Poor Clara has been running herself ragged trying to live two lives, one at the school with Danny Pink, and one off in time and space with the Doctor. That is, until the Doctor finds something amiss at Clara’s school. He goes under “deep cover” as the caretaker to investigate the newest threat to the UK and the world at large, as well as to check up on what Clara’s been up to when she’s not in the TARDIS.
The newest threat turns out to be a Skovox Blitzer – a killer robot (aren’t they all?). An unlucky cop in the area stumbles across the Blitzer in a nearby abandoned building and pays for the discovery with his life.
Meanwhile, the Doctor is setting up a trap for the Blitzer. Clara isn’t particularly thrilled, as that means drawing a killer robot to a school full of children, but the Doctor has a plan. He plants chronodite generators all over the school, which will (in theory) send the Skovox Blitzer a billion years into the future, once they get it trapped in the right place.
A brilliant plan, but there’s a problem. Danny doesn’t trust this sketchy new caretaker. When he comes across a couple of the generators, he pulls them from their places, causing the Doctor’s trap to recalibrate. He’s on hand to see Clara take the Doctor’s orders to act as a distraction for the Blitzer, and is there to watch it disappear in a shining golden vortex, right in the middle of the auditorium. Somewhat out of the norm for your run-of-the-mill public school.
Clara manages to convince Danny that she isn’t an alien and in the process, confesses that she’s in love with him. This rather upsets the Doctor, as he assumed that she was dating one of the other English teachers, a geeky, floppy-haired man with a penchant for bow ties. Wonder where the Doctor got that impression? Danny’s impressed by the TARDIS, but not-so-impressed by the fact that Clara’s been effectively lying to him for quite some time now. Clara tries to prove to him that she’s the same person whether she’s with the Doctor or not, but it goes poorly, to say the least.
Since the generators were recalibrated, the Skovox Blitzer wasn’t so much sent 1 billion years into the future. More like less than a day. The Blitzer appears right in the middle of Parents’ Night (because of course it did). The Doctor has created a device that allows him to imitate the Blitzer’s commanding officer, but he only succeeds in activating its self-destruct feature. Fortunately, Danny is able to use his military training to distract the Blitzer long enough for the Doctor to tweak his device and deactivate the homicidal robot.
Danny and the Doctor have a bit of a bonding moment as Danny explains to Clara why it is that the Doctor has been so hard on him. He just wants Danny to prove himself to be good enough for Clara.
Elsewhere, in the afterlife, our poor dead cop is meeting with someone who appears to be a minor functionary while deciding which “heaven” he’s going to end up in. Missy is, of course, on hand, and the young middleman refers to her as God. Curiouser and curiouser.
This was a pretty solid episode, all in all. Not as good as “Robot of Sherwood” or “Listen,” but certainly better than the other offerings thus far this season. I’m wondering if we’re going to see Danny as a traveling companion at any point in the near future. Rumor has it that Clara will be leaving the TARDIS sometime around the Christmas Special, and Danny is certainly a compelling reason for her to start settling down.
Clara: “Why are you being nice?”
The Doctor: “Because it works on you.”
Things to Ponder:
- Why did Clara try to lie her way out of the situation in the auditorium. Everything’s already solidly pear-shaped. What would a cover story do at that point?
- This show needs more Adrian. He was precious.
- This show does not need more Courtney. I have a strong aversion to “sassy” middle school kids. If she becomes a new companion, I’m out.
Photo Credit: BBC/BBCA