Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode53There may be only three Verities this week (Dratted real life interfering with our recording schedule! Hugs to Tansy and her under-the-weather wee one.), but we press on and manage to fill the time with lots of heistey squee. Join Deb, Erika, and Liz as we cover one of the lighter episodes of series 8 thus far. Erika proves she’s not totally heartless and does enjoy the occasional fun ep. Deb doesn’t like aliens who look like Brony cosplayers. And Liz battles a dive-bombing fly.

What did you think of “Time Heist”? Let us know in the comments!


Also covered:

Bonus links:
Ocean’s Eleven

Blake’s 7 (“Pressure Point“)
The Audio Guide to Babylon 5
Etymology of “wheelhouse”

Download or listen now (runtime 1:19:18) 

Comments on: "Verity! Episode 53 – Good Time (Heist)" (22)

  1. I really liked Time heist but I’m a big fan of Leverage and other heist shows so I’m probably a little biased.

    I did see an interesting comparison of this episode to Human Nature with them both being important in introducing concepts like Human Nature did with the fob watch. Before Human Nature the Master changing species to hide would have seemed ridiculous and there’s a similar possibility with the Doctor giving out his phone number with this episode.

    If the lady in the shop was given the Doctor’s number by the Doctor himself it suddenly seems more credible because he’s given it out too some one off acquaintances and an immoral villain.

    I also hope Psi does call back he was interesting and with suddenly remembering a criminal past could be the usual trouble magnet that the Doctor seems to connect with.

  2. I enjoyed Time Heist a lot, but it’s the weakest episode this year for me so far. But that’s just because I’ve REALLY enjoyed the episodes that came before it. So it’s faint criticism, rather than faint praise. And my goodness, it’s certainly the best work Steve Thompson has done for Who so far, but how much of that is due to the Moffat co-writing, we cannot know for sure at this stage.

    I really hope this series can maintain the high standard, and I loved The Lodger, so I have high hopes for next week…

  3. BeckyB said:

    I’m big into the music of Who and the different themes, and this was the first episode of the season where we didn’t hear Clara’s theme played at all. Interpret that how you may.

    I know you ladies said you thought the fact that the Doctor didn’t shield Clara in the blast and that he just sent her down the corridor on her own showed that Clara was strong and capable, but I thought it was unfeeling on the Doctors part, and not a positive reflection on their current relationship. Is Clara stronger and independent because she is growing in experience, or because she has been thrown in the deep end with this new Doctor?

    I’m also surprised you guys didn’t talk about the “clear your mind” bit. Was I the only one sitting there trying to clear my own mind just to see if it were possible? Yeah, I’d totally get my brain sucked. I don’t know a woman who wouldn’t.

    • microtoast said:

      I was surprised he told her to clear her thoughts, rather than just to think about something else. It’s nearly impossible to clear your mind on command like that, especially when you’re terrified of imminent death, but you can think about innocent things…it reminded me of Jo reciting nursery rhymes whenever the Master tried to hypnotise her.

  4. I was particularly struck by Liz’s comment that Ms. Delphox is “afraid of the person in whose image she is made.” That frames Madame Karabraxos as Delphox’s God, of whom Delphox is afraid. At the same time, we have lots of talk about the Architect as a mean-spirited, manipulative god-like figure (e.g., “If he can do all that, what does he need us for?”), whom the Doctor hates. Yes, it turns out the Doctor is the Architect; but I wonder, if at some level, this episode is about God-language and how we conceive of the divine. Delphox has good reason to fear her “God,” but it turns out the Doctor’s hate for “his” is really directed at himself. Don’t know what, if anything, to make of the parallel; just an observation at this point.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing a great conversation with us, as you always do, and for getting me thinking about a really cool episode some more!

  5. Richard S. said:

    I loved so much about this episode, in particular Twelve’s new Gang of Four. It’s always reassuring to see the actors in full squee mode during the behind-the-scenes. Here’s hoping Jonathan Bailey & Pippa Bennett-Warner will be allowed further screen time to develop as big a fan following as Neve & Caitlin.

    I did wince at the sight of the Oriental costuming shorthand, a bit like the English being depicted as dressing like the court of Henry VIII all the time? Not that I don’t, but…

    (Joking. Really. Despite proximity of famous Tudor mansion Kentwell Hall in this locality where people do that kind of thing for a living.)

    Saibra’s costume, to which Pippa gave specific & targeted squee on DW Extra, definitely put me in mind of the movie of Dune.

    I guess (assume? hope?) other commenters have noticed a connection between Psi’s entire look/backstory and the very early cyberpunk Johnny Mnemonic (too much info in *his* brain, tell ya, it’s gonna exploooode, dude!), especially the version of that character in the not very good whatsoever 1995 Keanu Reeves movie, as opposed to the utterly superb and groundbreakingly original short story by William Gibson first published more than 33 years ago.

    Cartoon Fashion Trip of the Week: Remember that ’70s flashback episode where Marge finally ditches Artie Ziff and she & Homer walk off into the sunset in their bell-bottom jeans… that’s what came to mind with the so cringe-worthy final farewell of Mr & Mrs Teller as they head into the mountains to do… what?

    Repopulate their race the “natural” way. Just the two of them. Which means, from the second generation onwards, they’ll all have to inbreed like crazy, in a quite literal way, with the mutations and the psychological issues and the cannibalism and the inevitable sequel episode entitled “The Hills Have Eyes On Stalks” which very few people will want to watch on Saturday evening BBC1, no matter how ridiculously post-watershed that ep gets pushed back by Strictly Come Dancing.

    It’s usually the baaad sciency stuff that throws me out of an ep momentarily. Or, for a whole entire CGI scene such as the Oh! So! Wrong! In! Almost! Every! Way! sun-storm FX, with the too-small star and the too-close planet and the too-swiftly-travelling solar flares which crossed the planet’s surface as if they were the *flames* in an infant’s drawing of the sun. Gah!

    And clones! Gah to all the clone bigotry out there! You should be ashamed, the lot of you. To paraphrase the editor Stanley Schmidt in one of those how-to-write-sf books, from 23 years ago:

    The clone of a mouse is a mouse. The clone of a sheep is a sheep. The clone of a human is A HUMAN.

    Okay, it does emphasise the murdering of the Delphoxes and the evilness of Karabraxos, but that whole “I’m only a clone” thing is exactly the same as saying IVF babies aren’t *really* human because they weren’t born the “proper” way. Yes, yes, in the real world there are plenty of stupidly evil people out there who actually believe that about IVF, but. Y’know. Evil. Stupid.

    That’s just about my 499,998 cents on this episode, which I’ll round up a couple by adding the Moffat dialog clues from Strax’s diagnosis of Clara (something about something spectacular) and the head teacher’s assessment of Danny (he could’ve called him a ladies’ MAN, but he didn’t use that exact phrase).

    I now have a cool half-million cents, and there’s a bank out there somewhere, staffed in perpetuity by dozens and dozens of actual human Keeley Haweses.

    Soup be damned, I’d like to open an account.

  6. Richard S. said:

    Okay, I wrote Caitlin, should be *Catrin* Stewart… but Neve McIntosh was born Carol, apparently, so… Catrin & Carol, that’s who I meant.

  7. lbphilly said:

    Random thoughts while I listen to this podcast (which was great):

    Oh, you’re all so *young*! I was fifteen when Doctor Who debuted.

    All three of the villainnesses you cited have names that begin with a K sound. Cofelia, Kovarian, Kalabraxos. Is that in the Doctor Who style manual or something?

    Twelfth Doctor “childish”? Yes, in a nine-year-old-somewhere-on-the-autism-spectrum fashion.

    I hadn’t been counting flashbacks, so I can’t remember the third one. The second flashbacky episode was Listen, yes? I can’t count Into the Dalek — you couldn’t run both those storylines simultaneously, I don’t think, so he had to go back and pick Clara up, hence a flashback.

    From the back, Mr. and Mrs. Teller look unfortunately like Jar-Jar Binks. You’re welcome.

    What’s “this wheelhouse business,” you ask? Allow me to enlighten you, because I googled it the first time Deb (Erika?) said it. It’s a baseball term — the area that, if a pitcher sends the ball there, the batter is going to be able to hit it out of the park. It’s a bit like the sweet spot in engineering terminology.

    I liked this episode a whole lot, the more so because I approached it with some trepidation. )I didn’t like the notion of My Doctor robbing a bank one little bit.) It was well-paced and I was on the edge of my seat but not behind the sofa, just the way I like it.

    Looking ahead to next week: Will I have to watch Ghostbusters to get the references?

  8. James said:

    The bonus link in the show notes to the Etymology of wheelhouse actually links to The Audio Guide to Babylon 5.

  9. I loved Time Heist! I am a fan of mysteries in general and I’m a big fan of Hustle. I also loved the gang of 4. I’d love to see them again. I wonder if the writers will comply?

    I’m so happy the Dr. mentioned the lady in the shop. How eerie! Why mention it there and then? I don’t think Matt Smith ever mentioned her after the episode where she popped up.That’s definitely unfinished business, like River Song was upon her first entry to the show.

    On another note, I’m still a bit taken aback sometimes when I hear fans didn’t like an entire episode to an unreasonable degree (in my opinion, of course!) for things like “it’s too much like another show” or “the writer used a line from a former Doctor and I don’t like that” or “that scene wasn’t realistic enough”. It just seems like they don’t want to rate the show on its own merit, but on comparing it to something else.

    On the other podcast I listen to I’ve noticed a pattern, and it’s possibly an issue with fans of classic Who, where they’re always trying to “find the problem” in the show and not just enjoy the ride. I know that as fans we expect nothing but the best and we inspire the writers to go the extra mile. However, sometimes, I think we can be too harsh on this show, while allowing passes for others.

    One podcast I used to listen to, I dropped completely as they had nothing but seriously bad things to say every single week about this new series with Capaldi. I think when they tore down the opening title sequence one week as being “too new and not like the old theme”, I’d just about had enough.

    Love your show!!! Good rational comments and thorough analysis. Thanks!!

  10. wow! After all these well thought out comments, I don’t have much to add. Just that I’m agreeing with Deb again. Tired of the evil woman in the black suit trope. And why do they all need glasses? I also found Clara huddling alone in the box strange also. However, I did enjoy the episode. I hope we see Psi again! And I’m looking forward to next weeks episode. I loved “the Lodger” too. As a matter of fact, I have really enjoyed season 8. So glad Clara’s character has developed and I do like Capaldi. How could you not?

  11. Erika- I’m with you! Loved this episode and I felt like some of what I love about the Doctor finally came through. You all pulled out some details I hadn’t noticed, such as the Doctor’s strange behavior around touch.

    Mostly, I really loved that he was in charge this time around-I actually through it was awesome that (finally!) the Doctor was The Architect! I missed Clara’s strength in the episode, but she had to step aside so someone else can lead.

    I agree-this is a great gang and I’d be really happy to see them again.

    Small observation. You all talked this week about Capaldi’s older external look, but his childish behavior. I’ll just observe that this is the opposite of Matt Smith, you was so young, but so beautifully portrayed “the old man.” It seems to me that this flipping of characteristics back and forth between incarnation seems to be standard for DW. Thoughts?

    On another note -which one of you got wigged out by Clara’s Tardis induced long hair in Robot of Sherwood (I forget)? Anyway, it’s via a perception filter (many episodes) or hologram clothes (Time of the Doctor)!

    Thanks for a great podcast! Cleaning the house is ever so much more enjoyable listening to you all go at it. Till next week.

    • Capaldi’s childish moments remind me strongly of Hartnell, who often behaved like a petulant child, especially when he didn’t get his own way. And that seems perfectly fitting to me, since this is the start of a whole new regeneration cycle, so Capaldi is really Doctor 2.1, rather than Doctor 12. 🙂

  12. Brick said:

    Jenna Coleman was in “Death Comes to Pemberley” which will air in the U.S. on PBS starting October 26. Isn’t Lydia Bennet Wickham a comic character?

    • lbphilly said:

      Ooooh — I didn’t realize that had been filmed! I’ve read the book….

  13. heard07 said:

    I think Steven Moffat has the Capaldability to make this a special season of Doctor Who. Newer fans like me(I came on board with Season 5) are finally getting what all the old school fans got with the classic series, and I’m enjoying it quite a bit. I even suspect that after Season 8 I’ll be in a better position to enjoy the classic stories, which I am still struggling a bit to do. Matt Smith is still my Doctor, and I love him so, but thankfully I still have 3 great seasons to re-watch at my leisure. Capaldi is firmly entrenched as my number 2 now.

  14. Paul A. said:

    My understanding of Psi’s sacrifice was that it wasn’t only about how much he might have come to care for Clara in the short time he’d known her, but that he felt she had more to live for than he did.

    If she survived to the end of the heist, she had loved ones to go home to and a life to go on living, and he didn’t: he’d effectively lost his loved ones already, so in that sense it didn’t make any difference whether he lived or died.

    • But just because Psi had forgotten them, does it follow that they had forgotten Psi? I have puzzled over his line about “If it makes any difference…” quite a bit, and I still don’t see that it makes sense. The best I’ve been able to puzzle out is that “If it makes any difference, this doesn’t cause me the pain it would cause you, because I’ve forgotten all my loved ones.”

      My wife compared what Psi had done to what Hermione did in the Harry Potter stories; but it’s not quite the same is it? Hermione remembered her loved ones but protected them by making them forget her. Psi protected his loved ones by forgetting them so that enemies could not get to them through him. I think?

  15. Although I have re-watched this episode a couple of times,coming to this Verity episode a bit late, I am inspired to watch it yet again – mainly because of the directing comments. I tend not to notice those aspects, but hearing you talk about them makes me want to be more aware of them. I do notice music a bit more than I used to years back. But usually I am fully caught up in the story line itself.
    When I watched the couple of telepathic creatures walking away together, I was mostly thinking what a relief it must be for them both. Their story was not developed that thoroughly, so we are free to fill in the gaps with our imagination. I thought the Teller’s face was fascinating. I suppose that a creature like that might do horrible things to alien beings in order to save the only other one of his species that is left. On another note, I would think creatures born with that telepathic ability would have developed the ability to shut out voices and control it. But perhaps the two of them were too young when the rest of their species died, and they did not learn that skill… hmmm.
    When Psi and Saibra (cool names for a duo) were “killed”, I experienced my only truly negative thought about this episode. I thought they were too interesting to be cut out so soon from the story. So it was a relief to see them return. Quite nifty.
    The “wheelhouse” thing. Before learning the etymology, I just saw a house or room full of wheels to fit different vehicles. If something was not in someone’s wheelhouse, I thought it meant they did not have the experience or expertise to make it work for them because they didn’t have the right wheels for that vehicle…. Oh well. The baseball/train explanation makes a lot more sense.
    Thanks again for a great podcast.

  16. Andrew McLean said:

    The most important thing I learned from this podcast is that some of you want to talk about Blake’s 7 as well – yes please! (Although it’s possible as I alternate between new and old episodes that I’ve confused myself and commented on the wrong entry.)

  17. Henrik said:

    The ending with the Teller trying to save its mate was a bit trite. Surely for once the would be evil monster who isn’t really but just desperate could be working toward some other goal?

    I don’t think the Doctor’s reactions to physical intimacy are at all suspicious. It all seems entirely reasonable. Hugs are weird.

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