Tuesday, 30 September 2014


God save Coal Hill School!

After two serious episodes, The Caretaker brings us a more lighthearted story which involves the Doctor going deep undercover at Clara's school to save the planet from the sinister Skovox Blitzer. The plot mostly dealt with Danny finding out about the Doctor, his reactions to Clara's soldier boyfriend and Clara trying to keep the status quo where she liked it. Obviously some of the stuff mentioned succeeded more so than others.
First, if you haven't already, catch up here with DEEP BREATH
Catch up the 2nd episode of the series here with INTO THE DALEK
Catch up the 3rd episode of the series here with ROBOT OF SHERWOOD
Catch up the 4th episode of the series here with LISTEN
Catch up the 5th episode of the series here with TIME HEIST

First off, love the River comment. Nice bit of continuity. Always nice to hear a bit about River. Back to the task at hand, this episode was mostly supposed to be a breather episode, yet The Caretaker averts this somewhat as some major changes to the status quo are done. Remember I mentioned Clara wanting to keep the status quo as it is? Well there you have it!

"Okay, so I just changed my coat. But still...do you like the new look?"

The highlight of this episode was the Doctor...again. I am loving his deadpan snarking more and more every week. Some people call his comments about Clara rude, I call it funny. Some people are upset that he's turning himself into an 'unlikable' Doctor, I adore the Malcolm Tucker/Gregory House Doctor. That's just a joy to watch. From the Doctor calling out Courtney for ignoring his "Keep Out" sign to the big shut up he gives Danny near the climax, it's all just so wow to watch. If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm more of a Protagonist-Centered Morality type of fan so the Doctor rarely does something I dislike...unless of course he lets Clara get away with murder. That is annoying!
"What am I staring at again?"

The plot for The Caretaker becomes miniscule on second viewing. It's mostly a character piece about the Doctor, Danny and Clara. This isn't bad though. In fact, it works. I like that. However, the whole 'Clara juggling two lives' thing is really silly when you consider that she only travels with the Doctor on Wednesdays. It becomes annoying when you realize that all her dates with Danny also seem to take place on Wednesdays. There is no struggling here Clara, just very poor time management on your part. Either go out with Danny on one of the other days of the week or move your adventures with the Doctor to Saturday (see what I did there?), but just pick one! It really is frustrating when scenarios like these are written into the character just to create drama.
"The winner will be decided by the person who shouts the LOUDEST! Too bad for Danny."

What's worth it is seeing the Doctor vs Danny! The Doctor's treatment of soldiers so far have been abhorrent (I don't mind that or his quips about Clara's appearance), but the Doctor's reaction towards Danny is staggering - bordering on obsessive prejudice. Unfortunately, Danny moves me away from his side and back to the Doctor's when he goes out of his way to mock the Doctor just to spite him. For someone who is supposed to be a teacher and a role model for kids, not the best portrayal of taking the high road or resolving conflict. However, Danny's character is interesting, if somewhat jarring at times. He can't wrap his head around a FREE trip to see the whole of space and time. He's upset that Clara didn't TELL HIM about her travels with the Doctor. Seriously? Like you'd even believe her. This is a bit of a contradictory and I really have to flex my suspension of disbelief muscle and let me tell you, it's already pushed to the limit given how 'well' they are treating Clara this season.

"Whatever happens, at least I know I won't get into trouble. Not with theses writers backing me."
Speaking of which, a few things that came across as annoying were Clara's cringe comedy attempts to keep the two parts of her life separate, but the worst occurs when she tries to convince Danny that the Skovox Blitzer that nearly killed him was part of a rehearsal for a "surprise play". Like I said...cringe comedy. I didn't find much else wrong with her again. She's normal. She's the Doctor's assistant - not Doctor Clara. However, on that note, congrats to Moffat and Roberts for ducking yet another potential Doctor/Clara conflict scene by NOT having the scene where she explains Danny to the Doctor. Seriously though, is Doctor Who allergic to Doctor/Companion conflicts now?

All Skovox Blitzers  will be trained in basic marksmanship. Any Blitzers who cannot learn to hit a man-sized target at 10 meters will be used for target practice

I also find it hard to believe how inaccurate and UN-dangerous the Skovox Blitzer turned out to be. Sure he puts on a great light show and I like how it has to say everything that comes to mind not just attacks, but for a supposedly advanced killing machine, the Skovox Blitzer obviously learned how to shoot at the imperial stormtrooper academy. The only person it manages to shoot throughout the whole episode is a stationary police officer WHO WAS STANDING STILL!

I will end this review by saying that concerning Courtney, I was wrong to think that she'd be the next Angie. Angie 2.0. Don't get me wrong, still a rather boring kid, but I feel comparing her to Angie is criminally unfair. Angie is more of a 'shoot her in the head' type of annoying. Courtney is more of a 'I can improve if you let me' annoying. Unfortunately I don't see a very long future for her. After all, Kill is Moon is up next.

Rating this story: 8/10. Jarring in places, but entertaining everywhere else.

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