a safe cracker via usb connection and poof, the rest is bad weather. Clara runs and cries. The Doctor does all the heavy lifting after the fact.
Call me, maybe:
How many people now have the number of the TARDIS? If a dying Karabraxos in some far flung future calls it, how does it get to this current Doctor? Is the phone ringing at all times, for all incarnations? Or is the number specific to the Doctor who gives it? This bugs me constantly.
Love Is In The Air, Again:
There is a developing trend in Doctor Who of falling back upon the notion that “Love conquers All”. It's fine, in small, considered does. But laying it as the foundation to the building upon which your story is based gets a little old.
...And Make Them Unimportant.
Catch Me if You Can:
I like being surprised. It doesn't happen very often, and even less so in DW lately. I was all ready for an exciting romp through a bank. And we got recycled hallways. Reminds me of the lack of vision in “Journey”.
The Teller was linked to Karabraxos, who had an exclusive deal. Sweatshop slavery undertones aside, how did it not just fry her and save its mate on it's own?
Even better than the real thing:
Given the upcoming finale, and the ongoing enigma of Missy, wouldn't it have been a tad bit tastier for the Doctors Vault item to be related to finding Gallifrey?