Steven Thompson is back on writing chores in this week's episode of Doctor Who, co-credited alongside Steven Moffat, which is an interesting revelation, though who wrote what this time round is anyone's guess. It's unlikely Moffat would have had his name on the credits for the very few Danny Pink scenes.
The Doctor continues interrupting Clara's life with new and exciting adventures, despite the fact she is more interested in going on a date, but things are changing, and after the TARDIS' phone rings, they find themselves as part of a gang, ready to rob a bank, though not actually remembering why. Everything is being orchestrated by the mysterious "Architect".
It should take you less than five minutes to work out who the Architect is, and once you do it does present a few problems with the story that don't really make sense. Given the Architect has left the group a number of suitcases along the route inside the bank, it suggests that the Architect has already been inside - and given that we know who the Architect is, the obvious point would be that the Doctor must have used the TARDIS for the pre-planning...so why didn't he just do the whole thing if he could break in? The setup for the exact time is neat, but doesn't make sense if the Doctor's already slipped in to prepare for their arrival. Additionally - if the Doctor recognised the teleporters, why did he think they would kill them? Did he simply not recognise them? And...uh...given he planted them, how could he not?
Aside from the logical leaps, there's also the idea that we have to accept the bank owner is actually deeply regretful later in life, and while that's not such a terrible thing to accept, in truth it never really comes across as powerfully as it should. For some reason I didn't quite buy into it. As such, I found the episode wanting in a way that the previous episodes haven't.
Which is a shame, because there's a lot to recommend "Time Heist". Capaldi and Coleman are on top form, though by now this is something we should probably come to expect. The pair are comfortable, not only with each other, but with their characters, and their bickering is lots of fun, particularly as they do seem to care for each other. The other two members of the party work nicely, though Psi is largely forgettable and doesn't really have that great an impact on the story. Saibra, on the other hand, is a little more effective, though perhaps that's because she gets to spend a little more time with the Doctor, and her "death" - as it comes first - is a little more memorable. Of course, Keeley Hawes is the actress who gets the most to do in this episode, and she is brilliant, both as Miss Delphox and Director Karabraxos; and even gets to play the elderly version as well, which is a nice twist.
However, the true star of the episode is probably the Teller; an alien that is brilliantly realised and brought to life very nicely though a variety of different means. There's a reality to the creature that puts him up there with the very best of aliens you'll see in films such as Star Wars, and that helps raise the episode above the problems it has.
"Time Heist" isn't the best series eight has delivered, but it's still a great episode with lots of things to sit back and enjoy (a bunch of pictures should warm fans' hearts). If the worst Doctor Who is, is entertaining, well...that's no bad thing.