Problem. Are we really half way through Doctor Who Series 8 already? Must be time for a bit of a break then. Here's our spoiler free review of The Caretaker.
Last week, whilst previewing Time Heist, I commented that Clara was very much the traditional assistant for that episode, with all eyes (and eyebrows) being on the Doctor. Well this time she's very much at the forefront, especially in the opening segment of The Caretaker. We get a good view of what life is like for Ms Oswald - having to juggle work, a blossoming relationship, and, oh yes, a little thing called adventures in time and space. It's not an easy task, but she's got it all under control. At least she did have.
I'll happily go on record as saying Clara has firmly become my favourite new-Who companion, and most of that is down to the first 5 episodes of this series. The Caretaker cements that position. It asks a lot of Jenna Coleman, but she ably delivers turning in her best performance that we have seen so far. Sam Anderson, as Clara's beau Danny Pink, is not far behind - the two of them have great chemistry.
So really what The Caretaker boils down to is two words - character development. But it wouldn't be a very interesting episode of Doctor Who if there wasn't at least some danger/monster/threat to tackle would it? Fortunately we are treated to another excellent one. Back to back with The Tellor, we now have another of the most memorable new-Who monsters ever created - The Skovoz Blitzer. It's quick, brutal, and looks really impressive.
So if you've got a Skovoz Blitzer problem "who you gonna call?"
Coal Hill School Caretaker John Smith, that's who.
Our Doctor's undercover, and as ever Space Dad Peter Capaldi delivers a top notch performance. He's a lot more light hearted again, but in a better way than Robot of Sherwood (both episodes were directed by Paul Murphy incidentally). His new position supplies most of the comic relief, although the whole script is filled with genuinely funny lines, courtesy of Gareth Roberts and Steven Moffat
Yes, Moffat again. Clearly he's keen to keep on top of all things Series 8, which seems to be a wise idea as the only episode so far that he's not at least co-written was Robot of Sherwood. And....well...Robot of Sherwood!!
Simply put, The Caretaker is great fun, the 45 minutes just zip past and I really can't see any Who fan not enjoying it on some level. Great Doctor, great characters, great monster, and a great setting to boot. What more could you want?
The Caretaker airs Saturday September 27th at the later time of 8.30pm on BBC One.