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Doctor Who’s “Deep Breath” Delivers a Strong Start to Series 8

This article contains a full plot synopsis, review, and critique. If you have not seen the episode “Deep Breath” please do not continue if you are avoiding spoilers!!!!!

 

“Deep Breath” was a breath of fresh air for Doctor Who fans. Our first full introduction to Peter Capaldi taking on the iconic role of the Doctor was, well, fantastic.

This season’s new title sequence is focused more on time and less on space than the opening has ever been, and was created by a fan, so I enjoyed it. Murray Gold’s more steam punk version of the theme is a little off putting for my tastes, but it stands out as more edgy and intense than previous versions, which is probably a reflection of the new incarnation of The Doctor. When we look back, it will likely seem perfect for its time when all is said and done; especially with Peter Capaldi alluding to his Doctor having a unique relationship with time in the preshow of “Deep Breath.”

From the beginning, we are introduced to the great visual of a dinosaur stomping down the River Thames, spitting out our beloved TARDIS. While this occurs, we see that the Paternoster Gang has established itself in Victorian London, working with the police, allowing for the return of Vastra, Jenny, and Strax (played by Neve McIntosh, Catrin Stewart, and Dan Starkey respectively). Vastra in particular is shown to take charge and be the liaison between strange events and the Victorian police force, instructing them what to do and how to do it when the dinosaur arrives.

When The Doctor walks out of his box, and starts naming the Seven Dwarves to Strax, it is hilarious. It slowly degrades to demonstrate how confused The Doctor truly is, not even knowing who Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman) is and confused as to how he got there. While he is able to speak dinosaur, the TARDIS does not translate for the companions as it generally does, whether this is a reflection of his confusion or the TARDIS giving Clara a hard time, we do not know, but it was very reminiscent of the Sycorax not speaking English until David Tennant fully awakes and emerges figuring out who he is in the process in “The Christmas Invasion” (2005).

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