Who Review – The Caretaker
Greetings Whovians! We took last week off but today the Who Review is back and ready to recap all the Gallifreyan news that’s fit to print. Last week saw the Doctor masterminding an elaborate time heist at the far off Bank of Karabraxos and while that tale had a happy ending, this season so far as a whole has been pretty heavy and serious. However, “The Caretaker” changes things up and brings us something of a lighthearted romantic comedy starring Clara Oswald, Danny Pink, and the biggest third wheel in the universe: the Doctor.
I realize that describing the episode as a rom-com probably just sent half of our readership running for the hills, screaming like Vikings on mushrooms, but in case you’re still here I assure you it’s still a good episode. This can of course be evidenced in the fact that despite this being a story mainly about Danny and Clara, it still features a killer robot; bent on destroying the planet. More on that later though.
It’s an understatement to say that trying to balance a normal life with a life spent traveling through time and space is taking a toll on Clara. We see that’s she’s precariously walking a fine line trying to keep the two parts of her life separate, but with Clara getting closer and closer to Danny, inevitably there will be a slip up and her worlds will collide. It seems that Clara is mostly concerned about Danny finding out about her life on the TARDIS, but it seems she should also be concerned with the Doctor finding out about Danny as well. To be fair, Clara and the Doctor don’t share a romantic bond (at least not since he regenerated), so she doesn’t owe him anything in terms of notification about the status of her love life, but knowing the Doctor as well as she does, she should know it might be an issue. It’s not that the Doctor’s the jealous type, it’s more that he’s the curious type. He’s the ultimate uncool dad. If he finds out you’re dating someone, of course he’s going to want to know more, embarrassing you in the process naturally. For Clara, the unavoidable clash of separate lives goes down at the Coal Hill School, where both she and Danny work. Correction: it’s now the school where Clara, Danny, AND the Doctor work. The Doctor goes deep undercover as Coal Hill’s own Groundskeeper Willie, seemingly to scope out Clara’s new love interest, but also because there’s an alien threat lurking near the school with the potential to destroy the entire planet. That threat is know as the Skovox Blitzer; who’s something of a cross between a Terminator and Mojo from X-Men.
Danny begins to grow suspicious of the new school caretaker and also suspects that Clara knows more about this mysterious new presence at the school than she is letting on. On the other hand, the Doctor immediately hates Danny upon learning that he was a soldier prior to becoming a teacher and actually won’t accept the fact that Danny is actually a math teacher and not a gym teacher. Trust seems to be the driving factor behind the conflicts between Danny, the Doctor and Clara. Danny wants to trust Clara but that trust is shaken when he finds out about her extra-temporal activities; while conversely the Doctor wants to trust that Danny is a good enough person to be with Clara, but doesn’t know what to make of the fact that he used to be in the military. In that same boat is Clara as well, who wants to trust the Doctor to not mess up her relationship with Danny, while also wanting to trust that Danny won’t freak out when he learns the truth about her. In the end, they are all able to overcome their trust issues and end up defeating the Skovox Blitzer. Danny’s initially harsh reaction to finding out about Clara’s travels with the Doctor turn to acceptance and the Doctor’s distrust of Danny subsides once the two men get to know and understand each other.
This episode seemed similar to Season 7’s “The Power of 3” in that they both mine the scenario of the Doctor in everyday situations for comedy. It was entertaining to see Matt Smith’s bombastic personality try to cope with “normal life”, but Peter Capaldi manages to bring the scenario to another level with his terse take on the Doctor trying to be a school janitor. I swear, they could drop the time/space traveling aspect of the show and just have an entire series with Peter Capaldi playing an alien who gets a job as a janitor at a middle school and it would still be a hit show. Watching him interact with the students and staff at Coal Hill was beyond entertaining and this comic relief break in a season that’s been dark and grim was much appreciated. What will Clara and Danny’s now Doctor approved relationship mean for her status as a companion? Will pursuing a normal life with Danny be the reason that she ends up leaving? Who knows, Evil Geeks. Who knows.
Wanna catch up on past trips in the TARDIS? Read On…
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Posted on September 28, 2014, in Features, Geekology, Reviews, TV, Who Review and tagged 12th Doctor, bbc, BBC America, Clara Oswald, Coal Hill School, Danny Pink, Doctor Who, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Peter Capaldi, Sci-Fi, Skovox Blitzer, sonic screwdriver, Tardis, The Caretaker, The Doctor, Who Review. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.