If you ever wanted to have ‘Doctor Who’ mixed with a little bit of ‘Ocean’s 11,’ and maybe some ‘Borne Identity’ (on account of the memory loss), then this episode is the one for you.
It begins with Clara about to go out on another date with Danny, only to have the Doctor come in and try and convince her to go with him on an adventure… to Brighton. His timing is becoming quite suspect at this point, and while some people on the social media scene are suggesting that perhaps the Doctor is in love of Clara, I’m going to put forth that he’s lonely and he can see he might lose his best friend to her romance. In fact, he may already know that’s the case (he is a time traveler, after all). In any case, the phone rings on the TARDIS, and the next thing we know, he and Clara are sitting in a dark room with two other people. All of their memories have been wiped, and there is a automated voice informing them that The Architect has brought them together to rob a bank.
Oh. And not just any bank. The most impenetrable bank in the history of the universe. So, uh, good luck with that.
The other two companions for the episode are Psi, an augmented human, and Saibra, a woman who can change her appearance to look like whoever she touches. I would be very happy if one of them (particularly Psi) became a recurring companion, but that is not likely in the cards.
As the episode progresses, you learn that their memories have been erased so they can walk the halls of the bank without feeling any guilt, something which an alien creature called “The Teller” will pick up on. If he does pick up on the guilt, well, then, woe be to you because he will make your brain soup.
In any case, everything the four needs happen to be already placed for them. Why do they need to rob the bank if someone has already basically gotten to where they need to be to plant the goods? You may well ask, but I haven’t figured that out. The whole episode is a mess of time paradoxes, and only makes sense if you look at time in a non-linear, wibbly wobbly kind of way, which is to say that every time they go back into time, the old universe still exists and continues to exist, but they break off a separate universe that is almost like the last one, only this time they are robbing a bank.
I guess. I’m still not sure. At the end, we find out that the Doctor is the architect, and he had orchestrated everything in order to save The Teller and its captive mate, something which is triggered by The Teller’s captors guilt.
Okay, I’ll slow down. Karobraxos, the owner of the bank, has basically blackmailed The Teller to do her bidding by keeping its mate in a cellar. In the future, she remembers the Doctor telling her that she will have regrets, and when she does, she should call him. She does, and the Doctor goes into save The Teller and its mate at her future behest.
The only problem with this is that there is no way The Doctor would have been there to give her his phone number if she hadn’t called him in the first. And no matter how wibbly-wobbly you look at time, that doesn’t really make sense.
Well, logic aside, the four succeed in saving the alien pair, eat Chinese takeout in celebration, and say goodbye, leaving me to pine for the Team Not Dead (the name the Doctor gives them when it turns out Saibra and Psi didn’t die after they seemed to have). I very much liked Team Not Dead, and I would not object to having them back.
The episodes was fun, and engaging from the very beginning. Does it make a whole lot of sense when you rehash it in your brain critically? Not really, but it still was full of great moments, such as the Doctor claiming his authority comes from his eyebrows, or the rehashing of “Don’t Blink” as “Don’t Think”.
Essentially, it was great segue to what looks like is going to be a very emotional next episode.