TV Review: "Doctor Who" 8x06: The Caretaker

Written by: Lord Gremlin

Good gravy this season is on a roll isn’t it? Doctor Who alumni Gareth Roberts co-writes “The Caretaker” with Steven Moffat and gives us not only the funniest episode so far this season, but also one that does more to flesh out it’s supporting characters with an ease NuWho sometimes struggles to grasp.

Clara is determined to keep her Earth life and TARDIS life separate as the brilliantly executed pre-credit opening scene establishes. While Amy and Rory were shown to have a life outside of the Doctor, not much was ever explored on what it must be like to juggle being a time traveling, space fairing adventurer as well as an ordinary Earthling. To tell you the truth, I’m surprised it took them this long to go that route because it opens a great number of doors to build comedy and drama. On top of all this, a lone robot murder machine called the Skovox Blitzer (created with really fun practical effects) is about to cause one hell of a problem if The Doctor can’t stop it.

Peter Capaldi dishes out, as you may have come to expect, a great performance…probably his best so far this season while Jenna Coleman continues to be an utter delight. The real highlight of the episode though (besides the Doctor. He’s always the first highlight.) is Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink. Now, as much as I liked Rory, it took the writers a smidge too long to make him feel like a truly fleshed out male character. Danny on the other hand is written with a sincerity that makes him incredibly likable and human. We’ve only seen him four times and he is a convincingly layered character that has the potential to be a wonderful Companion, especially with how up front his is with The Doctor.

I’m a sucker for stories that involve The Doctor trying (always unsuccessfully) to blend in with us humans, and “The Caretaker” delivers the good on that front. Danny’s meeting with The Doctor is a gut buster and I especially loved the little relationship The Doctor struck up with a school girl throughout the episode. Whenever somebody new encounters The Doctor and gets the full tour it never fails to be exciting, even if they end up yakking in the TARDIS.

8.5/10. Welly-well, we’ve hit the halfway mark of the season already and “The Caretaker” is another solid homerun with wit, charm, focused character work, ace visuals, and a brilliantly executed one-off baddy. After “Listen”, this is the most rewarded episode so far. Oh, and the ending teaser is the most titillating peek into this mysterious Heaven story arc we’ve had so far. Just what is blue blazes is going on?

[Editor's Note: Hrmph. They be stealing my Garrus Vakarian]

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About The Damn Beast

Pre-op trans-minotaur, sci-fi/fantasy/horror author, metal singer, videogame journalist, pop culture blogger. I also lift heavy things and put them down again repeatedly to occupy more space.
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