I…I don’t know how I feel about this episode. Directly after I finished watching The Caretaker, I thought I’d enjoyed it. It was fun, amusing, light, and reminded me a bit of The Lodger, an episode I love. But after sleeping on it, the small nit-picky things started to add up in my brain, and I realized that I didn’t like it as much as I thought I did.
Nit-picky things like the way the Doctor treats Clara sometimes. Why does he have to constantly insult her appearance? That’s not funny anymore. The Danny/Clara romance. Yep, I’m going back to that again. I just wish it wasn’t there. The new character, Courtney. Omg, I hate her. I really hope she gets better because I don’t think I can put up with her for very long (and if one of my theories is correct—see below—I may not have to. WINK, WINK). We’ve just seen this before, y’know? The companion with the boyfriend who has to hide her adventures from him. Like Rose and Mickey. Like Amy and Rory. Why do we have to do this again?
So this was just another okay episode for me. But okay is better than ‘meh’. It was enjoyable, it was fun, it did have some amusing bits. It just wasn’t a home run, fantastic, can’t beat this, ever episode for me.
Let’s get on to it, then!
We open with a sweaty Doctor and companion chained up on a hot planet. They’re bickering about how they’re going to get free. And then a bunch of quick flashes—On a date with Danny, who notices that Clara is much more tanned than she was—Flash--the Doctor in the TARDIS beckons to Clara and mentions fish people—Flash--in a cab with Danny, Clara is very wet and has seaweed in her hair—and it continues in this manner for a few more flashes. I’m dizzy now.
So, yeah, basically Clara is having a hard time trying to have a normal dating life while travelling through all of time and space. Fortunately, the Doctor has decided that he needs to go undercover for a while, and Clara can’t go with him. They have a finger-snapping TARDIS-door-opening argument, and Clara exits. I guess she’ll, “See him when she sees him.”
At Coal Hill School—and by the way, this would have been a PERFECT episode for an Ian Chesterton cameo. It makes me sad that they didn’t add one—Clara and Danny arrive separately, at the same time. The new character, Courtney, is on the steps, giggling at them. Danny and Clara discuss how busy Clara’s been lately, and she promises that the next few days are all about him. Unfortunately, that’s a lie…
At a staff meeting, a new caretaker is introduced. His name is John Smith, but most people call him The Doctor…
Clara gets the Doctor alone and confronts him. He won’t tell her why he’s there…yet. But there is a River mention, which is fun. It’s often difficult to remember that this is the same man that *is* still married to River Song!
Outside, a police officer hears a noise and enters an abandoned building…full of mannequins. We see those a lot in Doctor Who, don’t we? Pesky autons. But this time, it’s not the mannequins we have to worry about. It’s a skittering, robotic alien thing, and it kills the police officer.
At the school, Clara finds the Doctor…eventually. As she makes her way to him, she’s stopped by students and teachers alike, and Courtney is one of them. Courtney says…something?...to Clara. I can’t understand what it is she says, even after rewinding and turning the volume way up. Neither can Clara, apparently. Since it happens more than once, I’m guessing it’s important, and we’ll hear more of it in upcoming episodes?
The Doctor is attempting to fix something, and Danny is watching on. Clara eavesdrops as the Doctor insults Danny. We’re again shown that the Doctor isn’t at all fond of soldiers. Yet another thing that will be explained, eventually? Danny leaves, and Clara brings up his last name; Pink. She tries to remind the Doctor of another Pink they recently met, and he doesn’t remember at all. Is he lying? Hmm.
The Doctor places a small blinking device inside the electrical box and asks Clara about her boyfriend. Clara is immediately stopped by a teacher who looks pretty much exactly like the Eleventh Doctor, complete with an adorable mop of hair and a bow tie. Of course, our new Doctor assumes that this is the boyfriend.
We now go into a small montage of the Doctor doing his caretaker duties and placing small blinking devices around the school, and of Clara doing her teacher duties. In a hilarious scene, the Doctor sees Clara disciplining a couple of student, and whistles a familiar line from Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” at her. I loved that little touch.
The Doctor returns to his workshop, where he’s hidden the TARDIS. Courtney enters, looking for paper towels. She inquires about the blue box, and about the green glow that was coming from inside the box. The Doctor brushes her off, and as she exits and Clara enters, Courtney again says something to Clara that I can’t understand at all. Is it in a different language, or am I just bad at hearing the accent?
The Doctor finally tells Clara why he’s there. He’s searching for an alien—a Skovox Blitzer, one of the deadliest creatures in the galaxy. He then brings out a new toy—a watch of invisibility! …so where was this when he’s needed it a thousand times before?! Are we just creating new tech for the purpose of one story again?! This watch will probably never be seen after this episode. Ugh. UGH. I hate that.
Right, so the Doctor explains how he’s going to catch the Skovox—he’s going to activate the blinky things, keep it from scanning him with the watch of invisibility, and suck it into a time vortex. Easy-peasy!
The Doctor brings up Clara’s boyfriend, but there’s a miscommunication. He’s actually talking about the Eleven doppleganger, and she thinks he means Danny. He says that he likes the boyfriend, and essentially approves because he thinks she’s pretty much dating his former self. Um. Wat.
Later that night, the Doctor hunts the Skovox, Clara hunts for the Doctor, and Danny finds blinky things. The Doctor, while invisible, finds the Skovox. It chases him into the school, where Danny sees them. Danny is almost killed by the Skovox, Clara finds them both and tries to pull Danny to safety. The Doctor gets the Skovox into the time portal, yells at Danny for deactivating the blinky things, and Danny finally realizes that something isn’t right here…
The Skovox is gone, but it’ll be back. In three days. And now they need a new plan, because it saw the Doctor, and it’ll kill him on sight. Danny—who the Doctor now calls P.E.—questions Clara. He understands that she’s a space woman. Clara says it’s all a play…apparently she thinks her boyfriend is an idiot.
Danny realizes who the Doctor really is…he thinks he’s her dad. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Clara tells the Doctor that Danny is her boyfriend. The Doctor denies that for a while, and Clara admits that she loves Danny. The Doctor is jealous. JEALOUS. That’s very apparent, and it’s kinda sad.
Clara finally admits to Danny that the Doctor is an alien, and that they’re time travellers. She shows him the TARDIS, and now Danny is in the elite “I know the Doctor club.”
Danny asks if the Doctor brought the Skovox, and the Doctor denies that. He’s absolutely lying. Earlier he said that the Skovox was there because it was attracted to the arton energy. Only one thing creates arton energy. The TARDIS. It’s because of the Doctor’s frequent travels to London that the Skovox decided to visit.
Danny wants to call in the army, and the Doctor rudely forces both Clara and Danny to leave. Clara takes Danny home, where she explains everything. She tells him that she travels with the Doctor because of the things she sees and feels. Danny is—understandably—very upset. Clara has lied to him for months. Yet, I can also understand Clara’s thinking. How do you explain time travelling to a muggle? Tough spot to be in, Clara.
Clara steals the invisibility watch and gives it to Danny. They’re going to hide him so that he can see that she interacts exactly the same way with the Doctor as she’s described to him already. Because he doesn’t trust her, I guess? This is a tricksy plan, and I don’t like it at all.
Invisible Danny watches on as Clara and the Doctor bicker. The Doctor calls her bluff—he knows Danny is there--and Danny shows himself. This is when Danny goes off on the Doctor, and y’know, I think I like it. The Doctor has been such a jackass to Danny—and to Clara—and Danny finally calls him on it. Danny treats the Doctor as he would treat an officer; with respect, and as an authority figure. The Doctor hates it and gets yelly. He kicks Danny out of the TARDIS, and Clara leaves with him.
Courtney enters, and asks about the blue box again. The Doctor tells her, and shows her exactly what it is. So, um….what? Okay, then. I guess we’re just going to tell anyone about it, then?
Courtney asks if she can travel with the Doctor, and he says he’ll let her know. He may have a vacancy,
Oh, it’s also parents night at Coal Hill School, and Danny and Clara talk to Courtney’s parents.
Surprisingly, the Skovox returns early; much earlier than expected. And during parents night. The Doctor, looking very ghostbuster-like, beckons to Clara. He needs assistance. Danny sees the Doctor beckoning, and follows. The Doctor screams at him a bit, and then tells Clara what she needs to do.
Yet again, we’re shown how much different this Doctor is from our last incarnation. This one uses Clara as bait, and doesn’t tell her that that’s what she is. Eleven would never have done that.
Clara attracts the Skovox, and it follows her. Danny follows them both, and saves the world with some quick thinking and acrobatics when the Doctor’s plan fails and the Skovox initiates its self-destruct. The Doctor finally makes the Skovox shut down, and the threat is over.
Then the touching crap happens with Danny and Clara. Danny tells the Doctor that he’ll be good enough for Clara, blah, blah.
The Doctor gets rid of the Skovox in outer space, and Courtney is with him in the TARDIS. She’s not big on space travel, and pukes.
Clara and Danny are snuggled up watching TV, talking. Danny mentions things that are some huge foreshadowing. That’s the only reason that I can think of for the whole scene. Danny says that the Doctor will push her to do things that she’d never think of doing. Clara tells Danny that she trusts him. Danny makes her promise to tell him if the Doctor ever pushes her too far. If she breaks that promise, they’re over. So…what’s the Doctor going to do that pushes Clara too far, and makes her lie to Danny about it?
And, finally, we get another glimpse at Missy and the promise land. The police officer that the Skovox killed early on is telling a new gentleman what happened to him. This part of the promise land—also called the Nethersphere--looks very different. It’s a plain white corridor, with while furniture. The Police officer exclaims, “God.” The man—is he supposed to be like St. Peter at the pearly gates?—says, “She’s a bit busy now”, and out comes Missy. So, Missy is God? That’s what we’re led to believe. Interesting plot development!
So that was a fun episode, with many funny lines, but it mostly fell flat for me. However, I do have a few theories that came from this episode!
Thoughts and theories:
-Because of the next time trailer, I believe that the Doctor is going to sacrifice Courtney. This will be the thing that pushes Clara too far, and will be the beginning of the end of her travelling with the
Doctor. Or…that’ll be what we’re led to believe. Whether or not Clara leaves is still up for debate.
-What’s the pin on the lapel of the new intake guy in the Nethersphere? I think Missy wears a similar brooch.
-Who’s the new Nethersphere guy?
-Again, who’s Missy?
-What’s the Nethersphere, exactly?
-Why are the people who end up in the Nethersphere there? Why them, specifically? Is it because their deaths are all caused by the Doctor?
-Why is Courtney important? Is she just a plot device?
-Will Danny travel with the Doctor and Clara now that he knows everything?
-Why does this Doctor hate soldiers so much?
“Why have you got two jackets? Is one of them faulty?!”
“So you recognize me then.”
“You’re wearing a different coat!”
“Saw straight through that.”
“You’re wearing a different coat!”
“Saw straight through that.”
“The walls need sponging, and there’s a sinister puddle…”
“The door. It says, keep out.”
“No, it says, go away humans.”
“No, it says, go away humans.”
“Crocodileopolis. They worship a big crocodile there, so the name is a useful coincidence.”
“How can you think that I’m her dad when we both look exactly the same age?!”
“It’s a mistake, you’ve made a boyfriend error.”
From the trailer, next week’s episode looks scary, dark, and really, really good! See y’all then!