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The Doctor and his team embark on a seemingly impossible mission to rob the most secure bank in the galaxy…

Exploring the hidden depths of Doctor Who’s most intriguing stories…

Visual quotations from favourite movies litter the films of writer-director Quentin Tarantino, highlighting “his reliance on movie culture as his principal reference framework” – at least, according to the authors of the longoutdated and out-of-print reference book Tarantino: A to Zed. (A pair of chancers called Barnes & Hearn; whatever happened to them?)

So there’s a pleasing sense of ‘the biter bit’ about much of Time Heist, which begins with the Doctor’s sidekick Clara dressed in an untypical dark suit, white blouse and black tie combination, ready for a night out with a real-life Mr Pink. Given Danny’s surname, is it not possible that Clara’s chosen to indulge in a cosplay inspired by the near-identical suits worn by the colour-coded gang members, like the other Mr Pink (Tim Roth) in Tarantino’s 1992 heist picture Reservoir Dogs?

If so, perhaps she’s got the sound of the 1969 George Baker Selection track Little Green Bag playing in her head when, not long afterwards, she finds herself part of a sharp-suited gang strutting in slo-mo on their way to rob the Bank of Karabraxos, very like the presumed ‘Dogs’ in the famous opening titles to the very same film.

And if she’d read A to Zed – look, you never know – she might have paused a short while earlier when she saw a weird golden glow emanating from the inside of a mysterious briefcase. Because various of the protagonists in Tarantino’s time-twisted Pulp Fiction (1994) are employed to fetch and carry another mysterious briefcase; its unseen and unexplained contents cause those who open it to be bathed in – guess what? – a weird golden glow…

There’s more to Time Heist than nods to Tarantino movies, though.

00m 22s The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) suggests taking Clara (Jenna Coleman) to Brighton. According to The Leisure Hive (1980), his fourth incarnation (Tom Baker) twice failed to attend the opening of George IV’s Royal Pavilion circa 1851 – so does he have a third attempt in mind?

01m 18s The TARDIS telephone rings, leading the Doctor to allude to the last time this happened – after Clara was given his number by some as-yet-unidentified woman in a shop, as described in The Bells of Saint John (2013). Like the Doctor says, we still don’t know who that was – and we won’t find out before this season’s finale, Death in Heaven (2014).

Early versions of the script open diff erently. The fourth draft, dated 11 December 2013, began with the Doctor convincing Clara to join him on a trip to a dark nebula prior to her night out. Entering the TARDIS, however, the two of them were shot by a masked man using what were later revealed to be tranquillising bullets…

The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) approach the Bank of Karabraxos.

Ms Delphox (Keeley Hawes).

Suddenly, the Doctor and Clara find themselves around a table in a darkened basement…

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About Doctor Who Magazine

DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE CELEBRATES JON PERTWEE’S CENTENARY WITH 30 PAGES DEVOTED TO THE THIRD DOCTOR! This issue includes: • The World Cup of the Third Doctor. How did your favourite story fare in our epic Twitter tournament? • Lost for more than 40 years – a candid interview with Jon Pertwee from the very first Doctor Who convention in 1977. • An exclusive interview with Jon’s son, actor Sean Pertwee. • A previously unpublished interview with Barry Letts, who produced most of the Third Doctor’s stories and co-wrote classics like The Dæmons and The Green Death. • An exclusive update on the production of Series 12 from showrunner Chris Chibnall. • Katy Manning, who played the Third Doctor’s companion Jo Grant, visits the Time Team. • The second part of an interview with costume designer Howard Burden, who created outfits for the Twelfth Doctor, Clara and Missy. • The Fact of Fiction explores the Twelfth Doctor story Time Heist. • DWM’s review of the Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 10 Blu-ray box set. • The Legacy of Time – DWM talks exclusively to the cast and crew behind one of the most ambitious Doctor Who adventures ever, which features no fewer than six Doctors. • Part One of Power of the Mobox, a new comic strip adventure featuring the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends. • The Blogs of Doom, audio reviews, news, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!