Once again we seemingly revisit a previous episode of Doctor Who this week, The Caretaker bares a striking resemblance to Series 2 Episode 3, School Reunion. This episode has always been on of my favourites for many reasons so would this recycled plot be able to stand up and brush off any claims of unoriginality?
In short yeah it was, The Caretaker thankfully continues an upward run in quality for this series of Doctor Who. I would say that since Listen the episodes have been more impressive and have provided a solid foundation for a hopefully dramatic second half to the series. Anyway why was The Caretaker so good? Well first of all it was great to see an original and interesting alien/monster in the form of the Blitzer. This adversary was like a mix between a Terminator, a Dalek and the Racnoss. The Blitzer may have been slightly underused however I see great potential for it to return in future adventures and possibly in bigger numbers, I was glad to see a chase sequence in this episode however again it could have been improved. Every episode needs a solid villain and The Blitzer certainly lived up to this in The Caretaker, that is a lot of the ground work done for me in an episode but there was much more to this weeks events than just the villain!
I am really enjoying the involvement of Danny Pink, his character is interesting and I could easily see him becoming the most likeable male companion of the new era of Who. He has an interesting back story and his current storyline with Clare is also enjoyable to watch. He has great potential to bring some action to the series, maybe the action that Capaldi’s Doctor can’t. I think I have come to the conclusion that Capaldi is never going to be my favourite Doctor. He is a fantastic actor and his incarnation certainly has unique elements which are enjoyable to watch, many present in this episode but he just doesn’t live up to his previous 3 incarnations – don’t mistake this for a dislike though he is still good for the role but I feel I have given him fair chance to impress now and I just want to settle into the series so that is why I have come to this conclusion. Anyway The Caretaker has some fantastic comedy moments most notably the interactions between The Doctor and Danny but some of these moments go a lot deeper and become quite dark which I loved. I can’t wait to see where all three of these main characters go. Unfortunately what The Caretaker does do is slip into the sloppy secondary characters trap. I couldn’t have cared less for the involvement of Courtney here and I am hoping that is the last we see of her.
The Caretaker is another really solid episode for Series 8. A strong adversary matched with really good character development for the three main characters combined with some comedy meant that this was always going to be a good episode. Certain elements were recycled and could have been pushed further or improved, the inclusion of an uninteresting secondary character didn’t help either however none of these elements were able to really damage this episode meaning that it was a successful effort. More of the same please.
Rating – 9/10