JReviews: Doctor Who Series 8 Episode 1- Deep Breath

Guess who's back!!!!!

And it's not just them. It seems that you guys can't survive a week without me. I go away on holiday for 7 days and when I return the forum has completely gone kaput. Guess that means I'm not to go away again 😉

Anyway, on to the real business, because, as I'm sure most of you are aware, the new series of Doctor Who started on Saturday, whilst I was unable to watch it admittedly, so I have only just seen it, which is why this review is up today, rather than on Sunday. But it would appear I am rambling, lets just get onto the review.

See ya below the jump.

Soooo the start seems a logical place to start so let's begin at the beginning shall we. A dinosaur shows up in Victorian London having swallowed a TARDIS, giving our new Doctor an opportunity to act in a veeeery Tom Baker-ish fashion. All seems very well so far. We have the return of the Pator Nosta gang (or how even it's spelt) which cues much shenanigans, including a height comparison between Clara and Strax which got a chuckle. And whilst on the subject of everyones favourite Sontaran, I know before the series aired I said that I wouldn't mind if the Victorian crowd was left out of this series; I take that back. Strax is genius, stealing every scene he's given a chance to. "Can I take your clothes?" "We shall melt him with acid!" The dude is brilliant. Also many props to Vastra for being, what's the word, harsh. The veil scene between Vastra and Clara was magnificent, seeing Clara's reaction to being judged so completely and absolutely was just what the doctor ordered (if you'll excuse the pun). Considering she's a character who is just dying for more development, she certainly got some in this episode. I'm still not entirely sold on her, but she's at least improving.

Next we shall move on to the man himself. Now, this episode isn't the best place to get a true impression of how Capaldi's Doctor is going to play out, half the time he's off on one due to the regeneration trauma, but he's certainly shaping up to be dark, which is good. Best parts; scaring a tramp in possibly the most intense regen-trauma scene's since Colin Baker decided to make a literal impression on his companion, then we had THAT scene. Now, now, now now now. This completely caught me off guard. The bit where the robot guy has just finished recharging and they're trying to escape. Wooo boy did he throw a spanner in the works there. Obviously it was just a way of making Clara push herself, and he came back for her in the end, but man, he's ruthless. I like it. He's cold, ruthless and a bit strange. At the end, he talks someone into killing themselves (or does he push them?) something the previous Doctors wouldn't have done (although I have my doubts about McCoy). Okay, the bickering with Clara got old really quickly, one of the few downers in this episode, but overall he's looking decent so far. Can't wait to see him "in proper" in the next episode. Oh and before I forget, I'm liking his new "the question is/ that's not the question" catchphrase, if that's a thing, it's nice and Who. Oh, and the last Scottish Doctor played an English Doctor but this Scottish Doctor gets to play him Scottish? Okay, I'll go with it I guess.

Miscellaneous thoughts on the episode. Do Not Like the new title sequence, it's too far away from the classic Time Vortex sequence (I don't believe they've ever strayed this far before) and it seems too stream punk, which is odd considering the series isn't exclusively set in Victorian times. Liked the villains though, nice call back (though the Doctor didn't get it until right at the end of course. But everyone watching must have at least thought about the Madame De Pompador when the clockwork noises started in the restaurant). I can't really tell the difference between the old TARDIS interior and the new one, but Clara still stole my line ("You've redecorated. I don't like it"). And there were plenty of call backs to earlier Doctor Who episodes. Aside from the obvious, I got the Tom Baker scarf in the tramp scene and the chips from Series 1 episode 2.

And finally, the part that is most exciting. The spoilers. Why is the Doctor's face so important, apart from the fact it's turned up in a previous episode and an episode of Torchwood already. Who left that advert? And who is that really creepy lady in "heaven" at the end and how exactly is the Doctor her boyfriend? However, that is not the question. The question is, how will this all tie in with the hunt for Gallifrey? Conjecture below please.

All in all, I have to say I'm very satisfied with the start to this series. It was fun, funny and rather dark. So I'll go a solid A-, not the best, but certainly above average.

JR19759

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2 Responses to JReviews: Doctor Who Series 8 Episode 1- Deep Breath

  1. I’m reserving some judgement on Capaldi’s Doctor, just because the first post-regeneration episode leaves the character a little wonky. There is some promise there, but I may need a couple more episodes to really get to know the character.
    Clara actually having some real time (and development) in this episode was much needed. Her role in the last two episodes amounted to little more than glorified cameos really. She wasn’t there much, and when she was, she really didn’t do anything. So finally having a chance to explore her character a little bit more, and having her actually work on the resolution to this episode on her own a little was fairly refreshing. I agree, she still needs work (after the Impossible Girl thing had been explained, there was no mystery to Clara, and there was nothing else left to her).
    Having another appearance of Vastra and company was cool. Strax was, of course, hilarious.
    And then there is the little bit of intrigue at the end. I’m sure this lady is going to be instrumental in the overlying story arc of the current series.
    Not going to rate it. I will say that when I watched it with friends, most of us enjoyed it (one of my friends, however, isn’t sure she likes the new Doctor).

  2. Wow. The review I can actually agree to some point. Well, I liked every part of the episode. In fact, I like almost everything about Doctor Who, but that’s offtopic. About the opening sequence – personally I like it. It’s new and unusual. Oh, and it’s actually fan-made. A guy made this fan opening, then he was hired by the bbc team, slightly remodeled his original video here and there, tweaked the music a lil bit and here you have it. Good job, I’d say.
    Now, about the Victorian Trio. Who’s to blame they are so darn good that script writers can’t resist and put them in many episodes? You can’t possibly dislike Strax. He is totally one of the best characters since 2005.
    I especially liked some of Clara’s moments. She stopped being an interstellar Mary Sue and we got to see her as human – showing fear in face of creepy steampunk robot whom you can actually SEE thinking or totally failing trying to make the kids shut the hell up. Before that she was almost a female version of Doctor – being a Dalek she erased the memories of all other Daleks, and so on.
    Well, in other words – everything is fine.