Peter Capaldi as the Doctor: S8 E6 The Caretaker

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Peter Capaldi as the Doctor: S8 E6 The Caretaker

The Lat­est of my reviews of the Peter Capaldi Era of Doc­tor Who

Sum­mary: A very inter­est­ing man is the new Care­taker at Coal Hill school, but what is he there to take care of?

Plot: Clara is hav­ing trou­ble cop­ing with the demands of jug­gling Doc­tor life and real life while keep­ing her boyfriend Danny Pink out of the pic­ture when the Doc­tor announces that he has a “thing” to do so won’t have time for a trip today. Clara is curi­ous but lets it going offer­ing to give Danny her full inten­tion when Mr. Armatage intro­duces the new care­taker John Smith who calls him­self the Doc­tor and has amaz­ing eye­brows. Despite wear­ing a dif­fer­ent coat Clara rec­og­nizes him and dis­cov­ers a deadly alien men­ace is in play. Will the Doc­tor be able save them all from deadly dan­ger with­out expos­ing Clara’s dou­ble life and the TARDIS to Danny, the Stu­dents and their par­ents while still keep­ing the school clean and tidy?

— — — — — — — — — — — –

Writ­ing: Gareth Roberts & Steven Mof­fat both have a credit on this one and if this any indi­ca­tion they should sim­ply fire every­one else and lock them in a room together until the entire sea­son is writ­ten. This is sim­ply one of the most enjoy­able episodes since Let’s Kill Hitler. The com­edy is great, the dan­ger and the res­o­lu­tions are well done, the mini pre­quel is enjoy­able and you never are quite sure where things are going. This is one of those episodes that you show to peo­ple to intro­duce them to the series. It also proves once and for all that Mof­fat can write a spec­tac­u­lar episode of Doc­tor Who with­out resort­ing to a para­dox, at least with Gareth Roberts’s help

Act­ing: Capaldi absolutely rules in this episode, Cole­man does a won­der­ful job and given the chance to shine Samuel Ander­son grabs it by the horns and runs with it. He makes his pres­ence known in every scene he’s in. The only weak link is Ellis George who’s merely above aver­age but given this is her first tele­vi­sion role, that’s not too shabby.

Mem­o­rable Moments: It’s all mem­o­rable, from the pre­quel, to dumb humans, to the bow tie, the sign, Jane Austen, PE, the play, the par­ent teach­ers meet­ing, I’ve got a brush, Spillage, oh hell just go and watch the whole thing.

Doc­tor Who Flash­backs: That Coal Hill school artron energy likely comes from the 1st & 7th Doctors.

Odd­i­ties: The doc­tor jokes about hav­ing being able to come back and wor­ries about the two min­utes but he’s actu­ally right, if he uses the fast return switch he can come back, have all the time he needs to build his machines and get it done. (per­haps that’s what he’s been doing all these years.)

Pet Peeves: The con­fronta­tion between the kids and the cop seemed hor­ri­bly con­trived or it is a cul­tural thing.

Great Quote(s) You could pretty much put the whole episode in here so we’ll nar­row it down to five:

Clara: We’re going to starve to death out here.
The Doc­tor:Of course we won’t starve. The sand pira­nhas will get us long before that.

********************

The Doc­tor:Yes, no body’s tak­ing any notice at all. Absolutely good news because it means I must be com­ing across just as an absolutely bor­ing human being like you.

********************

The Doc­tor: (from out­side the win­dow of a class­room on lad­der) Wrong.
Clara: I’m sorry?
The Doc­tor: On the board. Wrong. Wrong.
Clara: Oh, no, no, no, no. You don’t do this. You are the care­taker, this is not what you do.
The Doc­tor:Just tak­ing care.
Clara:
Not your area!
The Doc­tor: Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prej­u­dice in 1796.
Clara: (to the class) This is Mis­ter Smith, the tem­po­rary care­taker, and he’s a bit con­fused.
The Doc­tor:Not in 1797, because she didn’t have the time. She was so busy doing all
Clara: (agi­tated) Oh, What? I sup­pose she was your bezzie mate, was she? And you went on hol­i­days together and then you got kid­napped by Bog­gons from space and then you all formed a band and met Buddy Holly!
The Doc­tor: No, I read the book. There’s a bio at the back.

********************

The Doc­tor:Can’t you read?
Court­ney:Course I can read. Read what?
The Doc­tor: The door. It says: “Keep Out.”
Court­ney: No, it says: “Go Away Humans.“
The Doc­tor: Oh, so it does. Never lose your tem­per in the mid­dle of a door sign.
Court­ney: What was you doing in there? What’s that box?
The Doc­tor: The caretaker’s box. Every care­taker has their own box.
Court­ney: It says Police.
The Doc­tor: Exactly, there’s a police­man in there, in case of emer­gen­cies and chil­dren. Tow­els, there, g-​g-​go.
Court­ney: What was that green glow? There was a green glow com­ing from in there. What was it?
The Doc­tor: Of course there was. What’s a police­man with­out a death ray? Oh, lis­ten, there’s the bell. Off you go. Haven’t you got shoplift­ing to go to?

*********************************

Danny:It’s all right, it doesn’t mat­ter. I don’t need him to like me. It doesn’t mat­ter if he likes me or hates me, I just need to do exactly one thing for you. Doc­tor, am I right?
The Doc­tor:Yes.
Clara:What? What one thing?
Danny:I need to be good enough for you. That’s why he’s angry. Just in case I’m not.
Clara:He, er, he did just save the whole world.
The Doc­tor:Yeah, yeah. Good start.

Final Ver­dict: Five stars. Not count­ing the 50th anniver­sary spe­cial might be the sin­gle best Clara story slightly edg­ing out The Bells of St. John back to back a few times to be sure.

Rank­ing of Sea­son: 1st of Six. There is not a smidgen of weak­ness in this episode

1. The Care­taker
2. Into the Dalek
3. Lis­ten
4. Robot of Sher­wood
5. Time Heist
6. Deep Breath

The Latest of my reviews of the Peter Capaldi Era of Doctor Who

Summary:  A very interesting man is the new Caretaker at Coal Hill school, but what is he there to take care of?

Plot: Clara is having trouble coping with the demands of juggling Doctor life and real life while keeping her boyfriend Danny Pink out of the picture when the Doctor announces that he has a “thing” to do so won’t have time for a trip today. Clara is curious but lets it going offering to give Danny her full intention when Mr. Armatage introduces the new caretaker John Smith who calls himself the Doctor and has amazing eyebrows. Despite wearing a different coat Clara recognizes him and discovers a deadly alien menace is in play. Will the Doctor be able save them all from deadly danger without exposing Clara’s double life and the TARDIS to Danny, the Students and their parents while still keeping the school clean and tidy?

———————————–

Writing:   Gareth Roberts & Steven Moffat both have a credit on this one and if this any indication they should simply fire everyone else and lock them in a room together until the entire season is written. This is simply one of the most enjoyable episodes since Let’s Kill Hitler. The comedy is great, the danger and the resolutions are well done, the mini prequel is enjoyable and you never are quite sure where things are going. This is one of those episodes that you show to people to introduce them to the series. It also proves once and for all that Moffat can write a spectacular episode of Doctor Who without resorting to a paradox, at least with Gareth Roberts’s help

Acting:   Capaldi absolutely rules in this episode, Coleman does a wonderful job and given the chance to shine Samuel Anderson grabs it by the horns and runs with it. He makes his presence known in every scene he’s in. The only weak link is Ellis George who’s merely above average but given this is her first television role, that’s not too shabby.

Memorable Moments: It’s all memorable, from the prequel, to dumb humans, to the bow tie, the sign, Jane Austen, PE, the play, the parent teachers meeting, I’ve got a brush, Spillage, oh hell just go and watch the whole thing.

Doctor Who Flashbacks:   That Coal Hill school artron energy likely comes from the 1st & 7th Doctors.

Oddities:  The doctor jokes about having being able to come back and worries about the two minutes but he’s actually right, if he uses the fast return switch he can come back, have all the time he needs to build his machines and get it done. (perhaps that’s what he’s been doing all these years.)

Pet Peeves:  The confrontation between the kids and the cop seemed horribly contrived or it is a cultural thing.

Great Quote(s) You could pretty much put the whole episode in here so we’ll narrow it down to five:

Clara: We’re going to starve to death out here.
The Doctor:Of course we won’t starve. The sand piranhas will get us long before that.

********************

The Doctor:Yes, no body’s taking any notice at all. Absolutely good news because it means I must be coming across just as an absolutely boring human being like you.

********************

The Doctor: (from outside the window of a classroom on ladder) Wrong.
Clara: I’m sorry?
The Doctor: On the board. Wrong. Wrong.
Clara: Oh, no, no, no, no. You don’t do this. You are the caretaker, this is not what you do.
The Doctor:Just taking care.
Clara:
Not your area!
The Doctor: Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice in 1796.
Clara: (to the class) This is Mister Smith, the temporary caretaker, and he’s a bit confused.
The Doctor:Not in 1797, because she didn’t have the time. She was so busy doing all
Clara: (agitated) Oh, What? I suppose she was your bezzie mate, was she? And you went on holidays together and then you got kidnapped by Boggons from space and then you all formed a band and met Buddy Holly!
The Doctor: No, I read the book. There’s a bio at the back.

********************

The Doctor:Can’t you read?
Courtney:Course I can read. Read what?
The Doctor:  The door. It says: “Keep Out.”
Courtney:  No, it says: “Go Away Humans.”
The Doctor: Oh, so it does. Never lose your temper in the middle of a door sign.
Courtney: What was you doing in there? What’s that box?
The Doctor:  The caretaker’s box. Every caretaker has their own box.
Courtney:  It says Police.
The Doctor:  Exactly, there’s a policeman in there, in case of emergencies and children. Towels, there, g-g-go.
Courtney:  What was that green glow? There was a green glow coming from in there. What was it?
The Doctor:  Of course there was. What’s a policeman without a death ray? Oh, listen, there’s the bell. Off you go. Haven’t you got shoplifting to go to?

*********************************

 

Danny:It’s all right, it doesn’t matter. I don’t need him to like me. It doesn’t matter if he likes me or hates me, I just need to do exactly one thing for you. Doctor, am I right?
The Doctor:Yes.
Clara:What? What one thing?
Danny:I need to be good enough for you. That’s why he’s angry. Just in case I’m not.
Clara:He, er, he did just save the whole world.
The Doctor:Yeah, yeah. Good start.

Final Verdict: Five stars. Not counting the 50th anniversary special might be the single best Clara story slightly edging out The Bells of St. John back to back a few times to be sure.

Ranking of Season: 1st of Six. There is not a smidgen of weakness in this episode

1. The Caretaker
2. Into the Dalek
3. Listen
4. Robot of Sherwood
5. Time Heist
6. Deep Breath