DOCTOR WHO Series Eight Review: “Time Heist” (Co-written With MagicFishy @ The Magic Fishy)

Good morning! Today I’m co-reviewing the latest Doctor Who episode, “Time Heist,” with MagicFishy from The Magic Fishy.

originally thought, based on the title of this episode, that maybe Jack Harkness would be involved. This turned out to be false, but hey. The possibility of Jack convinced MagicFishy to choose this episode for a co-review, and I’m really glad she did, because it was fun to write with her!

P.S. You can find earlier collaborative reviews of Doctor Who here.


MagicFishy is constantly getting involved in new fandoms. She is a reader of books and comics, a watcher of television, a lover of science, a drinker of tea, and sometimes even a player of video games. She also tends to be full of feelings. When not on the Internet, she writes stories about such things as the apocalypse and merpeople. She has a tendency to get excited about both history and space, so if she had one trip in the TARDIS and had to choose between them, she would probably explode with indecision. You can find her blog at The Magic Fishy.


Warning: Spoilers ahead, sweetie!


So, this time the review is in the form of a top ten list! MagicFishy chose the topics and wrote the initial commentary, then I added what I had to say and put the list in whatever order I wanted, mwahaha some semblance of order. Fishy, I hope my choice for #3 amuses you.

Anyway. As usual, my contributor’s comments are in italics. Enjoy!

Engie and Fishy’s Top Ten Favorite Parts Of “Time Heist”

10. Not too much romance

I have no complaints about this.

I am so done with the Clara/Danny romantic subplot already. That can’t be a good thing, considering that this series has only just started. Blah.

9. The stable time loop

I like stable time loops (and plenty of other time travel tropes) if they’re executed well. Was this one executed well? I think so – though it’s nice to have a time loop that isn’t caused by characters consciously trying to change the past. Does Doctor Who overuse them? Probably. (Also, I did predict that the Doctor was the architect of it all.)

Doctor Who TOTALLY overuses them. There was one in just the previous episode, “Listen.” But when they’re well-written, I don’t really mind. And this one was well-written. Usually I just find them confusing, but this one wasn’t. (Also, I didn’t guess that the Doctor was behind the whole plot. I probably should’ve realized that earlier than I did… which was about two seconds before he said he did.)

8. The memory worms

Of all of the things to return from previous episodes, I was not expecting THOSE.

There were memory worms in this episode?

7. The jokes about Twelve’s eyebrows

The fact that these jokes seem to have become a Thing is excellent.

I love his eyebrows. Someone had to compensate for Matt Smith’s lack of them…

6. The heist itself!

Heist plots tend to be either “love them” or “hate them,” I think. I like them, most of the time, but I can understand why people wouldn’t. A heist that can only be properly pulled off using time-travel? Even before seeing the episode I would say, “Bring it on!” It did seem a bit easy for them to break into this huge, high-security bank, though – admittedly, the solar storm explains some of that, and presumably the bank didn’t think to account for time travelers. Then again, Karabraxos didn’t seem to find it impossible that the Doctor was a time traveler. How commonplace is time travel at this point in the future?

Some parts of the heist did seem ridiculously easy, but still. I’ve never seen anything like that before in Doctor Who! It was an extremely creative one-off episode and I APPLAUD WHOEVER THOUGHT OF IT. Even if that person was Moffat.

5. Ms. Delphox / Karabraxos

Clones! I thought that she was Missy for a second, actually. Darn these mysterious female characters with similar hairstyles. I feel like Moffat’s done this character type before – or maybe it’s just her outfit and hairstyle throwing me off again.

MagicFishy, I cannot thank you enough for reviewing this episode with me – not just because I would otherwise be a lonely little reviewer, but because I spent LITERALLY ALL THE TIME until right now thinking Karabraxos was Missy. Duh. I am a dork. They have similar hair so I guess I thought they were the same person? Oh, dear. I’m soooo embarrassed now.

4. Psi and Saibra didn’t really die!

I was actually fooled by the apparent deaths in this episode because I’d been expecting the two to get killed off. They seemed like prime companion material but I knew that that wasn’t going to happen, as much as I would have liked it to. Anyway, I should really know by now that there being no body means that the character isn’t really dead. Especially since an apparent disintegration actually being teleportation has been used before in this show. I don’t really have any excuse.

Ha ha ha! I may have become confused about many things in this episode, but this was something that I guessed right away! And correctly! I don’t know how I did it, honestly. I guess I thought that it Saibra had actually died, she would have left behind a puddle or a pile of dust or something. I know that sounds gross, but that’s what’s left behind when Daleks exterminate someone, so…

3. Clara’s outfit!

We don’t really have to discuss this one, and I like her outfits in general, but still. Ties! Yay! (The costume designers seemed to be having fun this episode – I think that I saw something like a transparent visor hat at one point.)

To be honest? I’m glad you mentioned Clara’s outfit, because I wanted to talk about it too but I was worried you’d think I was being shallow! So. SHE WAS SO GORGEOUS IN THIS EPISODE. Clara in a suit! Clara with a tie! I guess I just think that girls wearing ties are cute. Jenny wears a tie. Yeah, definitely seeing a pattern here. How soon is Jenny’s next episode?

I just like Clara’s clothes in general, I suppose. She has a cute face and her outfits are always really pretty, and sometimes that almost makes up for her character development issues.

2. The teller

When I first saw the Teller, my first thought was of Jar-Jar Binks. So I may not have taken that threat seriously.

Later on, the idea of that creature being used as security was horrifying, considering how hard it is not to think of something – how does it work, exactly? Does its telepathy zero in on criminal intent directed at the bank, or just criminal intent in general, or something else? How sapient was the Teller, anyways? If the person it caught wasn’t the target, can it be completely wrong? Why does it liquify the skull along with the brain? How legal is this whole thing, anyway, considering how well-known the bank seems to be? QUESTIONS.

OH MY GOD IT’S CALLED THE TELLER?! Somehow I caught Psi’s and Saibra’s names but my brain never quite registered the Teller’s name. I spent the episode thinking it was called the Tillurgh…

Um. Well. That was embarrassing. Anyway.

The only thing I’d really like to add to your observations is that its liquified-skull-thingy is similar to the half-headed people from “The Bells of Saint John.” And as I’ll mention at the end of this review, there are plenty of people who think that at least one other aspect of series eight’s story arc started back then.

P.S. Your comment about the Teller versus Jar-Jar Binks made me giggle SO MUCH. Thank you for that.

1. The one-off characters Psi and Saibra

These two are excellent. I do still wish that they’d brought back Jack (Psi seemed a bit inspired by him what with the ‘criminal from the future with missing memories’ thing) but oh well. I’d really like it for the Doctor to have futuristic/alien companions – can these two just become companions? I wouldn’t mind that. I keep having to look up how to spell Saibra’s name, but I’d happily put up with that if she were to return. (Also, Moffat does like his cyborgs, doesn’t he? Ah well, I like cyborgs.)

OH MY GOD. PSI AND SAIBRA. I loved them, but they also frustrate me because… they were wonderfully written and we’ll probably never see them again. How is it even possible for two brand-new characters to A) be more interesting and B) have more character development than Clara, who’s now been part of two series?! I don’t get it.


So, Fishy, what did you think of this episode overall?

It was somewhere in the middle. It wasn’t my favorite episode ever, and a couple of the plot points bothered me a bit, but it was entertaining, and reminded me of my desire for the Doctor to have a companion from another time period.

Cool. I, personally, LOVED it. When I saw the trailer I wasn’t so sure about this episode – I thought it seemed ridiculous. But within the first five minutes of the episode itself, I was convinced. Along with “Deep Breath,” it is one of my favorites from series eight thus far! (I might even go so far as to say that it’s one of my favorites from series six, seven, and eight combined.) It was brilliant. It has a great cyberpunk feeling. There were villains we hadn’t seen a thousand times before! It was well-paced. I was pleasantly surprised.

One more thing, before we wrap up this review: MagicFishy, who do you think Missy is?

I honestly think that Missy’s someone that we hadn’t met before this season. (Unless you count the whole ‘woman in the shop’ thing.) [Note from Engie: A theory relating to the previously-mentioned mysterious lady from the shop in “The Bells of Saint John” can be found here.] But it would be neat if she was from Classic Who, too.

Nice! Thanks for reviewing with me, MagicFishy! It was fun!


What is YOUR opinion on “Time Heist?” I’d love to know!


About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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7 Responses to DOCTOR WHO Series Eight Review: “Time Heist” (Co-written With MagicFishy @ The Magic Fishy)

  1. matttblack42 says:

    Hey, easy on Clara, you… uh… Clara haters! I think she’s groovy. So far she’s won the award for Most Improved Companion, not including classic DW. I liked Psi and Saibra, but I would say Clara’s had more character development this season than either of them. Okay, maybe not Psi. That guy’s cool.

    Anyway, I liked this episode. It wasn’t my favorite of the season, but I liked the one-off characters and the Ocean’s Eleven-y tone of the whole thing. There were a few moments where I felt annoyed by how convenient things were, like when Karabraxos decided to leave the room before having her henchmen kill them, or whenever a giant, easily accessible air vent showed up. I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen an air vent big enough for an adult-sized human being to crawl around in, yet they seem to be all over the place on TV.

    Agreed on the Clara/Danny thing. I like them both as characters, but I don’t think they work as a couple.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Ehehe, I’ve started to like Clara much more in series 8. Especially when she wears something pretty. 😀
      (Really? I would give that award to Donna. The change just from “The Runaway Bride” to “Partners in Crime” was amazing.)
      I want those two to be companions! ❤

      I know, right? Convenient air vents EVERYWHERE.

      Yeah… not looking forward to "The Caretaker" for that reason. (I wasn't able to see it last night, but I will tonight, and… there's supposed to be more stuff between Clara and Danny, right? Eugh.)

      • matttblack42 says:

        Oh, yes. I forgot about Runaway Bride. Clara only bored me, but I hated Donna with a passion during her first episode. I’m pretty sure she spent her entire first half hour on the show yelling.

        Yeah, there was a lot of Clara and Danny. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but it’s still probably by least favorite episode of the series so far.

    • nevillegirl says:


      Eugh, I saw “The Caretaker” last night and that is DEFINITELY one of the worst DW episodes I’ve seen in a while. -_-

  2. Alexandrina Brant says:

    TH has been my favourite 12 episode so far. It had mostly all of the elements I love in a Doctor Who/sci fi/time travel story, even if bits were a little predictable/obvious. I think that sci-fi fans have evolved to recognise certain tropes. There is no fooling a Trekkie about molecular transporter residues. Also, yes to your point about the eyebrows! 😀

  3. Pingback: “Doctor Who” Series Eight Recap: Reviews + Thank You + Lists + Analyses | Musings From Neville's Navel

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