Review by Tizzie Kite
I’ve been a huge Doctor Who fan ever since ‘Rose’ back in 2005; I’ve got all the series on DVD, I own 3 DW t-shirts, a necklace and countless other random merchandise. My favourite Doctor is, surprise, surprise, Tennant and my favourite companion is Mickey (ooh, controversial). I took my best friend to see the 50th anniversary special in 3D at the cinema, and went to a party dressed as a weird amalgamation of Tennant and Smith’s Doctors. (I’m pictured below, between my grandparents. What the picture doesn’t show are my Tenth Doctor sonic screwdriver and Ten-esque converse).
Despite my strong, strong passion for all things Gallifreyan, I really haven’t warmed to this series. In all honesty, it took me a good few weeks to adjust to Matt Smith but not as long as it’s taking to like Peter Capaldi. It may have something to do with the fact that I absolutely cannot stand Clara’s character.
Anyway, onto ‘Time Heist’. Well, where to begin? This week’s episode featured many references to other films that are clearly inspirations of Moffat and Thompson. For example, the case. I don’t know about you, but to me that was clearly a reference to ‘Pulp Fiction’ and the briefcase.
The episode (post-Clara-getting-ready-for-a-date) began by tricking me into thinking that the Doctor was going to leave Clara behind. No such luck :( Instead, we apparated Dumbledore-style into a room where no one remembers anything due to rainbow caterpillars called Memory Worms that are clearly caterpillars? They kind of glossed over that one. We were then introduced to our allies for the episode; a mutant called Saibra and an Adam Lambert look-a-like, half-human-half-computer called Psi who didn’t break into Gangnam Style at any point during the episode. Which is a shame, as it would have been quite the improvement. They all instantly trust each other, even though they don’t know what they’re doing there and have just had their memories wiped because Moffat.
Our main enemies appear to be a smartly dressed lady (a reference to Meryl Streep’s character in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’?) and a creature that is a cross between Pan from ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ and Admiral Ackbar from ’Star Wars’, called The Teller (creepy stuff, right?). Plus, the elusive Karabraxos.
The setting for the episode is the bank of Karabraxos, supposedly the universe’s most secure bank. They have clearly never been to Gringotts. We discover that The Teller can sense guilt by scanning people’s minds with its horn-things and then, if he finds any, turns their brains to “soup” and their head becomes a deflated football. So, in order to avoid this, you’ve just got to clear your mind. That’s a good message for kids, right? Keep an empty mind?
We follow the newly-formed gang through the floor of the bank and some tunnels (because that’s never a bad idea (!)), whilst they still have no idea what they’re doing and just walk around in the hopes that “a thing will happen” (which, incidentally, is my personal mantra). Saibra is caught by the teller and “kills” herself before it can kill her. They then split up (in hopes that The Teller will find Scooby and Shaggy?) and Psi “sacrifices” himself to save Clara. A couple of things happen and they finally reach the vault of mysterious things that they still don’t understand but oh no (!) the activation failed and the door is still shut. But don’t worry, here comes a solar storm which will open it for us! There’s an emotional moment where the Doc and Clara find the objects that will solve Psi and Saibra’s problems in life but they’re “dead” so oh well. And then the Teller just appears! How did they not hear it? It’s freaking huge! And now they’re captured but the guards are Saibra and Psi who are still alive and woah, that was an emotional rollercoaster!
As always, the Doctor jumps in to save the day, even if he’s been pretty useless up until that point. At the episode’s conclusion, the Doctor says to the Teller; “You can do what you’ve always wanted to do.” Disappointingly, this wasn’t my brother’s suggestion of “opening a corner shop”, (which is a show that I would pay good money to watch. Would he know what they wanted by scanning their brains?) but actually to free the other of his species from Karabraxos’ vault. The final two of their race. Foreshadowing Moffat?
All in all, ‘Tower Heist’ left me with many questions; Was this episode designed to make us question the Doctor’s loyalty to good by getting him to rob a bank? What kind of name is The Architect? Does the Doc have a secret love for designing houses? Or does he just sit around the TARDIS playing GTA V, as he called himself “a gamer”? If the workers of the bank are incinerated upon being fired, what is their pension scheme like? Why, on a futuristic, distant planet, do the lifts still have the same voice announcing that the doors are opening? Why on earth is he becoming a caretaker next week? And why is it going to be on at 8.30? That’s WAY past my bedtime!