After a very long wait, the Doctor is back! Not only that, but Doctor Who will give its first look at the new Doc, Peter Capaldi. As usual, the Doctor is out of sorts, and we see some old friends this episode. Josh recaps this episode, titled Deep Breath, and following the recap, both Josh and Violet share their thoughts about the episode. Let’s get right into it!
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Doctor Who Episode 1, Deep Breath Recap Overview
The season premiere of Doctor Who was another very long episode, beginning with a dinosaur in 19th century England. Strax, Jenny and Madame Vastra are watching it roam England, when it coughs out the TARDIS–and Jenny, Vastra and Strax go to investigate the TARDIS.
The new Doctor, after some effort, finally exits the blue box. He seems to have some memory issues, barely remembering anyone, including Clara. After some odd behavior, the Doctor passes out.
The Doctor is taken to a room, and he is still struggling with reality, not understanding the point of a bedroom. Being Scottish, he has a problem with the English accents of Clara and Jenny, but doesn’t mind Vastra’s Scottish accent. But Vastra calms him down, and he passes out.
Clara seems to be struggling with this new Doctor’s body, but Vastra and Jenny try to calm her down, and get her to see that he is the same person, with a different look.
While this is going on, the Doctor suddenly begins speaking for the dinosaur, in his sleep. The dinosaur is sad, feeling alone in this world.
Outside, people are still pondering the dinosaur. A man, or robot, decides to take some eyeballs from a pedestrian.
The Doctor awakens, still acting stranger than usual, and he begins drawing on the ground with chalk what appears to be a mathematic equation. He decides the next move is to go out his window, and begins yelling at the dinosaur, apologizing for dinosaur-napping him. The dinosaur suddenly ignites in flames though, and dies. The Doctor steals a horse, and rides towards the burning dinosaur.
Jenny, Strax, Vastra and Clara also head towards the dying animal in their buggy. They arrive at the dinosaur, and the Doctor is immediately on the case. The Doctor pursues a potential suspect.
The next morning, Strax has brought the TARDIS back to the room they are staying in. Clara reads the newspaper, and in it finds an ad referring to “The Impossible Girl” and a restaurant. She figures it is the Doctor sending a message and heads to investigate.
All the while, the Doctor is still discombobulated, going through some garbage. He has a discussion with a homeless man, and asks where his face came from, and why he chose the face he has now. Seems as if he thinks he has control over what face comes out. He continues muttering to himself, and finds a newspaper, mentioning spontaneous combustion.
Vastra also is investigating the spontaneous combustion, and seems to think that the reason for the dinosaur and others burning was to hide what is missing from the body.
Clara heads to Mancini’s, the place she thinks the Doctor sent her, and has a seat. The Doctor then shows up, smelling awful. Clara is still annoyed with the Doctor, and in the heat of their discussion, they think the each other placed the ad in the paper, so it turns out that someone else altogether placed the ad.
Then the Doctor realizes that no one in the restaurant is actually eating, only faux eating. They try to leave, but the seemingly robots approach them with every step they both take. They decide to sit back down, and are strapped to the seats. The Doctor realizes that the robots are using human body parts to be made, and then Clara and the Doctor are moved in a lower, secret room of the “restaurant”.
The Doctor is able to get his screwdriver out, and free himself and Clara. They see the robot that is made up of various human parts. They search for an exit, and in some confusion, Clara winds up trapped in a room while the Doctor managed to escape. The Doctor rather un-heroically decides it is best if at least one of them escape–himself.
Clara tries to blend in with the other robots, but she is eventually found out when she tries to make an escape. The main robot asks where the “other one” is. Clara refuses to tell. The robot then tells Clara that the dinosaur had an optic nerve that was needed. The robot then reveals that he is searching for “the Promised Land”.
The Doctor then shows up, rescuing Clara. The Doctor then accuses the robot of putting the ad in the newspaper, which turns out to not be true, apparently. Then Jenny, Vastra and Strax show up to battle. Other robots join in the fight, and the main one flees into an escape pod. The Doctor manages to follow him.
The robot activates a lever back in the restaurant, which launches a type of hot air balloon. The Doctor and the robot battle in the air, when the robot tumbles out, purposefully making it ambiguous if the robot jumped or was pushed out. The robot being “dead” shuts down the robots attacking Vastra, Jenny, Strax and Clara.
In the aftermath, Clara seems to think the Doctor has left her forever. Vastra doesn’t seem to think so though. Outside, the familiar TARDIS sounds, and Clara happily goes out to greet him.
The TARDIS has changed. The Doctor takes Clara home, and she seems to not want to continue with the Doctor. She gets a phone call, and it turns out to be the Doctor. Her Doctor, the previous one–the Matt Smith one. He has called from Trenzalore, and tells her to accept this new Doctor. After the phone call, Clara seems a little more accepting of the new Doctor, giving him a hug.
Finally, finishing the episode is our robot friend. He meets “Missy”, who asks if her “boyfriend” pushed him out of the air balloon or if he fell. Missy tells him also that he has made it to “Paradise/Heaven”…
Josh’s Thoughts: Doctor Who, Season 8 Episode 1: Deep Breath
This was an interesting opening episode for the Doctor, seemingly quite different than other Doctor introductions. He has the same discombobulated nature, but Clara’s reaction was quite different than most companions, showing a lot of contempt for this new, “old” Doctor. She has a hard time accepting him and particularly comments on his old face quite a bit. I think it is quite obvious why this was such a big deal in the episode though. Moffat must be a little worried that going with an older actor could scare some fans off. This episode seemed to be a way for Moffat to reach out to fans and explain, “Hey, this is still the Doctor, he just has a different face, just like every other time!” The previous Doctors starting with the new series, and the 9th Doctor have been relatively young actors. Capaldi is at least a decade older than Ecceleston, Tenant and at least two or three more than Matt Smith.
One other interesting bit in the episode was the Doctor’s seemingly having a choice in the face that comes out in regeneration. To my recollection, I do not remember hearing that before. In fact, it has always seemed involuntary as to how he comes out. The past regenerations, he has had to check everything out to see what he has and doesn’t have. I am curious to know if there is a specific reason this was brought up, and if it will be elaborated on later.
Another theme going through this episode is the “goodness” of the Doctor. This iteration of the Doctor seems to be to be a bit more ambiguous than previous ones, in terms of morality. The first hint of this was when the dinosaur died. He didn’t seem to show a whole lot of remorse for it dying, and was more interested in solving the case. This ramps up further when he leaves Clara behind, and then the question is raised again when the robot falls out of the air balloon. Was he pushed or did he jump? We still don’t know for sure.
Then finally, who is Missy? She apparently thinks she is in Heaven, or wants this robot to think he is in Heaven. She also seems to think she has a relationship with the Doctor. But who is she? Rose? The Master? Someone we do not know yet? There are a lot of theories bouncing around, and I guess we shall see which one is right!
As for liking this new Doctor, I am going to give it a few episodes to see. He certainly seems intriguing, so I definitely want to give him a shot. He certainly is plenty different than the previous 3. I will talk about this more as the season progresses.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 8 Episode 1 of Doctor Who: Deep Breath
Upon watching this season opener which introduced us to the Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, my initial reaction regarding this new Doctor was that I thought I could see myself warming up to him pretty quickly. I find that it’s always difficult to get over a regeneration, because you get so used to a particular Doctor and the way things are. But then, the Eleventh Doctor wasn’t “my” Doctor. Ten was. In fact, it took until “A Good Man Goes to War,” which is halfway through Season 6, Eleven’s second season, that I finally decided that I liked the Eleventh Doctor! I think that my not having been quite so attached to the Eleventh Doctor is part of the reason why I feel like I’ll be able to move on to the Twelfth Doctor sooner than I did with the Eleventh Doctor. That is not to say that I have moved on already. However, I felt like Peter Capaldi did a fine job portraying the Doctor in this first episode, and I felt like he and Clara had a great rapport and made a good team, once they got past their initial qualms.
Speaking of qualms, let’s talk about Clara’s. It was just so blatantly obvious that Steven Moffat was using Clara as a means of addressing what he thought would be the audience’s hesitation with accepting the new Doctor, and Mark Gatiss even confirmed this on the after show. On the one hand, I understand that he wanted a way to get through to the younger audience that is used to having a younger Doctor, and might be skeptical of this older Doctor. But on the other hand, as an audience member who understands that that Doctor has not always been played by a young actor, I felt like I was being unnecessarily chastised, and took a bit of offense to this. And then they just kept bringing it up and bringing it up that he’s old, and different, but that he’s still the same person, and it’s like, okay, we get it, you don’t have to keep hammering us over the head with it. It also didn’t make a lot of sense that Clara reacted that way, considering that she knows about regeneration. She’s even met other Doctors. So her reaction felt a bit forced, and like it was only done for the sake of the audience.
But anyway, I actually liked the episode, overall. It was fun to see Strax, Jenny, and Vastra in action again. There were several exciting parts, and I must admit that I had no idea what to expect from this Doctor. When he let the door close on Clara and ran away, I really wasn’t sure that he would be coming back. We also are left to ponder whether the Doctor pushed the robot, or the robot himself jumped. There were also some interesting things that were said. One of which was when the Doctor told Clara that he’s not her boyfriend, and she replied that she never said he was, and he then said that it wasn’t her mistake. So, what does that mean? That the Doctor made the mistake of considering himself her boyfriend? Didn’t know that. Also, when the Doctor is talking to the homeless guy, and wonders where he has seen this face before, is that just the Doctor musing over having an old face? Or is it a reference to the character that Peter Capaldi played in the The Fires of Pompeii episode? Will the show later on this season acknowledge the fact that that is where the new Doctor’s face came from? Why would he take that face?
Lastly, we have the issue of Missy. Who is she? And why is she calling the Doctor her boyfriend? What’s her angle? It looks like this will be our big mystery this season!
Scenes from Doctor Who, Season 8 Episode 2: Into the Dalek
Here are scenes from the next episode of Doctor Who, titled Into the Dalek: