DOCTOR WHO “The Caretaker” Review

Coal Hill School has a new caretaker. But what has caused the Doctor to enter Clara’s work life? Read on to find out.

The official description from BBC:

When terrifying events threaten Coal Hill School, the Doctor decides to go undercover. The Skovox Blitzer is ready to destroy all humanity – and worse, any second now, Danny Pink and the Doctor are going to meet.

We reach the halfway point of Doctor Who‘s most recent series, and by now most fans will have definitive opinions on whether they like, love or plain hate this latest incarnation of our favourite Time Lord. Having personally loved the series so far, I’m always excited to see more, with each “Next Time” clip giving me the urge to own a T.A.R.D.I.S. just to jump forward a week. Once again slipping into the well known alias of John Smith, “The Caretaker” sees the Doctor enter Clara’s work life in an attempt to once again save the world.

The focus of this episode is the relationship between Clara (Jenna Coleman) and the Doctor (Peter Capaldi), with the injection of Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson) to the equation being the catalyst that makes things interesting. Naturally this puts more pressure on the acting, with there being less room for error than if the episode had been more plot focused. Luckily all three actors do a great job, but it’s once again Capaldi who stands out, with the mixture of humour and bitterness coming across strongly. This performance wouldn’t have been as memorable if it wasn’t for the actors he played across, with Anderson and Coleman giving strong performances throughout.

Doctor Who The Caretaker 2

This episode sees the introduction of yet another new foe, with the Skovox Blitzer proving to be a menacing foe, creating a thrilling sense of dread that drives this tale forward. As a foe however the Skovox Blitzer is rather underwhelming, with it’s contribution to this episode being little more than the gas that ignites the engine. Despite this Gareth Roberts and Steven Moffat have written a very compelling tale, with the character focus allowing the episode to remain dramatic throughout. They also manage to match suspense with humour very well, allowing for a gripping tone to this tense tale, whilst lightening the tone when necessary. The brief return of Missy (Michelle Gomez) and the Promise Land is also greatly welcomed, with the subtle development having me more intrigued as to where this is going.

Doctor Who‘s recent series may have reached its halfway point, but this in no way meant it’s ran out of steam. Being very character focused, with a suspenseful tone, “The Caretaker” proves to be an entertaining outing for the Twelfth Doctor. Even if the foe wasn’t that great. Recommended.

  • + Characters are centre stage in this.
  • + Danny Pink finally makes an impact.
  • + Brilliant mixture of suspense and humour throughout.
  • - The Skovox Blitzer may be the most useless foe the Doctor's ever faced.