Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 6 Review: The Caretaker

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By way of a very convenient alien who chose the Coal Hill School to do his dastardly deeds, The Doctor and Danny Pink finally met in Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 6.

It was impossible to imagine how the meeting would go down, especially give The Doctor's new-found disdain for soldiers during Doctor Who Season 8

It was very refreshing that Danny took the upper hand during the meeting and in the end we understand a bit more about all three players.

With everything Doctor Who so wrapped up in the timey wimey of it all, it's sometimes impossible to how much of the stuff actually passes during a season. Children are born and they're adults (River Song) in no time at all. Even though the TARDIS whisks The Doctor and his companions all through the universe, they're usually able to land right back where they were within mere minutes.

Clara was all over the map and still trying to engage in a normal dating experience with Danny. When she first met him, he was just joining the Coal Hill School. Unless it was an error, he's now been at the school for over a year, all of which time he and Clara have been involved.

That little tidbit was explained when Danny met with Courtney's parents who were excited to hear about their daughter's progress. Danny said she was a very disruptive influence, and this year she's merely a disruptive influence, so surely that's progress.

That also explains Danny's change in demeanor from a bumbling fellow into someone who is certainly inquisitive, but also self-assured. Time will do that for you.

It's hard to believe that Clara managed to keep her two worlds separated as well as she did, but perhaps that's why we don't get to see the entirety of the relationship. Knowing she skipped into dates wearing odd helmets and covered in rain when the sky was blue was enough information to get us to the point of the episode.

It's funny. You only really know what someone thinks of you when you know what lies they've told you. I mean you say you've seen wonders, you've seen amazing things and you've kept them secret. From me. So what do you think of me, Clara?


I never really thought of that before. You really do learn a lot about someone based on what they hold back from you. Since their first encounter went so badly, Clara had an urgent desire to remedy the situation between Danny and The Doctor, and attempted to let Danny see who she is when with The Doctor by allowing him to wear the invisibility watch.

Being on the outside of their personal circle gave Danny a lead because he could read that The Doctor felt his presence in the room before Clara, who was too busy trying to drive the conversation to what she wanted. Thusly, she was unable observe The Doctor's (more than usual) strange behavior.

The Doctor's attempt to belittle Danny didn't work for two reasons. First, Clara declared that she loved Danny and second, Danny took The Doctor's contempt for soldiers and used it against the Time Lord -- all high and mighty and an officer. It seems The Doctor likes officers as much as he likes soldiers. The discourse between then was a true match of wit and that annoyed The Doctor more than anything else.

Danny also recognized the true reason The Doctor wasn't taken with him.

Danny: That's alright. Doesn't matter. I don't need him to like me. It doesn't matter if he likes me or hates me, I just need to do exactly one thing for you. Doctor, am I right?
The Doctor: Yes.
Clara: What? What one thing?
Danny: I need to be good enough for you. That's why he's angry, just in case I'm not.

Of course The Doctor wants the best for his Impossible Girl. He can't be it so expecting it for her from another is a great wish. The title "The Caretaker" was two-pronged as not only was The Doctor deeply undercover, he also cares for Clara as a friend, companion and perhaps a bit more. He can't help that.

It doesn't seem like the best start to the threesome, and it makes me wonder whether Danny will be the companion's companion on the TARDIS just as he is off or not. Can the men get past their differences enough to ensure the safety of the girl they both love (albeit in different ways)?

There is still something up with this Doctor. He just doesn't feel like a long-term solution to me. Whether that's going to mean he has a short run or Clara will be gone sooner rather than later is hard to tell. 

After his initial bumbling, the assured Danny Pink with his history as a soldier could also take over for The Doctor. Yes, I'm still thinking this incarnation of The Doctor is going to be as tired as his soul. Why else would we be witnessing all of the dead from the Doctor's encounters entering heaven and these insistent visits to Missy, who has been given no other explanation at this point?

All we know for certain is that Danny's children will have an understanding of space because we met Orson. They know their grandfather did something that included space and time. 

What do you think? Will Peter Capaldi make it to Season 9 or will we see something historically significant happen during the Christmas episode? Are you feeling this Doctor? Hit the comments.

Don't forget, if you need more, you can watch Doctor Who online via TV Fanatic. 

The Caretaker Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (64 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 6 Quotes

The Doctor: But he's a PE teacher. You wouldn't go out with a PE teacher! It's a mistake. You've made a boyfriend error.
Danny: I am not a PE teacher, I'm a maths teacher.
The Doctor: You're a soldier. Why go out with a soldier? Why not get a plant or a lamb.
Clara: Because I love him!

The Doctor: How can you think that I'm her dad when we both look exactly the same age.
Clara: We do not look the same age.
The Doctor: I was being kind.