Forget The Critics: What The Fans Thought Of Deep Breath

So, you’ve seen what the papers thought of Deep Breath, Doctor Who Series 8’s first episode and the full debut for Peter Capaldi – but what did you, the fans think?

While six people complained about the lesbian lizard kiss (lizbian?), we’ll quickly move on and get the stats out of the way.

Audience figures in the UK reveal that an average 6.79 million viewers tuned in to watch in the United Kingdom, peaking at 6.96 million. Sound low? Well, don’t forget  that it is an overnight figure, and represents an immense 32.5% audience share. iPlayer and delayed viewing figures are still to be added. In the USA, BBC America have been pleased to announce that Deep Breath pulled in delivering 2.58 million total viewers, and that from 8:00-10:00pm, Doctor Who ranked as the #1 program in all of cable among total viewers and A25-54, making it the highest rated season premiere ever on BBC America. In Australia, Capaldi’s debut was seen by a total of 858,000 viewers, 140,000 of which got up at or stayed up until 4.30am to watch the live simulcast!

Meanwhile, the Audience Appreciation Index score for Deep Breath was 82, slightly down on The Time of the Doctor‘s 83, and one of the lowest since the series returned in 2005 (Rose (81), The End of the World (79), The Unquiet Dead (80), Aliens of London (81), World War Three (82) and Boom Town (82) all scored quite poorly during Series 1).

The Kasterborous Poll

On Saturday evening following Deep Breath we ran a poll, with 1,148 respondents. What were the results?

Well, an immensely positive group of fans (64.02%) voted that it was a “Superb debut from Peter Capaldi”, while a further 23.69% considered it “A good tale, could have been better”. The remaining 10% or so felt: Not good enough (7.14%), When is Matt Smith/David Tennant/Tom Baker coming back? (2.7%), Too long! (2.44%). So overall, this is a good reaction!

What did Kasterborous readers think?


I hardly dared think it was possible, but Mr Capaldi was every bit as wonderful as I hoped he would be, and I haven’t laughed so much, or shuddered as much at the implications of a villain’ s plan (honestly, who needs blood and gore, suggestion and a vivid imagination are so much more horrific) during an episode in ages. Simply glorious, and if the rest of the series is of the same standard I am going to be the happiest of bunnies.

Hopefully it’ll be up on iPlayer in the morning so I can watch it again!


I liked it. Some lovely dialogue with the grumpy scots thing and some creepy clockwork aliens from Girl in the Fireplace. My biggest issue was the contrast between Matt Smith’s arrival and Capaldi’s:

As Matt stepped through the video of previous Doctors to announce “I’m the Doctor” as if to say ‘yes I know I look young but up yours’, this episode seemed to be written as an apology. ‘I know Peter Capaldi is older, but it’s still the Doctor, really!

No need to apologise Mr Moffat. Now get on with proving you’re the Doctor Mr Capaldi if the writing lets you. A consummate first performance, I thought he was excellent.

Lord Darth Tyeler:

The plot wasn’t up to much, but for me that doesn’t matter on a Doctor debut day, any more than belching wheelie-bins, people walking to the top of buildings, cat nurses or fish fingers and custard. All I was interested in was what the new geezer was going to be like. He didn’t disappoint. I kind of liked the way he poured himself a whisky before deciding whether he was going to kill the other guy or not. Looks like he’s going to be darker and considerably less human than his recent predecessors, and I think that’s a good thing.
It’s shaping up nicely.

Andrew G. Dick:

Watched it again yesterday and I’m envisaging a 3rd viewing within the next 48 hours. I love it. Flawed yes, but the positives vastly outweigh the negatives.

It’s so refreshing to have a debut story set in a historical setting, the first one since An Unearthly Child!

I take back what I said about the final scene, that was cleaver and very moving.

Capaldi is simply amazing, might be too early to say this, but he’s my favourite. If he’s not at 100% there with his Doctor, then when he does, god we’re in for something!

I’m starting to like the theme tune more, got it on my iPhone and it’s stuck in my head all day at work today!

I’ll easily revise my original score and give it 9/10.

On the wider web, reaction to the new Doctor seems to have manifested largely positively, with this being one of the more amusing examples:

Perhaps, though, we’ll finish on this note…

Christian Cawley


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

'Forget The Critics: What The Fans Thought Of Deep Breath' have 9 comments

  1. August 27, 2014 @ 9:55 pm Al

    Given the strong positive reaction, I honestly cannot make sense of that AI number.


  2. August 28, 2014 @ 12:15 am quigonj2014

    I can. I saw it a second time at the theater Monday night, and I still think it was flawed. The innuendo was rather strong, and I still can’t figure out why Clara was subjected to so much verbal abuse from everyone. A friend of mine saw it completely for the first time at the theater, and she felt what they attempted in the really long restaurant scene was probably Howard Hawks style banter, but it went on too long and the pacing was off. Add to that where I’ve never been a fan of the Paternoster gang, and that’s probably where the AI numbers came from.


  3. August 28, 2014 @ 4:37 am rickjlundeen

    This is the era where it’s very difficult for people to just like something. If you own a keyboard, you assume someone needs to hear your very valuable opinion on everything, because everyone’s a “professional” critic now.

    I’ve heard a lot of really goofy comments about Deep breath from a lot of people who should really really know better. “Capaldi was acting so oddly, so bizarre as the Doctor!” “Why must the Victorian three be in there?” “How dare people be mean to Clara simply because she was acting like an idiot?”

    I’m truly astonished at the number of “fans” that continually fail to grasp a lot of basic Doctor Who stuff. Aside from that, the AI is meaningless as well.


  4. August 28, 2014 @ 7:46 am DonnaM

    Tom Baker has given his approval. Enough said!

    I suspect some people prefer the wham bam approach of recent years: short attention spans! I adored the restaurant scene but there were no explosions! Character development can slow things down. I like it. Maybe others didn’t.

    As for Clara, she was being ignorant and deserved in my book to be called on it. Her emphasis on the physical aspect was utterly shallow and made it appear as if her only problem with the regeneration was that she didn’t fancy him any more…


    • August 28, 2014 @ 8:38 pm teddybowties

      Well GOD I know I loved it SO HARD. I want to watch it like, five more times. Cannot WAIT for the rest. the depth is perfect, pulling us deeper, the tone is excellent, the mood is just right, it’s like the afterparty at the Three Bears’!BadaTSSS


  5. August 28, 2014 @ 9:32 am Range

    I agree with your first point Donna, I wanted things to slow down a little and to get more character development.

    But I think people are being a little hard on Clara’s reaction – I don’t think it was that he was older than the previous Doctor, just that he was different; she was grieving for “her” Doctor and just needed time to adjust. She didn’t need Vastra’s smug lecturing, she needed the phone call from “her” Doctor to make the connection that this was the same person and he needed her.


    • August 28, 2014 @ 9:34 am Ranger

      And apparently I can’t even spell my own pseudonym!


    • August 28, 2014 @ 10:15 am DonnaM

      Had there been a reference to his waywardness, inability to fly the TARDIS or his forgetfulness I’d have been kinder I admit, but it was all ” he looks old” and ” he’s got lines” and “grey hair”. Of course it’s taking the traditional “companion as audience surrogate” to the maximum, and Vastra’s lecture was aimed squarely at a certain section of the viewing public :-)

      Had the phone call ended with a quiet reply like “No, you’ve not got old. You’ve just changed” I would have forgiven everything. That was a missed opportunity on Moffat’s part, I felt.


  6. August 31, 2014 @ 8:43 pm dr jon

    really enjoyed the first episode, really enjoyed capaldi’s take on the role,Also clara as a companion or is that a carer.Cant wait for more of the same.And a full season with no breaks great,just what the doctor ordered.


Tell us what you think!

© 2005-2014 Kasterborous. Theme Old Paper by ThunderThemes.net