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The best place to start is probably with the most obvious question - What did I think of Capaldi?

Answer - I liked him.

His first full episode as The Doctor reminded me of other first episodes after a regeneration - a new Doctor filled with confusion, disbelief, humor, intelligence and nervous energy.

But also some flashes of anger.

For those who only started watching Doctor Who when the series restarted in 2005, it was similar to David Tennant's first appearance after the regeneration.
For viewers who have watched the older series, Capaldi's first appearance will seem a lot more familiar - reminding me of Tom Baker and Peter Davison.

The episode itself?

I suppose a T-Rex in Victorian London is a good place to start a new season.



But after the first couple of minutes, the episode seemed a bit flat for the next 20.

My problem wasn't with The Doctor though, it was with Clara. The Impossible Girl.
Her reaction to the new Doctor was off.
Clara has seen all the Doctors previous incarnations, so her reaction to his appearance seemed very out of character.
It felt more like a sly nod to any detractors of Capaldi's casting, but It could have been handled better in my opinion.
Once the episode moved on from this, it seemed to find its groove.



Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax were good additions to this episode.
Vastra was a calming influence on the procedures - her talk with Clara suspending most, (but not all), discussion on the new Doctors "old" exterior.
It was interesting that the writers made Clara seem like she was offended by being shallow - which was probably the writers giving one last metaphorical jab to the naysayers, before moving on.
Jenny brought her usual sweetness to the situation, and Strax stole every scene he was in. The humor he brings is always a welcome addition in my mind.




The Doctors conversation with the homeless man in the alley showed he seemed to be settling in to his new persona, and gave us glimpses of some darker character traits that would become more apparent later in the episode. But it also addressed something that fans have brought up - Peter Capaldi's previous appearance on Doctor Who in The Fires of Pompeii.

The Doctor saying "Why did I chose this face? Its like I'm trying to tell myself something. Like I'm trying to make a point. But what is so important that I can't just tell myself what I'm thinking?" is probably the first clue to this seasons bigger plot.

The scene between Clara and the Doctor in the restaurant is the first real signs of chemistry between the two, while also managing to convey some of Clara's negative feelings to the current situation.

We finally find out what this episodes baddie wants when The Doctor and Clara are taken to the cyborgs larder - spare parts.




The antagonists plot isn't particularly new but does give Jenna Coleman her best scene of the episode when she confronts the head cyborg.

After a bit of banter and some fisticuffs the Doctor discovers the cyborgs are part of the crew of the SS Marie Antoinette - sister ship of the Madame de Pompadour, which appeared in The Girl In The Fireplace - and the following scene may give us a glimpse of what this new Doctor will be like as the series progresses.



The Doctor's reaction to seeing his own reflection in the silver tray after giving a speech which included the line:

"You probably can't even remember where you got that face from!"

May be the second clue to this seasons bigger story arc


The decision not to show what happened to the head cyborg - did he jump or was he pushed? - may never be revealed.
And I'm OK with that for now. It makes the new Doctor a bit more ambiguous.
Which is highlighted with:

"I'm The Doctor. I've lived for more than 2000 years, and not all of them were good. I've made many mistakes, and its about time I did something about that."


The third clue to what may be the series overall arc concerns the advertisement in the newspaper.

Clara: Who put that advert in the paper?
Doctor: Who gave you my number? Long time ago, remember. You were given the number of a computer helpline and you ended up calling the Tardis. Who gave you that number?
Clara: The woman. The woman in the shop.
Doctor: Then there is a woman out there that is very keen that we stay together.

And then:



Almost ending the episode with a guest appearance from Matt Smith's Doctor talking to Clara was a much better choice to get her to accept the new Doctor than previous attempts during the episode.

The cyborg-killing-to-survive plot wasn't particularly engrossing, but the introduction of Missy and "Paradise/Heaven" does raise some interesting questions.




Overall -

As I said at the start, I liked Capaldi - he seemed to grow into the character as the episode progressed -, but I wasn't too impressed by the way the writers handled Clara's initial reaction.

Deep Breath felt a bit muddled to me - too busy trying to address concerns about casting an older Doctor, instead of fleshing out the episode and giving Capaldi space to highlight what he brings to the role.

I'd give the episode 7/10 and Capaldi 8/10


Line of the night:

Clara: You got the Tardis then?
Strax: Military tactics. The Doctor is still missing, but he will always come looking for his box. By bringing it here, he will be lured from the dangers of London to this place of safety....and we will melt him with acid!
Clara: OK..that last part?
Strax: And we will not melt him with acid....old habits...


Poll



Poll



So what did you think of 'Deep Breath' and Peter Capaldi's first full episode as Doctor Who?
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THTA was definitely the best line of the epsiode... "we will melt him with acid.... We will NOT melt him with acid, sorry, old habits." Ah. Gotta love Strax, one way or another, he always steal the scene.
BTW, I'm probably saying something that someone may... confute, but as a watcher of both DW and Torchwood, I feel that DW's way of handling sexuality is, well, softer, but also less forced; in Torchwood it seemed that homosexuality, and sexuality in general, was a bit forced, like they HAD to talk about it and show it- and all right, it was a more adult-oriented show, but I think there's just enough suspencion of disbelief you can add to a story, and besides, it sounded at times a bit too Grace anatomy- we should save the word, but who's gonna sleepw tih whom this night?
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I agree - but I think all sexuality in Doctor Who is just treated as unimportant to a certain degree. The emotional aspect of relationships has the most relevance
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Is anyone else concerned that the Doctor sold his watch?

Because the only watch of his that I recall that he loved was the Gallifreyan FOB watch that can contain his essence when needed.

If so, that might have some implications later in the show.

Then again maybe I forgot that Matt Smith carried a normal one around.
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When he's worn a waistcoat there has been a chain which could be a fob watch -



It may have some importance in the future though
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To my suprise, I actually liked this episode a lot. I thought i was going to hate the new docter, because he is so much older than the previous docters and he looked so serious. But by the end of the episode he won me over!!
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Capaldi has been a lot of fun in other roles, and brings a lot of energy
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Honestly I think almost all regeneration episodes kinda blow. The only exception being the Matt Smith regeneration. The reason that one was so good was, because they gave the whole thing time to breath. While we were getting to know the Doctor we were also getting to know his new companion. There was none of that "you've got a new face" garbage to get in the way.

Anyway the episode itself was weak sauce like almost all other regeneration episodes. There were some stand out moments, and I completely agree that Clara's reaction to a regenerated Doctor was pretty stupid seeing as how she's seen his whole life. At least now we're over the big hump and ep two and three will give us an idea of what we can expect out of the new series.
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The next episode should be an interesting one - Into The Dalek - hopefully it picks up the pace and has a better story
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I think the greatest problem for this show will be how they handle the gap between Capaldi as the doctor, and the kind of story lines they've been throwing out. Maybe it was because it was Matt Smith and he had all that energy and fun and could make even the most ridiculous plots (Dinosaurs on a spaceship?) entertaining that they used those types of plot lines. But with this first episode starting with a dinosaur in London, I'm not convinced. Capaldi is an older doctor and they keep describing him as "dark". Which means he's going to need plots to match. There is always a play between how the actor portrays their version of the doctor and how the writers write him. It's very obvious in the first Matt Smith episode where the writing is still very Tennant, but the acting is very Smith. It took a while for the writing to catch up with the actor, and that's fine because it comes across as the doctor growing into his new persona. But for Capaldi, I don't object to returning to an older doctor. But they need to let him grow into that. This first episode he was still very frenetic and not really settling into his role, which as a first episode is ok, because it is the doctor working himself out. But I didn't really get a sense of what this doctor will be like in the future. More episodes will help, but I don't think you can cast an older, darker doctor, and then still have him acting like a teenager, which means he needs to be less of an action hero, and more of the clever, sarcastic doctors of the past. And the stories need to match. Which means no more running around London in a nighty chasing a dinosaur.
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Yep, you've said this very well. Agree! The writing doesn't fit the actor!
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I'm also hoping he becomes less frenetic, more composed and sure of himself. I saw a little bit of that in the restaurant, but not nearly enough to have an opinion of him yet.
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"Which means no more running around London in a nighty chasing a dinosaur." - yep, I could have done without that part and the part just after it where he jumped into a tree
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I can't stop hearing Capaldi's voice saying: "Planet of pudding brains"
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mmmmmm...pudding...drool...
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You HAVE pudding? I am on my way


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He's kinda' dead on there.
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Unfortunately - correct. As long as I am Chocolate pudding though - fine with me
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It is never a good start when the Doctor does not take off. Capaldi's start was not as slowed as Davison, McGannor or Tennant but he was not off and running either. It really takes 3 or 4 stories before you get a good feel for the Doctor. So give Capaldi sometime. Remember he is one of us and if we want the next Docotr we must support the current one.

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I am behind Capaldi - like I said, I liked him - I just hope they move on from defending his casting and let him loose.
I was encouraged by the slightly darker tone, but also the comedic touches he displayed during the episode.

Hopefully the next few episodes will include more of the chemistry Clara and the Doctor showed in the restaurant.

On a separate note - any ideas what mistakes the Doctor will try to attone for?
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I must say I just don't get the appeal of Vastra, Jenny and Strax at all. I really do think they're a poor attempt at having recurring characters on the series that aren't really all that necessary since there's little character development there (Strax is just a one joke wonder) and unless you re-watch episodes between seasons they're all pretty forgettable anyway. Every time they show up I struggle to remember their significance and their history with the Dictor at all.
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I like them a lot! I enjoy recurring characters, and they're a fun group. :D But I HAVE rewatched episodes recently, so it does help keeping them straight.
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I like Strax's one joke though ;-)

Vastra and Jenny I can take or leave - they're mostly vanilla to me
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Being a Whovian fan from Classic Who times, I don't understand the need to explain an older Doctor. Pertwee looked older than Troughtan, both Colin Baker and McCoy looked older than their predecessors, so just introduce Capaldi and move on!

It would've been cool if they had shown the tyrannosaurus with some feathers, especially since this concept is taking hold very strongly in paleontological circles. And I wish that the Doctor had explained why he'd gone back to the time of the dinosaurs. In his confusion, had he tried to save Adric? He did mention at the end of the show that he was going to address some of the bad things that had happened during his life. I definitely think Adric's death counts as one of those bad things.

I also don't understand Clara's reaction to an older Doctor. She's met the War Doctor, and all of the Doctor's other incarnations, so she's seen an older Doctor before. She understands the regeneration process, why ask Vastra to fix him?

I didn't like these clockwork robots as much as those from before. The ones from The Girl in the Fireplace were much scarier and cooler with their visible "works". These just looked steampunkish with only clockwork-sounding effects. But I enjoyed the story, and the whole concept of robots/cyborgs stealing human parts was spooky. Jenny and Strax were fun, and Clara figuring out to not breathe around the robots was awesome.

I should figure out if I like this Doctor once I see more of him now that he's past his confusion from this latest regeneration. He's definitely intriguing, so that's very promising.
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"I also don't understand Clara's reaction to an older Doctor. She's met the War Doctor, and all of the Doctor's other incarnations, so she's seen an older Doctor before. She understands the regeneration process, why ask Vastra to fix him?" -

THAT was my big problem with the first 20 minutes in a nutshell

Mentioning Adric makes me wonder how far back they will go in covering his "mistakes"
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I kinda' hope that the dinosaur was the start, and that he addresses many of those "mistakes". There's always Romana's disappearance, Dodo being left behind, Sara Kingdom and Katarina dying during Hartnell's Doctor, of course Adric, and then Kamelion's death. And there's always the huge question of whether Susan died in the time war.

Sometimes being a classic Who fan can really get old...so many memories, not nearly enough stories.
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I hope they gloss over Kamelion ;-)

But this does open up bigger possibilities - Gallifrey, the Time Lords, The Master and maybe something to do with The War Doctor
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Dodo was left behind by her own decision, it was not a mistake. Nothing to fix there.
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He'll take some time getting used to, that's for sure. I did enjoy the confusion he experienced earlier on in the episode that provided a lot of humour, but also demonstrated how frightened and darker that Doctor is. That scene in the alleyway that you mentioned was particularly poignant.

I've never much enjoyed Clara anyway, so even if Moffatt was using her as a way to overtly express his defence to viewers concerned by the casting of Capaldi, she just seemed as annoying as usual to me (even if it didn't fit her character). The scene the pair shared in the restaurant though was very entertaining nonetheless, and hopefully heated conversations like this will continue to be at the forefront of this new dynamic the pair will share.

Other than those highlights, the rest of the episode was fairly average for me. The inclusion of a dinosaur in an episode's plot will always receive eye-rolls from me (particularly is the visual effects are going to be as average as they were), the plot was obviously recycled from 'The Girl In The Fire Place' , and not only that, but the cyborg's background and motivation were never explained, making the overall story rather pointless.

I also could have done without Matt Smith's call to Clara. The new Who series has a sentimentality about it, unfortunately, which means that the writers continuously draw out character goodbyes and departures because they want to try and leave them in the happiest thought imaginable to viewers. Some may appreciate it, I find it repetitive and over-indulgent. We know the Doctor has regenerated, lets move on!
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The episode itself was weird - not enough plot to make it memorable and too much time spent defending the casting choice - as you said, hopefully they will move on.

Another thing I found interesting but forgot to mention was the redesigned tardis :



I liked the inclusion of the chair :



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I like it too. I must say though, something I've never really noticed before (at least until this episode) is that the series doesn't always take itself too seriously and can poke fun at itself.

The pictures of the redecorated TARDIS reminded me of the Doctor's line, 'I think it needs more round things on the wall' which is hilarious, and there were plenty of other similar lines like this in the episode, particularly in regard to Capalsi's appearance.

it 's always a great asset to a series when it has the ability to do this , but like I said I've never noticed it before. Is this pergaps a new trend starting with Capaldi? It would certainly explain why the episode was a lot funnier than usual, with all the self-deprecating humor.
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I thought one of the previous Doctors made some comment about the 'round things on the wall', but I can't remember which one.

In previous episodes after a regeneration there have been winks to previous Doctors, but this episode seemed to have a few more.
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@WildPict
Thanks for clearing that up, it was bugging me ;-)
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It was during the Time of the Doctor when all 3 first entered the War Doctor's TARDIS. 10 and 11 started commenting on the round things and that they had no idea where they came from.


Personally, I think it's a way to suggest the Gallifreyan language, which seems to be a language of circles.
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this episode has been a long time coming and will not please all the fans. Capaldi was great but i don't understand why they felt the need to explain things re his face. the Drs pre 2005 were older and I think that the fans don't need thing spelt out.
bring on the rest of the season!
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I agree and hopefully they move on from it
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I still have to arm up to Capaldi. I couldn't remember the other episodes of a new doctor, so obviously they did not impress me also. While watching I wondered if they wanted to show him vulnerable or scared, as eleven says.

As always, I would love to go out to dinner with Clara, but she still,is not one of my favourite companions. Like madam Vastra says, 'give him hell', but I still do not see her doing that like Rose, Martha or Amy could (let alone River).

But, maybe the paring will grow on me.

The episode will not be in my top ten list. The case of the week was hardly new or interesting and the way they got rid of the dinosaur problem was done to easy by the writers. I get we got interesting questions for the rest of the season and I do hope the writers will address them in a suitable way. Clara was out of character (even for her), as you mention. I loved seeing eleven and it did soften the regeneration a bit, but it also showed the gap.

Strax as always is a pleasure to the ear. His conversations are worthy of a book by now.

Of course I'll tune in next week :-)
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The other first full post regeneration episodes were Christmas specials - and I felt David Tennants was the less memorable of the two as he spent most of the time off screen.
But he showed a lot of the same emotional reactions as Capaldi - minus the anger. Matt Smiths first full episode was a lot different as he was just allowed to cut loose with a lot of frenetic energy
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I will have to re-watch that Tennant one. The Smith one I saw with about 1500 people on an Eastercon convention. That was so much fun with all the Brits chearing ans yelling. I remember that one well and it was so much fun.
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The writers seemed a lot more confident in Matt Smiths regeneration than David Tennant or Peter Capaldi, which may have made a difference in how they approached the episode
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@Grumpyclown I am not sure about that crash, but the on;ly way is to watch it again.
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@Rolamb.
The fact that he didn't have a companion at the time may well of had an impact.
I thought his regeneration caused the tardis to crash in Amy's garden
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The difference might be that his (new) companion was not part of the regeneration process. He might have regenerated some time ago before he got to Amy's house. If so, the writers used it wisely.

When the opening scene with him hanging under the Tardis was shown, the crowd in the main room of the convention couldn't stop screaming of joy.
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Of course I meant I have to Warm up to Capaldi in sentence one :-)
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Okay so... I didn't read all of this... Yet. But totally agree with you so far. It feels Moffat was using Clara as a audicence surrogate (which the companions have always been to a degree) but was using her as such a bit too much.

I am loving Capaldi. So far I'm actually liking him the best. Which might be a bit premature considering I've only seen this episode. But I'll be back, going to read more than one paragraph of your article.
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I think the episode would have been stronger if they had more Capaldi - letting the audience get to know his Doctor, rather than trying to justify his casting from the start
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I thought Capaldi was great. He's gonna make a great Doctor.
I didn't like the episode as a whole though, but I loved alot of the pieces.
It seemed like the Strax, Vastra & Jenny Show for the most part & I was cool with that...plus, Clara had some meaty scenes to gnaw on & those were cool to watch just being acted out. I was getting pretty irritated though that they spent so much time & effort in the show complaining about 12's wrinkles & gray hair.

I get that it was probably done to address the inevitable bitchings of Who fans that prefer their Doctors young & sexy & whatnot, and I get that they have to also pander to new viewers that are just coming into watching the show, but it would have been better imho to go the just learn to deal with it route & say "yeah, he certainly looks like a prune with the angriest eyebrows ever, but more importantly, we have steampunky cyborgey baddies to deal with"
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When she wasn't complaining about the Doctor going through the change, (hee hee menopause joke), Clara was pretty solid in this episode - hopefully it continues through the season.
If it doesn't, then the rumors about the Christmas special may be true
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