Who Reviews: Time Heist
By Steven Moffat and
Reviewed by Jeffrey Zyra
“Shut up. Everybody shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shutitty up,up, up!”
I was never a fan of movies that were centered on robbing banks like the Ocean 11 movies. Well, I take that back I did enjoy both versions of The Italian Job but never the less I was never a big fan of that type of movie. So when I saw the trailer for Time Heist I had reservations about it. But then I saw who co-wrote it with Steven Moffat and my mind was set at ease a little bit. I did like Steve Thompson’s previous work on Who and Sherlock so there’s a chance I will enjoy Time Heist.
I have to say that Time Heist was a pretty clever Doctor Who story. Very entertaining and had me thinking even though I guessed that The Doctor was The Architect pretty early on in the story. If anything the ease of figuring that out was the only downer of the story for me. What I really liked was that they did something different. By having The Doctor rob a bank and he doesn’t know why he must do it. The whole thing was one big mystery as to what must be stolen from the bank of Karabraxos. What they end up finding was something that was more precious than any amount of treasure in the universe.
How they end up getting to that point of the story was pretty good also. We have The Doctor, Clara, Psi and Saibra walking around the bank trying not to get detected by using their skills to break into the most dangerous bank in the universe. What makes it the most dangerous is the creature known as the Teller. The Teller can detect guilt and your plans for robbing the bank by eating your memories. When he gets through with you your mind is gone and you are a mindless heap. What was clever was that the four robbers had their memories wiped so they would not know the plan thus having no guilt and not being detected by The Teller. But when they received more instructions it got harder for them to keep their guilt away from The Teller and the chase was on. Have to admit it was pretty intense watching them running away from The Teller as there was no escape once he gets you in his mental grips.
What I found to be clever was the resolution of how everything fitted like a puzzle piece. What I figured early one and wanted to see how The Doctor got everything in place for the big heist. I liked how they showed The Doctor working it out using his smarts and coming to a solution. No waving of the sonic screwdriver around and zapping things to save the day but using his brains to come up with the solution and making things right. Just like what he used to do in classic Doctor Who. It was good to see the Doctor set things up with Ms. Delphox by playing on her regret for things she might have done which she eventually does on her death bed as she regrets keeping The Teller’s companion locked up in a vault. It seems fitting the thing The Doctor would break into a bank for would not be riches or treasures but for saving an alien race being held against its will.
Keely Hawes gives a good performance as Ms. Delphox and her clones and well I’ve always liked Keely Hawes from her time on Spooks so I’m a little bit biased when it comes to her. Peter Capaldi gives a really good performance and he is really cementing his Doctor in place now. I’m really enjoying his portrayal as it grows on me more and more. His sarcastic wit and dark undertones and brutal honesty make him a Doctor that is far different from what we have seen so far. I’m really enjoying it and also his chemistry with Jenna Coleman works really well especially when they bounce off each other for the funny bits about Clara getting all dressed up to go on a date.
Time Heist will not go down as one of the greatest stories as it does have the filler label stuck to it but it was a very entertaining story that was fun to watch and did have some moments to make you jump. I was thoroughly entertained for 50 minutes watching Time Heist and will definitely be giving it a rewatch from time to time.
Grade B +