Gareth Roberts has certainly cornered the market on the ‘Doctor-trying-to-blend-in’ story vein in Doctor Who. The Caretaker marks the conclusion of an odd trilogy of stories alongside The Lodger and Closing Time where the Doctor goes undercover to root out the resident alien problem. Although The Lodger is beloved by many, at the time we felt it was just too odd of a character piece for us, and Closing Time followed that pattern.
In The Caretaker both the Doctor and companion got character space and as a result, it’s our favorite of the three. But it’s also a bit of a muddle in this sense. The threat seemed a little too ‘Sarah Jane’ for us, perhaps because it was just a necessary lever to hang all of the character stuff on, but we also worry about the cumulative weight of the sharpness in tone by the Capaldi Doctor. While we liked the spiky tone in the banter between the Doctor, Clara, and Danny (and incidentally all three actors were once again superb) we also hope that this is as far as they dare push some of the put-downs offered by the Doctor.
Time to howl at
Lanzarote the moon … next week.