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Five Brilliant Things About Doctor Who “Time Heist”

It has taken us a whole week to get out from behind the sofa following last week’s terrifying Doctor Who Episode “Listen” and so we welcomed this fun and enjoyable episode of Doctor Who, “Time Heist.” This time the action revolved around a robbery of the greatest bank in the galaxy, a riff on the classic Heist movies with echoes of Ocean’s Eleven and Mission Impossible.

It was great to see an episode where the Doctor takes centre stage at last (as both hero and villain), but for us it was his two extra companions Saibra and Psi who really stole the show. But what did Tor UK’s resident Whovian Paul Cornell think?

In Tor UK’s regular weekly feature, Paul Cornell shares Five Brilliant Things about this week’s episode. Let us know what you enjoyed in the comments below!

Doctor Who Time Heist

1: Following last week’s astonishing episode, this was ‘only’ an excellent, precisely-crafted and professional adventure. The bar’s set that high this season. This efficient script where every meaningful question was answered would be the high point of many other years of Doctor Who.

2: The story specifically builds on a character moment for the Doctor from “Into the Dalek”: this time, he’s learned, and is much more compassionate about offering someone who’s ‘already dead’ a way out. Every script this season has been about the resonance of that particular adventure for the Doctor’s character. Here we’re meant to complete the equations ourselves: the identity of the Architect should be obvious because the Doctor hates him, so he feels his self-hatred should be obvious to Clara.

Doctor Who Time Heist

3: Except that, and he doesn’t mention this, but does become the jolliest we’ve ever seen him as soon as he realises, it turns out that ‘what he most wants’ is to give the ‘monsters’ their freedom. Again, we’re left to draw the conclusion as to whether he’s a good man or not.

4: The direction is excellent, Douglas Mackinnon making it all seem more filmic with the quality of his little inserts, like the previous victims of the bank.

Doctor Who Time Heist

5: Psi and Saibra were very nicely defined for guest heroes, and played just as well as they were written. We were made to feel relieved and pleased at their continued existence.

This article originally appeared on the Tor UK blog.


Paul Cornell is a TV screenwriter for Doctor Who, as well as one of our favourite authors on the Tor UK list. His latest novel, The Severed Streets, is out now.

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