Good morning! Today I’m reviewing last Saturday’s Doctor Who episode, “The Caretaker,” with the amazing blogger Orphu from A Mirror Made of Words.
She doesn’t post often but when she does, I LOVE what she’s written. She’s smart, and quite geeky, and she makes me laugh. We started talking because of a mutual love of Harry Potter (though, strangely enough, neither of us are that into it anymore) and went on to introduce one another to a variety of our favorite stories. She’s the reason I’m reading the Skulduggery Pleasant series. I’m the reason she read A Song of Ice and Fire and watched Doctor Who. It’s been pretty fun.
Without further ado, I present our review! (Hey, that rhymed.)
P.S. You can find earlier collaborative reviews of Doctor Who here.
Orphu writes novels and makes a lot of art, ranging from original drawings to fanart of the Skulduggery Pleasant series or Malinda Lo’s books. She has a lingering fear of the Internet. She still wants Dee Dee from “Midnight” to reappear in some capacity, however unlikely that might be. She blogs at at A Mirror Made of Words.
Warning: Spoilers ahead, sweetie!
Yo, Engie here. For this review, we decided to keep things pretty simple. We each made two lists, one with things we did like about “The Caretaker,” and the other with things we didn’t like so much. Enjoy!
What Orphu Liked
+ I enjoyed the montage of Clara rushing from time traveling with the Doctor to dates with Danny. Although… seeing how she has access to a time machine, they might have given her at least enough time to collect herself and take off a space helmet. (Which wasn’t shown in the montage, but was mentioned.) I can understand being tan and even having wet hair, though.
+ It’s such a small, throwaway thing, but the Doctor’s and Clara’s conversation immediately after he showed up as caretaker did amuse me – although I might be biased since the episode I was watching had subtitles, and its thumbnail featured the phrase “Humans are not otters!” So it’s possible I was more amused than I might have been just because that out-of-context line got its context.
+ Despite my annoyance with how Danny was treated, I was interested in his interactions with the Doctor. Clara does disagree with the Doctor at times, but nothing at the level of Danny and the Doctor’s ‘conversation.’ (Scare quotes because his “Yes, sir!”s were at least much a conversation with Clara as with the Doctor.)
What Engie Liked
+ I loved the opening montage with Clara and the Doctor! I loved seeing – even for just a few minutes – how the rest of Clara’s life is affected by her travels in the TARDIS. I’d imagine that could get quite hectic, and it would be odd to jump from one time/place to another in the blink of an eye.
+ COURTNEY. We’ll probably never see her again, or at least not very often, and that’s too bad. She’s kind of fun. She’s a rebel. She has attitude. And she’s also a huge dork, as shown in the scene where she gets… I don’t even know what to call it… TARDIS-sick?
+ My favorite quote from this episode is the part where Danny thinks the Doctor is Clara’s “space dad.”
+ While this episode contained many elements – mainly yelling and being control-freakish – that I didn’t like, I did like the general story. The Doctor’s trying to save a school? Cool. It reminded me of an equally-silly episode from series two, “School Reunion.”
+ OMG WE SAW MISSY AGAIN!
What Orphu Didn’t Like
+ I really, really just want the Doctor to start treating Danny better. I want Clara to treat him better, too. Ever since he’s been introduced, they have taken every available opportunity to squeeze in a “but he’s a SOLDIER” remark. And while it’s true that he is a soldier, and that they might not agree with the idea of being a soldier, I’m pretty sure it’s still possible to treat him better than he’s being treated. (Half of their treatment of him isn’t even insulting the fact that he’s a soldier, either – when Danny asked if he could help, the Doctor wasted valuable time giving him a dramatic, “LEAVE US ALONE.”)
+ This is quite possibly just me being ridiculous and not understanding obvious things, but I honestly thought that the scene at the beginning in the desert was one of those situations where you’re thrown into the middle of the plot and then go back to see how it happened, instead of just an adventure that they happened to have at one point before one of Clara’s dates. I didn’t properly realize until the episode was over that that story was actually good and done with.
+ I was disappointed that Courtney – though established as being a proper, individual character – ended up being involved as little as she was. I quite liked Courtney and I thought that she had good potential. Every once in a while a character comes up and I immediately think, “They should be a companion. Go on, take them on. I’m sure they’d be excellent,” and Courtney was one of them. Unfortunately, she didn’t end up being as involved as I thought, and her TARDIS-sickness seems to effectively cut off whatever chance was left.
What Engie Didn’t Like
+ Seriously, what is the Doctor’s problem with Danny? He seems to have an issue with soldiers because they kill people, but… the Doctor has killed people. Quite a lot of them, actually. If the Doctor disliked Danny because that guy reminded him too much of himself and it made him uncomfortable, I could understand that. But the show hasn’t gone there yet, and I honestly don’t think it’s going to.
+ I am SO SICK AND TIRED of stories in which two guys fight over a girl. I don’t care whether they’re both after her as a girlfriend, or if one is a potential boyfriend and the other is a friend/father figure/et cetera. It’s overdone, and it’s irritating, and what’s the point anyway? If Clara is happy with Danny, the Doctor should butt out.
+ Basically, Twelve reminded me way too strongly of Eleven in this episode. (Eleven is my least favorite New Who Doctor.)
+ I hate Clara and Danny’s relationship. I think they’re both all right on their own, but why on earth are they a couple now? They have no romantic chemistry at all. As I was telling another friend on Facebook a short time ago, watching those two cuddle is about as exciting as watching two rocks cuddling. Which is to say, not very. Basically, not all stories need romance but if it’s going to be a thing, it should be GOOD. Clara and Danny don’t seem very affectionate or in love with one another to me, and basically I’m just grumpy because there hasn’t been any cute-couple-y bits since “Deep Breath.” Blergh.
It’s Engie again. Orphu, what was your overall opinion of “The Caretaker?”
This episode wasn’t particularly dislike-able, but neither was it particularly spectacular. I was about to say it’s in the C+ sort of range, just for being neither high nor low, but now that feels far too set-in-stone. I’m sticking with the main point, though, which was that I neither greatly liked nor disliked it.
Hmm. It’s probably my least favorite so far… based on the trailer for it, “The Caretaker” LOOKED a lot more fun than it actually WAS. Oh, well. It could’ve been worse. It could’ve been a terrible two-part episode.
Oh, and one more thing before we wrap up this review: Who do you think Missy is? We finally saw her again in this episode!
…I honestly don’t know who she is. I still don’t have a proper theory as to who she is.
Fair enough. I’ve given up trying to guess, too, because it seems like every theory I hear/read is sillier than the last.
Thanks so much for reviewing with me, Orphu!
What is YOUR opinion on “The Caretaker?” I’d love to know!