Analysis of Series 8: Episode 6: Doctor Who – The Caretaker

The Caretaker

Gareth Roberts and Steven Moffat

Spoilers Sweetie – watch the episode before reading on.

trapped sun - tanIt is a truth universally acknowledged that when you’re travelling with a self-confessed magician Time Lord, you will never really know what to expect, but whatever it is, it will be adrenaline infused.

We get a hint at what Clara and the Doctor have been up to since the Doctor left Clara right before her second date with Danny Pink. Although it’s difficult to gauge how much time has passed, it’s enough to suggest that Clara should have been more forthcoming with the “weird-disliking” Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson). The Clara-Doctor dynamic is taking shape – it’s nuanced, layered, and deep.

It’s a complex thing that probably is best understood by not trying to bind it into a singular neat bundle called “father-daughter”, “friends that are exes”, or “employer-employee” and instead trying to fathom it from the perspective of all three, with a side order of deception.

We begin with the intercut technique used to depict Clara and Danny’s courtship, with the added knowledge from Time Heist, that the Doctor has a hidden agenda that involves competing with whoever she’s dating, so we can compare dates with the Doctor vs. the after-date with Danny. Something Danny is vaguely aware of and comments about in terms of the state she’s in when they go out – distracted, wet and tanned.

Clara’s glorious tan was explained along a storyline – chained to a pole in the desert alongside the mad hatter in the big blue-box, she’s left the vibro-cutters in her other coat (Don’t you hate it when that happens). I reckon she got that beautiful golden tan in Lanzarote where they filmed next week’s episode, Kill the Moon – a little human time traveling magic called television. “I hate soldiers – don’t you hate soldiers?” the Doctor screams as they’re running down a corridor.

Anyone would think he’s trying to condition her against Danny. can't do this anymore

The mirror theme is repeated when Clara, returning from her run with Danny, which she had to do upon returning from her much more extreme run with the Doctor, claims, “I can’t keep doing this… Yes I can, I can do it, of course I can do it.”

Before reminding herself that she’s got this all under control.

The irony.

She doesn’t have it as under control as she would like.

Throughout the episode, she’s trying to keep control of a turbulent situation – not the monster necessarily – because sometimes monsters are easier than feelings – it’s the threat of Danny finding out about the Doctor and, the Doctor finding out about Danny.

“Clara you look lovely today, have you had a wash?”

As always the Doctor is a bit Girls-yuck crossed over with fatherly. Clara talks about doing “things” often, it’s a vague term that the Doctor has taken to using as well, and apparently also the people around her – Danny, and the Bow-tied Adrian…

Where it’s deliberate, it’s funny. When Clara talks about “doing things” we understands why… she’s trying to hide what she’s doing – she’s living two separate lives, filing “chasing aliens and running for my life” under all things things – and until absolutely necessary, she’ll get away with half-arsed explanations by substituting all nouns with the word “thing”.

When the Doctor uses vague terms like “thing” when talking to Clara, it seems like he’s mirroring her – implying that he’s playing her along until the truth comes about, something he’s not entirely adverse to plotting, but when everyone else starts doing it, the writing risks coming over as too loose and lazy. hiding informationClara wants to go on another adventure, she’s got into a routine and since she needs to have control, how better to assert it than to set the time and place – rather than have him turn up two minutes before her next date?

The eye theme is repeated again this week as Clara exits the TARDIS, she opens the door again and points to her eye saying, “I’ve got my eye on you.” Maybe this is really just about the aesthetics of the season, to have repeats of themes in each week, but when I notice it, I’ll write it.

Pure speculation here: Could Clara have something to do with The Eye of Harmony, the black hole from which all Time Lord tech and abilities originate? When Gallifrey was transported to a fragment in time, what happened to this Black hole? Could this have something to do with the Nethersphere? Robert Holmes created many of the concepts that became synonymous with Doctor Who – the eye of Harmony was one of them. http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Talk:Eye_of_Harmony

The rumours about Clara and Danny are flying around the school, probably because Courtney the Disruptive Influence (Ellis George) does whatever she can to point it out every time she sees them. Danny has noticed that Clara isn’t always herself and when he mentions it, she makes the excuses and tries to cover up what she’s been doing with “things. caretaker1

Clara’s two lives collide when the Doctor takes a position as a Caretaker at Coal Hill School, going by his general pseudonym John Smith. Danny notices the wink the Doctor casts toward Clara, but everyone else barely does. Maybe because she needs to control, Clara leaves Danny at the furthest end of the hall before rushing back to confront her “friend-employer-ex-misc” because she suspects that the danger she’s always chasing so far away from her own life, has arrived in her actual, real, everyday life – Aliens in her school.

Clara could be grasping at straws to get information out of him when she observes, “You cannot pass yourself off as a real person among actual people.”

A little reveal into the Doctor and River’s life is given when the doctor he admitted that he sulked with otters for a month. He leaves Clara framed by a door in one of several portrait shots. It’s a nice touch to convey her frustration at being cut out, and not being in control of the situation. Her personal worlds are threatening to collide.

On the subject of River Song, I know that there was a sense of completion of that story arc, but I would love to see Alex Kingston act alongside Peter Capaldi to get a sense of exactly how much he’s changed when the dynamic focuses on him and River.

So much speculation abounds about the Nethersphere now… and I read someone’s theory the other day about the Nethersphere being somehow linked to the Library where River’s electronic signature was saved. Could it be that Peter Capaldi was the older, angrier Doctor than the romantic David Tennant she met in the library? Captain Kirk doesn’t seem to think so…

handLow angles of the camera shots of the policeman and the Coal Hill students on a free period give the impression of lurking danger. Followed by Dutch angles and sinister music, the portentous situation is heightened. The smoking hand at the end, highlighted by torchlight was a delightfully gruesome touch, followed by the creepy Skovox Blitzer backing itself in amongst the mannequins. The mannequins were reminiscent of Christopher Eccleston’s first encounter with the Autons – when he meets Rose and they are almost but not quite as creepy as clowns. “Problem – Solution – DESTROY” noThe Doctor peers into Clara’s classroom via a stepladder and interferes with her lesson (he’s in and behind a lot of windows this week), interjecting that Jane Austen finished Pride and Prejudice in 1796 – our classical literature reference for this week – (and not 1797 as Clara had written on the board). Obviously annoyed with him taking control of her domain (the classroom), Clara accuses him of having a typical Doctor Who story about Jane Austen involving Buddy Holly and Boggens (usually told by him) and he corrects her with the tidbit that he found it out by reading the bio at the back of the book.

I had to look it up… the “Pride and Prejudice” was initially called “First Impressions” and was completed between 1796 and 1813 when it was published. According to a letter Jane Austen wrote her sister Cassandra, she was worried that if she gave it to someone called Martha to read, she feared that Martha would get it published herself from memory.

eyeClara can’t concentrate with the Doctor around – demonstrated by her agreement to do everything. I think that on the verge of being caught out, and with no effort to explain things to Danny, Clara bobs around agreeing to everything, while working out if the Doctor knows what’s going on, and just how much. She observes Adrian (Edward Harrison) talking to the Time Lord, and knowing what he’s like when they’re out fighting in the universe when he bumps into actual life forms, she is naturally concerned.

We overhear a conversation play out between Adrian, Danny, and the Doctor. Adrian introduces Danny and informs him that he served in the army. From the Doctor’s reaction to Danny, we know that he instantly doesn’t like him (Clara doesn’t seem to want to notice), he refuses to believe he’s anything other than a PE teacher, which is just ever so slightly better than being a soldier, and whether he actually knows who he is, is left maddeningly ambiguous although there is evidence to suggest that he does and he’s lying about it. However remember that this week and last, the Doctor referred to himself as a magician, and a conjurer… plus Clara suggested that he could do deep cover at the Magic Circle, he could be deceiving us all.

Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is dark and it’s fascinating to watch the character development play out week–by–week. It’s difficult to determine whether to take all, some, or none of it seriously.

When the Doctor refuses to believe that Danny Pink is a maths teacher, it’s funny initially, but it seems to be deliberate. Either that or that he cannot assimilate the facts brought before him, which is even more troubling. Is there is a purposeful block in place in his head when it comes to Danny, and if so, why? When Clara broaches the name of Danny (referring to what happened in Listen – which was admittedly some time ago) and the Doctor’s response is opaque ignorance. He treats the name Pink and the observation that Danny and Orson look alike, it as if he knows nothing about any of it, doesn’t seem to see the connection in context, and it seems that he can’t identify faces again – but he’s okay with remembering incorrect job titles – “Who remembers a PE teacher?”

It just doesn’t seem to occur to him that Clara set their destination inadvertently when she linked telepathically to the TARDIS in Listen. Then the Doctor asks her about the man she’s dating – completely changing the subject despite not changing the subject (humour), again the idea that it might be Danny, is as easy to assimilate as the notion that Danny is a bonafide maths teacher.

awWhen the Doctor slaps his eyes on Adrian, I don’t think it’s his face that he’s seeing, rather it’s the bow tie and somewhere in his head he’s hearing the Clara-Matt musical score. (If it is the face then there is definitely something fishy about him not recognising Danny’s face and seeing Clara’s as the same age as himself) bow-tie waffler It also doesn’t help that besotted Adrian speaks in Matt Smith Tones for example, “Fascinating enigma of its not finishedness”

This is the man the Doctor wants Clara to have, the one that his brain can comprehend, the one that reminds him of his younger, more dapper self? Maybe that happy look on his face is one of relief, thinking maybe he’d been wrong all along about the soldier after all, thankful that he’d given nothing away. (I can almost hear him saying it too)

Question: Has the Doctor’s been hypnotised to forget Danny? He threatens to hypnotise Danny, but never does. Is this why he can’t trust the PE teacher-soldier, despite not knowing why, yet?

Courtney the disruptive influence steps into the caretaker’s shed and begins interrogating the Doctor. Again it’s impossible not to notice the prop-filled setting of the shed with atmospheric backlighting, appreciating the whole scene for all the stories it tells. The Doctor looks at his board that was intended to say, “Go Away” and mutters, “Never lose your temper in the middle of a door sign.” go away humans I wondered when he lost his temper – so far, he seems to have had it all together – certainly seems pleasant enough with Clara, sarcastic with Danny, and besotted with Bow-Tie… (Perhaps this is a tell that he knows about Danny and is annoyed?) Some hilarious banter emerges between the banter-hating Doctor and Courtney, it’s refreshing to see the Doctor getting as good as he gives with a hilariously great performance with Ellis George – she’d make a great sidekick in the Clara Oswald Adventures spin-off (which is a show that I’ve completely made up, but wouldn’t it be cool?)

D: “Oh listen, there’s the bell, off you go. Haven’t you got shoplifting to do?” Co: “I’m going to tell the headmaster.” D: “Oh, yes, well, fine. Cut along, you’re running out of time.” Co: “For what?” D: “Everything, human beings have an incredibly short life spans. Frankly, you should all be in a permanent state of panic. Tick, tock, tick, tock” Co: “You’re weird” D: “Yes, I am what about you?” Co: “I’m a disruptive influence” D: “Good to meet you” Co: “And you(!)” D: “Now get lost” 

Craving control because she can’t stand not having it any longer, Clara enters the shed – presumably, she has a free period, or left the children to their own devices, demanding to know from the Doctor what’s going on. She refers to his previous companions asking if they let him get away with this, perhaps not quite realising that this is truly the strangest that he’s ever been, and I don’t know how his other companions might have handled the transition. Initially he refuses to tell her anything about what’s going on, she assumes its because he is certain that she wouldn’t approve, I think it’s because he’s annoyed about Clara and her secret soldier man.

D: “Why do I keep you around?” Cl: “Because the alternative would be developing a conscience of your own.”

tech scanClara has obviously thought it all through though, expert at getting information from him by pushing his buttons, he backs down on his initial resolve to tell her nothing and explains the situation while showing her a scan of the Skovox Blitzer he’s tracking.

D: “I used to have a teacher exactly like you.” Cl: “You still do. Pay attention.”

We discover the identity of the scary policeman-killing beast among the mannequins – the Skovox Blitzer… “One of the deadliest killing machines ever created.” It’s a heavily armed, robot-like shooter, which as far as I can tell the only thing that differentiates it from a Dalek is it operates as a stand-alone unit, it can move fast and easily hide, but it’s vulnerable to data-exploitation due to it’s hard-coded hierarchical parameters. “Probably homed in here because of Artron emissions. You’ve had enough of them in this area over the years.”

For the recreational Whovian, you might have missed the implication that this is as a direct result of the TARDIS repeatedly showing up in one place. Artron energy is life force energy directly from the Vortex (the Eye of Harmony) and is given off as a by-product of the TARDIS. Also noteworthy is the Eye of Harmony (a black hole) is in the TARDIS and as a result is probably the last connection that exists on the plane of reality the Doctor is occupying, to the pocket-universe containing Gallifrey. http://misc.thefullwiki.org/Artron_energy

“… Some military idiot will try to attack it. The world is full of PE teachers.” The Doctor then shows Clara his plan involving an invisibility watch, intended to lure the Blitzer with non-threatening alien-tech but keeping the Doctor safe by making him invisible. He’s set up several time mines around the school called Chronodyne generators, commenting on their instability, intending to suck the Skovox Blitzer into a big old time vortex somewhere in the future, very boring… Then he flips back to thinking she’s with Adrian, tells her to go and canoodle her boyfriend. Clara misunderstands, they speak at cross-purposes, and much ado will pursue in due course.

Cl: “Sorry I underestimated you” D: “Easily done, there’s a lot to estimate.”

Clara is tack-sharp most of the time, but there doesn’t seem to be any flags going up when the Doctor admits that he likes “him” (referring to Adrian), she obviously missed out on all his pointed references about soldiers, and PE teachers – maybe she thinks he’s finally coming around – proving that we only hear what we want to, and disregard the rest… in sight danny's sight

Bumping into Danny we discover that he has a thing that night, Clara has a thing too, and they all have things so cancel tonight’s date and make it after Parents’ evening thing the following day. Danny wants the opportunity to spy on the Caretaker that night. Being switched on to the fact that the Doctor doesn’t behave normally, his soldiering instincts swinging into action with the questions only someone worthy of traveling with the Doctor could ask, Danny wonders aloud to Clara what the Doctor was before he became the Caretaker.

Adrian by comparison in his interactions with the Doctor, seems like an inarticulate, half-asleep bumbler, blinded by his crush on a girl who is far too strong for him. this

The Doctor heads off into the night, creating an energy trail with his sonic screwdriver to lure the Skovox Blitzer to his time trap. For some reason it’s dark and Clara has decided to see what the Doctor is up to, in the absence of her canoodling collaborate Mr Pink, she finds the empty shed, and some boppy polka muzak drives the action forward. She heads off looking for the Doctor just as Mr Canoodler arrives, while they all hilariously creep around, interferes with the carefully constructed time-field the Doctor has set up using the unstable Chronodyne generators – making them live up to their unstable reputations.

The lonesome Blitzer with glowing eyes, runs around the school tracking the Doctor down, heading toward the school hall. The Doctor arrives in the centre of where he’s set up the traps and dismayed discovers that they’ve all malfunctioned. He realises that the Blitzer can now see him.

Why wouldn’t the watch make him invisible?

Because the Blitzer can detect his shoe trails, so even if it couldn’t see him, it would see his footprints – and knowing where to shoot is all that a Blitzer needs when it contains an arsenal big enough to wipe out the planet. Danny Pink arrives and wants a word with the Caretaker, and is literally almost blown away by the Skovox Blitzer. It really does remind me of a Dalek – only slightly less reasonable.

A massive hole is blown into the stack of school chairs (really impressive effect), while Danny springs to one side avoiding the blast. Accidentally, one of the Chronodyne Generators Danny was holding, flies off to one side, turns green, and although he caused the Doctor’s trap to malfunction in the first place, he compensates by buying them a little extra time until the next attack.

Uh-Oh!
Uh-Oh!

Danny is shaken by this first confrontation with Clara’s other life, and the other man Time Lord in it. Is first question was whether she saw the thing, the Doctor cannot let go of Danny’s military background and the fact that his trap was interfered with. The Doctor was moaning about having three days to come up with something new.

Honestly, I don’t understand why someone with a Time Machine would have a problem with “no time” Effectively he could go back to last millennium, think about something for months and arrive back two minutes before moaning about how little time they have. “Now it’s scanned me and will kill me on sight, thanks to PE here.” Clara is thinking so fast her eyes almost roll onto the floor.

Danny finally catches up and measured asks why she’s talking to the Doctor like that. Clara sees Danny withdraw when he realises there are “space things” and his imagination fills in the blanks with speculation that the Doctor is her Space Dad, and once again thing is a word thrown around like confetti. you ruined it When Clara insists that Danny is her boyfriend, the Doctor’s confusion is confusing again, just when we think that this entire event was staged, the Doctor’s shock seems to suggest that it completely wasn’t. I don’t know if he’s redirecting his anger toward the failed Chronodyne Generator set up.

You’ve made a boyfriend error.”

Things take a turn for the worst when Clara admits that she loves Danny (a sentiment that Danny never voices in return), but the Doctor is stunned by the admission despite having seen the signs in Into the Dalek when he returned 3-months late with coffee and observed that she appeared to be in love.

Clara is now in a similar situation to someone that has to introduce the other man Time Lord to her current boyfriend. In this case, the other man isn’t just any old guy. It’s a huge moment because both of the lives she’s been living have been heading toward this moment of singularity. Despite all the things, this scene is carried off with fascinating tension, with the reveal of the TARDIS on stage completing the build to this melodramatic peak, accompanied by tweedley-dee music playing over tension strings. Shock “Well, you’re explained me to him. You haven’t explained him to me.” (It wasn’t as if she hadn’t tried – albeit at the minute before being caught!)

Clara and Danny reflect on the relationship standing before a reflective window, the reflection theme again. Danny is concerned because – well no doubt he’s feeling duped. He feels threatened that she’s been living a whole life of danger and epic adventures with another man Time Lord, and asks if she loves the Doctor, and she admits after prompting that she does – just not in that way. Reflection

This is not unprecedented – we’ve seen this sort of thing happen between Amy and Rory when they both started traveling with the Doctor. We understood from Rory’s point of view, how intimidating it might be to have the Doctor as the other man in your girlfriend’s life. Danny handles it with strength and confidence, favouring Clara’s best interests. But I’m still left with the question of who is Danny Pink?

D: “Why do you fly off in the box with him? The truth, please just this once.” Cl: “Because… it’s amazing. Because I see wonders.”

This is the first time we find out why Clara travels with the curmudgeonly Doctor, the first time she admits how she feels about him, and the traveling, especially since it all changed with the regeneration. “It’s funny you only really know what someone thinks of you, when you know what lies they’ve told you.”

The dialogue between Clara and Danny is quite deep, emotive and reveals something I’ve been wondering since the season started. Why does she travel with the Doctor? If he parked his TARDIS on my lawn, I don’t think I’d go with him. “An invisibility watch, not even a ring” Clara arranges with Danny for a moment for him to witness unhindered, her relationship with the Doctor, but things go horribly awry. Instead of discovering that the Doctor is alright – as Clara constantly tells herself he is – Danny finds the Doctor is different to a soldier in that he is more like an Officer, a quality the Doctor grappled with in Into the Dalek.

Danny dishes out some cracking one-liners, he’s not amused or even impressed by the Doctor and his antics, he’s actually rather disdainful. The Doctor realises they’re not alone and threatens to take them traveling, revealing secrets that he’s aware Clara has been keeping back from ‘Dave’. This is not a healthy fixation – it’s almost obsessive, how long has he been stewing?

Met men like this
“On balance I think that went well.”

“The accent’s good, but you can always spot the aristocracy. It’s in the attitude” “One thing, Clara. I’m a soldier, guilty as charged. You see him? He’s an officer.” “I’m the one who carries you out of the fire. He’s the one who lights it.” “That’s him. Look at him, right now. That’s who he is.”

disruptive influenceA little light relief from all the drama follows with Courtney showing up demanding to look inside the Police Box. The Doctor admits that it’s a time machine and they seem to get along, giving an insight into the kind of student the Doctor might have been at the academy and after showing a little of his frustration through misdirected anger at the Danny-Clara “humans”, he agrees to take her on a trip, another time.

The scene for the final showdown occurs during Parents’ evening, making the Doctor’s calculations were wrong – not the first time he’s been… he seems to be making a habit – something I find suspicious.

Missing heart? Mirrored realities (formless thoughts swirl in the ocean of possibilities)…

The Doctor realises something is amiss when the thing he’s building begins beeping. While we cut to Parents’ evening, which is going as well as any Parents’ evening can be expected to. It is confirmed that Danny was there for the previous Parents’ evening (establishing significant passage of time) and although Courtney is a disruptive influence, she’s no longer a very disruptive one, her parents optimistically point out that it’s an improvement. Caretaker

The Doctor grabs their attention and they make their excuses about seeing the Caretaker and head off to really fight the Blitzer and keep it away from the school hall. Ever since the Doctor turned up, Clara’s not been doing her job all that well. The Doctor screams shut up and leave us alone when Danny offers to help. He’s no longer fixated on PE Teacher and the lesser, soldier, he’s just channelling pure hatred now.

Clara does exactly as the Doctor’s ordered her to do, she’s able to redirect the Skovox Blitzer away from Parents and children hanging out, waiting for the Maths and English teachers to return. Clara lures it back to the caretaker’s shed and the Doctor puts on a device that convinces the Blitzer that he’s the superior. An idea he got from Danny.

While the Blitzer is going through a self-destruct sequence, the Doctor needs a little time to change the orders to just switch the thing off, not blow up, which would take the school with it. stuntman dannyDanny performs an impressive, slow-motion, flip over the Skovox – with a neat overhead shot looking down- and some dynamic camera angles being used all the way through the chase and confrontation.

Dutch angles, low, high, overhead. Danny on the wire, all looks good highlighted by the flashing lights of the Skovox Blitzer laser guns. Clara can barely contain her delight at the man she loves being such a clever and amazing hero. The funny thing about Artron energy is it can boost the human immune system and perhaps this accounts for Danny’s superhuman leap over the Dalek’s second cousin. Danny stakes his claim as the better man first, by pointing out that he was behind her all the way, and that he understands the Doctor is only concerned about one thing – Clara’s well being.

Da: “It’s alright, it doesn’t matter. I don’t need him to like me. It doesn’t matter if he likes me or hates me. I just need to do exactly one thing for you. Doctor am I right?” D: “Yes” Cl: “What? What one thing?” Da: “I need to be good enough for you. That’s why he’s angry. Just in case I am not.” Cl: “He did just save the whole world” D: “Yeah. Yeah. Good start.”

Millions of starsThe Skovox Blitzer is sent off into space. The Doctor accompanied by Courtney the Disruptive Influence points out the vastness of which, to which Courtney gives her arguably overly critical opinion, and the more immediate matters of cleaning up a sinister puddle, are left to the Caretaker to perform.

Clara and Danny wrap up the episode neatly. Danny points out she should have been scared but she wasn’t. He understands that “men like that” can push people further and harder, but they can also go too far over the edge. Again Danny emphasises how much he values the Truth, and depending what happens in the coming episodes, this might not always be easy for Clara to deliver, especially with what she knows about Rupert and Orson Pink.

The secrets are already too deep to reveal.

How will this go down?

I can’t wait to find out! NethersphereAs Clara and Danny fade to white we join the Policeman that the Skovox Blitzer destroyed arrive before Seb (Chris Addison) who explains a Skovox Blitzer killed him – it was like in the movies. Seb points out that there had been a few arrivals because of that. The Policeman peers through the blinds outdoors, but we can’t see what he does. The music overlaying the Policeman’s recounting, reminds me a little of the Battlestar Gallactica (BSG) score. “What name would you like? There’s a range. The afterlife. The Promised Land. I’m partial to the Nethersphere.”

Michelle Gomez is uncredited, however she arrives casting them a backward glance before heading upward to the light at the end of the tunnel providing an intriguing build up to what promises to be an exciting story arc that we haven’t yet reached. “The Caretaker” is the sixth episode of the eighth series of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who, written by Gareth Roberts and Steven Moffat, and directed by Paul Murphy. The episode stars Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, and Samuel Anderson.

The Verdict

It’s a little bit soap opera – but with purpose fulfilled, and great monster action, and stunts, carried off seamlessly, with dramatic emotional touches interspersed among the comedic moments. I concur with the general consensus that this episode harks back to the Russell T Davis era, with also the feel of the Sarah Jane Adventures, both series for which Gareth Roberts has extensively written. gutted

The Doctor is still not quite right, but his complex ways are more fathomable when mapped against situations we all think we understand, if not then strongly relate to. Being the Time Lord that gets relegated to the position of the other man, is obviously a difficult wound for his fragile ego to bear.

I think he knew about Danny all along, how could he not without it being suspicious? There was one moment where he may have thought he might have been wrong, when he was blinded by Adrian’s cool bow-tie and whimsical speech, but he was furious and hurt, when it all came to light anyway.

Clara is a control freak – a loveable one admittedly, she’s showing more quirks as her characterisation is asserted – she’s delighted at the possibility of an invisibility watch, and she runs like a manic lunatic with a sonic screwdriver while being chased by a Skovox Blitzer. I do wonder if her feelings for Danny are stronger than his for her – he hasn’t said that he loves her, just that she’s to tell him the truth and let him know if it gets too much.

Overall at the moment, Danny is good for her by lending a sense of perspective to what she’s been doing with the Doctor in secret. The relationship between the Doctor and Danny reminds me a little of how the Doctor treated Rose’s boyfriend Mickey, except the eyebrows now make the reaction a whole lot scarier. Angle up

The Skovox Blitzer was a lot like a standalone Dalek with a funkier shell and as far as monsters go, I wouldn’t want that thing lurking in a dark corner waiting for me, would you. It moved fast, had terrifyingly squeaky joints and the resolution to do away with it was inspired by Danny’s defiant reaction to the Doctor in the TARDIS. Trick it, hack it and send it off into a more appropriate space and time.

The word thing was thrown about a little too much… there are so many other words out there that cannot fail to enrich dialogue, much like little bit of salt is tasty, while too much spoils the meal.

Goodbye chapThe pressure pot of questions raised over the previous episodes, now have some answers and in true Doctor Who style, have added more into the mix, especially with a further glimpse into the Promised Land business and Miss Missy the Mysterious. The Doctor’s ambiguity is completely inspired, insane-genius and maddening, and I loved every minute of this episode and everything in it.

© Screen grabs courtesy of the BBC
© Nicki Ki, All Rights Reserved 

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3 thoughts on “Analysis of Series 8: Episode 6: Doctor Who – The Caretaker

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