Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Family Guy/The Simpsons - The Simpsons Guy (Crossover Episode/Spoilers)

I am over the Simpsons.

Well on Sunday night in the US when people weren't watching the worlds of Once Upon A Time and Frozen crossing over, there was also this crossover event to behold - Family Guy met The Simpsons and the results were surprisingly a lot better than I actually expected them to be. And all because Peter wrote a sexist article, which then resulted in the Griffins ending up in Springfield and somewhat bonding with the Simpsons before also falling out with them and then bonding again.

I was surprised with how much I actually enjoyed this crossover episode. I was pretty much dreading it and didn't think the worlds would work so well together but the chemistry with the characters, the series of in-jokes (Brian pointedly telling Stewie that Bart's catchphrase was more iconic than his own made me laugh) and various references from both shows actually worked pretty well. Even Peter and Homer together weren't as grating as I dreaded them to be, though their chicken fight lasted too long (don't those fights always last too long?) and the carwash sequence was nothing short of vomit inducing but other than that, the two of them managed to compliment each other well. There were even the odd time where I didn't find myself wanting to cave Peter's brains in with a blunt object. I still loathe the character though.

Of course, while the Peter/Homer scenes were better than expected (if a tad predictable - of course those two idiots would clash over beer), it was really the Stewie and Bart scenes that were the highlight of the episode. Stewie going to extreme lengths to impress Bart by holding the latter's enemies and tormentors captive only managed to free the spiky haired lad out and the last scene where Stewie lamented the loss of a potentially destructive friendship was both a little sad and somewhat funny. It seems that even Bart has his limits after 26 seasons of unbridled chaos.

Another highlight from the episode was bonding scenes with Lisa and Meg, only because it gave the latter a moment of self worth, which the show will inevitably forget yet again. Personally after 13 seasons, I'm beyond bored of Meg being terrorised by her family. It's just not funny and if Family Guy ever ends, I want the last episode to result in Meg kicking the living shit out of Peter before killing him off in the worst way possible. At least Lisa was nice to her, if initially a little bitchy though. Of course while the crossover was fun and had a few cameos from other shows and a delightful compare/contrast scene in a courtroom, it did struggle to give Lois/Marge anything meaningful to and the subplot with Chris, Brian and Santa's Little Helper wasn't that great either. However while the best days are behind both shows, this was a fun meeting of worlds, though not one that would need repeating though. As Peter said, let's keep a half hour distance between both shows.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My Review of Gotham's 1x02: "Selina Kyle"

Written by Bruno Heller
Directed by Danny Cannon

Selina (to a boy): “Go for the eyes.”

It’s only two episodes and I’m already both impressed by Selina Kyle and a tiny bit afraid of her too. Not only did she give a scared little boy some deadly advice but the episode made sure to show that she can take her own advice pretty well too when one of the thugs of this week’s crime plot ended up having his eyes scratched out in a grisly manner – by a thirteen year old, I should point.

The main crime plot of the week – a child trafficking storyline with creepy duo Patti and Doug kidnapping homeless kids and having them shipped off courtesy of the Dollmaker. Some truly brilliant casting with both Lili Taylor and Frank Whaley who managed to make their characters both genuinely sinister and oddly charming to a degree as well. Of course, Gordon and Bullock ended up being their downfall but not before Selina managed to mostly give them the slip as well.

Speaking of Selina – while this episode was named after her and certainly gave her more to do than the opening one did, she still only appeared in a couple of scenes though. Mainly to facilitate the child trafficking plotline but also to establish a somewhat tense connection with James Gordon as well.

I liked that Selina was able to spot that Gordon was the least corrupt member of the GCPD and I also liked that she openly told him that she knew Mario Pepper didn’t kill the Waynes and that she knew who did. I’m not so sure how, considering the shooter was masked and all but the fact that she’s willing to help Gordon with the case is excellent nonetheless.

In terms of performance, this was a great one for Camren Bicondova. I definitely believe in her as a younger version of the girl who would become one of Gotham’s most infamous of thieves and I certainly like that she will go out of her way to help people as well. With this episode, she’s easily shaping up as one of the best characters in the series at the moment.

Of course, not far behind her though would be Oswald Cobblepot. After seeing him kill a man for a fecking sandwich, it wasn’t too shocking that he murdered one frat boy with a beer bottle and kept the other bound and gagged for an unsuccessful ransom as well. Oswald might not be a success at extorting money just yet but he’s certainly proven to be as dangerous and unpredictable as Selina and Taylor’s performance continues to impress in this one as well.

Also while Oswald might be regrouping, Fish got something of a horrible reality check in this week’s episode. It seems that Falcone doesn’t much like the idea of being potentially usurped and went to some interesting measure to keep Fish in line. The dynamic between those two was certainly something else to watch and with Maroni about to be added into the mix, the criminal world of Gotham is certainly getting more and more interesting to watch unfold.

As for Gordon and Bullock – this episode wasn’t as great as the first one for them but it worked well enough though. We saw them being antagonistic to each other and also impressed by their respective methods. I imagine this formula will continue with the show until one of them really does step out of the party line and either endangers or truly irritates the other. That being said though, I do enjoy their grudging partnership a lot.

Last but not least – the Bruce plot of the episode got dark almost pretty fast. With elements of self harm/testing himself, it was interesting to see Alfred (really loving the gruffer version here) reach out to Gordon in an attempt to get Bruce to see some sense. Like Bicondova, I have to praise David Mazouz. I was initially wary about seeing a younger Bruce in this series but he’s exceeding my expectations and his scenes are fantastic to watch.

Also in “Selina Kyle”

If Selina has gotten an episode named after her, then is it a safe assumption that other characters will do as well down the line? Selina also wants to be referred to as Cat, which might be laying it on a bit thick.

Bullock: “Listen, Mackey. We’re grown ups. We’re smarter than you.”

Both Renee and Crispus were briefly seen talking to Oswald’s mother, Gertrud Kapelput (Carol Kane), who looked like she had stepped out of a Tim Burton movie. I hope we see more of her.

Frat Boy: “Dude, anyone ever tell you when you walk, you look just like a penguin?”
Oswald: “No, nobody’s ever told me that.”

Falcone: “Men who are about to die are very honest. It pays to listen to them.”
Fish: “That’s some toast.”

What exactly is the name of Fish’s nightclub? Also, too bad poor Lazlo had to get beaten up by Falcone’s men just to teach Fish a lesson. FOX also released a new trailer which revealed that another Rogue member will be showing up soon.

Fish (to Butch): “I just wish that Penguin was still alive. I didn’t make that punk suffer near badly enough.”

Gordon: “Trust you? On women?”
Bullock: “Damn right. Whole varieties. From house frows to movie stars, I love them all.”

While both Essen and Mayor Aubrey were a little more developed in this episode (though not in a favourable way), Barbara, Nygma, Renee and Crispus only had a scene each in the episode. We also learned that Arkham Asylum has been closed for fifteen years.

Patti (to Selina): “Sit down, young lady like now.”

Gordon: “What’s your name?”
Selina: “Why is that any of your business?”

Standout music: Portishead’s “Roads” and there was some female rock band also playing in Fish’s club as well.

Gordon: “You’re hurting yourself.”
Bruce: “I’m testing myself. Different but I appreciate your concern.”

Oswald (to Frat Boy 1): "You must be quite the scamp."

Chronology: Not only where the opening episode left off. I think perhaps a few days.

It’s definitely not a fluke. With the pilot episode being impressive, there was the fear that following episodes wouldn’t hit the mark but if “Selina Kyle” is anything to go by, it looks like this is going to be one show that no-one should be missing. The music might still be distracting in some parts and perhaps the idea of a prequel for Batman isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but so far, the handling has been superb.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, September 29, 2014

My Review of Doctor Who's 8x06: "The Caretaker"

Written by Gareth Roberts And Steven Moffat
Directed by Paul Murphy

The Doctor (to Clara, re Danny): “Well, you’ve explained me to him. You haven’t explained him to me.”

Okay, let’s get this thorny issue out of the way – since when does the Doctor hate soldiers? The answer – always I think. He might have been friends with the Brigadier and worked for UNIT in his third incarnation, but it’s not entirely out of character that the Doctor hasn’t always been fond of regimental types, which might be a tad hypocritical on his part but with this episode, it somewhat went to a whole new level.

I honestly do think the Doctor was more than a little harsh towards Danny Pink when he realised that the maths teacher (not PE) was Clara’s boyfriend but at the same time, there was also a mutual distrust between him and Danny. It wasn’t one sided and both were somewhat as harsh as each other with the officer/sir scene in the TARDIS being one of the most antagonistic scenes we’ve had to date in the series.

I don’t know if the Doctor’s more harsher standpoint on soldiers will lead to something dramatically (I hope it does) or if it’s just there as part of a triangle of sorts between him, Clara and Danny but I do know that Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Samuel Anderson all played off each other extremely well in this episode.

Danny probably wasn’t right to give Clara that ultimatum at the end of the episode either but I didn’t get the impression he was trying to be a controlling boyfriend (sorry social media) as such, just more that some of his past experiences with dealing with authority figures was somewhat clouding his own judgement. Clara can certainly more than take care of herself as we’ve seen for long enough.

As for Clara and Danny’s relationship – it might be a little early to throw out the ‘I love you’ and perhaps they don’t have the same spark that Amy and Rory did in previous series, but either way, I do like them well enough as a couple and given time, I’m sure both Danny and the Doctor will probably find some way of actually getting along with each other too.

Keeping with Danny for a bit longer though – I can understand the Doctor’s annoyance at him blundering in and wrecking his plan to stop the Skovox Blitzer but even that was an accident and Danny did manage to actually help both the Doctor and Clara send that killing machine on it’s very way in the end.

As for the Skovox – it just killed a random police officer, waddled about the place, shot a few chairs and generally was sent on it’s way. Design wise, it looked neat enough but it didn’t really do much and was more a prop to have the Doctor try and pass himself off as a caretaker at Coal Hill (where this episode was predominantly set) and learn about Clara and Danny being an item.

In a lot of ways this episode wasn’t that dissimilar to Roberts last two efforts where the domestics were more the focus than the actual monster itself. It’s not strictly a bad thing as the Doctor at Coal Hill produced some great scenes and even the dreaded Courtney from earlier in the series was actually a lot more likeable to watch. She even earned herself a trip in the TARDIS as a result.

Also in “The Caretaker”

The opening sequence with Clara hopping between dates with Danny and adventures with the Doctor is now one of my favourites.

Danny (to Clara, re the Doctor): “Bit intense looking. Did you see the eyebrows? Did he wink at you?”

Another point of this episode was that the last few minutes were set during Parents Evening. Courtney’s folks didn’t seem that concerned that she was a disruptive influence.

Clara: “Human beings are not otters.”
The Doctor: “Exactly. It’ll be even easier.”

Clara (to a student): “Who asks for homework? Amateurs!”

The in-joke with Adrian dressed as the 11th Doctor and having the current Doctor mistake him for Clara’s boyfriend was amusing enough.

Courtney: “You’re weird.”
The Doctor: “Yes I am and how about you?”

The Doctor: “I used to have a teacher exactly like you.”
Clara: “Well, you still do, pay attention.”

Ozzie Loves The Squaddie – juvenile but believable enough. I also want my own invisible watch too.

Danny (to Clara): “Oh my God, you’re from space. You’re a spacewoman. You said you were from Blackpool.”

Danny: “Why do you do it? Why do you go off in the box with him? The truth, please just this once.”
Clara: “Because it’s amazing. Because I see wonders.”

The police officer that was killed by Skovox ended up consulting with Seb (Chris Addison) in the Nethersphere. He seems to be Missy’s right hand man – the latter who appeared but said nothing this time.

Danny: “Is there anything I can do?”
The Doctor: “Yes, yes and this is very, very important – leave us alone.”

Seb (to police officer, re Missy): “Sorry, she’s a bit busy today. So any questions?”

Chronology: Mostly present day Coal Hill.

A fortnight ago, a certain episode provoked a certain amount of discussion over what could and couldn’t be done/shown with the Doctor’s past and “The Caretaker” seemed to generate similar heat over the current dynamic with the Doctor, his companion and her boyfriend. Overall, I found this episode pretty meaty in some parts, funny in others, a mash up of some past hits but at the same time, also one that I really enjoyed for good measure.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Revenge - Season 4 Preview

I apologise for not doing a blog in relation to the upcoming season of Revenge much earlier but I was hoping that we were going to be getting some nice cast shots for the new season. It seems apart from ones promoting both James Tupper (David) and Karine Vanasse (Margaux), ABC haven't exactly pushed out the boat here.

It seems this season's tagline is "what goes around comes around" with Victoria setting Emily in her sights. Here's the problem - unlike Emily back in the first season, not enough has happened to even justify the idea that Victoria is entitled to any revenge at all. Still though, aside from Nolan, Emily and Victoria's ongoing hatred for one another will continue to keep the show going but here's a question though ...

 .... isn't actually having David Clarke in the show alive somewhat undermining to the show's general mission statement? I mean, I like Tupper as an actor but having David be alive and not actually bothering to contact Emily/Amanda after all these years is a pretty douchey thing for the character to do. More to the point, it does kind of fly in the face of the last three seasons as well. I'm not sure how his overall presence (despite his named being cleared) will actually work in the show's favour to be honest.

As for the trailers for the new season, too many of them focused on recapping the previous seasons and showing very little in the way of new footage but the most recent one did seem to offer some interesting bits - such as new character Ben (Brian Hallisay0 shirtless, Jack as a cop (huh?), more Emily/Victoria moments (the latter getting handy with a shotgun), David lurking about the place, Margaux with an unflattering haircut, Nolan, Daniel and even what appears to be Charlotte unconscious. I can't help thinking that perhaps ABC have fallen a little out of love with the series, considering that the promotion has been far less than lead in show, Once Upon A Time. That's a shame, isn't it? The titles for the first six episodes are Renaissance, Disclosure, Ashes, Meteor, Repercussions and Damage.

Season 4 Trailer:

Revenge's fourth season airs Sundays 10pm from September 28th on ABC and will premiere on both E4 and RTE2 from January 2015.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fire In The Estate

We're getting to that point now where there are so many shows returning that only some I probably will talk about at least once. Three of them mentioned here of course.

Bad Education: Back for a third and rumoured final series, BBC3 and Jack Whitehall's comedy remains one of the more funnier programmes with the opening episode largely focusing on a teacher's strike while introducing some new characters (mainly Cleo). Alfie might be a lousy educator but he's an entertaining character, even if you're given the impression that Whitehall is possibly playing a heightened version of himself at times.

Downton Abbey: Returning to 8 million viewers on Sunday (down but not dangerously so), the fifth series of ITV's cosy period drama was something of a mixed bag. On the plus side - more delightful quips from Violet, Baxter's secret finally being revealed (a little better than expected) and Edith and the local fireman coming up with a plan for her to see her daughter along with Bunting vs. Robert as well. On the not so good side, the fire was an anticlimax and lasted for about two minutes of screentime, the episode plodded too much at times and there's a worrying lack of chemistry between Mary and Gillingham to boot. Still, the episode was an improvement on most of the previous series.

Scandal: Nearing the half way point of this third season (really hope SkyLiving don't waste too much time airing Season 4), the show seems to be hotting up a lot. I wasn't too shocked about Olivia's mother actually being alive because seemingly dead characters never stay that way (looking at you, David Clarke), but the moment where her and Olivia reunited was a genuinely punch to the gut moment that the show seems to be capable of delivering in spades. Also, while I wasn't too fussed about Olivia hooking up with Fitz again, I did enjoy Mellie and Cyrus's scheming against Sally and the whole Huck and Quinn plot has been absorbing to watch as well. Oh and more Lisa Kudrow please.

The Leftovers: Perhaps I need another episode or two but having watched the opening episode of this latest HBO drama, I couldn't for the life of me get into it. Possibly something about a rapture, maybe - I could barely keep up with the show and I sat through Lost for six seasons. It just came across as a dull, plodding, lifeless show and not even some of the cast - Justin Theroux, Liv Tyler, Amy Brennerman or Christopher Eccleston could keep my attention.

The Strain: Somewhat better but not yet something I'd class as addictive or gripping was this programme, which offered a genuinely different take on the vampire genre. Anyone hoping for something sexy as the antics in Bon Temps or Mystic Falls might be somewhat disappointed with this show as it's take on the genre is as removed from those series as you can possible yet. The pilot episode was a bit long and slightly slow in parts but the concept is interesting enough and there's a good rapport with leading characters, Ephram and Nora and I certainly can't wait to see more of David Bradley's mystery pawn shop owner and there were some decent scares too. It's got potential.

The Vampire Diaries: Nearly finishing up with the fifth season of the show, the following episodes have most been alright. The usual Damon and Elena angst certainly made itself know as he admitted to bumping off Aaron while Enzo seems to be a decent character and a pot stirrer to boot. The Travellers stuff has been okay to watch as well, but it does feel like it's treading way and do we really need another doppelganger plot so soon? I do like the additions of Liv and Luke though, character wise.

- Gillian Anderson has been confirmed as a regular for Hannibal's third season, which will air April or May 2015 on NBC. Series 2 of The Fall will air in November on BBC2/RTE1.
- Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn have been announced as the lead cast for Season 2 of True Detective.
- Shea Whigham has joined Agent Carter as the chief of the Strategic Scientific Reserve, Roger Dooley.
- Channel 5 have moved the third season of Dallas to late nights and the recent finale saw the death of a major character.
- Yeardley Smith will appear in an episode of The Mindy Project.
- Sally Pressman will be appearing in Once Upon A Time. Her role has yet to be confirmed.
- Jim Sheridan's movie In America is being developed for TV by HBO.
- Brian Benben will be appearing in Scandal in an undisclosed role for now.
- Scott Glen has joined Daredevil, taking on the role of Matt Murdock's mentor, Stick.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Review of Gotham's 1x01: "Pilot"

Written by Bruno Heller
Directed by Danny Cannon

Gordon: “I know how you feel right now and I promise you, however dark or scary the world feels right now, there will be light. There will be light, Bruce.”

I’ve been anticipating this show for nearly a year and have certainly been discussing it just as much and now that it’s finally here, I watched the opening episode as early as I could and I have to say that a few niggles aside, this was a pretty on point way of opening the series up.

Starting with the murder of Martha and Thomas Wayne as a helpless Bruce looked on and Selina Kyle observed from afar set a great tone as their deaths generated the right amount of consequences and tone that Gotham is truly a city on the brink of disaster – from both sides it seems too.

On the good guy side, you’ve got both the newly recruited detective James Gordon and the lackadaisical Harvey Bullock both at odds with each other throughout the pilot episode as well as coming to realise that the other has a valid point in dealing with the criminals of Gotham City. Already there’s a strong chemistry with Benjamin McKenzie and Donal Logue and it’ll be interesting to see how their different methods affect their partnership throughout the series.

Gordon himself spent most of the episode vowing to catch the killer of the Waynes and when he realised that Mario Pepper had been used as a fall guy, the only thing he managed to accomplish was Fish Mooney’s wrath and Tom Falcone forcing his hand into bumping off Oswald Cobblepot for good measure.

Except that Oswald didn’t die and Gordon later wasted no time in informing Bruce that the wrong person went down/died for his parents murder. I do like that Gordon is trying not to be a corrupt cop in a city that seems to be scattered with them but he’s going to have tread very carefully if he really wants to achieve anything in his career.

As for Bullock – the show’s seems to have gotten to a good balancing act with him as well. He’s got no problem with flirting with Fish Mooney, looking the other way at some of her gang’s less savoury activities but at the same time in spite of his conflict with Gordon, he stuck his neck out for him and nearly got killed as a result. That already did a lot to portray him as more than a generic corrupt cop, which was good for me.

Keeping with the other cops of the episode – we got to see Gotham’s Police Captain, Sarah Essen for a scene as well as both Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen from the MCU, both of whom managed to rub both Gordon and Bullock up the wrong way. However aside from taking some information from Oswald, the most interesting thing was the brief scene shared between Renee and Barbara, implying a previous romantic history between the two.

As for the baddies of the piece – Butch seemed like a regular enforcer but could become more interesting as the show goes along. I didn’t much care for Mario Pepper, other than who his daughter turned out to be (hello, future Poison Ivy) but Oswald was a delight from start to finish with Robin Lord Taylor well and truly shining in all of his scenes while Falcone proved to be far more interesting in one brief scene with Gordon than he was in Batman Begins if I’m being candid.

As for Fish Mooney – I think we’ve got a winner here. Jada Pinkett-Smith managed to successfully bring the character to life, giving her the right amounts of flirtation, charm, campiness and menace all in an effortless swoop. Her scenes with Gordon, Bullock and Oswald all proved that as an up and comer, Fish is a force to be reckoned with but at the same time, there’s also a chance that her hotheadedness might get her in trouble with Falcone in later episodes. Either way, I’m intrigued by her.

Also in “Gotham”

Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) popped up in one scene and Bullock made it clear that he didn’t tolerate his riddles. He's a forensic scientist with the GCPD.

Renee: “Come on, Bullock, you know you’re scared of this case.”
Bullock: “You’re damn right I’m scared.”

Bullock implied that Renee might have a drug problem. Given what he was glugging at the cafe, he might have some problems too. I also get the impression that he and Fish have a lingering history as well.

Bullock: “Jim, you seem like a nice guy but this is not a city or a job for nice guys. Do you understand?”
Gordon: “No.”

Edward: “What’s nowhere but everywhere, except when something is?”
Gordon: “Nothing.”

Barbara has an art gallery and Falcone has history with Gordon’s father as well. We also saw the Mayor showing more enthusiasm for catching Thomas and Martha’s killer than GCPD themselves. Having Selina intertwined with Bruce so early is an interesting move too.

Oswald: “Sorry.”
Fish: “If you let my hair go frizzy you will be.”

Ivy: “You don’t want to talk to daddy.”
Gordon: “Why’s that?”
Ivy: “He’s mean.”

I don’t think I saw a single computer in this whole episode and more to the point, everyone seems to be using flip phones as well.

Renee: “Why snitch on your own boss?”
Oswald: “I confess that poor orphan boy prickled my conscience.”

Barbara: “I know him.”
Renee: “Does he know you like I know you?”

Kudos to Sean Pertwee’s gruffer version of Alfred for this show and the child actors playing Bruce, Selina and Ivy are all extremely well cast too.

Fish: “You have a little danger in your eye. I wonder what you plan to do with that.”
Gordon: “You’ll have to wait and see.”
Fish: “I hate surprises.”

Gordon: “Thanks for trying to help.”
Bullock: “Wish I hadn’t.”

I wonder what happened to the poor stand up who had to witness Fish beating the shit out of Oswald. He may also be a future Joker but also may not.

Fish: “Prove it. Prove your loyalty my little Penguin.”

Oswald (to Gordon): “Listen to me, there is a war coming. A terrible war. Falcone is losing his grip and his rivals are hungry. There will be chaos. Rivers of blood in the streets. I know it, I can see it coming. I’m clever that way.”

Chronology: I guess 2014 but it certainly doesn’t feel it like, though I did read that Heller and company were trying to create a timeless feel to the series.

For an opening episode the pilot did everything it needed to do. It set up the right characters, introduced a great partnership with Gordon and Bullock, hinted at a certain future for the orphaned Bruce Wayne as well as the future rogues that he will end up squaring off to and had some gorgeous cinematography to boot, especially during the opening sequence. It wasn’t by any means completely perfect or without it’s flaws (some characters less utilised than others, music being distracting in certain parts) and while I certainly hope this doesn’t become a series that outstays it’s welcome, it’s already a show that I want a good number of years getting to know the residents of. Fox, I think you definitely have a hit on your hands here.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, September 22, 2014

My Review of Doctor Who's 8x05: "Time Heist"

Written by Steve Thompson And Steven Moffat
Directed by Douglas Mackinnon

Clara: “We’re actually gonna do this? Rob a bank?”
The Doctor: “I don’t think we have a choice. We’ve already agreed to it.”

And for this week only, here was an episode that probably had more in common with former BBC stable mate Hustle than either the original or modern version of Ocean’s Eleven. The Doctor, Clara and two new teammates robbing the most secure bank in the universe – or were they?

Playing around with a bit of timey wimey and of course, the memory worms from a previous adventure, this was never going to be a straightforward enough caper as trying to break into the banks of Karabraxos meant dealing with Ms Delphox, the Teller and the actual owner of the bank itself. Not to mention some death fake outs and trying to remember what originally set everything into motion in the first place.

However for an episode that seemingly could’ve been overly complicated, there was something actually breezy about the whole pacing. Clara had to put her date with Danny on hold as she joined in the adventure, the Doctor gave his number to a person who waited a while in their own timeline to use it and then of course, there was the new recruits with Psi and Saibra.

As guest characters, both Psi and Saibra were a delight to watch – the former an augmented human/walking computer and the latter a mutant human/shape shifter, both of whom had their abilities put to reasonably use within the episode itself and were charmingly brought to life by both Jonathan Bailey and Pippa Bennett-Warner. More to the point – they also fitted effortless in with the Doctor and Clara, which of course certainly helped matters.

It’s because of this that I almost forgive the episode for tricking viewers into thinking that both of them were initially dead when the Teller came after them and given the banter with the characters and the Doctor and Clara, it would be something of a missed opportunity for Moffat and Thompson not to at least bring the characters back for one more caper as well.

However while both Psi and Saibra worked extremely well as guest characters, it’s a shame to report that Keeley Hawes, despite some fun moments in this episode wasn’t as well utilised. Ms Delphox the clone and the original, Madame Karabraxos weren’t necessarily bad as such but at the same time, they did feel a little too much of a mash up of Miss Foster, Kovarian and Kizlet with not nearly enough to make the characters stand out on their own.

On the plus side, Hawes does extremely well with Peter Capaldi as the Doctor finally pieces everything together (who didn’t see the reveal about him being the Architect coming a mile off?) but Karabraxos’s sudden bout of guilt towards the end of her life didn’t exactly ring that true.

As for the Teller – well, this went the same way that Hide sort of did with the Crooked creature in a way. It looked bad, could detect guilt and reduce people to soup – it very nearly did with our gang at different points in the episode but ultimately it was working for Karabraxos under duress and once free from her clutches was able to go back to it’s own world and live with it’s mate.

Also in “Time Heist”

Danny’s appearance at the start of this episode was clearly added at the last minute. Samuel Anderson isn’t even credited for the episode.

Psi: “Ever try not thinking of something?”
Saibra: “You may have to.”

This is the second of three episodes that Steven Moffat has co-written this series. He also previously co-wrote with Thompson this year on Sherlock.

Ms Delphox: “We’ll be fired. Fired with pain.”

The Doctor (to Psi): “Picture the thing you want most in the universe and decide how badly you want it.”

Thanks to Psi we got to see images of characters such as John Hart, the Androvax and Abslom Daak for good measure.

Saibra: “When you meet the architect, promise me something – kill him!”
The Doctor: “I hate him but I can’t make that promise.”

Psi: “Clara, for what it’s worth and it might not worth much, when your life flashes in front of you; you see people you love and people missing you. I see no-one.”

Much as I don’t mind Clara not travelling full time with the Doctor, it does seem that sometimes she might not always be enthused when he calls for an adventure. I’m guessing this will lead to something as well.

Madame Karabraxos: “My clone and yet, she doesn’t even protest. Pale irritation really. I should sue.”

The Doctor: “Don’t go robbing any banks what?”
Clara: “Without me.”
The Doctor: “Course not, boss.”

Chronology: A few weeks after the events of “Listen”.

“Time Heist” is unlikely to go down as a future classic but considering Steve Thompson’s less than stellar history with episodes, this one was a step up for him. A fun caper that isn’t without it’s flaws but enjoyable no less.

Rating: 7 out of 10