I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Thoughts on Doctor Who: Deep Breath

Posted by Charlene // Tags: ,

It's been too long since I've had my Doctor Who fix - oh how I've missed it!  The episode that aired last Saturday was an extra special event though because it introduced the new Doctor and was quite a spectacle of an episode.  I will just say now though, that I feel like no first episode introduction to a new Doctor will beat "The Eleventh Hour" for me.  That was such a spectacularly written piece.  But there was still lots to love in this season opener.

[[Beware of Spoilers]]

It was lovely to get Vastra, Jenny and Strax again, they are always fun.  And the Victorian England setting really helped to make the most of the creepy steampunkish robots.  The whole time traveling dinosaur bit did feel like too much of a gimmick though, even if it looked very cool.  But there didn't seem to be much of a point to it, unless you count it mirroring the Doctor's thoughts/situation.  Which is done again later with the robots made of spare parts anyways.  I think the first half of this episode was too filler for me.  The Doctor was confused, random and not himself, and that didn't endear this new version to me at all.  There was a moment when I was really worried that I wouldn't like Capaldi as the Doctor at all (but that's all done away with now, so don't worry!)  It's just that I didn't like seeing the Doctor so irrational - although there might have been sense in his opening speech about how Clara and Strax looked the same in that it's important to look past appearances.  That seemed a particular point in this episode as it comes up again and again.

It's only when the Doctor and Clara wind up in the cellar of the restaurant that things started looking up in this episode.  First because their whole predicament was pretty scary, and second we find out more about what is going on with these robots.  This episode finally hit its stride.  And the moment when I became completely on board with the 12th Doctor was when he made his glorious save of Clara by taking her hand.  It was so funny because I had such a moment of relief and happiness when someone took her hand, and then a gut-wrenching fear when it didn't look like it was the Doctor, and then joy returned when he took off his face. Thanks for the roller coaster ride 12 and Moffat.  Definitely this was what I wanted to see from 12, and I was very happy.  The stand off with the head robot guy and Clara just prior to this scene was so perfectly done by the way - just the right amount of tense fear in not knowing just how everything will be played out.  And Clara keeps her head despite her fear which was incredibly strong of her.

Now that the Doctor has really shown up, I am very intrigued by him.  There's a great mystery to him and the ambiguity of whether he would throw the robot guy to his death really added a lot.  Everyone says he's going to be a new, darker, leaner, meaner Doctor, whatever, and I am interested in a change, but I'm also afraid because he can't be too different!  At least I'm really not sure how I will end up liking 12 ultimately - I want to love a newly reinvented Doctor, but I don't want him to lose too much of what I already love and respect about him.

There's also some concern in this episode over why he chose his face, which is curious.  I feel a bit sad that the Doctor seems so upset that he looks older actually - it doesn't seem like it should bother him.  I guess maybe Vastra's point about his appearance being for other people can be valid, but I was hoping the Doctor would be past that!  For now, this episode really seemed to stress that we give Capaldi's Doctor a chance - that we look past his face and see him for the Doctor he's always been.  I haven't really seen much of people disliking Capaldi because he's older, so I am a little surprised by how much this episode seemed like a message to the fans.  But if it works, then that's great, because by this episode's end, I just felt completely happy to have the show back on the air and that's how everyone should feel.

That scene near the end with the 11th Doctor was precious though, and it did make me tear up a little!  I do miss Matt, but I think I was more emotional because we got a glimpse of the Doctor's perspective of how jolting and scary his regenerations can be for him.  I loved getting that vulnerable glimpse of him!  And now there is another mystery brewing for this season's arc - I can't wait to find out more about that lady who appeared in the end.  Although I feel sure she'll have something to do with Clara's exit from the show...  I don't know why the whole world isn't watching this show.  It's the best! :)

And for an interesting post with more thoughts on this episode check out Those Who Geek!  They will be talking about each new episode as it comes out!

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