JReviews: Doctor Who Series 8 Episode 6- The Caretaker

Ok, review time.

I will kick by saying this episode turned out to be ten times better than I thought it would be. But that isn't saying much because from the previews this episode looked terrible, like Doctor Who was trying to do an episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures (not that that show was bad in any way, but the style wouldn't have worked for the current Doctor Who). However, it turns out I was wrong. But that still leaves the question, was this a good episode?

I'll get back to you on that one.

Sorry, I actually am struggling to call it, was this episode good or not? It's sort of 50/50. And it comes down to a split between our three protagonists. I liked Danny Pink in this episode, as with pretty much all his appearances so far, and he's quickly becoming my favourite "boyfriend" character (against Mickey and Rory, I know it's a short list but one with two very highly commended names on it). He managed to take what was going on around him much better than most people would, though that's probably down to the fact that he was a soldier. Also, his whole attitude towards Clara and her secrets was, I can't think of the word at the moment….. direct? His character is very interesting, his aversion to lies is something I hope they explore and obviously they've given a nice lead on with what he says to Clara at the end about the Doctor pushing her and that he will help her if she needs him. I like his side of their relationship, I just wish we knew more about him. Oh, one thing though, I know he's ex-army and quite fit and all, but doing gymnastics over a killer robot from outer-space? Really?

Then we have the Doctor. Hmmmmm. Ok, it was very hard to like Peter Capaldi in this episode. He was too blunt, too wrapped up in being secretive and too harsh. Why exactly did he need to keep Clara out of the loop on this one at the start and then, a few minutes later, turn around and tell her everything, was it just so he could annoy her for a bit? Surely if she had know what he was doing, she could have prevented anyone from touching the time line devices, because obviously people at a school are going to trust one of the teachers telling them something, or did the Doctor forget that. Also, I'm really struggling to get a read on Capaldi's Doctor still. He's very enigmatic. Through out this series so far, for everything he does that makes me like him, he'll turn around a few minutes later and do something that makes me think "actually, I'm not sure about this guy." I know he's meant to be a darker Doctor, and I like that. I like the angry eyebrows and the harsh Glaswegian bark, but I'm struggling to warm to him the same way I struggled to warm to Christopher Ecclestone.

And finally we have Clara, who for me sits slap bang in the middle, just like in the episode. She did nothing that made me go "wow" and nothing that made me go "oh dear". I can't tell if this episode was meant to be a character building episode for Clara as well as the Doctor and Danny's meet-up episode, but there were bits that added bits to her character, but not much. I dunno. Two episodes ago we had a high point of Clara as a character and now we're back to the same level as before; Clara does some stuff, is the Doctors companion, yay. I don't get why it is so hard to actually care about her. I mean I care for Danny Pink more than Clara and he's only been in the series for 6 episodes.

Other stuff; the robots design was a bit awkward. I liked it over-all, the face was cool as were it's legs, but it's arms were too short and stumpy and it had an odd love of flail shooting by just waving its arms in the direction of its target and hoping it hit. Not exactly the most fearsome weapon in the galaxy or whatever the Doctor called it. Nice to meet more members of staff at the school. The vortex effect was pretty nice. Oh, and now Chris Addison is helping Missy (who still creeps me out no end). I'm looking forward to seeing what this whole "Promised Land" thing is leading up to at the end of the series.

So overall, good episode? Still not sure. Better than I thought it would be, but suffered because of the Doctor for once.

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