“Doctor Who” is too full of whimsy and joy to imprison it with criticism and review boxes. Instead each week we’ll share our impressions of each episode. As always, these will contain a synopsis of the episode, as well as thoughts on the episode and the series as a whole. Also, there are likely spoilers ahead.

 

The Doctor refuses to believe in fanciful fairytales and folklore? We are, after all, talking about someone that has befriended a lizard woman, her lesbian wife and their potato; he’s fought cruelly unethical cat-faced nurses; and married a woman from another timeline who is actually the daughter of his two companions (awkward)—and yet Robin Hood is far too implausible for him to believe? Oh how I love the Doctor’s nonsensical rationale.

But, with Clara’s heart set on meeting her favorite hero of the poor, the duo make their way to Sherwood Forest—with spoon in hand. A large part of the episode is dedicated to the Doctor meandering around looking to prove Robin Hood to be the old wives tale he believes him to be. Instead, as the Doctor regularly manages to find trouble, he discovers the Sheriff of Nottingham is concealing an army of robots with the intent to use them in his quest to rule the world. But there’s no way the Doctor’s going to have that, and thus he successfully subdues the Sheriff’s aspirations.

Throughout the swashbuckling and battling of robots, another battle is raging on—a battle of whit and sass between the Doctor and Mr. Hood. Watching them clash was like watching two prepubescent boys fight over the pretty girl on the playground. Both loathe each other and engage in a never-ending battle of one-ups. With the two legends battling each other for alpha sci-fi dominance, it is up to Clara alone to match wits with the Sheriff. I don’t know what she sees in either of them.

Or maybe I do? Give credit to Mark Gatiss, the episode’s scribe, for dreaming up a scenario for the famed Robin Hood to enter into the world of Who. Of course the man notorious for stealing from the rich to give to the poor—a good man with bad habits would be the one person in all of time and space that Clara would want to visit. Coincidence? Nope. Didn’t your mother ever tell you the people you hate the most are usually the ones most similar to you? It’s apparent to me that Clara might just have a “type.”

Clearly, three episodes in, the Doctor will be struggling throughout this season with his own understanding of right and wrong. Following the implied killing of the Droid in Deep Breath he asked Clara, “Am I a good man?” And as we know, especially in the case of the eleventh doctor, the Doctor has always doubted if his actions are justified. 

It is the heart of the Doctor—his intense desire to do what is honorable in the face of drastic circumstances—that makes him my Doctor. This inner struggle will likely continue to be a huge subplot running through the season, and personally, I’m looking forward to the ride.

 

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Written by | Julie Hussain

Julie Hussain is the Co-Publisher of the Heroic Universe and serves as a contributing writer and the Art and Design Manager for the website.