The monster of the week in ‘The Care Taker’ is a robot with spider-like legs and a reptilian head. The Doctor calls it a Skovox Blitzer warning that it has enough explosives in its armoury to blow up a whole planet.
Aside from these dire warnings we learn very little about the deadly robot. Fleshing out these details can lead to new adventures as well as giving the Doctor’s encounter with the Blitzer more significance.
It is not clear if the Blitzer was built by a race called the Skovox or if the robot itself is a member of the Skovox. One clue might be that when the Doctor impersonates the Blitzer’s ‘general’ the robot sees a being similar to itself.
Whatever its origin the Skovox Blitzer must be a impressive war machine for the Doctor to fear it so. Destroying it never seems to be an option, as the Doctor first attempts to send it billions of years into the future and his second plan is to shut it down.
Likely due to the fact that anything that could destroy the Blitzer would also detonate its explosives. This is the reason that he wishes to avoid a direct confrontation. Presumably the army or UNIT could destroy the Blitzer but they’d destroy the planet in the process.
This could form a powerful deterrent if a race was invaded by a Blitzer. They could not fight it without causing more, wide spread destruction. Their only options would be to surrender or escape and hide from the Blitzer. PCs could encounter Blitzers on other planets, presenting them with the tricky problem of how to get rid of it without destroying a world.
The Doctor suggests that the Blitzer is in the area because it was attracted by arton emissions. This type of energy is usually released by time machines (such as the TARDIS). The fact that the Skovox Blitzer was design to home in on them could indicate that they were designed to fight in the Time War.
Certainly the Skovox has some familiarity with the time vortex the Doctor attempts to use on it, able to identify it has a temporal disrupt. When it reappears it says ‘disrupt temporal lock’ which could indicate that it took some action to counter the effects of the time mines and that the Doctor believes that now it is aware of his plan he won’t be able to try the same tactic. All suggest that the robot has some familiarity with time travel and its use as a weapon.
The Blizter’s solution to most problems is to destroy, its robotic design and superior weapons could indicate that it was produced by the Daleks. It could be that during the Time War they were running low on organic Kaled mutants and so resorted to using robots like this to seek out Time Lords and their time capsules.
It is also possible that the Time Lords were responsible for them, seeking out the Daleks own time travel machines. This could explain the Doctor’ familiarity with them and his means of giving them orders. Rather than a cobbled together gadget the device he uses to impersonate a general could have been left over from his time fighting in the conflict.
It would also his explain how the Doctor knew that the Skovox was there and his need to deal with the machine. It is possible that between visits with Clara he is sweeping the universe for any leftover weaponry from the Time War. Part of his vow to do something about his past mistakes.
We don’t know how long the Skovox Blitzer was on Earth. Seb, in the afterlife, indicates that they’ve had a few people die from an encounter with the alien robot. This is most likely over an extended period as the Blitzer seemed content to remain within the abandoned building and it would be unlikely that many people would come within its vicinity in a short space of time.
If the Blitzer was programmed to seek out the arton emissions it isn’t clear what it was supposed to do then. Certainly it didn’t seem to be hunting the Doctor or the TARDIS. The Time Lord has to seek it out.
If the creators of the robot have time travel technology and their creation didn’t then it could be designed to seek out the arton emissions so it can then receive orders. Without this it remains in hiding.
The Doctor is worried about the Blizter scanning him and once it does he claims that it will now kill him on sight. It could be that he scan will have verified that he is a Time Lord and that the robot is designed to kill members of his race.
Not that the Skovox Blitzer needs much excuse to kill, having already eliminated a community police officer and soon firing at Danny and Clara. Interestingly it identifies the police officer as an intruder, which suggests that it considered the abandoned building its domain.
It might be that the robot was protecting something within the building. It could be programmed to keep its presence secret. People seeing it was a problem and it decided the best option was to destroy the witnesses.
If it was left alone it is possible that it might have remained hidden. Certainly it didn’t seem like it was programmed to go on a rampage. It also didn’t appear to have been designed to destroy the planet, which it could have done by simply self-destructing.
The Doctor attempts to bargain with the Skovox Blitzer, saying he knows that it isn’t supposed to be one the planet and that he can help it. This would indicate that the robot is stranded and possibly lost.
The fact that the Doctor lured it out of hiding with alien tech is that the Skovox Blizter knows that it needs something beyond human technology to escape the planet. The Doctor seems to think he can help it, which means somewhere out in space and time there is somewhere the Blitzer is supposed to be. Could this possibly be the ‘promised land’?
How many more Blitzers are out there? What is their ultimate goal? If the PCs discover one should they leave it in peace or attempt to get rid of it? What if someone with evil intentions were able to pull the same trick as the Doctor and start giving a Blitzer orders?