Episode 5: “Time Heist”
Steven Moffat’s synopsis:
The Bank of Karabraxos is the deadliest bank in the cosmos — only a fool or genius would attempt to rob it. Fortunately, for The Doctor, he’s both. But nothing even The Doctor has encountered can prepare them for the Teller: a creature of terrifying power that can detect guilt.
Pair It With: “Silence in the Library” / “Forest of the Dead”
The Doctor takes Donna Noble to visit the largest library in the universe, one that stretches across the entire surface of a planet. And while librarians were always big on keeping people quiet, they seem to have gone to extremes in this case, because the Library is totally empty. Or at least it seems to be at first. Before long the Doctor and Donna have encountered a team of explorers lead by the mysterious — and flirtatious — Dr. River Song, a woman with a connection to the Doctor’s future that she refuses to explain. The Doctor doesn’t have long to ponder the nature of Dr. Song, however, because soon they realize they’re being stalked by something in the shadows, a deadly force that holds the key to the disappearance of all the Library’s patrons.
As for “Time Heist,” the title really says it all — it’s essentially the Ocean’s Eleven of the Doctor Who universe. And dropping the Doctor into a heist story works rather brilliantly, making “Time Heist” my second favorite of the first five season 8 episodes, just behind “Listen.” The two-parter of “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead” isn’t nearly as unapologetically fun as “Time Heist,” but both stories have a compelling mystery at their core — in the case of “Time Heist,” it’s the question of just who enlisted the Doctor and his teammates to rob the universe’s most secure bank. The thrill of a good heist story is in watching the plan unfold and get one over on the bad guys, and “Time Heist” does precisely that, but complicates things by throwing time travel into the mix. It’s a hoot.