Last week's episode was very good, a decent sci fi story with a nice ethical twist. Felt a little like Torchwood. Then they go and follow it with shite like this. One minute they are trying to make the series 'darker' and the next its back to the relationship drama and mild threat aliens in school. And they go and schedule the least dark, most child-friendly episode in the latest slot....
1/10. Childish, wafer-thin plotted trash. Boring to watch. All of the characters acting like obnoxious children and writers believing (wrongly) that young people will identify with these 'real' characters. Where was it? Oh yes, a school, a robot, the robot gets shut off. Wow. Really intelligent... not. Boyfriend resents girl going off with the Doctor. Doctor a bit 'off' with boyfriend until he proves himself. Very similar stuff. Its the same old song played on a different guitar. Soap rides again.
The episode was very badly conceived and realised. Who cares about Clara's two lives? What the viewers want is thrilling, intelligent sci fi that both kids and adults can enjoy. Putting aside the relationship drama, the sci fi elements in 'The Caretaker' were just crass. The robot felt bolted on to the plot not an integral part of it. Dreadful writing. All Gareth Roberts achieved with that episode is to prove what a poor, overrated, sub-season 17 writer he is. Some complain about my writing, but it does not revolve around the themes of rent boys, alcohol abuse and male rape to the exclusion of all else. I think you will find that my play "A Rose for Miss Farnley" reflects very accurately the character interplay within a typical suburban family in contemporary England, so I understand characterisation and relationships.
My point is that the plot of that episode was so thin it could have written itself. After the confusing and muddled pre-credits sequence it became a simplistic 'robot in a school' romp with emotional relationship pap thrown in. It was about 85% emotional relationship drama pitched at a female audience and about 15% wafer-thin sci fi tosh. Rubbish on both counts. I suggest anyone who thinks otherwise does some basic research and talk to people involved in making and marketing television. Anyone in the business will tell you that soap drama - which the relationships of a range of ordinary mundane characters are played out with overdone emotional scenes and sometimes sensationalist melodrama - is pitched at a predominantly female audience whereas Doctor Who should be pitched at 5- 105 year olds. This was like an episode of SJA, although crossed with 'Rose' and not in a good way. RTD turned it into a kids show!
Me? I loved it. ABSINTHE FOR EVERYBODY!