Tag Archives: Peter Capaldi

A Day Late Review of “Deep Breath”

Well it finally happened.  Something Doctor Who fans have been anticipating for what seemed like forever. Series 8 finally premiered.  We finally got to meet the 12th Doctor and spend more than just a couple of minutes with him and get to know him a little bit.  The question now that it’s all over is, do we want to get to know this Doctor better?

The first thing I noticed while watching this episode is that the opening credits have been upgraded.  I know they change with each Doctor and sometimes during a Doctor’s run, but this time it seemed like they put a little more budget behind the credits.  They were crisper and cleaner, and just a little more “made for HD.”  Overall, visually, I liked them.  The song for the opening credits was updated as well, and this didn’t score well for me.  It was still the same song, essentially, but they tried to vary it enough that it almost didn’t sound the same.  Like having a best friend in grade school, moving away and not seeing them for 20 years.  When you see them again, they look familiar, you can tell it’s them, but they are also very different.  Overall, the changes to the song were not needed and I wasn’t a fan.  Maybe it will grow on me.

I was looking forward to the episode.  Like many fans, i had speculated about what this new Doctor was going to be like, and I couldn’t wait to see it.  I was hoping this episode would begin to answer some questions about the Doctor’s new self.  I forgot that it was being done by Steven Moffat.  He likes asking questions way more than he likes answering them.  Just when you think you might actually get to the bottom of something, you realize it’s all just a tease and there is a lot more to go before getting to the bottom.

Before you go any further, I must warn you there will be spoilers ahead.  This is not a review that comes out just in time for the episode to premier for the public, or just after the episode has aired.  It is a “Day Late” review, so i assume most people who are interested have seen “Deep Breath” by now, but if you haven’t, maybe you have it recorded, or it’s in your download queue, or whatever, then be warned, there will be spoilers ahead.

The episode begins in almost silly fashion.  A dinosaur mysteriously appears in Victorian London.  Nobody knows how it got there.  Enter Moffat’s favorite Doctor Who characters ever, Vastra, Jenny, and Strax.  It seems like these are the only supporting characters Moffat knows how to write, because they keep popping up.  All the time.  Seriously, am I the only one who is beginning to get sick of them?  Maybe I am, and that’s why they keep them around.  In any case, Vastra brilliantly deduces that the dinosaur must have time traveled.  Then Jenny notices it has something in its…excuse me, Vastra does point out, her throat.  She coughs (the dinosaur) and out comes the TARDIS.  The Doctor comes stumbling out followed by Clara and we get the classic modern regeneration episode, where the Doctor has no idea who he is or what’s going on.  He apparently also has a thing for big, sexy dinosaurs.  It’s a good thing they have arrived in Victorian London and that Vastra and Jenny and Strax are there to help Clara through this rough regeneration time.

This whole sequence began to get absurd and strange for me.  I had heard all about how this Doctor was going to be all serious and dark compared to number 11, and this was serious or dark, it was silly and strange.  He kept flirting with this dinosaur and his lack of Doctor like skill was just obnoxious.  The good news is that the episode did get better from here.

Well, not all of it was better.  Clara has seen all the Doctors, 1-11, and even the War Doctor.  This whole idea of regeneration should not be strange to her.  She, out of all the companions ever, should get it.  She has spent time with each of the Doctors, yet she cannot accept that this man is the Doctor.  She saw him regenerate, and she can’t accept it.  The whole episode is her wondering if he is really the Doctor and moping because she just doesn’t know if she knows who the Doctor is anymore.  I just couldn’t buy it.  It takes a call from 11 on her mobile at the end to convince her, and she still hesitated.  It was just confusing to me.

In any case, the dinosaur gets murdered as the Doctor is trying to figure out a way to send her home, while win his night-shirt.  The murder puts him on the case and he begins to investigate, and we begin to see that his Doctor means business.  As he is beginning to investigate, I really started to appreciate this more serious Doctor.  And, we see a moment where he blurs the lines between right and wrong, as he steals a coat from a tramp, using the line “No point in us both being cold.”  He and Clara both reply to an ad to meet for lunch in a specific restaurant.  An add they both believe the other placed in the paper, but neither one did. And as they are both discussing Clara’s egomania, they realize that none of the other diners happen to be people.  They are all robots, and  this restaurant is a front for cyborgs harvesting human parts to power their ships. (Yes, these are the same robots we see in the “Girl in the Fireplace”, and you will get frustrated as the Doctor cannot remember where he has seen it before) Clara and the Doctor get brought into the basement and meet the lead cyborg and discover what is happening.  They head for the door, and the Doctor seemingly leaves Clara behind, to face the cyborgs alone.  She tries to hide among them and escape by not breathing, but eventually gives in and is discovered.  She has a great face off with the lead cyborg and the Doctor ends up being there to save her, hiding as one of the cyborgs.  As the army of robotic men and women descend on the pair, Clara says the magic word, and Vastra, Jenny, and Starx come down from the rafters to save them.  The Doctor and the lead Cyborg break off from the group and have a great back and forth argument.  The Doctor is pleading for the cyborg to end it by jumping from his escape pod, and threatening that he might end it for the machine.  They go back and forth, and it all ends when the lead cyborg ends up dead, having either jumped or been pushed out of the escape pod and landing on a spire that does him through.  We don’t know, and it is left ambiguous, if the Doctor pushed him, adding to the intrigue of this new Doctor.

The cyborg ends up in some paradise, we don’t know what it is with a girl named Missy, who claims to be the Doctors girlfriend.  I didn’t recognize her, so I don’t know who she is, but she seems to know a lot about the Doctor and what he will and won’t do.

By and large, this episode does why it is supposed to.  It introduces the Doctor to the audience as well as his companion and cast of recurring characters.  It also introduces some of the story for this upcoming series.  It will be interesting to see where it goes from here.  We definitely saw that the Doctor has a darker side now, more serious.  We also get confirmation that there will be no flirting with Clara and this new Doctor, which is a plus for me.  Overall, I liked the new Doctor so far.  He isn’t my favorite, but to be fair, he has only been in one episode, so I need to give him some time.  I think this series will be going in a different direction.  A lot of people were saying that this new Doctor would be somewhat similar to Tom Baker, and I can see that a little bit.  Maybe a little like Colin Baker, a little darker, minus the clown suit.  I am interested to see where it goes, and personally can’t wait to watch next week.

What were your thoughts?  Love it? Hate it? Wait and see?  Share them with us in the comments, we would love to hear from you.

The Doctor 101 Part 6-Doctors 9, 10, 11, and 12

I meant to get this post written and published yesterday, in time for the premiere tonight of season 8, but due to an unforeseen trip to San Francisco, it didn’t happen, so I am here today to get it done.  This is the last piece outlining, however briefly, all the different incarnations of the Doctor.  All the Doctors listed today are post the relaunch of the series.  These are the Doctors I know the best, well most of them.  One of them I don’t really know at all, aside from him not liking the cold of his kidneys.  Starting tonight, that will be different.  Are we ready then?  Fantastic! Then Allons-y, and Geronimo!


In 2005, The BBC decided it was time to bring back Doctor Who.  This was really a second attempt to bring the series back, the first was the 1996 TV movie.  Despite the number of years it had been since the Doctor was on TV, he had never really gone away.  There were novels, comics, and audio plays, all keeping the Doctor alive for the fans out there.  At this time, the BBC hired show runner Russell Davies to bring the character back.  Wisely, Davies decided that the reboot would be a continuation of the old series, but with a new incarnation of the Doctor.  The actor brought in to play our favorite Time Lord was Christopher Eccleston.  The look of this Doctor was modern and hip.  It was a simple black leather jacket, dark T and dark pants.  No bright colors of clown costumes, just a sleek, modern look.  In addition to the new look of the Doctor, the whole series got a new look.  Better special effects and little larger budget helped with that.  Plus, the Doctor’s companion, Rose, was one of the more iconic companions in the history of the series.  All of this combined for a success for the series, and it looked like the Doctor would be around for a while. Eccleston played the Doctor in a very confident manner, but he was friendly and kind to Rose and to others.  However, when it was necessary he could be very serious and dark.  He alluded to some bad things happening in the last time war, and that he was the last Time Lord out there, which was new for the series.  He also gave us the first catch phrase of the relaunch with “Fantastic.”  I guess phrase isn’t the right term, but is catch word a real term?  Eccleston had only planned to be in the series for one season, he stuck to that.  Despite the popularity of the series, Eccleston did not return for season 2.  Infact, he also refused to be part of the 50th with David Tenant and Matt Smith.  As an actor, he has said he accomplished what he wanted to with the character, and doesn’t want to go back to it.

Since I am more familiar with these Doctors, I want to list some episodes from each to help you get started.  For the 9th Doctor, these are my recommendations:

Rose:  This is his first story and kind of sets up the whole relaunch.  It is not the best story of the first season, but it is good to start here.  We meet the Doctor, get an explanation on a lot about the series, and meet Rose and Mickey for the first time.  We also get to see the Doctor be happy, confident Doctor and scary, vengeful Doctor.

Father’s Day:  This deals with the question we all ask at some point in life, I wonder what would have happened if… In other words, the great What If question, and sometimes, despite what we think at the time, the bad stuff that happens has to happen.  Plus we meet Rose’s father.

The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances: This was by far my favorite story during this season.  It is a little creepy, but has a great ending.  Plus we meet Captain Jack for the first time.


With the show being a success and with Eccleston leaving after only one season, it was time to introduce a new Doctor.  Enter David Tennant, the 10th Doctor.  He is my favorite Doctor.  I enjoyed the passion this Doctor brought to the character.  Everything was always all out with him on screen.  I, personally liked him better post Rose.  I like Martha and Donna more than Rose, which I know would make a lot of people upset, but it’s how I feel.  The 10th was just so cool.  He was clever and fun and serious and tragic and triumphant all at once.  Plus he only wore “trainers” all the time.  When I lace up my own Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars to go to work, I always think to myself “These are world saving shoes.”  It makes me want to make a difference.  If Eccleston re-established the Doctor Who Series, Tennant made it here to stay.  He was received very well, and began to bring in a whole new generation of fans, and a whole new group of fans, the Fan Girl.  During his time, we met the Master again, lost Rose, met Sara Jane again, met the Stone Angels, and met River Song for the first time.  We also get our next catch word: Allons-y, and in Voyage of the Damned, the Doctor realizes a dream of his when he gets to say Allons-y, Alonzo.

Some must see episodes from Tennant’s time:

The Christmas Invasion: This is Tennant’s first episode as the Doctor, and right away we get to see the differences between his and Eccleston’s versions.  Plus, we are adjusting to the new character along with Rose, and probably feeling a lot of the same things.

Blink:  Chances are, if you have asked a Doctor Who fan which episodes you should watch, they always point you to this one.  This is one of the most beloved Doctor Who episodes since the series relaunched.  It doesn’t help you get to know the Doctor to well, since he’s barely in it, but it is a great episode and worth every minute of your time.

Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead-  This is a fun 2 part episode, and we get to meet River Song, who ends up not being critically important during the 10th Doctor’s time, but plays a huge role during the 11th’s.

Waters of Mars:  An incredible episode.  If you watch the whole season, do me a favor, when you get to this episode, skip Tenant’s last episode and go straight to Matt Smith’s first episode.  Pretend like The End of Time never happened.  You will be doing me and yourself a huge favor.


David Tennant and Russell Davies left the Doctor Who show at the same time, so Matt Smith comes in not just as a new Doctor, but also with a new producer at the helm of the series.  Fortunately for us, that new producer is Steven Moffat, and this ushers in one of the best runs of the series to date.  There were some great story arcs in Smith’s time.  The Doctor and his companions, the Ponds, along with River Song were like one big happy, time traveling, Family.  It was hard to see any of these actors leave the show at any point.  Matt Smith brought a new quirkiness and energy to the role.  There were some dark stories, but through it all, the 11th Doctor was all smiles.  Except when he wasn’t, and then it was really sad.  Tennant really helped to affirm what Eccelston established, but Smith and Moffat brought Doctor Who to new heights internationally.  It is now a world-wide mega-hit. Smith is my wife’s favorite, I think mostly because she knows him the best.

Some episodes to check out:

All of them from Season 5 and 6: It is hard to pick just one because you might really miss out on some important piece of information, and the really good episodes are only really good because the rest of the episodes lead up to them.

The Name of the Doctor/The Day of the Doctor/The Time of the Doctor- I really enjoyed these last 3 episodes of Matt Smith’s time, and they all lead into what is happening today, this evening, hopefully after you read all of this, when season 8 premieres.


That brings us to Peter Capaldi, who premieres tonight as the Doctor.  We know next to nothing about his Doctor, except he doesn’t like the color of his kidneys…

Doctor Who Season 8 Full Length Trailer


A couple of weeks ago I talked about the first two teaser trailers that dropped for the upcoming season of Doctor Who.  BBC just launched a full length trailer for the new season and it has all sorts of tidbits.  If you haven’t seen it yet, here it is, for your viewing pleasure:

This trailer is a little bit longer, so as expected, it gives a few more glimpses into the upcoming season.  The first thing that hit me was Daleks.  The Dalek voice and the Dalek eye scope thingy at the beginning, and the scene actually showing a few Daleks.  It all made me think that this season may be a little heavy on the Daleks.  Which would be great.  Their one of my favorite baddies, so i am always down with more Daleks.

We also get to see some regulars come back in the trailer.  Clara, of course, will be there, as she is the bridge from the last Doctor to this one, but we also see that Vastra will be back, which is exciting.  I think she and her companions are great and fun to watch.  They always seem to add a little bit of lightness to the whole thing, especially when the Doctor is in some very dark situations, like right after Amy and Rory left.

Speaking of dark, it seems like this season is going to be a little darker.  It seems to me that Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is quite a bit more serious and sinister than Matt Smith’s.  It was hard to tell when he first appeared and was complaining about the color of his kidneys, but as each trailer comes out and we see a little bit more of him, it becomes more apparent that he will not be talking about a lot of silly things like the color of kidneys.

And there is still this question of Clara not knowing the Doctor or if he is a good man.  What makes this regeneration so ambiguous there?  She knows the Doctor better than most, out of all the companions, she should have the least trouble with the whole regeneration thing.  She has seen every version of the Doctor.  Why is this one such a struggle?  She keeps saying she doesn’t know who he is and whether he is a good man.  Why?  I’m sure I’m making a big deal about nothing.  I’m sure it’s all coincidental, and Moffat hasn’t done any of it on purpose.

We also see that this season will see quite a few adventures and baddies, including more Dinosaurs, this time in London instead of a spaceship.  All in all, the trailer looks great.  I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know this new Doctor.  Is it August yet?