Doctor Who Review — Episode 6: The Caretaker

Hmm.  I have to cop to really not liking this episode.  Mostly because I don’t like Danny Pink, and his “relationship” with Clara has been written in such a hamfisted manner, I don’t know whether to laugh or laugh harder.  The plot of the episode was an alien called Skovox Blitzer at Coal Hill and the Doctor having to go undercover as the caretaker of the school (the janitor for US fans) in order to catch him/her/it.  On its face, that sounds relatively exciting enough, but all of that seemed to be background for the Clara and Danny Show, where we see her awkwardly try to balance traveling with the Doctor and maintaining a relationship with the aforementioned Mr. Pink.  We already know, as it’s been set up in more than a few episodes, that the Doctor doesn’t like the military or soldiers very much, and the fact that Danny Pink is former military means telegraphed drama.  Once they meet, it’s basically the Doctor insulting Danny, insisting he couldn’t possibly be a maths (British English) teacher, but rather a PE teacher, because apparently soldiers are stupid.  Then we have Danny needling and goading the Doctor, trying to get a rise out of him, all in the hopes of showing Clara how dangerous and unpredictable he is, and that traveling with him isn’t a good idea.  At one point I forgot what the damn plot was all about.  Obviously Clara cares for them both, but in different ways, and she’s trying to juggle making them both happy, while failing miserably all around.  The creepy, faux-threatening, quasi-ultimatum from Danny at the end didn’t sit well with me, but it just got lumped into the pile of other things I found odd or disjointed about it.

This was the first Doctor Who episode I’ve seen since Series 6 that just made me bored.  I’m hoping next week’s episode, Kill The Moon, is demonstrably better.  To show that I didn’t find the whole thing to be a pile of tosh however, here is my favorite scene:

   

The look on his face at the end there is brilliant.  We already know Clara had feelings for the Eleventh Doctor, a handsome chap with a bow tie, and found his regeneration into Twelve hard to stomach because he no longer looked the way he used to (amongst many other differences).  I thought it was rather amusing to see her say no, that’s not her type….when it very much was her type not that long ago.

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6 comments

  1. zathra · September 28, 2014

    I had hopes for Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, but the quality of the scripts has gone pear – shaped. The writing doesn’t seem as good as it was during the Tennant – Smith years, even though I THINK ( Please, for the love of God….. ) that they’ve stopped with the romantic ” ‘shipping ” that went on in the previous years ( Tennant w / Rose, Smith having Amy want to have a snog in the shrubbery with him ).

    He also made a reference to River Song, to his credit.

    Like

    • Beth · September 28, 2014

      I love Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, and have found his performance so far to be the best I’ve seen, on par with the greats from the 70s, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. I was excited for his portrayal the moment his name was announced, having been a huge fan of his previous work, and I haven’t been disappointed by him yet. A couple of the episodes so far haven’t hit me well, namely this one and Robot of Sherwood, but it wasn’t because Capaldi wasn’t up to snuff. It’s as you said, down to the writing.

      I never had a problem with the “shipping,” being a huge fan of the Ten/Rose storyline, but I’m glad to see it’s been put back on the shelf for a while, because dipping into a well too many times quickly makes it run dry.

      Liked by 1 person

      • zathra · September 28, 2014

        He’s a good actor, from what I’ve seen of him, but he deserves better scripts on Doctor Who, I’ve only seen him on the Torchwood miniseries ” Children of Earth ” & the citizen of Pompeii in ” Fires of Pompeii “, yes – AND Cardinal Richeliu in ” The Musketeers “.

        It was high time they got an older Doctor. I heard jokes to the effect that if his regenerations got any younger, the Doctor would crawl out of the TARDIS in a diaper with a sonic pacifier in his mouth. 🙂

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        • Beth · September 29, 2014

          You should check out The Thick of It, which is free to watch on Hulu, if you’d like to see what really made Capaldi famous. I should warn you, there’s lots of foul language, so if that’s not your thing, avoid it.

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      • zathra · September 28, 2014

        & I liked ” Into the Dalek “, even though it seemed reminiscent of ” Fantastic Voyage “, ” Innerspace “, & even an episode of ” Lost in Space ” where Dr. Smith & Will Robinson took a trip into a giant – sized Robot.

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  2. zathra · September 29, 2014

    Yeah, I’ve seen clips of Malcolm Tucker. 🙂

    Like

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