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DOCTOR WHO Review: “Deep Breath”

DOCTOR WHO Review: “Deep Breath”

SPOILERS: This review/recap is exactly that. It talks about parts of the Doctor Who premiere episode in depth as well as rehashes some specific scenes. If you haven’t seen the episode yet, we urge you to do so before reading the following analysis. You have been warned.

And we’re back. Boy, it sure did feel like the time between “The Time of the Doctor” and now was especially lengthy, didn’t it? Especially as we kept getting tantalizing news bites, casting reports, set pictures, and eventually interviews pertaining to Doctor Who Series 8. But, tonight, it all became real again. Peter Capaldi, the Twelfth Doctor, staggered out of the TARDIS and began what looks to be his manic and slightly dickish tenure as the lead of our favorite show. Not only that, but his companion Clara Oswald, played by Jenna Coleman, had to come to terms with this new man, and it seems it’s going to be an ongoing drama. “Deep Breath” had a lot to do, and the fact that it did that, plus added wackiness, cracking dialogue, and tense if not downright terrifying moments just solidified once again why this is my favorite show.

The episode, written by Steven Moffat and directed by Ben Wheatley, plays less like a feature film, as its length and screening in cinemas would have us believe, and more like a Christmas special, despite nothing having to do with Christmas going on. It’s Victorian London, which probably aids in that, and therefore allows for a few key things to happen: 1) some awesome costumes on both the heroes and antagonists, and 2) it allows the Paternoster Gang to come back. This is integral to the working of this story. If the Doctor is going to be all weird and aloof and crisis-y for a good portion of the story, Clara’s going to need someone to talk to, and who better than Vastra, Jenny, and Strax?

Deep Breath 5

Victorian London is in a tizzy (which is to say standing around and gasping) over the sudden appearance of a huge Tyrannosaurus Rex-looking thing in the Thames. Nobody knows how it got there, though Madam Vastra says she remembers those from when she was a little girl. Suddenly, the dino coughs and out flies the TARDIS, landing on the ground nearby. The Twelfth Doctor emerges ranting about dinosaurs and things and it becomes immensely clear that he doesn’t really remember anything, referring to Vastra, Jenny, and Strax in weird ways and then calls Clara “the not-me one,” and “the asking questions one.” He also thinks she’s Handles… so stuff’s going on with him. They eventually get him into a bedroom, where he rants about it being a bedroom, and Clara says for the first of many times that she doesn’t know who the Doctor is, which Vastra gets very huffy about and decides they need to do the veil thing again.

She forces Clara to “see through the veil,” accusing her of missing the younger-looking Doctor because she liked flirting with him, and says she’d have a better time flirting with a mountain range. This leads to Clara telling her off good and proper, which was my first favorite scene in the episode. The Doctor decides to go out and talk to the dinosaur only to see it burst into flames. The Doctor is horrified and quickly joined by the others who begin asking questions that aren’t the right ones. The Doctor says the right question is “Are there any other murders like this?” Which is a weird question, except there HAVE been. Some steampunky-robot people are murdering folks, removing pieces of their anatomy, and burning the bodies to hide the evidence of removal. People are saying it’s spontaneous combustion.

Eventually, Clara and the Doctor reconvene at a restaurant that turns out to be a front for these clockwork people, and they take organs from organic life forms to try to upgrade themselves. The Doctor determines that the only way to fool the dumb repair droids is to not breathe (hence “Deep Breath”). The Doctor abandons Clara at a certain point and she’s forced to outthink the droid, despite her tremendous fear. The Doctor returns, having disguised himself as a droid, and talks long enough to allow Vastra, Jenny, and Strax to find their way down underground and help defend, which is easier said than done. The Doctor and the lead droid end up high above the city in a balloon-powered escape vessel, and the Doctor knows that only the death of the lead droid will stop the others and so either the Doctor throws him out of the pod, or he throws himself out. Which actually happens, we don’t know.

Deep Breath 4

I’ve skipped quite a bit and haven’t yet talked about the denouement, but I wanted to address certain things separately. Plus, I’m assuming everyone’s seen the episode, so from here out I’m really going to talk openly. Be prepared.

Title Sequence
Holy crap did I love this. This sequence actually focuses on time and it swirling around, which I thought was gorgeous, and Murray Gold’s new, slightly whiny version of the theme tune is perfect for the more mysterious and less friendly version of the Doctor. Loved to bits.

Vastra and Jenny
I love these characters, and I love that they’re unabashedly married in the 1800’s in England, despite them both being women and one of them is a lizard. I liked Vastra’s point that in public they have to pretend Jenny is just the maid in order to fit in, and how she related that to the Doctor and his recent series of young faces. I do worry though that Moffat is slightly running the “they’re married” thing into the ground; not THAT they’re married, but just that they mentioned it a LOT in this episode and made sure they said kind of off-handed randy things to each other just to make sure people get it. “THIS IS A LESBIAN COUPLE EVERYONE!” As if anyone was still unclear. Also, I kinda think Vastra was unduly cruel to Clara at the beginning, but I’m glad Clara got to monologue at her as a rebuttal.

I had worried Strax was getting TOO silly, but I think in this one he’s just the right amount of silly. He still just flatly doesn’t understand things, but he at least knows Clara better now. Though I’m not sure why he constantly wanted her to get her clothes off. That was a bit weird. Funny lines, though.

The Dinosaur
That dinosaur sure didn’t do a whole lot other than be a dinosaur, did it? It just sort of stayed in one place and roared at the Doctor before getting set on fire. Kind of a waste of an interesting idea if you ask me, but it got the ball rolling in a new and different way. Man, this show is a jerk to dinosaurs; two murdered in as many series.


The Droids
An interesting idea to have them be kind of reverse-Cybermen, constantly getting new organic parts to replace the ones that have gotten old. Also liked that they’re from the sister ship to the Madame du Pompadour from “The Girl in the Fireplace,” but the Doctor can’t remember it.

Hold Your Breath
Effing terrifying.

Clara was again amazing, as she has been almost her entire run on the show, certainly for the last three episodes. We see a different side of her because she’s obviously much more on edge with this new Doctor and he brings out other parts of her personality, he pushes her buttons a lot more. She gets to shine in a few moments: the telling-off of Vastra which I’ve already spoken about, the scene in the restaurant which I’ll talk about in a moment, and the fantastic scene where she is scared but effectively outthinks and out-talks the droid who doesn’t negotiate very well. That’s Clara’s shining achievement if you ask me, and it’s made even better by the fact that as far as she knows she’s been abandoned entirely by the Doctor but still won’t give up the information.

Clara Deep Breath

The Doctor
Now we come to the biggie, a whole new Doctor complete with a whole new set of weird foibles and peccadilloes. I thought Capaldi came out of the gate guns blazing. He’s very strange and shouty and, a bit like a know-it-all kid, doesn’t care all that much if he hurts someone’s feelings or effectively leaves his friend to die. He does have really nice moments with Clara, too, though where he talks her up good and proper to the villains. The scene when the Doctor is talking nonsense to the vagrant in the alleyway is great. He does the usual New Face barking (especially his can-opening eyebrows that are independently cross) but this time he says he remembers this face but can’t quite place it and wonders why he’d chosen this face specifically. Clearly, they’re going to tie in Capaldi with the person he played in “The Fires of Pompeii,” probably entirely ignoring how Capaldi also played a character in Torchwood, but no matter. It’s also explained that the Doctor is Scottish now, actually Scottish apparently, and that explains his accent and his general grumpiness. Nice touch, coming from a Scottish actor and Scottish writer.

The Restaurant Scene
I’ll admit, as much as I liked a lot of the elements of the first half of the episode, the scene when Clara and the Doctor meet in the restaurant after both “figuring out” the puzzle in the paper, is where the episode really came to life for me and kept me invested for the rest of the run time. It’s just a brilliant and hilarious bit of writing and acting. I love this scene to no end. Every line lands perfectly and the two characters have a good ol’ row about Clara’s apparent egomania. They’re catty to each other in a way that only good friends can be and I let out a belly laugh a couple of times. Then it suddenly switches into serious “Oh crap it’s a trap” mode but they don’t lose their verbal edge toward each other. It’s so important that this scene is here and goes on as long as it does. It establishes their relationship and gives them a buddy comedy to work through, and both actors really shine with this kind of dialogue.

Deep Breath 3

The End Bits
After being gone awhile, and Clara maybe thinking she’ll be stranded with the Paternoster Gang (though in her heart knowing she won’t), the Doctor comes back and says he needs to make up for the wrongs he’s done. He says he’s not Clara’s boyfriend; she says she never thought he was, to which he replies that he didn’t say it was her mistake. This is very weighty, you guys. The Doctors of the New Series, obviously without every expressing it, always did seem like they considered themselves the beau of their young and pretty companions. There was a jealousy when other guys were involved, even a bit between the Eleventh Doctor and Rory. This tells us that everything is going to change and he’s not going to be that guy anymore.

Clara says she can’t stay with the Doctor because she doesn’t recognize him. She gets a phone call which she takes outside and *surprise* it’s the Eleventh Doctor, calling from Trenzalore right before he regenerates. He says that Clara should stay with the new man because he’ll need her, then laments his face getting older and his hair going grey. This is, I think, as much for the audience’s benefit as for Clara’s. The show, especially in America, really picked up momentum with the Eleventh Doctor and they wanted to make sure it was a nice sendoff and handover to Capaldi so people will accept him. Maybe unnecessary but at least handled in a classy way.

Clara finally “sees” the Doctor in Capaldi’s face and gives him a hug, though he’s not much of a hugger anymore. He definitely seems like a younger man in an older man’s body, the exact opposite of Smith. I like it.

The Denouement
We get the first look at what I’m guessing will be this series’ throughline: Heaven. Michelle Gomez, who we saw in production materials was playing a character called “The Gatekeeper to the Nethersphere,” makes her first appearance, claiming to be named Missy, welcoming the half-faced lead droid to his fabled Promised Land. She refers to the Doctor as her boyfriend, also. Intriguing. I’m interested to see where all this goes. Could it be River? Doubt it. Could it be the Rani? Eh, it’s possible. Could it be the Master now a woman? Seems unlikely. Could it be someone else entirely? That’s what I’m guessing.

Deep Breath 2

There are lots other little bits and bobs I enjoyed about this episode, but this is already 2,000 words long and who has the time? Just go watch it again. Overall, I think “Deep Breath” worked incredibly well for introducing a new Doctor, reestablishing his relationship with a companion, setting things up for the future, and giving us questions about what kind of a man the Twelfth Doctor really is. The dinosaur was unnecessary, really, but it did look cool, and ultimately the episode picked up when they got to the restaurant. Still, a really fine opening to a series. Away we go! Next week, an episode entitled “Into the Dalek” written by Moffat and Phil Ford and directed by Wheatley. See you then.

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  1. Helen says:

    Liked the Doctor, didn’t care for the episode

  2. I love Capaldi’s doctor! It reminded me of the 4th incarnation! Especially in the style and delivery of the humor! Tom Baker was my first Doctor, so although I loved both Tennant & Smith’s version of the doctor, Capaldi reminds me why I fell in love with Dr. Who n the first place!

  3. Ron says:

    Could Missy be the next regeneration of the Doctor? She looks kinda like a female Capaldi, and has that same Scottish accent. Maybe this is the female regeneration they have been teasing at…

  4. aRBy says:

    I remember when Doctor who came back in 2005 with Christopher Eggleston. The first episode really worked and he fit well as the new doctor. Then the regeneration into David Tennant, again he fit the doctor very well. Then enter Matt Smith, again from the first episode he fell right into place. But Peter Capaldi, wow not even close! Can’t really even blame the poor writing, because it wasn’t really that bad, Capaldi just feels awkward and out of place. They should have left him back in Pompeii. I think it’s time for a new Doctor!!

  5. Martin Wilton says:

    I think they concentrated so much on the Doctor being scottish to show the influence that Amy Pond had on the Doctor during the Matt Smith era (eleventh doctor). Throughout Matt Smiths time it is clear that Amy means the world to him especially in the time of the doctor when he sees her again before the regeneration into Capaldi

  6. jaimesstella says:

    i love capaldi as the doctor.  the part of the episode that intrigued me is the doctor’s mumbled line about missing or needing amy pond.  i a bit disappointed clara is still around.  i am hoping with the relationship shift, she finds herself more as a contributor.  

  7. Mike says:

    Hi Kyle… at last, an intelligent and positive review of ‘Deep Breath’.  I agree with every word.  I enjoyed it immensely and thought it was the best introductory episode/story for a new Doctor yet.  Cheers!

  8. Other Doug says:

    First, I loved Capaldi’s Doctor.  I think we’ll see a lot of fun and fascinating things out of him in the next few series.
    Second, when the Doctor says he recognizes his new face but can’t recall from where, and asks if his subconscious is trying to tell him something, it  occurs to me that Caecillius (the Roman Patrician Capaldi played in “Fires of Pompeii”) was a person who should have died in the volcano, a fixed point in time, and that the Doctor violated Time Lord rules by saving someone who had died at a fixed point in time.  From the way Tennant’s Doctor acted, it was the first time he had ever been persuaded to break this particular rule of Time.
    Now, Capaldi’s Doctor is in a similar situation — he just altered his own personal timeline by averting his own death on Trenzalore, exactly as he had witnessed it.  He broke the same rule of Time, saving someone from a fixed point in time, this time more flagrantly by achieving a new set of regenerations and avoiding his Trenzalore fate.
    So, maybe his subconscious is telling him something — that he started down a forbidden path in Pompeii, and his current regeneration takes him personally much farther down that path.  It’s a reminder that he has been persuaded to play God, violating the rules of Time, and as was pushed into his face in “The Waters of Mars,” maybe he really ought to consider backing off from that temptation in his future.
    This face is a vivid reminder that there are consequences to playing God and violating the rules of Time.  He was prepared to die to stop Rassilon from trying to make the Time Lords gods in “The End of Time,” so this face reminds him to eternally reject the arrogance of Rassilon.
    Just a thought…

  9. John says:

    first off…how did you not suggest that Missy was Clara. 2nd…if its River…I’m not ok. I’ll never be ok. I wont be ok

  10. Kevin Conod says:

    I liked the episode…understandably there’s lots of hand-wringing over who the Doctor is now, but it was an interesting story. I like to new title sequence, but I have to to say I am not caring for the new theme music – not because its different but because its is too subtle. Also not liking Capaldi’s buttoned up collar with no tie. Its just weird looking. Wish they had kept the wing collar & tie from earlier in the episode.

  11. MMJorgenson says:

    I think a lot was thrown in that can be edited out later when it needs to be 44 minutes to go into repeats, like Strax examining Clara, Vastra “painting,” part of the alley scene with the hobo and part of the bedroom scenes. I could easily see where all the fluff was thrown in that we won’t see in repeats.

  12. Gary Lockly says:

    Let’s see, Rose swallowed the time vortex, created Bad Wolf, saved her Doctor and gave loooong life to Capt. Jack.  Donna essentially saved the whole of creation, Amy had a River Song, Amy waited for decades only to be uncreated, Rory guarded Amy for 2,000 years.  Clara needs to actually do something other than jump and prance and hold her breath.  Either they give Clara some real substance or get a companion.  Yeah I know…. give her time.  She’s had all the time needed to flesh out her character, she needs to get into the game and stop being a pretty observer.

  13. @T_Magus666 says:

    Meh! It was ok. The second episode will be the true test. The season opener is usually spent with following the doctor around in his jammies trying to figure out his character…Yawn! We need to see him in full “Doctor” mode before a decision can be made.

  14. sue says:

    ActuallyMadame Vastra gets “huffy” as you say, when Clara quotes “How do we turn himback?!”

  15. sue says:

    Actuallyy Madame Vastra gets “huffy” when Clara says “How do we turn him back?”

  16. danticvs says:

    another article of Kyle’s I don’t hate.

  17. Gracie says:

    I hated hated HATED Matt Smith’s doctor. So much. Good riddance. Capaldi is brilliant, I love him. (His performance on Torchwood was….just beyond. And The Thick of It/In the Loop? Must-see performances.) I can’t wait for more.

  18. Mary Wolcott says:

    I think Missy is Romana gone mad. The fourth Doctor did leave her at the gateway to N space. Maybe she went nuts there?

  19. Cale R. says:

    Did anyone else see Matt Smith’s face when Capaldi pulled the mask off at the end when he came to Clara’s rescue?  My wife noticed it, and I couldn’t say she was wrong because it went so quickly, and I could see what she was saying.  It definitely fits with the “The doctor was wearing a mask” theme from the beginning of the episode.  

  20. David Castell says:

    This is a general post to silence the naysayers. Lotza people are complaining about why Clara is struggling with the new Doctor despite having met them all. ​Well, to answer that, Clara has died onscreen before twice. Once as a Dalek and once in The Snowmen.

    The Clara who’s traveling with the Doctor right now cannot recall being a Dalek or being a nanny in The Snowmen.

    Each version of Clara is an individual. That’s what I’ve noticed from the series. Cuz the current Clara has no recollection of her former lives.

    It is fair to conclude, then that the current Clara would have no recollection of meeting all the previous Doctors.

    This is scifi, more importantly, this is Doctor Who. I’ve watched it since the day I was born. Even when I was 10, I always felt the companions were just there to ask questions. Be thankful that the underrated Steven Moffat is actually giving the companions depth and scope.

    People just want everything, don’t they?

    And Peter Capaldi was mesmerizing.

    Everyone keeps complaining about the mediocrity of the general story for this episode. That’s just silly. Is it any worse than The Eleventh Hour, The Christmas Invasion or any other introductory new Doctor episode? The overarching story has never been the focus and quite right, too. The focus is on getting the audience familiar with the new Doctor. And in this episode, perhaps more than ever, this is extremely important. Why? We’ve spend nearly a decade with David Tennant and Matt Smith. Both of these actors were very young, dashing versions of The Doctor. Now, all of a sudden, the new Doctor is older than any other actor to take the role including William Hartnell. (Do your research, people. He is indeed slightly older than Hartnell was when he took the role).

    So: Cut the Moff some slack. He has excelled at bringing controversial darkness of almost Valeyard proportions to the new Doctor.

    What a risk!? And he pulled it off splendidly.

    Stop criticizing without proper research. Capaldi has been a whovian for perhaps 10 years longer than I’ve been one.

    Focus on the intention of this episode. Steven Moffat took a tremendous risk in casting such an old actor.

    Can you honestly fault the way it was handled?

    Moreover, please stop criticizing the Matt Smith cameo. That was inserted into this episode for us!

    To make us accept that The Doctor is extremely old and that Capaldi should not be chastised on account of his age.

    Steven Moffat realizes that Doctor Who has become a worldwide phenomenon in recent years.

    I mean, answer this: what other television show has ever had a cinematic broadcast of an episode?

    Please think about that. Moffat accomplished this with resounding success for the fiftieth and he’s done it again for Capaldi’s debut.

    This is a television landmark.

    So… Stop complaining. Right? Yes Moffat has had a few missteps along the way. But in all honesty? If he’s got episodes he personally penned hitting cinemas across the globe? I think it’s time to give him some well deserved credit.

    Comment if you agree or disagree.

  21. Bruno says:

    i’m really hoping that capaldi does a great doctor, he does seem to be going a little back to when he was less human with the companions (and since i only saw the first doctor of the classical doctor my best guess is that they’re going that way) and (the main reason im commenting) the dinosaur did have a reason, otherwise the doctor would not have realized there were crimes like those, but then again, they could have written it again. because of the uselessness of the dinosaur, except for that point, it did more bad than good from my point of view

  22. fran says:

    I agree with most of your analysis, but I felt the Dinosaur was a metaphor for how the doctor felt, scared, cold and alone as old ad we can imagine… Recognising the situation the doctor is in… The only one of his kind. Confused by his new situation. It was interesting the dinosaur disappeared as the doctors ability to communicate improved!

  23. katydidcat says:

    I think “Missy” might be actress Rachael Stirling , who played “Ada” in episode titled  ‘The Crimson Horror’.  Ada was the blind daughter of creepy old woman running her Mr. Sweet factory.  Ada had kept the Doctor as sort of a  pet and called him “My Monster” after she rescued him from the factory reject pile.  Ada adored the Doctor, (Matt Smith version), and was really upset when he was rescued by Jenny.      

  24. I liked it OK.  Actually, it was like they were talking to Clara, because my first words when I found out who the Doctor was going to be were, “He is old!”   LOL  Just like Clara said.  So, when they told Clara that she had to look for the Doctor in his face, they were talking to me and other fans as well as Clara.

  25. I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned that “Missy” seems similar to Madame Kevorian – something about how her words dripping with sarcasm sounded a lot like when she’d stick her face through the slit in the door to talk to Amy while she was being held at Demon’s Run during her pregnancy. And also to the priestess at the Church of the Papal Mainframe – and since she and the Doctor had a rather flirty relationship the last time we saw her, I wondered if there was a connection there.

    • J.Elynne says:

      Actually, I did mention my notion that Missy may be Madame Kovarian on Page 2 at about 5:31 pm, Aug. 24.   At that time I didn’t notice that there was a Page 1 that I had missed until tonight, so I didn’t see your post until now.  But I am very happy to see that someone else has seen the similarities!  (BTW, I’m a “Cat Lady,” too ~~ and the oldest person that I know who is devoted to Dr. Who!  I’m married, though, and finally getting my husband to finally sit and watch whole episodes of Dr. Who!)

  26. B Bates says:

    Not enjoying the new doctor. Miss Mr. Smith. Story wasn’t  interesting!!!!

  27. Can anyone tell me what is with the dumb sound effects? They need to go. Now.

    And Clara getting hit with a newspaper? Seriously? Class it up.

  28. Mike says:

    what I really want to know is why no one else has noticed that in the scene in Glasgow, Peter Capaldi was wearing a wedding ring. I mean it could just be plain jewelry but the Doctor rarely wears any sort of jewelry and this was a simple enough gold band, on his left ring finger. It could be nothing, it could be the writers hinting at something and it could just be a personal item that belongs to Capaldi (he is married, after all), it just is something that caught my eye and I haven’t heard anyone else bring it up.

  29. Frank says:

    Come on you guys, take off the rose coloured glasses for 5 seconds,
    This episode was a clunker, the whole “Clara feels abandoned where did Matt Smith go” as overplayed.
    Last year Moffatt spent how much time telling viewers Clara volunteered to jump into the time vortex to save all the doctors, and now suddenly she doesn’t get regeneration?
    This could hardly take a whole episode to tell.
    The Lesbian relationship? give me a break, since when do homosexuals have to keep preaching and throw this in people’s faces, and in a kids show?
    It’s as unashamed as Russell Davies having Capt Jack kiss men on the mouth, why? why?
    Peter Capaldi, wasting an entire episode to work out who he is, the dinosaur the clockwork people.
    What worked was all the references to Matt Smith and the last 5 minutes and the phone call, that worked, all the rest was awkward, clunky, miss matched, boring. 
    Strax could have shot the clockwork people.
    Coleman looked like she was well out of her depth trying to act serious, it was strained and she didn’t look comfortable, I wonder how many takes it took?
    Capaldi looks lost, doesn’t look confident and delivers his lines without authority, looks like an imposter with very little on screen presence.
    Moffatt, what the hell is going on, I hope things get better.
    And Coleman is leaving?
    I’m sorry, I had great expectations, but within 10 minutes I was wondering where the story was, all I saw was the Lesbian thing taking the main part of the episode, and an awkward fractured story that floundered, with a few nice moments here and there.
    And where’s the fun, where’s the adventure, where’s the feeling something important is going on.
    And for goodness sake drop the homosexual/Lesbian thing and get on with the story.

  30. PatchesJones says:

    Story was HUGE disappointment! Vastra and Jenny are sick. No not because they are lesbians but because Vastra is a LIZARD! Anyone who is okay with bestiality should be placed inside of a mental institution.
    Moffat’s writing is still getting worse. No sign of any improvement. Can’t wait till he’s fired! 

  31. Slowwaters says:

    Has the Doctor always worn a wedding ring? I’m not an avid viewer, was never too comfy with Smith, but I love Capaldi and hope he’ll be “my” kind of DW.

  32. Cheryl Marsh says:

    I am having some trouble relating to this new Guy… but I loved seeing and connecting more to Clara… she was just an enigma until this episode… now I feel like we are getting to see the real her. I hope They get this Doctor to mellow out some seem just a little bit more relatable.. right now He really isn’t the Doctor I know! Like Clara I feel like I am staring into his eyes and asking where are you Doctor… I know you are in there somewhere.. Where is the Doctor I fell in Love with?

  33. bpmann says:

    “Eventually, Clara and the Doctor reconvene at a restaurant that turns out to be a front for these clockwork people, and they take organs from organic life forms to try to upgrade themselves.”

    I don’t think this sentence means what you intended it to mean.

  34. Jeroboam says:

    Missy’s “paradise” sure had a familiar and TARDISy layout to it.

  35. LEH says:

    Definitely seems like Missy is this seasons mystery.  Was it insinuated that she the one who wrote that message in the paper for the Doctor and Clara? Or was that clarified as someone else in the episode?  I like the mystery of whether the Doctor pushed or the cyborg jumped but I’m not sold on the current Doctor yet.  I’m keeping my options open and will be looking forward to the next episode.

  36. mandi says:

    You and I clearly do not agree.  I pretty much hated the episode.  They spent so much time on nods to past Who that they spent little time on story.  The doctor is oh so dry and as a result the pacing is oh so off.  Not saying its awful, but still.  I love Clara but I seriously hope the new companion has more life in her because this pairing was boring.

  37. Hugh says:

    Choked up when Matt appeared…So many emotions just poured in…and the ending of the phone call “goodbye Clara, miss ya”…oh my god…
    all in all, Peter has done an absolutely stunning job with his new role and i think he’d do well. none of us expected the new doctor to beat the previous one. I mean comon when Tennant’s was gone and Smith came in, did you all think he was going to be “SPLENDID”? It’s brilliant how Steven decided to put Matt Smith’s scene so we could all relate to our feelings when Smith “was the doctor”. Hell, he “will always be”.

  38. Scott Reeves says:

    What your all forgetting is that River Song will appear again in a future series or episode as she has to meet the doctor and marry him, he also has to teach her how to drive the tardis..:)

    • Hugh says:

      I think they’ve already done this with Smith’s incarnation.  they just don’t show it on the screen but i’m pretty sure River Song story with 11th Doctor is finished…

  39. Jeff Rosen says:

    Why didn’t Vastra and Jenny recognize Clara. After all she already lived and died in another incarnation

  40. Caren says:

    This doctor is wearing a wedding ring.

  41. Xooberon says:

    Loved Capaldi. Been a fan of his since I first saw Lair Of The White Worm in the 80s (check it out on YouTube). Last nights Who was, for the most part, good, but sadly still suffering from the same old problems. Moffat is a good dialogue writer, but hopeless at plot, it would seem. He was really over-keen to emphasise that he wanted all the new Who fangirls who have a boy-band fascination with the 10 & 11 regenerations to accept this new “old” Doctor just as they did his previous incarnations. But what annoyed me, is the lack of attention to detail in this episode. Why didn’t Strax start firing and kill all the reanimated robot people near the end on his own? He should be a walking arsenal. They could’ve had an awesome fight scene with all of them there, jumping around and slicing them up with their swords. What a wasted opportunity. Instead they wound up cowering in a huddle! When Vastra shared her breath with her partner, wouldn’t that be classed as breathing, therefore why didn’t the robots attack right then? And how typical the automatons all stop operating as soon as the main villain dies (in a terrible way – why on the weather vane of Big Ben tower? Just because of some kind of symbolism? Ridiculous), when they could’ve easily at least wounded one of the good guys. Some threat they were!
    And how could that balloon have lifted that escape capsule up, when a standard hot air balloon can only lift a basket and 4 people?
    And I still don’t understand why the Doctor ran/swam off and left everyone by jumping into the river. Totally counter productive. Also, why couldn’t they show the dinosaur actually walking around? You didn’t see where it’s feet were. Was it in the river? On the bank? Or what? Why didn’t they show it? I didn’t believe it was there because they didn’t show it in its environment properly. If it was on fire, how could that be possible if it’s walking around in 40ft of water? Completely pointless even putting it in the episode ultimately. Seems like they just wanted to add something crazy in there for no reason. Why didn’t anyone from the Royal family, or even London Museum paleontology dept come out to examine this phenomena? Surely they’d be there like a shot if something like this happened? Especially if it had been there all day and night. All we got were 3 police officers! Also, the Tardis should be way too big to fit in it’s mouth, let alone for it to swallow it. Speaking of the Tardis, Clara said the Doctor had “redecorated”. Really? It looked basically the same as the previous version to me!? And they didn’t show any clue to how the Doctor left that basement hideout of the cyborg, leaving Clara behind, only to pop up again behind her. They’re just not careful or clear enough with their direction and attention to detail, which makes the story so hard to follow sometimes. Day of the Doctor and Time of the Doctor episodes were prime culprits of this.
    Also, how was Clara confused to the Doctor having a new face, when she more than anyone should know about his numerous regenerations being involved directly with his entire timeline?
    I can’t believe how Moffat can make such sharp, focused, faultless Sherlock episodes, and really let things slide with Who. Why don’t they address this stuff?

  42. AmericanWhoLover says:

    I wish you had talked more about how he mentioned (down in the spaceship when he is going to hand his screwdriver to Clara) Amy, and how maybe that was a tiny part of why he chosen to be Scottish; maybe that means part of that storyline isn’t entirely (Rive Song) dead and gone! 

  43. The 2.5th Doctor says:

    A new era begins.

  44. Betsy says:

    The dinosaur didn’t seem so random to me. I thought of it as showing how really out of control of the TARDIS he was. If he had gone straight to Victorian London it would have been a bit too convenient. Also it made the Doctor witnessing the spontaneous combustion more likely than if it had been a human. It also shows that this Doctor is still a caring man as he refers to the creatures demise as murder and is very upset that it happened.