Time Heist

Blogging Doctor Who, New Series 8



Time Waste

Image: Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in suit and tie. Screenshot from 'Time Heist'.Screenshot from 'Time Heist'. Doctor Who Copyright © 2014 BBC.

I've got nothin'. Well, almost nothing.

Twice I've watched "Time Heist", twice I've been, to understate things by a considerable margin, underwhelmed.

"Time Heist" is a stunningly mediocre 45 minutes of television, another example of Steven Moffat's love for high-concept time-travel complexity and Big Ideas that are never fleshed out but only declaimed (mostly by the Doctor) at a machine-gun pace.

By the time the episode was over, and all the unlikely explanations for the episode's events were in, I could for a change accept the bare logic, but still couldn't accept the motivations.

Possibly because I just didn't care enough. And I don't care enough to think about it (or to write about it) any further. If you're interested in a detailed critique (that surprised me by being less harsh than I expected), I commend your attention to "Mooning: Time Heist", by the blogger Patches365.

As for me, I live-tweeted my initial reactions very early on the morning of September 21, 2014. (Follow me here, if you want to) For the record (why doesn't Twitter include the times as well as the dates of posts? Oh well ...), I've pasted them below, oldest to newest, hash-tags removed for easier reading and with replies interspersed (all two of 'em). Also, edited for typos, but that's all.

A terror of tweets

  • Well, hell. Damn the 15 year-old whiskey (thanks, Vernon) and hello live-tweeting the time-delayed #DoctorWho #TimeHeist!
  • Oh good - another explanatory monolog. But not.
  • Ha ha. New Doctor doesn't get physical attraction in humans. Even though he totally used to. Also, cheesy music.
  • We're in for funny, I guess ...
  • Sorry,don't believe Doctor doesn't get mating rituals. (We're only one minute in. Maybe I'll shut up for a while.)
  • Oh for Christ's sake, answer the fucking phone.
  • Praise god, the credits. If only I could have a memory wipe, of my own free will or otherwise ...
  • I have a feeling @danharmon would do a faux heist episode of #DoctorWho a helluva lot better than this ... screw it. Live-tweeting off.
  • Can't stop. To escape guards in galaxy's best bank, they just, er, run away? Can this really be that stupid?
  • If the bank occupies entire world, how do they know where they're going?
  • At least the Teller isn't a bloody #Judoon.
  • "Wiping his mind, turning his brain into soup." Direction terrible. No drama, lots of cliches. Jesus, this is awful.
  • Teller got the wrong guy. How did Bank Lady realize error? How did she know it was 4 others should have been caught?
  • Be fair. Scene with cyborg talking about deleting memories of friends and family was well-played.
  • Again, really bad direction. "Intruders on the surface level", but we have no sense of space at all.
  • As a straight male, though, I have to admit, #JennaColeman looks awesome in the dress-shirt and tie.
  • "We must locate them. And Director [Name] must never know. When people get fired here, it's messy." Exposition much?
  • Bit more than half-way through, 2(of 2) redshirts dead & I don't care. Not good drama. #DoctorWho #TimeHeist (Also,not really dead.)
  • Ooh! Monologue explains this is time-heist, not just heist. Makes everything so much better. Not.
  • Oh hell. The others get zapped, #Doctor & Clara are just captured. Early #Tintin made about as much sense.
  • Er, 2 #deadshirts R alive again. Now in private vault. I don't get it & I don't care. But someone will be in big chair. Chick with glasses.
  • Ho ho ho. "Fired" means incinerated. Ho ho ho.
    • chmayer, Sep 21: @ed_rex Extreme unemployment!

  • "And what are you doing now?" "I'm giving you my telephone number" Who cares?
  • Referring to old #Who isn't in itself a mark of quality or depth. I'm tired of time-travel as reason & explanation.
    • Adam Webbow, Sep 21: @ed_rex Fanfic. No attempt/smug unawareness of entertaining mainstream viewers. This one was soooo bad.

  • So many monologues, so little drama. #DoctorWho #TimeHeist (but cyborg looks weirdly like young #JohnBarrowman)
  • Wow. On first look, that was worst episode since The Curse of the Black Spot

And that's that. Perhaps next week's story will inspire me to greater analytical heights. Or at least, towards more detailed snark.

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