After the creepy “Listen,” one might expect lighter fare for this week’s episode, and a title like “Time Heist” doesn’t do anything to dissuade one from that view. A sendup of bank robbery caper films such as The Lavender Hill Mob and Ocean’s Eleven (and the music seemed to have a hint of Mission: Impossible at one point), the Doctor and Clara find themselves inside the most impregnable bank in the universe - think of it as an interstellar Gringott’s - with two strangers. They’re all on a mission for “the Architect,” the mysterious mastermind of the operation. Yet all four have had portions of their memories wiped (by the memory worms we saw in “The Snowmen”) so they can’t remember how they got there, or why they would agree to participate in the mad scheme.
We get just a hint of the Clara/Danny relationship - the Doctor once again lands the TARDIS in Clara’s bedroom, and she’s about to go for dinner with Danny (she’s really wearing that on a date?), but for the most part the episode was firmly focused on the adventure.
I guessed the identity of the Architect fairly early, the monster had an unfortunate resemblance to the Minotaur from “The Horns of Nimon,” and the ending had more than a passing similarity to that of “Hide.” Quibbles aside, though, the episode was quite a romp, with a plot that twists time around until my head hurts (I think the plot created a paradox). I quite liked the fact that the two fellow robbers were bribed to be there with the thing that “mattered most” to each, and Capaldi was once again masterful.
This season is shaping up to be one of the best. Let’s hope that continues next week.