Doctor Who: The Caretaker by Gareth Roberts and Steven Moffat (Doctor Who review).

September 27, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

Be careful: There may be some unintentional spoilers although I won’t give away the ending.

I’m beginning to think that the Doctor can’t have a continuous companion on-board the TARDIS, not if he can’t keep dropping them off all the time. I mean, is the opening part of the future or just of the events happening whenever the Doctor picks up Clara? It’s certainly beginning to mess up temporal continuity that is going to mess up the Whovians a lot, isn’t it?

In many respects also, Coal Hill Secondary Modern School is beginning to look like a nexus for temporal events. Does that mean when the Hartnell Doctor with Susan and the McCoy Doctor being in the area collecting at the grave are emphasising the fact?


As seen from all the promos, the Doctor takes over from the real caretaker to being a locum caretaker to sort out an alien menace when he can find it. Hasn’t that been done before across the recent Doctors? Considering that he wants to be known as the Doctor even as a caretaker makes him even more locum? Scriptwriter Gareth Roberts certainly plays up the comedy elements and Peter Capaldi certainly seems more comfortable being more alienisque even if he does appear manically on speed dial.

I’m less sure about the invisible function watch. Far too much of a convenience deux ex machina when the Doctor has never needed to rely on such a device before. If he had such a device, surely he would be using it more to stay out of trouble.


There is still far too much character-based scenes than plot development scenes. Not that they don’t work or, indeed, are funny, but I mean, the alien-based scenes with the robot Skovox Blitzen (it at least has a name) could really be summed up in three very short scenes and its over which is hardly the point of any ‘Doctor Who’ story.

From the looks of things, this story’s orientation was more to do with Danny Pink meeting the Doctor and him thinking the other is a rival. I’ll let you decide which one I’m referring to. It also appears to be laying down the clues for Jenna Coleman’s own departure somewhere into the season. I suspect that it will also be a lot easier as I doubt that he will want a similar situation as what happened to the Ponds.


I doubt if Courtney Woods (actress Ellis George) is going to be the next companion, not when she gets space-sick so easy.

Oh, doesn’t the TARDIS actually appear on stage a little bigger on the outside this time?

Objectively, there’s a lot going on in this story and certainly not harmful for kids being pushed forward an extra hour, which is ironic considering that this is a school story. Peter Capaldi really looks like he’s enjoying this story and Jenna Coleman is a delight as always.

Even better, we have a return of the extras on channel 601. Long over-due.

Geoff Willmetts

September 2014

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Category: Doctor Who

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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