Doctor Who: Series 8, Episode 6–The Caretaker

“You can’t do this. You cannot pretend to be an actual person among real people.”



When an episodic TV series has been running (on and off) for fifty years, it’s hardly surprising that some episodes instil a feeling of déjà vu. Terry Nation, notoriously, wrote the first Dalek story again several times, changing a few names and locations but keeping the same basic plot. That same feeling of déjà vu was very much present in The Caretaker. The concept of the Doctor trying (and comically failing) to fit in with everyday life on contemporary Earth has become a bit of a trope in recent years, most notably in the work of Gareth Roberts, who set the template with The Lodger and revisited it with Closing Time.

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Cars I have owned – 1970 Bond Bug 700ES

A return to a theme I haven’t explored since I wrote about my beloved Ford Popular 100E – another tale of… cars I have owned!


Many and varied were the jokes made (mainly in the 1980s) about quirky British car manufacturer Reliant. For those unfamiliar with this now sadly deceased marque, their stock in trade was twofold – they made a plush grand tourer called the Scimitar, endorsed by no less a personage than Princess Anne; and they made small three-wheeled cars that were the reason for all the jokes. Continue reading “Cars I have owned – 1970 Bond Bug 700ES”

Doctor Who: Series 8, Episode 5 – Time Heist

“Today is a good day to be a bank robber.”

Time Heist poster


One of the things I’ve been noticing about this season of Doctor Who is that there’s been very little unanimous like or dislike of any of the episodes. None have achieved the near-universal acclaim of Blink, or the near-universal derision of Fear Her. Even last week’s Listen, which was pretty widely acclaimed, has a number of fierce critics among my friends, either for its ambiguity or its deliberate slow pace.

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Doctor Who: Series 8, Episode 4–Listen

“Question – why do we talk out loud when we know we’re alone? Conjecture – because we know we’re not.”



After last week’s love-it-or-loathe-it comedy episode, this week saw Doctor Who back on more familiar ground with an outright horror story. The show’s always traded on an ability to scare small children, and in the post-2005 run, arguably nobody’s been better at that than Steven Moffat. Before he became showrunner (and subject to vitriolic brickbats from those who disliked his style), his episodes for Russell T Davies traded on being ‘the scary ones’ – The Empty Child, Blink, even Girl in the Fireplace, with its organ-harvesting clockwork droids that hid under children’s beds.

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Doctor Who: Series 8, Episode 3–Robot of Sherwood

“Old-fashioned heroes are only found in old-fashioned storybooks, Clara.”



After a season opener freighted with the need to establish a new Doctor, and last week’s dark morality tale, this week saw Doctor Who return refreshingly to an old-fashioned, undemanding romp with the groan-makingly entitled Robot of Sherwood. Very close in style to some of the classic show’s tongue-in-cheek stories, especially season 17, this saw the Doctor grudgingly agreeing to take Clara to 12the century Sherwood Forest to meet her hero – Robin Hood. Only to find the time-travelling pair caught up in a somewhat contrived plot involving the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham purloining gold from the locals in order to help some robots from the future relaunch their crippled spaceship.

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Doctor Who–Season 8, Episode 2–Into the Dalek

“Clara, be a pal and tell me – am I a good man?”



After last week’s flawed but mostly satisfying season opener, this week Doctor Who followed up with the return of the show’s arch villains in a story that was flawed but, for me, less satisfying. If you’ve read my reviews before, you know that if I don’t enjoy a story, I usually break down the reasons why. The trouble is that this time, I can’t quite put my finger on exactly why I felt that way.

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