Review: Doctor Who ‘Deep Breath’ (s8 e1)

By Sara Da Silva


 

Beware: spoilers ahead.

‘Deep Breath’ kicked off series 8 of Doctor Who with a mighty bang.

Being the most watched opening episode since 2010, with an estimated 6.79 million viewers, Doctor Who is back and I couldn’t be happier.

The episode did have its faults, but before I go into that I feel obliged to note how truly incredible Peter Capaldi’s performance was. From seeing him act in other shows (and in Doctor Who itself) I knew that his portrayal of the Doctor would be impressive, but I did not anticipate this. Perhaps it was his ‘independently cross’ eyebrows and that delightfully Scottish accent of his. We have seen the Doctor in his post-regeneration confusion, which alone was immensely amusing, but I can’t wait to see Capaldi’s Doctor develop. I have a feeling that by the end of this series I might have a new favourite Doctor.

Not only was Capaldi’s performance stunning, but Clara Oswald, played by the beautiful Jenna-Louise Coleman, was especially brilliant. Her one-on-one scene with the villainous cyborg and breath-holding sequence, in particular, were wonderfully done. I cannot wait to see the new dynamic between Clara and the twelfth Doctor explored throughout the series. I just hope the rumours of Jenna leaving the show on Christmas isn’t true. I can’t deal with another heartbreaking Christmas caused by Steven Moffat.

I am glad Moffat addressed the whole ageism aspect of the show and the fact that whilst the Doctor (and Peter Capaldi) may look older, he is still the Doctor we know and love. After all the Doctor is over 2000 years old so maybe it’s time his face and personality started catching up to that?

I’m also glad that there will be less flirting between the Doctor and his companion. Don’t get me wrong, I cry every time I watch ‘Doomsday’, but this will be a good change.

Now, of course, I cannot discuss the episode without talking about the surprise cameo made by the one and only Matt Smith. Whilst it was potentially unnecessary and a bit strange to have an old Doctor make an appearance in the new Doctor’s debut episode, I still loved it. It made me miss Matt Smith as the Doctor, but it did not take away from the excitement of Capaldi’s debut. I think it was rather clever to have Eleven give Clara a call before his regeneration. However, unlike Clara, I don’t need much convincing to accept the new Doctor and stick around. He accomplished that all by himself.

Along with a new face and a new TARDIS design (which looks rather cool if I do say so), there was a new title sequence and theme tune. Initially I had by doubts, mostly because it was so wildly different from the past seasons, but after seeing it again I think I like it. With a new Doctor it feels appropriate for the show to have a new feel to it.

I must be impartial and discuss the faults of the episode. After all, no show is perfect. First off, what was with the dinosaur? It was probably more impressive if viewed in the cinema, but the CGI was a bit poor and it felt slightly unnecessary for the plot, which itself left something to be desired. I do love Vastra and her gang, but I just wish there would be some backstory. And honestly, the story line wasn’t the most original thing in the world.

The episode was good for people who are aware of the old story line and inside jokes, but less so for the newer fans who were left out of the loop. Especially in reference to having seen his face before.

Overall, however, I think it was a brilliant opening episode for Peter Capaldi. Whilst the plot may have been lacking, Capaldi made up for it in true style.
Of course, no episode of Doctor Who ends without providing us with a series of cliff hangers. For instance, will they continue to address the fact that Peter Capaldi had already been in a episode? And, who is the crazy “heaven” lady and did she give Clara the number to the TARDIS?

You should probably stay tuned to see if these questions are answered.

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One thought on “Review: Doctor Who ‘Deep Breath’ (s8 e1)”

  1. I agree that Peter’s performance was amazing, and that Clara actually had some fantastic moments. I think for those who did not like her in the last half season will hopefully be swayed by whats to come. Clara and the doctor in the restaurant was just brilliant.

    I really enjoyed the episode but personally when I think of the all of the ‘new doctor’ episodes since 2005 it comes up 4th. Another low point for me was the opening credits. The cogs and wotnot were fine but the blaring, high pitched version of the theme was just awful in my opinion.

    Good review!

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