Doctor Who

Season 8 Episode 1

Deep Breath

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Aug 23, 2014 on BBC America
out of 10
User Rating
163 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


The Doctor attempts to come to grips with his newest incarnation, with Clara helping him, while dealing with a dinosaur rampage in Victorian London and several cases of spontaneous combustion.

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  • Not Won Over, Yet.... by a long shot

    I have a problem with Madam Vastra (the lizard chick) saying, "Here we go again" when Clara makes it clear that the Doctor has regenerated.... since she only met him as Matt Smith and, therefor, has never had to deal with him regenerating before. She was asleep until He and Amy Pond woke her, so why is she suddenly the expert on him and his regenerations?? She went back in time, yea, but met him then as Matt Smith.

    I also HATE that Moffet considered letting David Tennant use his native accent (Scottish) but then decided NO, because THE DOCTOR IS ALWAYS ENGLISH... but now he can be Scottish?? WTF David Tennant's accent would have been so cool!!!!

  • Relieved Sigh


    There were many things I liked about the episode, and many that I disliked. However, all in all, I found it to be very entertaining and clever, something that SHOULD be a given for any Doctor Who episode. Key word being should.

    The Bad: The "don't breathe" scene. It was pointless and overlong, it seemed to only kill 5 minutes (at least it felt like 5) of the 80 minute run-time.

    The climax conversation between the Half-Man and the Doctor was interesting enough, the fighting scene between Vastra and Co. and the Robots seemed to be a manufactured and annoying way the add suspense (which it didn't, it only took

    I may be nitpicking here, but I thought the episode shouldn't have shown us whether the Doctor killed the man or not, not letting us know who was lying to the other would've made the Doctor more interesting at first.

    The ending "Heaven" scene. I understand that Moffat is trying to set up another season-long story (which I'm not fond of in the first place), but the Doctor's line that the Promised Land was a figment of the human parts of the Half-Man's imagination was interesting and powerful, I feel the ending ruined that.

    The Good

    Pretty much everything else. A lot of the stuff was a bit nonsensical and Moffat-odd, but I felt that the story had a slower, more intriguing pace that recent Doctor Who, efforts, which is something it sorely needs.

    The Twelfth Doctor! Peter Capaldi shines in the role, and from the first episode he's in, he IS the Doctor to me.

    The dialogue heavy scenes were brilliant. Capaldi and the hobo in the street, Clara and Vasta and the veil, Capaldi and Clara in the restaurant, and the final conversation between the Doctor and the Half-Face Man were shining moments.

    The comedy was actually really funny, and fitting. I laughed a lot more than I was expecting, and that is certainly not a bad thing.

    The decision to bring back the Clockwork Machines was interesting, I'm not sure if it was a fantastic call, but I liked it. At least it proves that Moffat doesn't ALWAYS butcher his own creations when bringing them back. They are clever villains, but the Doctor trying to remember them was played up way too much for it's own good.

    Verdict: Great start to what I hope to be a great season of Doctor Who. Slower pace and darker story made me feel like I was back in the Eccelston-Tennant era, which is always a great thing. 8.5/10.moreless
  • time for a new doctor!

    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!!moreless
  • Off to a good start.

    Peter Capaldi has a gravitas and dynamic air that is going to make his Doctor a lot of fun to watch while also making him more mysterious and sometimes a bit scary. I'm 99% sure he'll do the right thing but we won't always see it right away. The visuals look fantastic and I would have loved to have been one of the lucky ones to see it in the theater. The Paternoster Gang was serviceable but the relationship between Jenny and Vastra didn't work as well here, Strax had one of his better episodes though. The Half-Face Man was very good and looked awesome, big Kudos for that. The only serious issue I had with this episode was Clara. Her having such a hard time accepting the Doctor's new form was just absurd, especially when she has seen all his other forms. It made the cameo from Matt Smith feel shoe horned in and completely unneeded. Still Capaldi was fantastic and I can't wait to watch him again.moreless
  • This is Capaldi's show!

    I like Peter Capaldi; he's a terrific actor and he manages to shine even in this lackluster script from Mr. Moffat. Clara turns in one of her best performances yet. The visual effects are better than ever.

    Yet somehow throughout this whole episode I couldn't shake a terrible case of deja vu. It's not that I don't like Moffat's scripts; some of his episodes are really amazing. I just would be very hard pressed to point to any aspect of this episode and say, "that's new," or "that's thought Still, if this purpose of the episode was to introduce Twelve, then I guess it was decent enough.

    I just hope that Moffat and Co. can get their act together to put together some of the best Who ever while they've got the chance with Mr. Capaldi. This kind of run-of-the-mill, rehash writing just won't cut it.moreless
Peter Ferdinando

Peter Ferdinando

Half-Face Man

Guest Star

Paul Hickey

Paul Hickey

Inspector Gregson

Guest Star

Tony Way

Tony Way


Guest Star

Michelle Gomez

Michelle Gomez


Recurring Role

Neve McIntosh

Neve McIntosh

Madame Vastra

Recurring Role

Dan Starkey

Dan Starkey


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

  • QUOTES (31)

    • Gregson: (seeing a dinosaur) Madame Vastra, thank God. I'll wager you've not seen anything like this before.
      Vastra: Well... not since I was a little girl.

    • Gregson: It's just laid an egg.
      Vastra: It dropped a blue box marked "Police" out of its mouth. Your grasp of biology troubles me.

    • Jenny: So it's him, then, the Doctor?
      Vastra: A giant dinosaur from the distant past has just vomited a blue box from outer space--this is not a day for jumping to conclusions.

    • The Doctor: Who invented this room?
      Clara: Doctor, please, you have to lie down.
      The Doctor: Doesn't make any sense, look, it's only got a bed there. Why is there only a bed in it?
      Clara: Because it's a bedroom. It's for sleeping.
      The Doctor: Okay, what do you do when you're awake?
      Jenny: You leave the room.
      The Doctor: So you've got a whole room for not being awake in. But what's the point, you're just missing the room? And don't look in that mirror. It's absolutely furious.

    • Vastra: I'm having difficulty sleeping.
      The Doctor: Oh? Oh, well, I--I wouldn't bother with that. I never bother with sleeping, I just do standy-up catnaps.
      Vastra: Oh, really? How interesting. And--and when do you do those?
      The Doctor: Well, generally whenever anyone starts talking. I like to skip ahead to my bit, it saves time.

    • Vastra: I love monkeys, they're so funny.
      Jenny: Oh, I see. So people are monkeys now, are they?
      Vastra: No, dear. People are apes. Men are monkeys.

    • The Doctor: I am alone. The world which shook at my feet, and the trees, and the sky, have gone, and I am alone now. Alone.
      Clara: Are you translating?
      The Doctor: The wind bites now, and the world is grey, and I am alone here. Can't see me. Doesn't see me. Can't see me.
      Clara: Who can't see it? I think all of London can see it.

    • Strax: May I take your coat?
      Clara: Not wearing a coat.
      Strax: What's all that?
      Clara: Clothes.
      Strax: May I take your clothes?
      Clara: Probably not.
      Strax: Are you wearing a hat?
      Clara: It's hair!
      Strax: Oh, I think it's a hat, would you like me to check?

    • Vastra: Jenny and I are married, yet for appearance's sake, we maintain a pretense, in public, that she is my maid.
      Jenny: Doesn't exactly explain why I'm pouring tea in private.
      Vastra: Hush now.
      Jenny: Good pretense, isn't it?

    • Clara: The Doctor. What's he doing here?
      Vastra: There is trouble. Where else would he be?

    • Vas: But he is the Doctor. He has walked this universe for centuries untold. He has seen stars fall to dust. You might as well flirt with a mountain range.

    • The Doctor: No, no, shut up! What do you all have for brains--pudding? Look at you. Why can't I meet a decent species? Planet of the pudding-brains!

    • 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: Okay, that last part?
      Strax: And we will not melt him with acid. Old habits.

    • Jenny: Meanwhile, Madam Vastra is slightly occupied by the Conk-Singleton forgery case, and is having the Camberwell child-poisoner for dinner.
      Clara: For dinner?
      Jenny: After she's finished interrogating him. Probably best to stay out the larder. It'll get a bit noisy in there later.

    • Strax: Say "ah."
      Clara: Ahhh.
      Strax: You didn't move your lips.
      Clara: You're looking at my eye.
      Strax: Oh. Oh yes, there we are. Easy mistake.

    • The Doctor: Look at the eyebrows! These are attack eyebrows. You could take bottle tops off with these!
      Barney: They are mighty eyebrows indeed, sir.
      The Doctor: They're cross. They're crosser than the rest of my face. They're independently cross. They probably want to cede from the rest of my face and take up their own independent state of eyebrows.

    • Vastra: Spontaneous combustion.
      Jenny: Is that like love at first sight?
      Vastra: A little. It is a theory that human beings can with little or no inducement simply explode.
      Jenny: You don't need to flirt with me, we're already married.
      Vastra: It's scientific nonsense, of course.
      Jenny: Marriage?
      Vastra: Hush.

    • Clara: "Egomaniac, needy, game-player"?
      The Doctor: This could be a trap.
      Clara: That was me?
      The Doctor: Never mind that.
      Clara: Yes, I am minding that!
      The Doctor: Clara.
      Clara: You were talking about me?
      The Doctor: Clara, what is happening right now in this restaurant to you and me is more important than your egomania.
      Clara: Nothing is more important than my egomania!
      The Doctor: Right, you actually said that.
      Clara: You never mention that again!

    • The Doctor: Uhh, no sausages. And there's no pictures. Do you have a children's menu? Any specials?
      Waiter: Liver.
      The Doctor: I don't mind liver.
      Waiter: Spleen. Brain stem. Eyes.
      Clara: Umm, is there a lot of demand for those?
      The Doctor: I don't think that's what on the menu. I think we are on the menu.

    • The Doctor: Hello, hello, rubbish robots from the dawn of time, thank you for all the gratuitous information.

    • The Doctor: I hate being wrong in public. Everybody forget that happened.

    • The Doctor: And you're out of your depth, sir. Never try to control a control freak.
      Clara: I am not a control freak!
      The Doctor: Yes, ma'am.

    • The Doctor: This is your power source, feeble though it is. I can use it to blow this whole room if I see one thing that I don't like. And that includes karaoke and mime, so take no chances.

    • The Doctor: So tell me, what do you think of the view?
      Half-Face Man: It is beautiful.
      The Doctor: No, it isn't. It's just far away. Everything looks too small. I prefer it down there. Everything is huge. Everything is so important. Every detail, every moment, every life clung to.

    • Half-Face Man: I am not dead.
      The Doctor: You are a broom. Question--you take a broom, you replace the handle, and then later you replace the brush and you do that over and over again. Is it still the same broom? Answer--no, of course it isn't. But you can still sweep the floor. Which is not strictly relevant, skip that last part.

    • The Doctor: This... is over. Are you capable of admitting that?
      Half-Face Man: Do you have it in you to murder me?
      The Doctor: Those people down there, they're never small to me. Don't make assumptions about how far I will go to protect them, because I've already come a very long way. And unlike you, I don't expect to reach the promised land.

    • Clara: I don't think I know who the Doctor is anymore.
      Vastra: It would seem, my dear, you're very wrong about that. Clara... give him hell. He'll always need it.

    • Clara: You've redecorated.
      The Doctor: Yes.
      Clara: I don't like it.
      The Doctor: I'm not entirely convinced myself. I think there should be more round things on the walls. I used to have a lot of round things, I wonder where I put them.

    • The Doctor: I'm the Doctor. I've lived for over two thousand years, and not all of them were good. I've made many mistakes, and it's about time that I did something about that.

    • The Doctor: You can't see me, can you? You--you look at me, you can't see me. Do you have any idea what that's like? I'm not on the phone, I'm right here. Standing in front of you. Please, just... just see me.

    • The Doctor: I--I don't think that I'm a hugging person now.
      Clara: I'm not sure you get a vote.
      The Doctor: Whatever you say.

  • NOTES (4)


    • The Doctor: Sweeney Todd without the pies.
      Referencing Sweeney Todd, a fictitious character of print, stage, and screen, who is a vengeful barber who kills his customers and then sends them to his shop's basement via a trapdoor.  After his victims are dismembered, their remains are baked into meat pies sold by an accomplice.

    • The Doctor: Sleepy? Bashful? Sneezy? Dopey? Grumpy!
      Referencing the names of some of the seven dwarfs from the 1937 Disney animated version of the children's fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. The dwarfs do not have names in the fairy tale, but were given names for the movie. The other dwarfs are Doc and Happy.

    • The Doctor: Captain, my captain.
      Referencing the poem "O Captain! O Captain!" (1865) by Walt Whitman. It was written as an elegy to Abraham Lincoln after his assassination.