‘Doctor Who’ Recap: “The Caretaker”

By September 28, 2014
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When the Doctor comes to Coal Hill School, Clara’s two worlds converge. Already, Clara is finding it difficult to travel with the Doctor and maintain a completely separate, normal human life…which probably explains why most companions don’t even try. One minute, she’s having an adventure with the Doctor, and the next, she’s rushing to her dates with Danny, completely strung-out and exhausted. doctor who caretaker 1 Just when she thinks she’s about to have a reprieve–the Doctor’s going undercover alone–her carefully compartmentalized lives collide. The Doctor shows up as the school’s new caretaker, and chaos ensues. First, there’s the Danny Pink debacle. The Doctor can’t hide his malice toward soldiers, and refuses to believe that a former soldier can actually teach math; instead, he insists that Danny’s a P.E. teacher. Completely clueless, the Doctor also misinterprets Clara’s friendship with Adrian, a fellow English teacher with a strong resemblance to the Eleventh Doctor, and happily deduces that Adrian is her boyfriend. doctor who caretaker 2 Danny steps in it further when he finds alien technology that the Doctor’s left behind, disrupting the Doctor’s plan to save the school from robots. The robot gets sucked into the Doctor’s time vortex, but is only sent a few days into the future, and not a billion years as the Doctor intended. Clara clumsily tries to pass off the alien invasion as a play, but, as Danny says, he’s not stupid. doctor who caretaker 3 “He’s…your space dad!” he chokes out, looking completely sick. Clara then has to explain that while the Doctor is an alien, she’s not. “Do you love him?” Danny asks her later, once they’re alone. Clara admits that she does, but not in that way. Still, Danny is upset by all the lies she’s told him, and says that he doesn’t really know who she is when she’s with the Doctor. To prove that she’s the same person, Clara lends him the Doctor’s invisibility watch, and he sneaks onto the TARDIS. The Doctor sees right through their scheme, and he and Danny have an argument on the spot. Danny tells Clara that while he may be a soldier, the Doctor is an officer. “I’m the one who carries you out of the fire. He’s the one who lights it.” doctor who caretaker 4 After they leave, the Doctor decides to show the TARDIS to the trouble-making student, Courtney, who we first saw in “Deep Breath.” He complains to her that he’s just trying to save the Earth, but humans keep getting in his way. The robot comes back during Parents Night, and the Doctor has to speed up his plan. He sends Clara on ahead as a decoy, and Danny, once again invisible, follows them, creating a distraction at exactly the right moment. It’s enough to elevate him (if only slightly) in the Doctor’s eyes. doctor who caretaker 5 “It doesn’t matter if he likes me or hates me,” Danny says astutely, “I just need to do exactly one thing for you. I have to be good enough for you. That’s why he’s angry. Just in case I’m not.” The Doctor drops the robot off in space, and, for some reason, takes Courtney along for the ride. She, in turn, pukes. doctor who caretaker 6 Back at home, Danny places a condition on his relationship with Clara. He realizes that the Doctor is pushing her to do things that she should be afraid of, but isn’t. If the Doctor ever pushes her too far, she has to tell Danny, or their romance is over. Is this foreshadowing? Will Clara break her promise to Danny? What will be the consequences? Could this have anything to do with the rumor of Jenna Coleman’s departure from the show? And then there’s the matter of the police officer killed by the robot early in the episode. Like many casualties of the season, he gets transported to the Promised Land. But unlike the others, he’s greeted by a receptionist, as Missy is too busy to talk to him. doctor who caretaker 7