Gamersledge Doctor Who Mid-Week Review: The Caretaker
Welcome all again to Gamersledge.com’s Doctor Who Review! We got a few behind so we will go ahead and make this quick. This episode opens with Clara trying to deal with two lives, her school and relationship life and her Doctor life. We see a fairly “normal” Doctor and companion relationship and how it is constantly impacting her personal life. This is actually one of the things that has driven me nuts from the last few seasons. This whole pick up/drop off methodology with companions is just infuriating to me. Anyway there is an alien plot going on here, but the real plot here is Clara caught between the two men in her life.
Story wise this is an improvement. Notice again that Moffat gets second billing on writing, which seems to be a good thing for the story. But again we have two stories, the personal drama story and the “action” alien story. The alien threat is listed as a huge issue, but it really plays second fiddle to the drama story. Overall Time Heist was more entertaining simply because the adventure story was front and center. This episode was still above par for this season.
Visually this was pretty much on par with what we have come to expect. There is a very nice vortex effect in the show, and a mostly practical effect monster but taking place in a terribly mundane setting didn’t require some of the flash of other settings. The sets did look great, and the framing on several of the scenes was very well done. Otherwise it was fairly simple, nothing wrong or broken, just simple.
Character wise things are as good as they have been. We see several aspects to The Doctor in this episode making him seem even more bipolar, but Capadi plays each role well enough. Clara and Danny were front and center in this episode, and I thought the acting from both really stepped up a notch. Overall, I still think the primary issue here is the writing team hasn’t figured out how they want to write this Doctor, so they are all over with it. I honestly think the sub story that The Doctor laid out early on of “am I a good man?” is being played out as The Doctor tries to remember/figure out who he is after having dealt with his involvement from the Time War. His visceral reaction to “soldiers” seem to reinforce that, or it could just be sloppy. The introduction of Courtney Woods seems to indicate she will be seen again.
I am having a hard time trying to give this one a final score. There were things I liked, but there still wasn’t that spark that Doctor Who generally has. I am really beginning to believe that Moffat is a one trick pony, and that ran out after the second season of Matt Smith’s tenure. I’ve never been terribly fond of Moffat’s style of storytelling, but it has worked up till this point, but then again he has generally left the writing to others for the majority of the season so…. I think this episode gets a 7.5 out of 10 Skovax Blitzers. Next Week – Kill the Moon!