This is a full plot synopsis and review of Doctor Who S8′s “The Care Taker.” If you have not yet seen the episode, this article contains episode spoilers. Please proceed with caution!!!!
“The Care Taker” penned by Gareth Roberts and Steven Moffat, starts strong with The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) going through several adventures that we get small glimpses of. It is not only fun to see the different types of adventures the TARDIS crew has when it is not a Saturday night, but it also lets us see exactly how hard it is for Clara to juggle her real life and her “Doctor life.” During one of these brief glimpses, our two protagonists are being shot at, and The Doctor screams that he HATES soldiers, and asks Clara if she feels the same, with Clara agreeing (despite knowing her current boyfriend is a former soldier). When the glimpses slow down, Clara tells herself in a mirror she can absolutely handle everything. We next see the pair on the TARDIS where The Doctor is being a little too nice. When Clara asks why he is being so nice, The Doctor explains that it works on her, thus he’s trying that tactic. He tells Clara that he is going deep undercover, and she should not ask questions nor try to look where he is scheduled to go. A funny scene where each snap their fingers to get the TARDIS doors open or shut while fighting about The Doctor’s secret mission, The Doctor tells Clara to go, and that he will see her when he does. She slowly walks out, and suddenly comes back in to try to catch The Doctor and see what he’s doing. The Doctor notices and she motions that she is watching him, because she understands the only reason not to tell her what he was doing would be if it was something she disapproved of, and she knows he is doing something sneaky.
The scene cuts to Coal Hill School, where Danny (Samuel Anderson) and Clara try to say good morning to each other with the students teasing them. Clara asks if the children know they are dating, and Danny says he believes so but children are prone to using their imaginations so it could be anything. They are called into the morning teacher’s assembly where they are informed the current care taker is ill, and will be replaced by…. You guessed it, The Doctor. He presents himself as the “New Caretaker” whose name is John Smith, but most people just call him “The Doctor” as he winks at Clara. Danny is the first to step up and try to shake his hand and greet him, but The Doctor walks away abruptly. Clara tells Danny she will catch him later, and runs back in the caretaker’s room to confront The Doctor. She asks him why he is “deep under cover” in her school. He brushes her off asking how she knew it was him; with her pointing out in a highly annoyed manner, he had only changed his. While it seems as though the two will continue to argue, The Doctor tells her “look I’ve got a brush” and explains he has caretaking duties that he must attend to, so she must go. Clara protests that he will not be able to fit in at the school, or really anywhere. The Doctor tells her that he once lived with Otters for a month because he and River had a fight; Clara says the school is populated by humans, not otters, and The Doctor responds with that’ll make his job even easier. He explains he is undercover because no one is safe, but when he is through, everyone will be safe. She screams that she hates him, and he quickly responds with, “that’s fine, it’s a perfectly normal reaction” as she leaves the room.