Doctor Who returns with a new Doctor, Peter Capaldi, but does the premiere meet our lofty expectations?
If, for whatever reason, you have yet to see the episode, this review will contain a few very mild spoilers in the beginning, and there will be spoiler warnings for anything major. Granted, there is really not much to spoil in the first place.
The episode, "Deep Breath," opens in Victorian England where a massive T-Rex appears in the middle of London where the threesome of Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint, and Strax are at the scene with some futuristic tech to stop the beast. Then, the T-Rex coughs up a blue box, and outcomes the Doctor, albeit extremely confused and somewhat amnesiatic. Like his incredibly brief appearance in "The Time of the Doctor," Peter Capaldi is mantic, and it takes the first Act of the episode before he comes back to anything that resembles his senses, not that it is a bad thing. Assuming that most viewers have seen the episode, I shall not discuss exact plot details much further.
Capaldi's scene in the alleyway as he realizes that he sounds Scottish and that is face is vaguely familiar somehow is the first scene where Capaldi gets to shine in a few fun and humorous way. For those not in the know, Peter Capaldi appeared in David Tennant's run, in the episode "The Fires of Pompeii," as the man that the Doctor saved from the volcano, so the Doctor recognizing his face is a rather humorous callback for the fans. During the aforementioned scene, Capaldi is finally able to actor more like the Doctor with his senses about him to a degree, and that is when the episode picks up the pace with more of the wacky adventure and problem solving that we have come to expect from Doctor Who.
EVERYTHING NOT INVOLVING THE DOCTOR!
|This is, unfortunately, the highlight of the dialogue.|
The Doctor's conversation with the head Clockwork Droid was very well done, particularly Capaldi's performance. However, we still do not have much of a sense of what this new Doctor is going to be like, since some scenes were almost Matt Smith like with the fast dialogue, while others had a darker Eccleston vibe. He also does not have a definitive catchphrase yet either. While none of these are actual problems yet, the previous Doctors were able to define themselves by the end of their first episodes, so we can hope that Capaldi will distinguish himself from the other Doctors in the next few episodes. Despite these small problems with the Doctor, Capaldi has shown some true promise, and he has made me optimistic about the future of his run.
Towards the end where the Doctor leaves Clara for a time and then finally returns, the Doctor gives an excellent speech about he is not Clara's "boyfriend," and that there will be no flirting, which is a great idea since the last few Doctors have been the opposite in many ways. Ending on a high note, Matt Smith's Doctor calls Clara on the phone with a surprise cameo to reassure her that the current old man is still the Doctor that she knew.
Visually, "Deep Breath" had a more film quality aesthetic with improved lighting and use of shadows. The special effects, while still mediocre at times, are improved as well. Also, the new opening sequence, which was inspired by a fan-made opening, is fantastic! It is quite a lot different than past incarnations with steampunk like clockwork throughout.
Overall: 6.8/10- Despite Capaldi's strong presence as the new Doctor, "Deep Breath" is a disappointingly generic beginning for the new Doctor rife with unfortunately dumb and dull dialogue for the supporting cast. That being said, the visual and thematic direction Capaldi's Doctor is taking gives me hope that we are in for a great season, even if this first episode was held back by lackluster writing.
Please be sure to comment with your thoughts of the episode, and check back tomorrow for my review of the Lego Movie.
Below are reviews by other bloggers, and if you have reviewed it, let me know in the comments and I will add your link. As I continue to review Doctor Who episodes, I will continue to post links to other reviews.Deep Breath Review by Tegan
Deep Breath Review by Gypsy King
Deep Breath Review by Alyianna Baggins
Love this Scene!
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