What Did You Think Of Deep Breath? [POLL]

He came, he slept, he got a new outfit and then he solved the problem. The Doctor is back, and he’s Peter Capaldi shaped! Deep Breath has just finished on BBC One, so what better time, near reader, to take part in our first poll for Series 8?

All you have to do is give us your feelings about Peter Capaldi’s full debut as the Twelfth Doctor and if you like leave a comment. The poll result will be shared with our readers on Monday when we compile reactions to the episode, which was a massive 75 minutes long.

Begin by making a selection below.


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+.

'What Did You Think Of Deep Breath? [POLL]' have 104 comments

  1. August 23, 2014 @ 9:21 pm Douglas Smith

    The episode was fine as an introduction. The rejigged theme was awful


    • August 24, 2014 @ 1:03 pm bonobobananas

      Just a point on the opening titles: I wonder if they’ll be different every week to reflect the baddies? Perhaps the clockwork stuff at the beginning to reflect the androids, much like the Doctor Who logo was different last series. Just a thought. (Hope so cos they were rubbish :) )


  2. August 23, 2014 @ 9:38 pm koloth

    Liked Peter Capaldi, new theme tune and the whole episode, with one exception.
    The Matt Smith phone call.
    Whilst on Trenzalore he knew he was going to regenerate even though he was in his last body because he rang Clara up to tell her to help him. Dont get it.


    • August 23, 2014 @ 9:43 pm Coopergreg

      Reckon he rang when he got back to the Tardis after the Time Lords gave him the new regeneration cycle


      • August 23, 2014 @ 9:44 pm Coopergreg

        Was it filmed with the Xmas episode or a special cameo?!


        • August 24, 2014 @ 1:11 pm Sue MacNeil

          Yes, I’ve read an interview with Moffat that it was filmed at Christmas so actually one of the first scenes filmed.


      • August 24, 2014 @ 12:16 pm drvwho

        remember time is irelevent to a time lord he could have made this call knowing his fate at anytime before his regen


    • Christian Cawley

      August 23, 2014 @ 9:47 pm Christian Cawley

      He rang at the end. After he was old, after the regeneration energy destroyed the Daleks, but before Clara got to the TARDIS. This much is illustrated in the sequence in Deep Breath


    • August 24, 2014 @ 3:12 am ganthetjr

      He knew by then. That was after the Time Lords gave him the new regeneration cycle.


    • August 24, 2014 @ 5:07 am Joe Siegler

      Remember when Clara was walking back to the Tardis post regeneration, and she hung up the phone from the outside? That’s where he made this call.

      When she went inside, he was already there, right before the “reset” to Capaldi.


    • August 24, 2014 @ 8:47 am krumstets

      He said to Clare ( On the phone ) that this regeneration would be a whopper so he knew he would need her help afterwards more so than other regeneration’s he has had – I suppose.


  3. August 23, 2014 @ 9:39 pm DonnaM

    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!


  4. August 23, 2014 @ 9:40 pm Coopergreg

    Episode – fantastic! New theme arrangement – hope its a grower!!!


    • Christian Cawley

      August 23, 2014 @ 9:52 pm Christian Cawley

      It’s not bad, it’s just not as outstanding as some we’ve had…

      At least it’s not the Dimensions in Time theme tune!


      • August 23, 2014 @ 9:59 pm bonobobananas

        Sorry Chris, they’ve had a mare with the theme tune. Titles are meh, theme tune horrible mate :)


        • August 24, 2014 @ 5:08 am rickjlundeen

          The new twist on the theme is an improvement over the early Smith era as is the new opening graphics. Livelier and a new direction.


  5. August 23, 2014 @ 9:54 pm bonobobananas

    I can’t be arsed to rewrite my forum comment so here’s a cut and paste:

    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.


    • August 23, 2014 @ 10:06 pm Lily

      I got that impression as well – that they were “apologising” to the fans for him not being young. I hope they don’t continue that, but I’m sure they won’t.


      • August 24, 2014 @ 6:18 am gruff

        I got the feeling that was only to put it to bed for any young doubters. After this I would hope there is little reference to it. Save maybe for something like “don’t I look young for 2000+ years” or some such statement dropped in to the middle of a quick discussion with some villain or other.


        • August 24, 2014 @ 7:36 am Lily

          You and me both, gruff.


    • August 24, 2014 @ 8:24 am DonnaM

      I heard it more as a “get used to it, you shallow, small minded minority” while Vastra was lecturing Clara. Of course that could just be me putting my own opinion onto it :-).

      Clara was made to look a bit foolish, but well done to Jenna for not making her unlikable at the same time. Capaldi completely stole the show for me but I see where those reviewers are coming from who said it’s her best performance to date.


      • August 25, 2014 @ 3:53 am Jamie-42

        Don’t worry, that is how I saw it too.


    • September 7, 2014 @ 8:21 pm Bran

      Sorry but he is just plain boring. I hope time proves me wrong and he gets better but for
      now he’s just not got that Doctor Who appeal


  6. August 23, 2014 @ 9:59 pm Lord Darth Tyeler

    Copy and paste from me also:

    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.


    • August 23, 2014 @ 10:05 pm bonobobananas

      Hey LDT, yes I agree I liked the whole whisky pouring thing (especially as I was pouring myself a gin and tonic at the time but that’s another story).

      A more adult Doctor and one I think I’m going to like a lot. I agree with above that the episode really didn’t need the Matt Smith scene but because for me it came across as a blatant appeal to the fangirls/boys to keep watching even if you don’t fancy the Doctor anymore. No need for that.

      Looking forward to next week although you may remember from my previous BS that I’m not a massive fan of recurring foes. Spiridon Daleks maybe?? :)


  7. August 23, 2014 @ 10:03 pm Lily

    I thought it was a decent story, with an interesting premise. Peter Capaldi was fantastic, as I knew he would be. I’m not going to pass too much judgement, because it is only the first story after regeneration, and the story after a regeneration is not always brilliant (Time and the Rani, I’m looking at you). Spearhead from Space and the Eleventh Hour are exceptions, in my opinion. Can’t wait for next week!


    • August 23, 2014 @ 10:12 pm bonobobananas

      Yep this is spot on Lily. Eleventh Hour is my favourite regeneration story and having watched it the other day still sends shivers down my spine when Matt announces he IS the Doctor. I like the (toned down) Pertwee look to Capaldi’s outfit and I thought he played the part beautifully. He could have come across as quite creepy were he not the skilled actor that he is, I just hope that the writing and direction live up to his performances.


      • August 23, 2014 @ 10:18 pm Lily

        Even the weakest moments of Deep Breath with the Doctor worked because he made them work. He’s very skillful :)


    • August 23, 2014 @ 10:28 pm karlthementor

      I think it was easier with Eleventh Hour and Spearhead from Space as both stories started fresh. While there is a danger of that with viewers, they give you a clean slate which continuing with a companion won’t provide. It takes a few stories as you say to get to know the Doctor. Overall I think Capaldi will do brilliantly. Time and the Rani – oh dear, oh dear!…lol. I also liked Paul McGann’s debut (and penultimate TV performance) as the Doctor. While the story was awful, it had great Doctor moments for a regeneration episode.


  8. August 23, 2014 @ 10:17 pm karlthementor

    In line with the other new Doctor story openers, I thought it was great. It had a lot going on and the comedy with Strax was great as always. I feel there will be a bigger divide now with the show between Whovians and the Newvians (I refuse to call them Dweeks!!) which is why they feature a cameo with Matt Smith to ease them into the transition of having an older Doctor. Capaldi displayed a lot of energy and enthusiasm in the role. I sense the older generation will like the classic Doctor back over the great love affair displayed of recent years between companion and Doctor. He will be a great Doctor if given the chance by great stories and (no offence to Jenna) a stronger companion. I’m still not a fan of Clara but I’m hoping that will change a few episodes in before her departure. I’d love to see Strax as a full time companion for comedy measures. I think the two of them being quite different could be the ‘chalk’ and cheese (yes I did just say that). It worked with Catherine Tate’s comedy moments to the show and could be a winning formula with these two? Let’s hope the Moff takes this idea (which I think is a better one than the cheesy title clock sequence he went for).


  9. August 23, 2014 @ 10:22 pm TonyS

    I think Jenna Coleman was excellent in this episode. Possibly the best she has been. I thought Peter Capaldi gave a strong performance- but I wish he would hurry up and settle into the role. The script was weak. Don’t rehash The Girl In The Fireplace! And does the bit in the garden mean we are having a story arc?


    • August 23, 2014 @ 10:32 pm karlthementor

      Yes TonyS, The story arc continues to the end of the series with the Cybermen two-parter. It was Jenna’s strongest performance as Clara and a great one but I just don’t rate the companion Clara that well. I hope that changes.


    • August 23, 2014 @ 10:32 pm Lily

      I think so. When the lady said “Did he push you or did you jump, it wasn’t clear”, I think that has set up a story arc. Plus the fact that they keep putting the Doctor saying “Am I a good man?” in the promos.


  10. August 23, 2014 @ 10:40 pm Jon Roberts

    In a way the story was secondary, its how Peter Capaldi played the Doctor. I thought he was superb, he played it just right. I enjoyed the story, not the strongest I grant you but interesting nevertheless. I enjoyed the the friction between Clara and the Doctor, in a way it was similar to Ecclestone’s doctor and Rose at the beginning when they were feeling each other out. Overall a solid 8 out of 10.


  11. August 23, 2014 @ 10:57 pm Dimana

    Not for nothing is Peter Capaldi an anagram of DIRECT APPEAL!


  12. August 23, 2014 @ 11:16 pm Lord Darth Tyeler

    Love the new visuals on the titles, but the theme sounds a bit tinny. Mind you, I didn’t like Matt Smith’s titles very much at first but they grew on me.


  13. August 23, 2014 @ 11:45 pm leighneville2014

    Thought it was pitch perfect. Although I think the new titles are great, did anyone else find them a bit… erm… well… Crime Traveller?


  14. August 23, 2014 @ 11:55 pm BigH

    Worst series opener of new era, AWFUL theme tune, intro visuals not to my liking, story laboured and with waste of time and needless characters to detract from the Doctor. Enjoyed first 20 minutes.


  15. August 24, 2014 @ 12:33 am RedPanda

    I loved Deep Breath. Moffat and I don’t quite gel in terms of writting style, and that occasionally seeped through (We’re going to include a dinosaur because… Erm, we had a surplus in the CGI budget?), but his strengths in very sharp and amusing dialogue really helped to introduce Capaldi and basically carried the episode, the plot of which could have easily been supported by a standard 45 minute run time.

    I’ve wanted Clara to be good for ages, and now that the impossible girl (and flirting with the mountain range) is done with, as well as a brilliant performance tonight and wonderful expansion of her character, I feel like she is going to become my favourite modern companion (and… possibly all-time, if she’s lucky) as the series progresses.

    Capaldi/Clara reminds me of McCoy/Ace, and that is a good thing. A very good thing.

    Oh yeah, and I don’t doubt that Capaldi was born to play the role, but in my opinion he was never a wild card like Matt or Tennant were (I remember not being able to picture their Doctors at all before their first seasons)


  16. August 24, 2014 @ 2:23 am Christine

    Capaldi was excellent, Coleman the best I”ve seen until now, but Neve just shone. That veil scene was superb. I’ll write something more later. Just pleasrd for now.


  17. August 24, 2014 @ 3:13 am ezeggs

    Still can’t stand Clara. I find her boorish and rude. Good story tonight. Dinosaur seemed completely gratuitous.
    Moffat teased a “major foe”, could that be the Time Lady herself?

    Liked the new credits, neither one way nor the other on the new music.

    Eleven knew about Capaldi because he turned up to help in “The Day of the Doctor” when they froze/dimension-shifted Gallifrey.


    • August 24, 2014 @ 8:56 am TonyS

      My guess is that she is the TARDIS


      • August 27, 2014 @ 3:28 pm Bar

        lovely thought Tony – she’ll probably turn out to be the Rani but TARDIS would be more fun: reminds me of Nick Courtney as the TARDIS in Zagreus – how he and McGann managed not to corpse helplessly I don’t know.


  18. August 24, 2014 @ 3:17 am Al

    Excellent episode, from the theme tune (which is the first arrangement of the Modern Era to actually sound like the Classic Era) and titles to the cameo (which I think only 5 people on earth were unaware of). Jenna does an incredible job (I don’t think the Daily Mail reviewer actually watched the episode because he disses her rather terribly) and the Padernosters were great as usual. By the way, for those who hate Vastra and co (like the DM reviewer), how about this – lobby the BBC to give them that spin-off everyone wants. Then they’re off Doctor Who, we get to see them weekly on their own adventures. Everyone wins.


  19. August 24, 2014 @ 4:02 am David F

    The storytelling was steady and patient, which is a welcome change. The opening half was a little strained, perhaps because the arrival of a new Doctor is such well-trodden turf that it’s hard to contrive a new spin on it, but when the restaurant sequence began everything fell into place. There was a real sense of creepy menace, which was entirely down to design and direction, and overcame any sense that the plot was a remix of old ideas.

    Clara was far better than at any point in her first run of stories, and once the Doctor got past his disorientation, Capaldi started to get a firm grip; and it was really nice to see the involvement of Brian Miller.

    The nod to the Clockwork Robots was nice, but I’m glad the Doctor didn’t finally work out the reason why the Girl in the Fireplace droids were fixated on Madame de Pompadour as it would have spoiled the effect of that episode’s ending.

    Not sure there was enough, in the end, to justify the extended running time, though I can see the logic behind the decision to attempt a longer episode. The ending soured things slightly in that it seemed to be a set-up for another story arc, featuring yet another of Moffat’s mysterious sultry women, and I was hoping he might have found a different way to structure a series. But there were no lazy sci-fi prophecies this time, which was a relief, though they may still come.

    It was beautiful and well acted, and definitely suggested a move in the right direction. I always liked the Smith era, with a few reservations, but the fresh air is welcome.


  20. August 24, 2014 @ 5:09 am Joe Siegler

    I honestly didn’t care for the new titles. Theme song didn’t bother me. It almost felt like the theme tune for Trial of a Time Lord, only modern. It feels “different”.


    • August 24, 2014 @ 6:31 am David F

      That was my reaction too. The theme starts well, but the melody line is really weedy, just like that 1986 version. The titles graphics look like they’re cuing up a DVD menu rather than the show itself.


      • August 25, 2014 @ 2:12 am quigonj2014

        I actually thought it was an homage to the TVM version. Didn’t bother me so mauch as the new opening not looking as good as the original test version.


  21. August 24, 2014 @ 7:56 am isdigby

    I loved the new opening graphics but without the throbbing bass of the original, the music was, for me, disappointingly emasculated. Capaldi was just right and with a decent script and plot could be great. The lizard woman was played very well. But the only genuinely spooky scene, the one in the restaurant, was really just the ‘angel-statue’ one re-hashed with robots. Otherwise, too many gratuitously ‘inclusive’ characters (lesbians, animals equal to humans etc); self-referencing repartee that went on too long; garbled delivery of script lines, especially by the Doctor’s assistant Clara; things in general just too unbelievable and inconsistent to be engaging: I just lost interest after about 20 minutes.


  22. August 24, 2014 @ 8:43 am Pantz

    I didn’t think it was possible for them to make the opening credits and theme music even worse than the last series but somehow they managed it. I’m sure someone will start a campaign to get rid of them. Also, I didn’t think anything new or interesting was done with the reused clockwork organ harvesting robots.


    • Christian Cawley

      August 24, 2014 @ 10:07 am Christian Cawley

      “reused clockwork organ harvesting robots.”

      You really didn’t follow it, did you?


      • August 24, 2014 @ 4:47 pm David F

        Clockwork robots, who harvest organs, and have been used by Moffat before?

        Seems accurate to me.


  23. August 24, 2014 @ 9:02 am Andrew G. Dick

    I’d give it 8/10. Despite the awful titles and theme remix (the original fan version was million times better), I liked it a lot. Great direction, countless witty lines.

    Although it wasn’t exactly original I thought the villain was a bit lame but was creepy and gruesome. Re-hashed Moffat ideas yet again, whilst would be great for new viewers, who I suppose are the more important. Lots of great lines, though Strax got the best.

    Peter Capaldi was brilliant, even better than I expected, very Tom Baker especially bits like telling Strax to “shush”, whilst a good measure of Malcolm Tucker style authority which he does brilliantly. Jenna was on top form, and I’m really hoping she isn’t leaving.

    Loved the Scottish references, and the nods to the referendum were very cleaver “I don’t think you get a vote” and “Blame the English”. A certain cameo at the end, whilst different I don’t think it was needed. Overall it was good, I think.

    A bit like an Easter Egg, nice but a bit hollow inside. However I can see myself liking it more (as I do with most Moffat episodes), and the rest of the series looks great. Looking forward to this one more than any other before.


  24. August 24, 2014 @ 9:26 am Spider-pope

    Saw it in the cinema, it was fantastic. Loved every minute of it and Capaldi was everything i thought he’d be as the Doctor.
    And the Strax report before the episode was hilarious. I can never look at the third Doctor the same way again- half man, half granny.


  25. August 24, 2014 @ 10:00 am lozzer

    Peter Capaldi is my new best mate- I love him. The episode I need to watch again, but I mostly think it was good, better than what we usually get a Christmas time, that’s for sure. The real change starts next week, this was like Tom Baker’s Robot, next week we get the start of the real Capaldi era.


  26. August 24, 2014 @ 10:57 am Rory

    Just watched Deep Breath – placing to one side the fact that that T-rex was almost twice the size it was supposed to be! – is it too premature to say that Capaldi is my favourite Dr??
    Seriously though, I hope the pace of this episode is reflected in the whole series – definitely less sporadic with some really satisfying one to one dialogue – the cafe scene with the Dr and Clara and the scene with the Dr and the tramp were very refreshing. Some brilliantly insightful one liners…. I adore the flippant ‘scottish’ explanation too – a Dr that NEEDS to complain?. Two questions/predictions – does his ‘adoption’ of the face of Maximus suggest the Dr NEEDS to remember he is a father? (lots of refernced to the grey hair – but absolutely no attempt to provide a creative explanation for Capaldi’s wedding ring?! – curious) and – Is ‘Missy’ a deliberately suggestive name? ‘Mistress’ being a female derivitive of ‘Master?’. Moffat said that the Master was more or less resolved by Russel T Davies – technically, the Master in female form would no longer be the Master in name (and we all know from the anniversy episode how changed ‘titles’ can change a person) It has already been suggested in ‘The Dr’s Wife’ that Timelords could (in theory) change gender. The Master does also have a habit of stealing bodies as well.The Mistress????hmmm???
    My overall verdict – Deep breath=Sigh of relief. I hope that future episodes place time aside for those satisfying stretches of meaty dialogue. If one of the objectives of this episode was to pose the question ‘what is the Dr REALLY capable of?’ – then, it succeeded.


    • August 24, 2014 @ 11:29 am DonnaM

      He’s already my favourite of the 21st century – which puts him into my all-time top 5, and that’s just on under 80 minutes. Some work, Peter! A full series (or 2, 3, or more!) of that and the very top of my list may be in jeopardy…

      I do fear “Missy”=”Mistress”=”female Master”, possibly as a stalking-horse for a future (far future, I hope) regeneration into a female Doctor, but there’s always the chance it’s a Moffat red herring because it seems a bit too easy to figure out.

      At least it makes a change from “Well, she’s obviously River” :-)

      Why did he choose that face? Well, contrary to what some of the younglings may think, it’s not a bad one, is it? A reminder that the Doctor’s self-appointed task is to “save someone” as Donna put it to Ten, perhaps?


      • August 24, 2014 @ 12:08 pm drvwho

        not really as she could have been the high priests who was the doctor so called girlfriend in the last episode matt smith was in or madam carvaria


        • August 24, 2014 @ 12:36 pm DonnaM

          Tasks Lem? Possibly. Madame Kovarian? Maybe. She might even be an entirely new character! To be honest I think I would prefer that of the options I’ve mentioned, but the Missy-short-for-Mistress-female-Master connection does kind of jump out at me.

          As I say, I very much hope it’s way off the mark :-)


    • August 24, 2014 @ 12:01 pm David F

      Who’s Maximus?


  27. August 24, 2014 @ 12:05 pm drvwho

    i think it would have been better if he had been more like the first doctor grumpy rude and overbearing all the way through i would have liked to see him mellow as his companion shows him that his regen was influanced by the timelords and he has to adapt as he sorts the problems like the timelords would do and clara showing him another way how her doctor would see things
    this doctor would have conflicting issues with it come the consequence of the fan base would the doctor kill in cold blood


  28. August 24, 2014 @ 12:33 pm jemcat

    Capaldi was brilliant of course and well on his way even after one episode to becoming one of the truly great doctors. I suspect by about midway through this series, he will be right up there nudging Tom Baker.

    Jenna Coleman was finally given some proper characterisation and shone. I am getting a great Donna/Ten or Ace/Seven vibe from them. Jenna works so much better with Peter than with Matt.

    There was good episode in there struggling to get out from under the first 20 minutes of Moffaty tosh. The first part felt pasted on just to get it to cinema length with a bizarre stream of consciousness feel and dull dull dull set up. Once Clara and the Doctor made it to the restaurant it really took off.

    The Matt cameo was both gratuitous and cloying. Sorry Matt, didn’t like your doctor although you are a highly talented actor and lovely man, but I felt somewhat embarrassed for you in being dragged out like that for some by-the-numbers tear jerking. It’s Peter’s show now.

    There are the makings of a great new team under all of the layers of self-referential look-at-me writing which Moffat insists on shoving into his episodes. I don’t want to be told another fifty times that there is no more flirting (well except for girl on girl flirting, coz it doesn’t matter if the camera leers down someone’s cleavage if they are lesbians, does it?). Yes, I know the cobbled together parts from Moffat’s back catalogue are supposed to be a droll reference to the clockwork droids and the nerds will be thrilled with the many throw away lines linking this episode to Classic Who, but it does get a bit tiresome when the clever swotty kid writing this spends more time of figuring out how to shoehorn in these references rather than constructing a plot which makes sense.

    Interested to see what another writer can make of this fresh team but signs are very good with both actors absolutely nailing it. Hope the writing team can lift things a notch from the last two series as well. Grade B.


    • August 27, 2014 @ 3:40 pm Bar

      Wasn’t ‘Moffaty Tosh’ a seventies folk/rock group?


  29. August 24, 2014 @ 2:23 pm Howard Railton

    Whilst Capaldi can certainly act, and may well grow to be very enjoyable in the part, I don’t think this story did serve him that well though he manfully struggled to rise above all the flaws. For example, was there really any point to the dinosaur? The show probably could have got along a lot better if he’d simply landed, collapsed and been taken off to hospital to fall to the body snatchers there. Instead it was all a waste of time having a dinosaur other than to generate a few tired laughs. They also brought back the incredibly irritating, salacious and pointless comedy Silurian. It was all shoe-horned in and didn’t sit comfortably. Presumably, Clara was in no danger when abandoned by the Dr as she knew she could simply get in touch with the acrobatic comedy aliens to affect her rescue so why hold her breath etc.? The robots turning themselves into humans didn’t come from the Madam de Pompidour ship, apparently, but her sister ship, so why did they also end up going through time windows and trying to save themselves by snatching people’s body parts? The obligatory silly unknown enemy woman was stuck on the end, like a kind of more up-front Madam Kovarian but generally leaving me bored already hoping she wont come back every week or it’ll just be one more thing to detract from the story that week and take up precious minutes that could be spent actually flagging up points that were hard to comprehend or see any reason for. It also didn’t help that Capaldi’s accent occasionally meant I couldn’t understand what he was on about and the sound quality was generally poor. I don’t mind him bringing in his Scots accent, if he likes, though it makes the character of the Doctor less alien and interstellar and more parochial and limited. It is another political bit of pandering to the Scots during a period of political upheaval that makes the Dr have to start posturing as to a position on an issue that didn’t need to be inflicted onto a children’s show.

    I’m hoping for better next week.


    • August 24, 2014 @ 2:58 pm Spider-pope

      I completely disagree on the dinosaur being pointless. It did a number of things for the story. First it emphasized just how long the droids had been around.

      Second it provided a window to the Doctors soul. His translation of the dinosaurs lament could have just as easily been talking about the Doctor himself.

      And lastly, and arguably most importantly, it allowed us to see clearly that even though he’s changed dramatically, he’s still the same man at his core. A giant, terrifying animal stomping about, and his response is to flirt with it. When it’s killed, there’s no celebration, just despair at it’s murder. That sums up everything that makes the Doctor, the Doctor.


    • August 24, 2014 @ 3:44 pm Castellan Spandrel

      “t also didn’t help that Capaldi’s accent occasionally meant I couldn’t understand what he was on about and the sound quality was generally poor. I don’t mind him bringing in his Scots accent, if he likes, though it makes the character of the Doctor less alien and interstellar and more parochial and limited. It is another political bit of pandering to the Scots during a period of political upheaval that makes the Dr have to start posturing as to a position on an issue that didn’t need to be inflicted onto a children’s show.”

      -Pandering to the Scots? So basically, any time a TV show has a character with a Scottish accent, it’s pandering to Scottish viewers?

      Show me something – anything – in the dialogue that indicates the Scottish accents (not just the Doctor’s) were anything to do with the Independence referendum, which you seem to be implying they were, Howard.

      It was no different from ‘Lots of planets have a north.’ Does the Doctor having a Scottish accent make him any more parochial and less interstellar than a Mancunian or a Home Counties or London accent did? I suppose those accents were more acceptable to you, as they weren’t Scottish? I dread to think what you made of the seventh Doctor.

      I agree with you on one point: I struggled to understand some of the Doctor’s dialogue, but I have that problem generally nowadays with a lot of TV audio, and he was a bit mumbly at times; but for me it wasn’t an issue with the accent.


      • August 24, 2014 @ 4:50 pm David F

        Maybe our ears just needed to recalibrate. Because when I first watched it, there were a few moments where I felt Capaldi’s words were getting lost in the mix. Yet when I watched it a second time, it all sounded perfectly clear to me and I couldn’t figure out why I’d struggled the first time.


      • August 24, 2014 @ 6:07 pm TonyS

        I don’t think that the Scots accent makes the Doctor parochial and less alien. I do think lines like “I am Scottish… I can really complain now” and “I probably blame the English” make him precisely that.


        • August 24, 2014 @ 6:41 pm Castellan Spandrel

          I agree. As funny as some of the lines were, I don’t think it was necessary to point out his accent in the script, just as it wasn’t with Sylvester McCoy.


          • August 25, 2014 @ 3:31 pm Howard Railton

            I quite liked Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor and never had trouble understanding him, but I did with Capaldi.

            I also had issues with the treatment of Clara in this story, it struck me that only two stories ago she met all the Doctors when saving them and yet now she’s made to sound a bigot by the Silurian for daring to suggest the Doctor didn’t actually renew but just changed and got older looking. Like so much of Moffat’s writing, it doesn’t make sense.

          • August 25, 2014 @ 5:53 pm Castellan Spandrel

            “I also had issues with the treatment of Clara in this story, it struck me that only two stories ago she met all the Doctors when saving them and yet now she’s made to sound a bigot by the Silurian for daring to suggest the Doctor didn’t actually renew but just changed and got older looking. Like so much of Moffat’s writing, it doesn’t make sense.”

            -I do agree with you on this point, Howard. I found that illogical, though I enjoyed the episode on the whole.

    • August 24, 2014 @ 5:32 pm DonnaM

      I understood every word clear as a bell, and yes, I am English. Was the BBC pandering to Manchester when Eccleston kept his accent too? McCoy wasn’t forced to adopt a “proper” English accent as I recall, and I regret that Tennant was asked to do that Estuary nonsense because I found it far more testing to the ear than Capaldi’ s Glaswegian.

      You loathe the way Moffat runs the show: I respect your strong opinions even though I generally disagree with them. However, I find your arguments are weakened by the political slant you give, rather than strengthened. There were some references I found quite amusing to the referendum, but again, personal taste, I saw nothing overtly pro or anti about them.


      • August 24, 2014 @ 6:38 pm Castellan Spandrel

        There was the odd line, like, “Blame the English!” Maybe that’s what Howard is referring to?

        But I saw that as merely Moffat’s sense of humour about the stereotype of grumpy Scottishness, which was also self-deprecatory: “I’m Scottish, I can complain about things!” similar to The Eleventh Hour, when the Dr told Amelia, “You’re Scottish. Fry something!”


  30. August 24, 2014 @ 2:29 pm davidagnew

    I vote that the Doctor pushed him.


    • August 24, 2014 @ 4:24 pm Rick

      Me too.


      • August 24, 2014 @ 4:33 pm Castellan Spandrel

        Same here. Pushed.

        Imagine kids trying to sleep straight after seeing a hot air balloon made of skin, someone’s eyes about to be taken out & the Half-faced man skewered on a spire.

        Just how it should be, like old times!


        • August 27, 2014 @ 3:48 pm Bar

          The whole point of that ‘through the fourth wall’ look straight at us is that we are meant to choose – not ‘do I have the right?’ or ‘Killer or coward?’ but ‘what sort of Doctor do YOU want?
          Personally I’m with the ‘he jumped’ camp – euthanasia rather than execution. But That look shows he has more faith in the fans that the writers of this story. Don’t TELL us to accept him, SHOW us he simply IS the Doctor and move on.
          like the TVM the best thing about it was the lead actor and the Doctor he will be with better stories and the chance to dazzle.
          Capaldi’s already in the driving seat but barely out of first gear.


    • August 25, 2014 @ 7:05 pm TonyS

      I think that the one of them who was lying about his basic programming was the Android. He jumped!


      • August 25, 2014 @ 9:39 pm DonnaM

        I agree. A machine that acknowledges beauty is no longer a machine. They’re having fun teasing us with this “dark” idea, but I don’t see a couple of fans like Capaldi and Moffat turning the Doctor into a cold-blooded murderer. He jumped!


        • August 25, 2014 @ 10:21 pm Castellan Spandrel

          Makes sense for him to have jumped, but the nasty part of me likes the idea of the Doctor pushing him.

          The Half-faced Man was one of the strengths of this story. I like Peter Ferdinando anyway, and he got the clockwork body movements spot on, made him genuinely siniister but also added a note of pathos near the end.


          • August 25, 2014 @ 11:01 pm TonyS

            What I have always liked about this story is the performances. Capaldi, Coleman, Starkey all of them.

            The first couple of viewings, I have been less enamoured with the writing. I am liking it better now, but I still think there is room fro improvement.

  31. August 24, 2014 @ 4:56 pm David F

    In the latest Doctor Who Magazine, Moffat says: “I’m aware I have a sentimental tendency to whack (dead) people back on their feet again–you can have several deaths in one lifetime, apparently–and I’m aware that that’s a weakness, so I thought in our new, scary universe we’d make sure we off some people . . .”

    I liked reading that.

    Then I watched the half-faced man-robot sitting around drinking tea, having been killed a few scenes before.

    Oh well.


  32. August 24, 2014 @ 9:42 pm Rory

    Sorry!, I meant Caecilius…the father from the Fires of Pompei


  33. August 25, 2014 @ 12:08 am STLShawn

    75 minutes? I want a recount!
    Felt like 15 to me. Now that’s quality entertainment.


  34. August 25, 2014 @ 1:18 am quigonj2014

    I didn’t hate it, but it was far from a favorite episode for me. I thought the story could have been cut 20 minutes with no issues by tossing scenes like Clara’s examination. I’ll grant that Jenny was better than she’s ever been, I thought Vastra was a self-righteous prat and Strax is a sad, one-note joke now. Please tell me we are done with those three.

    Three things did nag at me, though. First was Clara’s constantly banging on about how wrinkly the Doctor now is. First, Capaldi isn’t all that wrinkly, and I don’t think the “tumblr fangirls” thing was really that much of a thing. Capaldi’s as skinny as Tennant, and he’s not rocking the old man look that Hartnell did even though he’s the same age. Yes, I get that story wise, this was taking place minutes after Grandma Oswald was at Christmas dinner talking about how much she loved the look of Clara’s grandfather when they first met, and her defensiveness was because she had just realized to what extent she fancied Eleven. She would have been mad at the change for some reason even if he turned out to look like Harrison Ford in his prime.

    The second thing.. why is Moffat insulting Clara so much? First the truth field in TOTD, and then that whole restaurant scene.. it was just unpleasant. I can’t think why Clara deserved such abuse, from the length of her legs to the whole game playing whatever comments.

    And finally, how many powerful women with a hidden agenda are we going to meet? Stalkery Mary Poppins was stalkery. I hope she gives better performances in the future.

    Aside from those scenes, I thought it was cool when I found out the man he got that coat from was Brian Miller, Lis Sladen’s widower, and I liked Capaldi’s performance.Oh, and I also liked that they made George Carlin proud. There’s a joke where he says he would give anything if he could just hear the following line in a movie: Do whatever you want to the girl, just leave ME alone!” And that it was shown he did it because he trusted her to survive till he got back… okay, I liked that.


  35. August 25, 2014 @ 4:08 am Dominick Cericola (@DJCericola)

    It was a disappointment for me overall. Enough of a disappointment, that I am walking away from anything else NuWHO-related until Moffat steps down. Full review here: http://barkingschnauzer.blogspot.com


    • August 25, 2014 @ 7:59 am quigonj2014

      Can’t blame you, but I guess I am a masochist.

      I tried leaving a comment on your blog, but couldn’t log in on either of two accounts. If you are still looking for classic Who discs, you might wanna check wbshop.com. They have The Time Meddler for $19.99 and other rare ones also at retail.


    • August 25, 2014 @ 10:06 am Castellan Spandrel



    • August 25, 2014 @ 4:11 pm Rick

      I’m sure we’ll all miss you.


  36. August 25, 2014 @ 6:00 am Tommygun264

    I found it quite a well thought out episode with so many deep, memorable scenes. When the Doctor was talking in his sleep Clara assumed he was translating for the T-Rex, but at the very end he repeated “can’t see me, can’t see me” – the same thing he said to Clara later in Glasgow “you’re looking at me but you still can’t see me, do you have any idea how that feels”. Also in his conversation with the android when the Doctor held up the silver platter & said “you probably don’t even remember where you got that face from”, and as the android paused to look at his reflexion we see the Doctor looking at his own face in the other side of the platter & realizing the same could be said for him.

    And the dialogue between Clara & the Doctor, especially when they were bickering in the restaurant, demonstrated Jenna & Peter have just as much chemistry & can play off each other just as well as Jenna & Matt. The scene with the sonic screwdriver when the Doctor said under his breath, “it’s times like this I wish I still had Amy”. then told Clara “oh, nothing” when she asked what he had just said – PRICELESS! I like having the Doctor & Clara at odds with one another, not so perfectly in sync like she was with Matt Smith’s Doctor. Clara still has great affection for him, but like a true friend, she’s not afraid to call him out for his rudeness. Like Madame Vastra said, he needs someone to give him hell now & then.


  37. August 25, 2014 @ 1:29 pm Rory

    Sorry – I meant Caecillius – the father from The Fires of Pompeii


  38. August 25, 2014 @ 1:43 pm rickjlundeen

    Watched it a second time last night—I found it to be smoother and more enjoyable , now that I’d gotten the initial nervous energy viewing out of the way. The K crew had many complaints about the Victorian three and the long opening and the Doctors crazy antics, others have said they didn’t like his erratic behavior, etc. nonsense. Some even complained that the t-Rex effects seemed like a video game– ridiculous. Especially considering how good video game effects are these days.

    The opening sequence wasn’t long at all, the Zt-Rex was great, he started calming down by the time he got to the bridge, you NEED the Victorian Three for the change over cushion and Clara had her best outing ever. I’m even more impressed across the board after a second viewing. I think there are some folks out there that would be well served by doing so as well. It’s an eye opener.


  39. August 25, 2014 @ 8:14 pm 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 ad give it 9/10.


  40. August 26, 2014 @ 10:29 am Ranger

    Capaldi was magnificent. I am very happy with his performance and think he will only get better. I loved the moral ambiguity – so like William Hartnell. Did he really abandon Clara (of course not, but I did wonder for a moment), did he push the half-man? Oh I hope so! And the way he treated the tramp (lovely to see Brian Miller), he was bullying and again it’s ambiguous how he got the coat. A darker and more angry Doctor = great!

    Oh god, another bloody story arc with a mysterious, eccentric woman. I give up with Moffatt at times, he’s stuck on a one track theme. Methinks Jenny protested too much with the marriage theme – we get it, love; don’t labour it. Loved the humour (especially the angry eyebrows!)But have had some negative comments from my nearest and dearest about this – to quote my father “It was so contrived it was embarrassing”.

    Jenna was giving a lot better scenes in this and she responded – a great performance. I love the bickering between her and the Doctor, reminded me of some of the interactions with the Doctor from Sarah Jane and Ace. I’m not sure about the negative comments about her bigotry – put yourself in her situation: her best friend has disappeared to be replaced by someone who acts differently but expects her to see straightaway that it’s the same person?! It’s her first regeneration for pity sake’s – even though she’s had interactions with all the other Doctors they were brief and with no emotional connection. To me it simply seemed that she was going through an understandable grieving process and just needed some time to get used to the idea. Instead she got Madam Vastra preaching at her in a smug, “I know better than you” way.

    Overall I didn’t think it was the best regeneration story (strangely enough that was The Eleventh Hour – given that I later couldn’t stand Matt Smith’s characterisation), but it was good enough to introduce Peter and I can only hope for better stories for him than Matt got.


    • August 27, 2014 @ 4:05 pm Bar

      Magnificant is the right word for him, but makes me think ‘The Magnificent Capaldi and his amazing performing eyebrows.’

      Only he could deliver the line ‘I never said it was my mistake’ and make you wonder how deep the metatext goes… was it RussT’s mistake in giving our Doctor Who a young flirty face to draw in the Buffy crowd back in 2005? Does Moffat’s removal of said veil hint that he thinks the new fans have stopped seeing it and are ready for the real thing? I just wish he’d had more faith in both Capaldi and the fans, and spent less time justifying the change and more time celebrating it. I loved the 11th Doctor, and am glad the younger leads have drawn in a new fanbase, but this return to ambiguity, uncertainty, mystery and danger is just what the doctor ordered.

      into dalekness.


  41. August 26, 2014 @ 11:13 am Cathie Tranent

    Capaldi lived up to all my expectations – I thought his post regeneration confusion was brilliant. As the show went on and the Doctor sharpened up, there were definite glimpses of a darker, less predictable Doctor (Huzzah!).

    The storyline itself was fairly lightweight – I think the last 10 minutes (everything after the phone call from 11) contained all the content we needed for the story arc.

    Final thoughts? Can’t wait for next week – and isn’t that ultimately what it’s all about?


  42. August 26, 2014 @ 1:34 pm Ranger

    One thing I didn’t like was the kiss between Jenny and Vastra. It just seemed to be in the wrong place and for all the wrong reasons – it’s like Moffatt’s saying “Look – two lesbians kissing! But I’ve got to give them a reason to do so – oh, I know, Jenny’s dying of lack of oxygen!” It’s ridiculing their relationship. If they had just casually kissed in one of their scenes (like when Jenny was posing) as a by the way, casual thing, like most long-term couples do in real-life, it would have been more believable. I can’t help but feel that until a gay relationship is treated in a normal, no drama way on TV, then we won’t make real progress with general acceptance. By constantly referencing it and making it a big deal it’s just reinforcing some people’s prejudice. But then, I suppose I have done the same thing with this post by commenting. Oh well.


    • August 26, 2014 @ 3:49 pm Rick

      Plus, surely Jenny was still breathing even when she kissed Vastra, just from a different source of oxygen.


      • August 26, 2014 @ 4:28 pm TonyS

        Maybe it wasn;t the breathing that alerted the Rubbish Robots- maybe it was the respiration. In one of the Mr Vampire films, two of the protagonists hide in a wardrobe and exhale through a bamboo cane. The vampire thinks they are at the other end of it. with Vastra and Jenny impersonating an airlock maybe the androids can;t hear them…


  43. September 1, 2014 @ 4:43 pm R.J.

    Gonna write a mile-long comment here because I’m just so chuffed that HE is back. So there :) Sooo…Deep Breath. Oh how I loved this episode. OK, some of the writing was a little weak and Vastra/Jenny was a bit patronising but enough has been said about that. Peter Capaldi is wonderful and Jenna Coleman was never better. This new guy will really bring out the best in Clara, I’m sure, as did the confrontation with Vastra regarding the Doctor’s appearance. From that first ‘Shush!’, through ‘Door!Boring – not me!’, his perplexity over the logic of bedrooms and ranting about his ‘attack eyebrows’, 12 completely won me over. The ‘I am alone’ sequence was lovely too. And he proved he really is the smartest person in the room – often the Doctor is pretty vague and you suspect he is just winging it but here, concerned about the dinosaur, he actually wrote down the working out! All those chalk scribbles – he was doing the maths involved in bringing her home. You clever boy.
    I also liked the level of moral ambiguity. In the scene where Clara is trapped with the droids I was stunned that he left her and, as she reaches behind in the hope he has her back after all, the pause is just long enough to make you think he’s really not going to be there. Of course he was and it was all part of the plan but it was a nerve-wracking moment nonetheless. However, when Clara later seems to be about to leave him there is such a sadness and disappointment in his face, he obviously still cares and would never really have let her come to harm.
    And I very much like the bookcases around the TARDIS console room. As with the chalk scene it reminds us that the Doctor is a very smart man who craves knowledge and adventure. True, the TARDIS probably has a huge database but perhaps the Doctor, a man belonging to a technologically advanced species, who has made a time-machine his home and is constantly confronted with dangerous alien tech finds peace and comfort in something as safe and simple as the smell of chalk and books.


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