Doctor Who 8.5 – Time Heist

“Time Heist,” which Steven Moffat co-wrote with Steve Thompson, has a downright glorious resolution that should have gone down as one of the great and fun all-smiles timey-wimey stories as everything falls into place. Unfortunately, while I think that I seem to enjoy this story more than most people, it does not feel very engaging. Like “Robot of Sherwood”, this thing moves incredibly fast, and I think that the speed works against it. Plus, we don’t know what the stakes are: the Doctor and Clara and their allies have elected to wipe their memories for some reason, so we don’t know who the other characters are, and they don’t dig deeply enough into the mystery.

Here’s a possible part of the problem: the monster is called the Teller and it’s just a triumphantly excellent creation. You spend that much money and time on a great-looking monster, you want to give it a lot of screen time, I guess. Maybe they didn’t quite get the balance right, because the Teller dominates the story more than most Doctor Who beasts and the emotional stakes seem too muted or confused.

Silly fan theories department: Comic book anti-hero Abslom Daak makes his first blink-and-miss-it in-canon appearance when a character speed-reads files on criminals in this part of the galaxy. One of the other baddies is an Ice Warrior. I choose to believe that Ice Warrior is Harma, Daak’s colleague from the “Star Tigers” strip.

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