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Doctor Who, Series 8 – Deep Breath, BBC1 – Saturday 23rd August: TV Review

By DavidBol  |  Posted: August 24, 2014

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Clara and the Doctor in series eight opener 'Deep Breath'. Photo by BBC/Adrian Rogers

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Peter Capaldi started his stint as the 12th Doctor in angry fashion as we are left with unanswered questions about the ethics of the new Doctor.

It seems the viewers were not the only ones needing convincing about Capaldi’s interpretation of the Doctor – as companion Clara needs a familiar face to help her out in series opener 'Deep Breath'.

The opening scene featuring a giant dinosaur terrorising London is quite a spectacular way to start a new series, but is a complete decoy for the episode’s gothic Victorian plot. The episode starts very slowly and quite awkwardly, until Clara and the Doctor meet at a creepy restaurant – when the story begins to unwind.

The new doctor is clearly quite bitter and dark – and Capaldi has already shown glimpses of a welcome shift from nice boys David Tennant and Matt Smith. In ‘Deep Breath’ there are hints the Doctor steals a coat from a tramp and maybe even throws a robotic collection of human bits onto a spike above Big Ben.

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What is clear is that Capaldi will bring a return to the ‘classic’ Doctor Who of old - while the episode succeeded in setting up an interesting series. Capaldi and Steven Moffat (writer) clearly had fun with the Doctor’s new Scottish accent – with his alarm that the English have ‘developed a fault’.

The witty script continues with a reference to why humans devote an entire room to when they are asleep and the best line of the episode is reserved for an alarmed Doctor warning ‘do not look in that mirror, it’s furious’.

Unfortunately, there is a brief cameo from Matt Smith – which wasn’t needed as Capaldi instantly stamped his authority on the role as soon as the TARDIS hurtled out of the mouth of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

Smith started his life as the Doctor dipping fish fingers in custard, while the new Doctor is coming to terms with being old and grumpy. I’m sure the Doctor will have plenty to be grumpy about next week when he comes face to face with the daleks. The most interesting thing about the new Doctor is that we don’t know if we should like him or not.

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