In Review: Doctor Who – Time Heist

The Time Lord is given the task of stealing from the most dangerous bank in the cosmos.

Synopsis: The Time Lord is given the task of stealing from the most dangerous bank in the cosmos.

Review: This episode lends much from your average episode of Hustle or Leverage, but with a science fiction twist.

Capaldi takes charge of a mission to steal from the most impenetrable bank in the cosmos. Which begs the question of where the jokes were regarding the greed and extravagant bonuses of real life bankers.

As an episode the storyline and fun heist story worked well, but there were a lot of missed opportunities in terms of humor regarding the nature of our actual banking system.

Instead we have a clever story, which is ambiguous to the very close.

A story that starts with a mysterious phone call – the reason for which is revealed at the close of the episode.

For the actual bank Heist the Doctor and Clara are teamed up with some fun characters in the form of a computer hacker who is half human and half machine and a woman who can assume other peoples appearance from touch.

Both these people people play a key role in circumventing the banks security.

Clara is given a fair bit to do in this episode as well and during the scenes in which the alien is trying to scan her thoughts. You can’t help but wonder what it is that is hidden deep down in her memories. I.E. is she aware that she is the impossible girl.

The big guest star in this episode was Keeley Hawes who played her role of bank manager and the person who has the alien enslaved really well. The actress oozes the right measure of sex appeal and danger to convince us that she actually would sell her own mother in order to retain control of the bank. This is a character that I wouldn’t mind seeing a little more of in the series.

Overall this was a lighter episode than what we had last week and it had an enjoyable twist ending, which perhaps was telegraphed from the start, but the fun was seeing how the story unfolded and got us there.

Capaldi also got chance to make at least two additional sight gags to his eyebrows, which undoubtedly made him a very happy camper.

Doctor Who – Time Heist
  • A fun hiest story
  • Missed opportunity for satire in regards to bankers bonuses
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
4 Comments on this post.
  • Raissa Devereux (@RaissaDevereux)
    21 September 2014 at 12:26 am -

    I really enjoyed this ep. for all the reasons you brought up. There’s another point re: Clara, as the Impossible Girl, that was reiterated both in the Fact File for the episode on the official site and during the Extra confidential. We first saw the memory worms during The Snowmen. Strax tried to use them on Victorian Clara, who was a fragment, and ended up using them on himself. I didn’t remember that and they made a point of recalling it for fans like me in two spots. The Impossible Girl arc is in full force. You have to wonder if Clara recalled the memory worms before they used them.

    The second general point is that the theme of identity was plastered all over the story in neon. Who is the architect? What is the importance of memory? Karabraxos’ entire relationship to her clones. If you extrapolate the metaphor, Clara became the Architect in the plan to fracture herself and save the Doctor and his timeline. She had multiple sets of memories while Clara Prime’s were erased until Eleven sent the leaf; Psi is the analog there. Clara also had multiple versions of herself that kept dying, just like the clones.

    The third point is that I was right to bring up Clara’s three-way mirror in the last podcast. We’ll be seeing it again according to the promos for The Caretaker. Clara is being spread thin and Moffat&Co. are sign posting a crap ton of stuff.

  • Raissa Devereux (@RaissaDevereux)
    21 September 2014 at 12:12 pm -

    Re-watched the recording briefcase scene at the beginning. Clara didn’t remember the memory worm, but she didn’t remember the War Doctor or Oswin!Dalek either. So, either this episode re-introduced the worms and the idea of Psi’s self-deletion to suggest that the Doctor or some other agency put a memory block on Clara.

    Also, this could either be character growth and foreshadowing or a slip in the writing, but during the recording, the Doctor referred to himself as “a Time Lord from Gallifrey,” not the “last of the Time Lords.” Something to ponder.

  • Raissa Devereux (@RaissaDevereux)
    21 September 2014 at 12:19 pm -

    Another point, in this episode’s intro, the Doctor seemed confused about Clara’s date: “Why is your face all colored in?” During “Listen,” he understood Clara was dating and bantered about how badly it went, because he thought she’d taken her make up off when she hadn’t. He also commented on her heels this time when he has to know what they are. There’s apparently some lazy writing to facilite the banter.

  • JSintheStates
    28 September 2014 at 8:23 pm -

    Here is the problem. Having an effect predicated on a cause from the future creates a paradox. Effect can not happen before cause–ever! Doctor Who rarely if ever has had a time paradox episode, well, up until Steven Moffat showed up. It’s poor writing. It’s poor science fiction. It’s sloppy story telling. And it’s killing off Doctor Who!

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