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Doctor Who S08E01: "Deep Breath"

It's probably not wrong to say that Doctor Who is at the height of its popularity right now. Although it isn't and never will be as well-known in the U.S. as it is in the U.K., BBC America's smart move to air the series concurrently with BBC One in the U.K. has definitely given it a boost. But the writers of Doctor Who have taken a lot of flak since Russell T. Davies gave the long-running sci-fi series a facelift in 2005. I'm not even referring to the claims that the show has relied too heavily on increasingly confusing and convoluted storylines that can only be fixed by Moffat Logic, though that's a completely legitimate complaint (and one I fully plan on addressing in a bit); rather, I'm talking about the implied infatuation that several recent companions have had with the time-traveling Doctor. 

And, look, I get it. He's a madman with a (time-traveling) box. He's clever and he's witty, and he's always rushing in to save the goddamn day with a freaking SCREWDRIVER. He's a hero whether he realizes it or not, and that makes him attractive. I would totally be swept away if a man showed up at my door and offered to show me all of time and space, everywhere and anywhere, every star that ever was. I mean, I'd also assume he was on acid, but part of me would be like, "Damn, that's cool." 

Of course, I also acknowledge that part of the Doctor's recent ladykilling prowess are the result of the fact that as the Doctor was getting older, the actors portraying him were getting younger. 


When Clara told Vastra—who returned in "Deep Breath" alongside fan-favorites Jenny and Strax—that the Doctor didn't look renewed, that he looked older, Vastra replied, "He looked like your dashing young gentleman friend, your lover even." She then continued, "He looked young, who do you think that was for?" And while it's hard to say what goes into casting the Doctor each time a new actor joins the show, I don't think it's wrong to question whether or not the actors were getting progressively younger in an attempt to bring in a larger, younger, and possibly more female audience. I haven't done any extensive research on the subject, but it's something to think about, at least. 

In the U.K., according to preliminary numbers, Peter Capaldi's debut as Twelve drew 6.8 million viewers, which is up from Season 7's average viewership but actually the least-watched new-Doctor transition of the four that've occurred since 2005. David Tennant (9.4 million viewers in his debut) was 34 when he took over the role of the Doctor from 41-year-old Christopher Eccleston (9.9 million) in 2005, and Matt Smith (8.0 million) was just 26 when he replaced Tennant in 2010. Fans were simultaneously shocked and worried when news of Smith's casting broke, because historically, the Doctor was an older man traveling with a younger companion. Some fans enjoyed the love story that blossomed between Ten and Billie Piper's Rose Tyler, myself included, and it proved that the Doctor could be a romantic hero, but does he have to be? To be certain, the potential for romance on TV often makes for successful storylines, but it's not the only way to do so, and with the exception of Catherine Tate's Donna, each companion since Rose has, at one time or another, seemed to harbor a little crush on the titular Time Lord. Which is why I've been wondering what form the series would take since we learned that Capaldi would be succeed Smith in the role. 


We know that New Who is capable of romance, and we know that it's capable of deep platonic friendship, but is this newly reinvigorated series capable of returning to the mentor/mentee relationship of years past? Clara has been the subject of much outcry since her introduction in the middle of Season 7, but I maintain what I said after watching Matt Smith's swan song: Clara's biggest issue last season wasn't poor writing, but the fact that she was playing a companion to Eleven who wasn't Amy Pond. With Capaldi in the lead role, she now has a chance to start anew and finally step out from Amy Pond's shadow (although the callback to the Doctor missing Amy was a nice touch, and helped to reinforce the fact that although his appearance has changed, he's still the same man).

The feature-length "Deep Breath" might not have been the best indicator of what we have to look forward to this season in terms of the Doctor/companion relationship, but I'd argue that's commonplace for most post-regeneration episodes. They always start out the same way: The Doctor doesn't know who he is and spends half of the episode attempting to sort himself out while generally acting like a crazy person. It's rather difficult to get to know someone who doesn't quite know himself. We saw Rose struggle to reconcile Tennant's Doctor with the man she'd run away with in Season 1, and now Clara's facing the same daunting task (Amy got off easy on that account). 


But Clara isn't the only person who's coming to terms with some pretty big changes. The theme of regeneration and reinvention was present in the premiere's story of the week, when droids similar to those we last saw in Season 2's "The Girl in the Fireplace" attempted to become human by stealing human body parts. They wanted to live long enough to find the Promised Land, a place the Doctor said doesn't exist, and they were murdering men and women as a means of obtaining spare limbs and organs. While the tie-in was nicely done and led to the Doctor finally remembering where he'd seen his own face before (Capaldi starred in Season 4's "The Fires of Pompeii—which, strangely enough, was the same episode that also starred a pre-companion Karen Gillan), the story itself felt a bit silly at times, especially when you factor in the dinosaur in the Thames. But I can't be too harsh on Doctor Who for being silly, because as with the Doctor himself, it's part of the show's charm.

If there's one part of "Deep Breath" that has me worried, though, it's the same part that always has me worried: the Moffat of it all. Once Steven Moffat took over as showrunner from Davies in 2010, Doctor Who developed a habit of telling supremely complicated overarching stories involving the companions, and while I don't fault the series for taking on more serialized mysteries, Moffat's plots tend to be more convoluted than anything else. They often place the Doctor in seemingly impossible situations, only to reveal that the solutions are quite simple and work because of wibbly-wobbly time-travel. 

Amy was the Girl Who Waited, and the crack in the universe was a fun jumping-off point for her story, but eventually I (and many others) started to feel like Moffat was in a battle to constantly one-up in himself. Clara was introduced as the Impossible Girl, and the resolution to that storyline wasn't necessarily the best. And now, as of "Deep Breath," we're looking at another ongoing arc involving who placed the Impossible Girl ad in the paper, with the ad connected to the woman in the shop who gave Clara the TARDIS's phone number back in Clara's own debut, "The Bells of Saint John." I don't mind that Doctor Who has reintroduced this new chapter of the Clara/Doctor mystery, but if I've learned anything from the Moffat era, it's to proceed with caution.


No matter how many regenerations we've been though, it's always jarring in the beginning when a new actor takes over the role of the Doctor, and Clara acted as the audience stand-in this week as she struggled to accept that this was the same man she'd known, and on some level—even if it wasn't romantic—loved. She told Vastra that she didn't know who he was anymore, but just like we knew he would, he eventually proved to be the same quirky, trustworthy man who'd always have her back (and ours). It just took some time to gather himself together. 

I think Peter Capaldi's going to make a fine doctor, and not just because he went on a long rant about his eyebrows. His appearance finally matches the man inside, the one who's over a thousand years old. He's acknowledging his own darkness while at the same time admitting his part in the recent sexification (it's a thing) of his character. He told Clara he wasn't her boyfriend, and when she told him she never thought he was, he responded, "I never said it was your mistake." Whether it was the Doctor confessing that he loved playing the hero to young companions who fancy him, or whether he was referencing the image we've projected onto him, there's no doubt that the Doctor has changed. I look forward to Capaldi proving that both Doctor Who and the character can grow beyond that to become something more.



NOTES

– While I will never turn down appearances by former Doctors, and even though I eventually grew to absolutely LOVE Matt Smith as Eleven, did the episode really need his phone call at the end? It helped sell to Clara that the Doctor was still the Doctor, but don't you think his appearance was a little contradictory? Here we were trying to get to know Twelve, trying to rally behind this new but old character, and then Smith's lovely face showed up and reminded us of what used to be. I know some fans probably loved it, but I also know that some fans probably hated it, too. What was your take?

– I'll be referring to Capaldi's Doctor as Twelve in these reviews, even though he's the thirteenth incarnation of the Doctor. I know this, you know this, so let's skip past all the "HE'S THIRTEEEN" comments, okay? He's Twelve in the the non-linear wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey ball-of-stuff way.

– Who is Missy? Why did she refer to the Doctor as her boyfriend? And what is this supposed Heaven? Are we headed for another overarching storyline in Season 8?

– What did you think of the new credit sequence? I like the look of it, but the new theme was a bit too shrill for my liking. Am I just being nitpicky again, or did it possibly hit notes that only a dog can hear? (It's based on the fan-made opening credits below.)

– The writers gave Clara the Doctor's famous, "You've redecorated. I don't like it" line. I'm not sure I like that.

– "Trick of the light, you still look terrible."

– "I hate being wrong in public. Everybody forget that happened."

– "Nothing is more important than my egomania!"

– "Please tell me I didn't get old. Anything but old!"

– "I don't think I'm a hugging person now."

thekaitling:list:doctor-who-what-do-you-think-of-peter-capaldis-doctor/


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 12/5/2015

Season 9 : Episode 12

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My only problem with the episode was that I felt they were just BEGGING us to forgive them for casting an old guy the whole time. They talked about his gray hair, and the lines on his face, how he didn't look refreshed, yada yada yada ALL episode. If I were Steven Moffat, I'd be embarrassed to hand that script to Peter Capaldi. It seems a bit insulting. I mean, he's still a vital looking man. He's not at death's door or something. They even thought they needed to have Matt Smith show up and beg us to give the "old guy" a chance. . . while saying, "Oh please, not old!!" I guess the past transitions were better handled, in that they just said, "Ok fans, this is him!" This time it's like, "Please, please, even though he's ANCIENT, please keep watching!" I don't know, that's how it felt to me.

Other than that, I liked the episode, and like Peter Capaldi, and also liked Clara a lot this episode. I share your concerns about convoluted storylines, though! Oh, Steven Moffat, just think of how much nicer your job would be if you weren't ALWAYS writing yourself into corners!

Anyway, despite all this whining, really excited to watch the rest of the season!
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Help! I'm so confused. Shouldn't Clara know Vastra and Jenny from the psychic teleconference with River Song? And shouldn't she then be surprised when Jenny is alive?

I get that this therefore took place, obvs., before Jenny died in that episode. But didn't Jenny, Strax, and Vastra meet another incarnation of Clara in the Victorian episode with the Great Intelligence in which that Clara died? Thus, shouldn't they have expressed some surprise to again see Clara alive and well?

I might have missed it, but I didn't see any of that recognition happening. So I'm wondering what I missed.

Help? Anyone?
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Jenny was only dead for a few minutes and then revived by Strax. Clara knew she was ok. Also, they WERE surprised the first time they saw Clara alive again after watching her die. . . but that was a long time ago. They've seen her alive several times since then.
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Wow! No (or very few) conservative comments on the married couple's "agenda"! Have the bigots not watched it yet, or have they finally learned that it's not important after all? Colour me surprised (and impressed)...
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didn't like the new theme song, the old one was perfection
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but yes capaldi had the weight the doctor lacked in his recent incarnations since eccleston

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technically hes doctor number 14 this was acknowledged when matt sith said he had finished his 13 lives
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EXCELLENT review!!!!!! I'm not in love with the new doctor yet but I'm sure by the end of the season I will love him. I sometimes get frustrated with Moffat's plots but it's still one of my favorite shows!!! Even with Moffat's plot twists... I've loved far less in terms of the genre! Doctor Who is one of the best shows on TV!!!!
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We haven't had a Doctor with real gravitas since Tom Baker, I think he's going to be awesome.
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The phone call from Smith was a tad unnecessary, as when tenant started rose was all on her own. I loved the tie in with "the girl in the fireplace" and loved that the doctor remembered it. Loving Capaldi, and have always loved the idea of him when he was first announced. He's everything The Doctor should be, but i guess as i'm currently watching through the old Doctor who this new dark era is easy to digest. He's a lot like john and i love it.
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Good review. I'm glad that you get to the real, main problems with Moffat - that he tries too too much, tries too hard, and too often takes the show on a journey up its own you-know-what. You have a guy that can go anywhere and anywhen, why keep making hay out of the contrived mysteries surrounding women in his company? It got old before we even got to Clara. Moffat giveth and taketh away: Day of the Doctor was a pitch-perfect way to honor the 5oth anniversary; fit for fans of all ages. Time of the Doctor was a pitiful way to send off Matt Smith. The mystery that "Gallifrey-is-out-there" could have lasted the whole next season. Instead, he blew it all on a weird Christmas planet. Oy...

BUT, he brought us gems like Blink and Silence in the Library. He also gives good speeches. The best parts of Breathe were the dialogues, and they dealt with the whys and whatsits of the Doctor's new face. Cynically, you could call it "lampshading," but I felt it was an effective way to address the elephant in the room: can you kids handle an old guy? What are the "real-world" implications of this teevee contrivance called "regeneration?"

I'm tired of the formula showing through in Doctor Who (alien monsters, mystery ladies, huge catastrophies), but I don't mind the steampunk silliness of the recurring Victorian cast. And I loved Capaldi. Personally, I'm glad the Doctor is once again older than I am. Besides that, he really got under my skin right away. Even in a lukewarm premier story, he was pretty compelling. I wish Matt Smith had more time on the show, I STILL miss Tennant, but I'm excited for the show with Capaldi (even if it is time for a new producer).
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I believe Capaldi will make an excellent Doctor. Vast improvement over Matt Smith. My only fear is that Steven Moffat could potentially ruin this series. He has done such a great job with Sherlock, so I can't understand his ineptness when it comes to Doctor Who. It seems that he feels he can write anything, no matter how inane and expect people to buy it. I'm not buying it. I stopped watching the series when Matt Smith came along and was overjoyed when I heard that he was being replaced by Capaldi. After seeing Deep Breath, I'm a little nervous. It had some good moments, but the overall story was silly, thanks to Moffat. Capaldi was the only thing that saved that episode.
Moffat is not entirely to blame, this is a trend that began with Russell T.Davies when the show was revamped in 2005 and has continued with Moffat. Moffat doesn't seem to have the courage to take the show in a new direction, in other words, take it seriously. Enough with the Harry Potter, cartoon crap already. Let's get back to the real writing and straight SciFi that was evident in the classic series.
Can't understand Clara at all. This is somebody who has seen the Doctor throughout all of his incarnations, yet can't understand who he is now. Makes no sense whatsoever. None of the Doctor's other companions have gone through this type of crisis, and they weren't even "Impossible Girls" or boys for that matter, so what's Clara's excuse? Most Who fans know that the Doctor regenerates and has looked older at times, so using Clara as a symbol for the audience is presumptuous pretty stupid in my opinion.
In an attempt to get the viewer to not judge Capaldi on his age or appearance, Moffat actually drew more attention to it than necessary in his writing. Smith's appearance at the end of this episode was infuriating and a slap in the face to Capaldi.
Moffat should have more faith in Whovians and their understanding of the Doctor and the show's 50 year history. Instead of making Capaldi's transition smooth, he's actually added bumps in the road. I think it's time for him to go. If not, at least leave the writing to others more capable.
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I agree with what you said, that Moffat actually drew MORE attention to the change of actors and increase in age, rather than smoothing the way. It was ridiculous. We know the doctor comes out looking different ages at different times, and Clara knew too, and even spent quite a bit of time with John Hurt's doctor. . . who was significantly older than Capaldi's! No need to apologize for the casting choice. . . just write some good stories and Capaldi will do great!
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I loved him more when he settled in and stopped doing the stuff that Eleven did. I like darker. I loved Ten and his dark moments, and I think Capaldi could handle that well. We had weird moments, like the one where he left Clara (yes, I know, he came back) and then the one where the villain "falls" and we don't get to see what happened. Personally, I hope they go into a darker direction.
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Was I the only one waiting for the 'And still not ginger' line?
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Nope, I missed it too.
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I think everyone agreed throwing in John Hurt was confusing so he is technically referred to as the War Doctor instead of Nine, so Capaldi is Twelve
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I was let down by the episode. After months of waiting it didn't hold up.
I never like 11 so I didn't like his return.
I love Clara and if it wasn't for the seasons with her the episode would have sucked.
I hated how Vastra Attacked Clara. No reason for it
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Poll

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There was a moment in each previous Doctor's premiere episode that made you go "Yes that's the Doctor", I did not have that feeling at all in this episode.
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I like the new intro - very steampunk. I love steampunk; I can't afford any of the stuff that goes with it (even the goggles are terrifyingly expensive), but hey-ho we all have our crosses to bear. In fact it was about the only thing I did love with the new series.

Clara's leaving - so she didn't even really get a chance to show us what she could do with the role.

Capaldi's Doctor - he's okay; I need more time to decide on this go round. The last three I've loved from episode one; this time, not so much. But the upside is if I do end up liking him I don't have to feel like a shower in bleach is called for because he's young enough to be my son. Now he's actually OLDER than me. YAH.

Best part of E.01 - Smith and Coleman at the end. Sorry but it was. I actually felt sorry for Capaldi after that; it was as if he was saying 'please like me; I'm not him - but like me anyway'.

Funny part - the newspaper throw; that had me and mine laughing out loud. Just love Vastra, Jenny and Strax. I love the Vastra/Jenny dynamic that a simple human girl can turn her reptilian (almost) immortal wife to jello and she's not afraid of her at all. Just very cute. :)

Worst part of E.01 - the weirdo woman at the end. To me she played the part she always plays in the 'alternative' comedy shows the actress is usually in. Mad Stalker Woman......she's even the same in the ads she does.

Plot Devices I wish Moffat would STOP using - THE BL**DY DALEKS! Seriously the man cannot do ONE single series without them turning up...... I HATE them now and that's sad.

Plot Device I wish he WOULD use at least once more - The weeping angels. Though not in that ridiculous way he did where he turned the Statue of Liberty into one. *smh*

Overall Mark for E.01 - 5 out of 10. It was just a so/so episode and despite the glowing reports the Whovians have given Capaldi, I think it's clear that - unlike Eccleston, Tennant and Smith - he cannot overcome bad writing with his acting chops alone. That is a worry considering it is Moffat doing the writing.......................

As for Capaldi; like I said, I need more time to decide. This episode was so terrible it would be wrong to blame it all on him. Though the fact the next one has, to quote me "THE BL**DY DALEKS! " involved I don't actually hold out much hope there either. Maybe episode 3? After all we do have 12 this series to really decide right?

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I agree when you said Capaldi can't overcome bad writing like his 3 predecessors did. Having watched all first 5 episodes of the 8th season, I've made up my mind that I hate Capaldi's doctor. The show is now boring and dull. They're even changing the essence of the Doctor (not only his looks and personality), and I'm not at all happy with that.
All episodes so far have been bloody lame.
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I only laughed once in the entire episode and that was when Strax hit Clara in the head with the newspaper. Totally spontaneous laughter as I remembered instantly he was bred to be a perfect warrior so even a thrown newspaper became a weapon.

The rest of the show was meh, too preachy (I'm not your boyfriend, he's not your boyfriend, blah blah blah) as if that ever crossed my mind. I guess if it did that would have been ok to let me know once, not every 5 minutes.

And it was far too sketchy wetchy for me to get into.
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I agreethe episode was boring as hell. But I wish it was just the first. Having watched all first 5 episodes of the 8th season, I've made up my mind that I hate Capaldi's doctor. The show is now boring and dull. They're even changing the essence of the Doctor (not only his looks and personality), and I'm not at all happy with that.
All episodes so far have been bloody lame.
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as written earlier in my own review I am with Kaitlin for the most part. And just that you mention it...yes, what the hell is up with that new into? I don't mind the looks even though I prefer the older versions but that pretty much happens each season. But the music? Well let's be honest it was noise rather than music and it sucked...a lot. Can we go back to the old version please? At least in terms of Sound?
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Interesting review, I definitely feel some of the same things, but I didn't even like it as much as you did. I saw it with a friend and his 2 cousins, I never discussed Doctor Who with this friend before and never met his cousins before. At the end of the episode, I polled the room and everybody gave the same result: 5/10.

This episode was a Moffatty mess, there are cartoony tonal problems early, there are overly serious problems later on, there are character motivational issues throughout, and - despite a massive city to play in - it feels like a 90-foot exterior the entire time, it feels small. And that ending was basically the end of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, it was total crap.

The majority of the episode is about Clara, we spend far too little time with the Doctor, it's as if this episode is working harder to sell us on Clara finally than it is on the new Doctor. Clara gets new character motivations, new nuances, basically she's the one who gets the regeneration.

The Doctor meanwhile feels like a new actor playing the same stuff we had with Matt Smith with wild mood swings and talk of flirting and boyfriends and etc., only he's playing it old and even more confused. I really didn't care for the old and befuddled thing, were they trying to suggest the added regeneration mucked things up? No, but they could have. They just kinda went somewhere and let us wait until he rebooted.

That Matt Smith moment was the worst thing, it was like a handjob for the squee-set, it took away from the episode, it weakened the Doctor, and it undermined the entire point that the whole thing was making about the Doctor and Clara. Oh, and WHAT THE HELL CLARA? You went through 12 lifetimes to save this guy not 3 episodes ago, you saw ALL of his faces, integrated perfectly into their worlds despite being unfamiliar, but this one you can't get past???

Nonsense permeated this episode. The villain walks around with half his face uncovered for no reason. The big plan is nonsense for no reason. The villains are utterly unclear and their only real motivation is suggested by having to have seen and remembered clearly an episode from years back, and then it fails for no reason. People are transfixed by the dinosaur yet forget about it for no reason. Vastra and friends are there for NO REASON and they've become cliches, the best I can say is that they had moments, but they were so over the top most of the time that it took away from their characters - we didn't need them in this story at all, they added nothing to the plot, they're just there because Moffat likes playing with his toys. The Missy epilogue was there for no reason.

Naw man, this was bullcrap.
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All the years Tennant had to suppress HIS Scottish accent only to have this guy come along lol. I do not notice the difference in his accent and the British one ( the same for Amy she was Scottish too) I guess if I lived and England I would notice...I really like it when a new doctor interacts with previous companions.

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I think there was that one episode with Tennant, Queen Elizabeth and the Wolf where Tennant used his wonderful Scottish accent. I seem to remember a 'timorous beastie' line from that episode (which was one of my personal favorites).
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Staff
I loved that episode!
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I always find the criticism of Moffat's so-called "convoluted plots" and "long-term storytelling" terribly ironic given that the classic series had storylines that often ran for a dozen or more episodes with no such thing as recaps. Viewers (including kids) had to keep track of the characters and plotlines, some of which were just as complex if not moreso than anything the modern era has offered. Also ironic: I was reading some criticism of Star Trek Enterprise (the Rodney Dangerfield of Trek; it gets no respect) where it said what killed the show was its over-reliance on standalone episodes early on. The critic wrote that viewers expected and demanded complex plotting and long-serialized storytelling (this was written when Lost was at its peak). Yet Moffat is criticised (if not outright condemned on occasion) for doing exactly what viewers want from sci-fi, and when he does deliver standalones, such as Series 7's "movie of the week" format, he gets slapped for this. Doctor Who fandom literally cannot make up its collective mind. They'd have been driven nuts back when Tom Baker spent 26 weeks searching for the Key to Time.
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The problem isn't that Moffat is writing serialized plots, it's that they generally tend to be well done until they reach a crescendo and he makes the resolution something far too simple and declares that everything ultimately works because time travel. Perhaps it'd be more accurate to say he fails at delivering endings than anything else.
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I haven't been the greatest fan of 11 & Moffat, but he has had some great standalone episodes, like the Doctor's wife and Vincent and the Doctor, which are two of my absolute favorites of #11. But I still think Davies did a better job on the longer serialized stories.

Tom Baker in the Key of Time was one of my absolute favorite series in Doctor Who. I also loved the E-Space series. I even loved Trial of a Time Lord, and I hated Colin Baker with a passion that was almost holy. I love a well thought out series no matter the writer, director or Doctor.
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He doesn't fail at all. I find his denouments to be excellent. As far as wrapping things up with timey wimey stuff...hello...time travel show...Time Lord. Moffat (with Eleven, at least) finally made the show what it always should've been, perfecting the art Davies honed for several years. Which is not surprising considering Moffat's eps were generally the most well received eps of the Davies era. I didn't love this ep, and I didn't immediately love Twelve like previous Doctors, but Moffat and the show have earned the benefit of the doubt from me. The last three seasons have been amongst the best sci-fi TV has ever offered.
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Thank you!, Thank you for not painting Moffat into the writing-God that many others think that he is. He's good, but as you wrote, there are many concerns.

I also find it irritating that for most of Elevens run, they(the writers, Moffat, etc) said he was going to be darker or less nice or something. Did I miss something? I never saw anything to that effect. There was no dark. Only goofy. Now they're doing it with Twelve. Oy... BUT, I have hope that they'll finally pull it off with Capaldi as the Doctor.
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I hope so too. I think both Eccleston and Tennant were darker than Smith. The 'Family of Blood' episode showed just how dark Tennant's Doctor Who could be.

I like my Doctor to be a little terrifying sometimes.
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i loved 11th and especially tennant, he was my favourite. i watched throught the matt smith ones, and eventually he grew on me, but i always felt he was too .. something. just too much. looked much more like a part of some brit pop band than anything else. since ive learned capaldi is the new one, ive been excited, because ive felt hes going to be just right. this first episode didnt do too much for me, especially the way they all made such a big deal of him being old and ''ugly''. but i think capaldi will grow on me, and i have high hopes for this season. doctor who is such an empathic and fun show, i always have so many feelings :)
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i loved 11th and especially tennant, he was my favourite. i watched throught the matt smith ones, and eventually he grew on me, but i always felt he was too .. something. just too much. looked much more like a part of some brit pop band than anything else. since ive learned capaldi is the new one, ive been excited, because ive felt hes going to be just right. this first episode didnt do too much for me, especially the way they all made such a big deal of him being old and ''ugly''. but i think capaldi will grow on me, and i have high hopes for this season. doctor who is such an empathic and fun show, i always have so many feelings :)
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i loved 11th and especially tennant, he was my favourite. i watched throught the matt smith ones, and eventually he grew on me, but i always felt he was too .. something. just too much. looked much more like a part of some brit pop band than anything else. since ive learned capaldi is the new one, ive been excited, because ive felt hes going to be just right. this first episode didnt do too much for me, especially the way they all made such a big deal of him being old and ''ugly''. but i think capaldi will grow on me, and i have high hopes for this season. doctor who is such an empathic and fun show, i always have so many feelings :)
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New intro sucked
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I thought all told it was a decent opener, though for some reason I was a bit worried into the first 30 minutes. The goofiness doesn't suit Capaldi, but Capaldi definitely suits a darker Doctor, and I like the fact that the answer of who's programming was a lie (between the Doctor and the cyborg) was never clearly answered.

I kind of wish we got to know these cyborgs a little better. Seems like they went awful fast for such long living creatures who fight so hard for survival.
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Was the robot pushed or he jumped?
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That is the question, isn't it?
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I have a dumb question... perhaps really dumb...

How did the Doctor tell the androids weren't breathing in the upstairs restaurant by using Clara's hair?

I missed part of the scene, but I assumed he was checking for a draft or moving air by dropping it on the ground. MAYBE I MISSED SOMETHING.

But if that's how it played out... then I also imagine that just by the androids' movements, air coming into the place, and perhaps any fake kitchen stuff going on would have created enough of a draft to affect the hair?

Did I miss something more crucial? Or misinterpret the scene?
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Yes, he pretty much just checked for a draft.
It doesn't make much sense, but it's something that looks good, because it would be difficult to represent it visually in other ways.
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Uhm.. Was i the only one who felt the Sherlock references throughout the ep? like Vastra's " The games afoot!"
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In The Snowmen someone tells Vastra right in the beginning, that she's Doyle's inspiration for Holmes and he had to change her gender (and species) because it wouldn't be appropriate.
So she basically is Sherlock Holmes in the show.
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it was OK, not feeling the new doctor yet. i'm sure it'll get better.

i think strax & the lesbians stole the ep for me. they were great. strax was hilarious as usual.

both these lines were great

– "I hate being wrong in public. Everybody forget that happened."
– "Nothing is more important than my egomania!"
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I thought Clara's use of "You've redecorated. I don't like it" was actually clever. She was referencing the time when a bunch of Doctors got together - one she knew and two she didn't. So here she is in a box with the Doctor, even though he's new and she doesn't know him, and she's basically saying that she recognizes he's changed but he's still the same person as the other Doctors she's met/known.

I loved it. I think he's going to make a fantastic Doctor. I never got on the Matt Smith bandwagon (he was always too bouncy and young for me) - I liked him alright, but never grew attached to him as the Doctor. Capaldi, I think, will grow into the role extremely well. I can't wait to see how the season goes. I even didn't hate Clara in this episode!
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That look on Capaldi's face after the half-faced man's death !!! When he said "I'm the Doctor", I didn't believe as much as when Matt Smith said it on the rooftop, but I'm looking forward to what he can bring to the role. Right now, the character needs to find his voice, since in the "attack eyebrows" scene, he talked like Matt Smith ( but I get it, it was intentional ).
Oh, and I agree, he's Twelve, since John Hurt has no number ( Ten and Eleven don't remember "the Moment", so they still deny him the title of "Doctor" ).
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They also have to forget Tenth's aborted regeneration. Which counted in "The Time of the Doctor." The whole point of that was that the Time Lords had to intervene because the Doctor/Matt Smith was already on his thirteenth body.

The time line is this:

1-8: As original
9th: The War Doctor
10th: Christopher Eccleston
11th: David Tennant
12th: David Tennant again after aborting his regeneration in "Journey's End"
13th: Matt Smith

Thus making Peter Capaldi the 14th.
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You're right, but Tennant's regeneration into himself, although it did count, didn't create a new Doctor, he's the twelfth regeneration alright, but he's still the tenth Doctor in both mind and body, he's just expanded his eleventh life. So I'll still think of him as Ten ( mainly because we've always refered to him as such, and I find it simpler to keep it this way ).
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Oh, I'd agree. I'm not saying Capaldi should be called anything other than the 12th. By technically, he isn't, and the whole point of "Time of the Doctor" was that Matt Smith was the 13th, so he needed a new set of regenerations.
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Personally I enjoy Clara far more than zany Amy. Much better actress as well. I'd like it if Capaldi is similar to the concept of Dr Cox from Scrubs in that he's mostly dark, so when he does have a moment of compassion or emotion it hits much harder.
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I gotta be honest, my favorite companion is Donna Noble. She was so ballsy. And she and Tennant were a much better match than any two except Rose and Eccleston.
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I've loved them all.

Donna was surprisingly good; I wasn't a major fan during her Christmas Special debut but l LOVED it when she came back as a companion.

I like it when the companions are sassy. Donna was sassy the entire time, much of Amy's scenes were sassy, and Clara would be down-right flirty and sassy at times and boring at others.

I know it's small and minor, but my favorite Donna scene was when she and the Doctor saw eachother again though the windows at Adipose industries and were "talking" to eachother without the sound.
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I preferred Victorian-era Clara and Oswin more than most of the regular Clara we had last season.

But I think this episode she stepped up her game a bit with her challenging the android's logic and trying to escape while holding her breath.
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she did seem more bad-ass in this ep. talking back to the lizard & the doctor.
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i disagree, i love AMy more, but do like your dr cox idea. i'm on board with that.
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We all have our preferences eh :) Its such a unique show in how it's constantly changing its lead actors / characters
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I'm going to be bitterly disappointed if this new Mystery Missy is another River scenario. I'm hoping for a mental stalker situation instead. Those are so much more fun.


Also "I'm Scottish now, I can complain about things!" best. Line. Ever.
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I totally agree with the naff Moffat mysteries. I always love the beginnings of them and think there is going to be some spectacular revelation that ties everything in, but in pretty much every case the build up has been way better than the pay off. Hopefully this series will be different!
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Loved Capaldi, he was funny and dark at the same time My Doctor is Tennant, but I always welcome new ones. Let's see what Moffat does with the next episodes (I am looking forward to the ones written by Gatiss)

http://corleonesandlannisters.com/2014/08/24/doctor-who-deep-breath-review-capaldi/
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While I'm totally convinced Capaldi IS the Doctor already, I'm yet to see whether he'll change my ranking of New Who, which is at the moment as follows Ecclestone-Smith-Tennant. Will Capaldi change this? I don't know yet, but he sure has a potential to be a great Doctor. But will he be my Doctor? Time shall tell. For now I'm so excited that DW is back!
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I found the Clara's freak out about the Doctor's new face to be annoying, and I thought Vastra's lecture to be the same way. In fact, I've discovered myself to not really care much about Clara at all, though I anticipate I'll really enjoy Twelve.

Twelve's rant to the hobo was fun, though, especially the comments on his eyebrows. Capaldi's eyebrows seem very wild.

I was actually worried for Capaldi in the scenes where the Doctor was running around in his sleeping clothes. Maybe his "frailty" was just because of the attire, but I worried about him doing stunts.
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The eyebrows rant/monologue was I think a reference to the Scottish independance referendum which is happening next month.
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Wasn't impressed with the episode OR The Doctor. I've been watching Who for years, seen em all, young, old, middle aged.. the new iteration just doesn't bring that off the wall vibe that I've gotten spoiled on. pretty much the entire episode seemed to dwell on "omg I'm old/omg he's old" despite the fact Clara talked the much older First Doctor into stealing the TARDIS, and she's seen him in many new forms, now all of a sudden "omg I don't know you!!"

The episode was long, drawn out and overall, boring. it was a chore to sit through and the call from Smith at the end STILL trying to sell the new Doctor just reeked of desperation. this new Doctor just seems tired and he's just starting out.

I never thought I'd say this, but Doctor Who now goes on probation and gets the 4 episode make or break treatment. although if they keep going like this I don't know if I can make it through 4 episodes. Knowing Jenna Coleman/Clara is on the way out doesn't help much either. what little familiarity that's left will be gone. (even the exterior of the TARDIS looked dramatically different, I expected an interior change, but the outside too? kind of the point of the chameleon circuit being damaged is the exterior will always look the same)
More+
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I don't think the episode needed to be 80 minutes, that's for sure.

As was noted down thread, it's possible that Clara may not remember her traveling into the past multiple times to stop the GI from destroying the Doctor's past multiple times. Once she or the Doctor or whoever stopped the GI, the reason she would have gone back into time disappeared as well. Or... something like that. I think it's a matter of Moffat not really explaining what the hell really happened or how that storyline concluded.
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yes, which seems to be a common thread in this...thread, that Moffat has some GREAT ideas, but doesn't know how to close them up properly. I feel like he has "timey-wimey stuff" written above his computer somewhere.
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The exterior of the TARDIS has changed several times but I agree this time it has been more dramatic.
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Oh yeah, I don't begrudge them the small gradual tweaks, but at first glance I was like "wtf??" it looked vastly different.
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One thing I have to say...quit playing loud music during speaking parts. It makes it nearly impossible to understand the person speaking. &_
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seems like you need a better set of surround sound speakers (or to stop using your tv speakers or a crappy sound bar) :)

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Could the Doctor be so Scottish that he wears kilt? I'd like to see that!
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I think a kilt looked better on Clara than it would on him...
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But it could be funny.
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My first concern was getting over Peter not swearing but now, it's his incessant apologising to what's her face for not being a young hunk. As the Scot's say so well, OHHH PLEASE!
Grow some tatties man.
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And the text recap is up, as soon as it clears the cache.
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I found this to be one of the most poorly written, poorly directed episodes in a long, long time. The story was weak. The way they went out of the way to explain the Doctor's age and appearance was insulting. I think I will like the new Doctor but give the new guy something to work with.
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I wonder if the people feeling 'patronized' by Vastra's speech are the ones to whom that critique should be directed?

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Why does everyone seem to be missing that the Dinosaur and Robots were metaphors for The Doctor in this episode? :o
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Given by the number of reviewers and posters who knew it was the metaphor, I don't think everyone has missed that...
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That's good, then. But I've seen a number comment that the Dinosaur was pointless, when it wasn't. :s
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As a plot device it was pointless. A good story metaphor has a significance to the story as well.

There was no reason a 100' dinosaur had to be incinerated to get the Doctor involved in the plot. And perhaps significantly, we're never told how the clockwork leader killed his victims once he had taken the organs. The whole thing seemed to be more of a stab at "Terror of the Zygons" than anything.

Even as a metaphor, the dinosaur was a bit strained. The Doctor isn't out of his own time (Victorian London is probably as close to a second home as he's had in his last incarnation or two), people weren't really overlooking the dinosaur or refusing to see it for what it was, and it wasn't even the same gender. Unless I missed a younger dinosaur hanging around the T-Rex complaining about how it got older all of a sudden and preferred dishy young veloci-raptors. ;)

If they had removed the dinosaur, I think the central metaphors of the episode would have more than sufficed.
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But the dinosaur was powerful, and ancient, and alone. That's enough.

Uh, the clockwork leader incinerated his victims.
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tv.com need to get some writers with enough skills that they don't have to relay on profanity to get a poorly thought out point across. May I suggest you get a thesaurus?
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What point in the review do you think is poorly thought out?

I'm only finding one "damn" in quotes, and one goddamn. Neither of which are being used to get a point across. Did I miss something?
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Staff
You can suggest whatever you like, however, it's not likely that it'll stop me from using "damn" again.
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You and Mark Twain are what's wrong with this new generation of writers.
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this tired argument against profanity is itself poorly thought out. the most articulate people throughout history generally swear.
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This tired argument in support of profanity is itself poorly thought out. You may give into it. For me I will teach my children to think.
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And your children will know all the swear words by age 12 anyway.
Give me a heartfelt damn over an infantile darn anyday.
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That whole discussion is so silly. If you don't like to swear don't do it. This whole "oh, profanity's so wrong, I'm so superior" talk is egocentric and says a lot more about you than, say, using "damn" in a sentence.
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