I’m actually writing this one “live” during my first watch-through of the episode. So please ignore any weirdness with tense. Big spoilers, as usual.
We start the episode off well enough, Clara on her way to a date. That only lasts until the TARDIS phone rings.
All of a sudden we find ourselves in a room with a couple extra people and find that everyone has had their memory wiped. Good start, I’m curious!
So we have a bank we’re supposed to rob and what appears to be a new monster in a box. The next part kind of reminds me of a movie that I saw long ago about a heist (the music and all) but I can’t quite wrap my head around the name of it.
Doesn’t matter, ignore my lack of brains. What it comes down to is that we have a teller that’s actually a brain souping monster (although he looks like he’s in prison). That will soon be what banks do in real life, won’t it? When our little group thought about blowing through the floor, I realized the TARDIS must absolutely be in the bank. I’d had my suspicions from Clara’s offhand comment before, but I felt like that confirmed it.
A little filler, then we accidently come face to face with the teller in his box/cage. A scare for Clara, then Saibra is forced to… dispose of herself. Only I don’t feel like she killed herself. To me, it looks like a teleporter. I’m sure we’ll get to that later.
On we go and of course we’re forced to split up. Clara gets caught but Psi saves her. We start to look through the vaults, but then… caught! So it turns out the teller is also the last of his kind, and the prison-type-getup looks that way for a reason after all.
Then the aha moment. Our new “friends” are alive and the TARDIS is in orbit. The escape is made from our villain, and we head for the vault again. At 3/4 of the way through, I feel like we’ve hardly seen Ms. Delphox, and I see her as more scared than evil.
“excuse us, but we’ve come to rob you”
Clones… Didn’t see that one coming. We finally get a rant from the Doctor, and this is where he’s got it all figured out.
“Shuttipy up up up”
When the teller feeds, I love that we get a nod back to all the old Doctors. Really, though, this is about getting the Doctor’s memory back and seeing how they got there. Then we understand that the teller is not alone, and the real reason for the mission. We skip ahead to see the Doctor saved the day, and really are we surprised?
Our ending sends Clara back for her date, and the Doctor with a comment leading to suggest he wants to one-up Danny. Do I detect a note of jealousy?
All right, my opinion after watching it the first time? It’s kind of a fun stand-alone episode. It’s not that fun, and I wasn’t that impressed with it. The whole time I was thinking I’d seen Psi before. Turns out he’s Jonathan Bailey and was in Broadchurch. This would not have drawn my attention so much if the episode was better. I felt like the characters in the episode weren’t “complete” enough (as if they were all just window dressing), and the story didn’t lean towards the dark or the fun enough one way or the other. I might not have minded if there was progress with the main story arc, but we didn’t even get that. Yes, the more I think about it the more I feel disappointed.
I’ve heard that watching the episode a second time makes it better, so I definitely intend to do that… As of right now I’m expecting more from next week.
Oh, and I was sooo wrong about the TARDIS being in the bank!