This week’s episode starts on Earth as Clara is getting ready for her next date with Danny Pink. Things are heating up between her and her fellow teacher, but guess who just happens to drop by at the most inappropriate moment, looking to whisk her off for the next “thing”? But before Clara can run off to her date leaving the Doctor to his own devices, the pair get distracted by an unknown caller ringing the TARDIS.
This is a recorded message. I am the Architect
Your last memories are of received contacts from an unknown agency. Me. — The Architect
Blink. And in an instant everything changes. They are no longer in Clara’s flat but in a hidden room in the Bank of Karabraxos surrounded by an augmented human and a mutant. Everyone has forgotten their last few days and bank security is hammering at the door threatening their lives. According to a recorded message from a veiled figure called the Architect, the four must execute a bank heist or be killed. With the bank security banging at the door and promising certain death, the four have no other choice but to rob the bank.
The Bank of Karabraxos has never been breached.
You will rob the Bank of Karabraxos – The Architect
Very quickly, it becomes apparent that the Architect has assembled them for their “special powers”: Psi (Jonathan Bailey), the augmented human, is there to crack the security locks; Saibra (Pippa Bennett-Warner), the shape-shifting mutant, is there to by pass the DNA screens; the Doctor is there to figure it all out. The gang quickly bypass the initial screen with the help of the Architect’s sample DNA and Sabria’s shape-shfiting abilities.
Interesting! The latest thing in sniffer dogs. Telepathic. It hunts guilt – The Doctor
However, The Bank of Karabraxos is the most secure place in the galaxy, not because of the computerised locks, DNA scans or the security forces lead by Mrs Delphox, but due to a unique creature named the Teller that can telepathically sniff out the guilt of anyone surrounding him. The Teller finds and deletes individuals with criminal intent — even before they have committed the crimes they are sentenced to death.
Your account will be deleted and obviously your mind. – Mrs. Delphox
The Teller explains why their memories have been wiped. Without knowing why and for what reason they have decided to rob the bank, the gang’s guilt factor is low. But as they solve each piece of the Architect’s puzzle and get closer to breaking the bank, their guilt increased until both Psi and Saibra have been found and eliminated by the Teller.
This isn’t a robbery. It’s a rescue mission – The Doctor
This is your typical heist movie with an Ocean’s 11 or Italian Job hustle to achieve the goal with a Doctor Who twist. The goal isn’t so clear cut, and as the Doctor declares that robbery isn’t the reason they are there.
What do you thing of the new look?
I was hoping for minimalism but I think I came out with magician. – The Doctor
Time Heist is a well crafted, well paced episode directed by Douglas Mackinnon who also created last week’s Listen. Mackinnon takes on another standard formula and delivers the goods with a timey-wimey twist. The new guilt detection creature is beautifully imagined with a face that is both uniquely alien, scary and still empathy. Stephen Thompson’s story combined with a fabulous music score by Murray Gold hits all the right notes for the action adventure.
Jonathan Bailey and Pippa Bennett-Warner provide two solid performances, adding depth to the layers of their characters even in the short confines of a 45 minute episode. They both shine as they explain their loneliness and fears. Keeley Hawes has an air of efficient ruthlessness as the precise Mrs. Delplox, which is very similar to Miss Foster (Sarah Lancashire) the nanny in Partners In Crime. Peter Capaldi is quite obviously the best man to be in charge of the TARDIS even if he is required to occasionally channel Malcolm Tucker-ish dialog.
Shuttetty up, up, up! – The Doctor
Time Heist is another good episode in a strong season of Doctor Who.
Robbing a bank. Robbing a whole bank. Beat that for a date. – The Doctor
For more details on the Time Heist see our dedicated pages on the episode and be sure to watch next week’s episode – The Caretaker – when it becomes just a bit too much for Clara to keep her two men – The Doctor and Danny Pink – separate and in different parts of her life. There seems to be a bit of a rivalry for Clara’s time about to start.