In the words of Madame Vastra: "Here we go again!" Here we go into a new series, a new intro, a new episode, and a new Doctor with a new but old face. Yes, Doctor Who is back with the episode, Deep Breath.
This review will have spoilers in it, and I am sorry if you haven't watched the episode yet, but you cannot say I didn't warn you!
What a way to start off the show with an angry female T-rex who has a headache, stomping around Victorian London with something stuck in her throat! Victorian London of course means my favourite trio were back in action! I never get tired of seeing Vastra, Jenny and Strax. -Especially Strax- They seemed to have been called at the right moment in time, and just as Vastra tries to impress Jenny by flirting about seeing Dinosaurs as a little girl, the TARDIS is coughed up and spat on the shore side.
Not only was this the first time the Doctor appeared on our screens, it was also Peter Capaldi's first proper scene acting as the Doctor. The first few precious seconds of the Doctor emerging from the TARDIS certainly set a slightly confused tone. From naming all the Seven Dwarves to trying to get a grasp of people's names and use basic English the Doctor was really struggling to make sense of things. Matters were not made any better once a dishevelled and angry Clara emerges from the smokey blue box... Regeneration is always hard for the Doctor, especially in the first few hours and it really seemed to have been an interesting start!
In this episode, we really do get a feeling of sadness and distress from Clara at the start. She wants her Doctor back, she wants him to change back to who he once was, little does she know that you gotta keep moving, and just remember who he used to be. Clara becomes so concerned on who he now is, especially his face, why it would have lines on it even though it was brand new? or why was his hair was so grey? It was a shock, and she was missing her friend, despite the fact he was the same person, Clara just couldn't see past the outward appearance.
We all know that the Doctor speaks practically everything. This also extends to speaking Dino! We also know that the TARDIS will translate anything for you once she trusts you as a person. So answer this: When the Doctor was sleeping, he was translating for the Dinosaur, who was scared and alone. Why didn't Clara understand the Dinosaur as well? When we first met Clara, the TARDIS didn't like her very much and therefore did not translate for her. I wonder if during the regeneration process and seeing the Doctor change into an older man, it caused Clara to judge the Doctor, if not subconsciously. I think the TARDIS possibly picked up on this and so stopped automatically translating.
Deep Breath was an episode that featured heavily on Clara. I almost felt that she a symbol of many Whovians at the moment. Many were unsure of the new Doctor and wary of how he would fair in the enormous world that is Doctor Who. Despite the uncertainty of who the Doctor was, Clara remained very much loyal and during her interrogation from Vastra she proved this by showing her true fiery nature.
"Just because my pretty face has turned your head, do not assume I am easily distracted!"
Clara's character really does develop with leaps and bounds in this episode alone. Where with Matt Smith's Doctor, he was always there to catch her when she fell, and she was quite dependant on the Doctor, now the game has changed. With the Doctor being more unpredictable and seemingly leaving her to fend for herself in situations, Clara has all of a sudden become a person who can and will fight for herself and her friends and someone who thinks on her feet more. We have seen how she may have struggled back at home being a teacher, but at the same time she used her past to save her future.
After a mysterious add was placed in the newspaper, the Doctor and Clara meet in a restaurant. It's always nice to see a place run like clockwork, but when that is taken literally then you should be worried. In true Doctor Who fashion, the Doctor and his companion found themselves in a sticky situation, surrounded by clockwork people, who didn't breathe, effectively holding them as prisoners. Instead of a waiter serving them, they were serving the waiter!
So, you are being held in a larder, alive because it is cheaper that way and trapped by dormant robots. What do you do? Try and escape just as the main cyborg leader is awakening. Except Clara is left behind, the Doctor abandoning her. This to me was shocking, it struck me as very un-Doctor-like, but then it was revealed as all part of a plan. Being left behind caused Clara to cry for a brief second, before recomposing herself and thinking her way through the situation, and most importantly by not breathing.
"Hello, hello, Rubbish robots from the dawn of time!"
Deep Breath was of course an episode to which we were able to see what the Doctor was going to be like. From my first impressions of Capaldi in this episode, I think he will do the role proud. He has a certain energy about him that echoes Tom Baker but at the same time, he is is own character. He is unpredictable and witty in a blunt sort of way but also serious, but not quite there yet. Maybe it was the regeneration, but the Doctor kept missing key things. For example that the S.S Marie Antoinette, the robots ship was the sister ship of Madam De Pompadour and that he was there himself as his Tenth incarnation.
"I have a horrible feeling I'm going to have to kill you." - The Doctor.
This again was a game changer. Since when did the Doctor feel like he would have to kill someone? I know It is not the first time the Doctor has killed, and it will not be his last, but to state it so openly with no other choice given? It was a different side to things. I dont know about you, but I am rather curious to know if the Doctor pushed the robot or the robot jumped. I would like to think that it was the latter...
Now lets talk about the moment that made me cry. The phone call. There has been much criticism about that phone call. On one hand I felt it was needed for Matt's Doctor to come back into the show for a brief appearance, as it was reassuring Clara that everything was ok, and that the man she was with now was him. It was lovely to see Matt as the Doctor for that short time, but it also made me remember how much I actually craved seeing him as the Doctor and how much I miss him still. On the other hand, I wish it wasn't there. I felt it took away from Matt's final moments in the TARDIS at christmas time. I don't think that it was necessary for Matt's Doctor to tell us that Capaldi was now the Doctor. We knew that already. It was like we needed a final, final, chapter close when the chapter had already finished. No matter, I still appreciate hearing Matt's voice again as the Doctor and it did add a nice touch. It made Clara realise that regeneration was hard for him and that the Doctor would need her help. The phone call forces her to see him for the first time as the Doctor and she really needed to see that. We needed to see that.
As for Missy and her "Heaven/Paradise"? I have a theory forming about her, which I might divulge into at another time!
As a whole I really enjoyed Deep Breath as an episode, plenty happened, there were jokes and humor, there were major character developments and the new Doctor has finally landed. The only real negative criticism I have is I thought the storyline could have been a bit better, for me it was lacking something, but I can't quite place my finger on it. Maybe its just me!
Please do tell me your thoughts on the episode and do feel free to comment on any of my thoughts! Thank you for reading this far, and I will see you again next week! :)