Doctor Who Review: The Doctor's Going to Some Dark Places

harpere

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Doctor Who Review: The Doctor's Going to Some Dark Places

Though the premiere episode, Deep Breath, isn't a stunner, it's not a bad introduction to Peter Capaldi's Doctor, either.

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octafish

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Capaldi was not the Bad Guy in Fires of Pompeii. Now that is out of the way, see Curse of Fenric for some dark Doctor action. Capaldi has a way to go yet. Somehow I don't see him trying to steal Colin Baker's remaining regenerations.
 

small

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The only thing that saved the episode for me was everyone's favourite inter species lesbian consulting detective couple and their homicidal, gender perception challenged butler.

For me it was trying to hard to be a sitcom of all things
 

Diddy_Mao

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I rather liked this episode. The show was still getting it's legs the last time we saw a companion deal with a new face, and while it's true that Deep Breath may in some way suffer by cribbing from an earlier episode I think it also serves to mirror the entire idea of putting a new face on a familiar concept.

This is one of those episodes that has the basic elements of Dr. Who but uses them instead as a framework for a smaller and more intimate story and I can't fault it for that.

At the end of the day I'm still not sure how Capaldi is going to handle being the Doctor, since the bulk of the episode is spent with him in a post regenerative delirium but what I've seen so far has been pretty good.

If I had to pick anything about this episode that makes me slightly wary of the upcoming season it's the reveal of Missy.
Obviously we don't really have any firm grasp on her or her motivations just yet but I sincerely hope that the series villain isn't going to just be an overzealous fan girl.
 

Daaaah Whoosh

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What I got from this episode is that it's trying way too hard to stay rooted in the past. Where Smith's run started with a new face, a new screwdriver, a new Tardis, a new companion, and a relatively new universe, this time around we still have Clara and other supporting characters, the Tardis looks like it did last time, and the references to previous Doctors and their adventures don't seem to stop. I'm starting to think Moffat wants to wring every bit of nostalgia he can from referencing Tennant's episodes, while Capaldi is trying very hard to act like some of the old-fashioned Doctors. No idea if any of this is going to help the show get better, but by the end of the episode I started thinking it wasn't going to be too bad.

And it looks like I'll need to update my avatar soon...
 

elvor0

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ehhh...it was mediocre. Considering it was 75 minutes long, Moffat still "solved" everything in the last five minutes. And considering "The Girl in the Fireplace" is one of my favourite episodes, which was written by Moffat with the same robots, it's a shame this one was so bland.

There was also far less Doctor than what I consider to be enough, didn't really get a chance to establish Capaldis persona.

Also, and I hope I'm not the only one who picked up on this: What the hell was with that phonecall from Matt Smith? The phone call was good as a "goodbye" considering he'd not had a chance to say goodbye to Clara in his personal timeline as of that phonecall, but he has ABSOLUTELY NO WAY of knowing or to think that he'd be regenerated.

As far as Smith was concerned he was going to die with no coming back, that was his last regeneration, it's only because the Time Lords appeared and gave him a new cycle, which wasn't until hundreds of years later for Smith. The only reason he'd /have/ to make that phonecall was because he knew he was going to die on Trenzalore, either fighting or old age.

Missy was interesting though, looking forward to where they're going with her, as long as it's not a River Song expy.
 

shadowmagus

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Not sure how I felt about the whole episode as a whole. This was honestly my first sitting down to watch an episode, otherwise I've only ever caught episodes kind of randomly.

I was kind of disappointed that there was a lack of Capaldi but I understood the point to it, and what I saw at the end of the episode gave me a lot of hope. I know Capaldi has the chops to pull it off, he was one of my favorite actors even before Doctor Who.

Otherwise, I was kind of tickled that a great deal of the episode seemed directed at people who were mad about Capaldi being the Doctor. I think this will be a good season, and honestly think it will be Capaldi as an actor that makes it great, but honestly I'm probably a little bias.
 

kailus13

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I don't really think we do know what the new Doctor is like. He spent the majority of the episode struggling to remember anything, including which character was a lizard person.

I liked the Doctor translating in his sleep, if he was translating and not just dreaming.

The new theme tunes a bit weird.

What the hell was that at the end?
 

Jeroenr

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The Dinosaur gave me a feeling that they skipped ahead from the regeneration to the start of the new episode.
And we mist out on a story there.


Diddy_Mao said:
At the end of the day I'm still not sure how Capaldi is going to handle being the Doctor, since the bulk of the episode is spent with him in a post regenerative delirium but what I've seen so far has been pretty good.
Indeed, but that was to be expected.
It probably take another 2 or 3 episodes to really get a take on him as the doctor.

If I had to pick anything about this episode that makes me slightly wary of the upcoming season it's the reveal of Missy.
Obviously we don't really have any firm grasp on her or her motivations just yet but I sincerely hope that the series villain isn't going to just be an overzealous fan girl.
Hard to say where they a going with her just yet, but she had some interesting choice of words though.
"I do like his new accent though, think i might keep it"
And revering to him as "boyfriend"

And there is some talk that the garden has the same layout as a T.A.R.D.I.S.
I agree, but that's pure speculation.

Can't wait to find out.
 

harpere

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The show definitely makes great use of their actors. The writing hasn't been very good since Moffat took over, but the performances of Matt Smith, and Karen Gillan, and Peter Capaldi transcend it's badness (Usually).

Can Madame Vastra and company have their own spin-off, please? They have a great dynamic, one I'd rather see given it's own spotlight, instead of constantly stealing it from the Doctor.
 

snappydog

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Mcoffey said:
Can Madame Vastra and company have their own spin-off, please? They have a great dynamic, one I'd rather see given it's own spotlight, instead of constantly stealing it from the Doctor.
I've seen rumours - largely from other users on these same forums, so don't ask me to source them - that Moffat is pushing for a Paternoster Gang spin-off, which might be why they got such a prominent part of this episode. Personally I can't stand them - and not because I hate LGBT representation or anything, just because I don't really rate the acting of Vastra or (especially) Jenny and I think they're shoehorned in a lot of the time so Moffat can fill a quota of diversity or something. The real reason might, of course, just be that he likes them and thinks they're fun, which is much less insidious, but I still don't like them.
 

CosmicCommander

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Mcoffey said:
Can Madame Vastra and company have their own spin-off, please? They have a great dynamic, one I'd rather see given it's own spotlight, instead of constantly stealing it from the Doctor.
I thought they were very obnoxious, if nothing else. They're a bit annoying and detracted from the arc of this episode. And the entire lesbianism thing between Vastra and the maid felt forced.
 

webkilla

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I enjoyed it.

The discussion between bad guy and the doctor in the 'escape pod' about not reaching paradise, and exactly who is lying about their 'programing' was delicious to me.

I honestly hope that this doctor is a bit darker. With the Day of the Doctor episode, he's no longer on the run, but has a mission: To find home - and... he doesn't expect to make it there alive? Oh dear

I for one look forward to seeing where this goes
 

thetoddo

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webkilla said:
I enjoyed it.

The discussion between bad guy and the doctor in the 'escape pod' about not reaching paradise, and exactly who is lying about their 'programing' was delicious to me.

I honestly hope that this doctor is a bit darker. With the Day of the Doctor episode, he's no longer on the run, but has a mission: To find home - and... he doesn't expect to make it there alive? Oh dear

I for one look forward to seeing where this goes
I think it's more that he knows that while he may save his homeworld he will likely not be welcome there after he does than not thinking he's going to go all Moses in the desert.
 

Me55enger

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Capaldi is more my kind of Doctor. Mainly because he isn't some floppy haired git with an innate ability to act like a particularly lackluster child in Public School uniform.

Not that Doctor Who has done anything to endear me to him since Eccelston left, but hey. Here's to episode two, or whatever.
 

chetoos

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I actually think Missie might be evil future Clara, because she referred to the Doctor as "boyfriend".

Also, I disagree, the darkest I've ever seen the Doctor, at least in New Who, was either 9's lunch with the Slitheen woman or 11 to House, when House took over the TARDIS: "Fear me, I've killed hundreds of Time Lords." "Fear me, I've killed them all." His casual dismissal of that was scary.
 

CaptainMarvelous

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elvor0 said:
Also, and I hope I'm not the only one who picked up on this: What the hell was with that phonecall from Matt Smith? The phone call was good as a "goodbye" considering he'd not had a chance to say goodbye to Clara in his personal timeline as of that phonecall, but he has ABSOLUTELY NO WAY of knowing or to think that he'd be regenerated.
Yeah he did o_O that was after he got given the new cycles, he zipped into the Tardis and saw Clara again before he regenerated, they even talked a little.

I mean, it's a little dumb he somehow f*cking called her when he could have done it WHEN he regenerated.
 

Sir Shockwave

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Diddy_Mao said:
If I had to pick anything about this episode that makes me slightly wary of the upcoming season it's the reveal of Missy.
Obviously we don't really have any firm grasp on her or her motivations just yet but I sincerely hope that the series villain isn't going to just be an overzealous fan girl.
This. Although to add to that, I'll bet there's fan theories going around right now that she's actually The Rani. Or a future regeneration of the Doctor. One of these theories is currently being passed around right now, I swear.

elvor0 said:
ehhh...it was mediocre. Considering it was 75 minutes long, Moffat still "solved" everything in the last five minutes. And considering "The Girl in the Fireplace" is one of my favourite episodes, which was written by Moffat with the same robots, it's a shame this one was so bland.

There was also far less Doctor than what I consider to be enough, didn't really get a chance to establish Capaldis persona.

Also, and I hope I'm not the only one who picked up on this: What the hell was with that phonecall from Matt Smith? The phone call was good as a "goodbye" considering he'd not had a chance to say goodbye to Clara in his personal timeline as of that phonecall, but he has ABSOLUTELY NO WAY of knowing or to think that he'd be regenerated.

As far as Smith was concerned he was going to die with no coming back, that was his last regeneration, it's only because the Time Lords appeared and gave him a new cycle, which wasn't until hundreds of years later for Smith. The only reason he'd /have/ to make that phonecall was because he knew he was going to die on Trenzalore, either fighting or old age.

Missy was interesting though, looking forward to where they're going with her, as long as it's not a River Song expy.
Well, the Matt Smith Phone Call is like Day of the Doctor, or the whole business with Clara being scattered across the Doctor's timeline, or the watering down/inbreeding going on with the Daleks and Cybermen - Moffat gives not one fuck about previously established continuity. Despite the fact that the whole Trenzalore thing now possibly can't happen (at least with Matt Smith - causality would demand that Peter Capeldi and other future Doctors be erased from time too, or at the very least summon a horde of Reapers for interfering with the timeline). So yes, moreso than Missy, that Phone Call was weird, out of place and quite possibly bad writing.

Also - don't give Moffat ideas! Missy might well turn out to be evil River Song! X3

OT: This episode was...forgettable mostly. It was alright, but asides the Robots who harvest organs and the rather unsubtle callbacks to "The Girl in the Fireplace" (which Moffat also penned) it is one we're going to be forgetting about quickly.

Incidentally, next episode might be another turn to adapt a Big Finish story.
 

harpere

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snappydog said:
Mcoffey said:
Can Madame Vastra and company have their own spin-off, please? They have a great dynamic, one I'd rather see given it's own spotlight, instead of constantly stealing it from the Doctor.
I've seen rumours - largely from other users on these same forums, so don't ask me to source them - that Moffat is pushing for a Paternoster Gang spin-off, which might be why they got such a prominent part of this episode. Personally I can't stand them - and not because I hate LGBT representation or anything, just because I don't really rate the acting of Vastra or (especially) Jenny and I think they're shoehorned in a lot of the time so Moffat can fill a quota of diversity or something. The real reason might, of course, just be that he likes them and thinks they're fun, which is much less insidious, but I still don't like them.
CosmicCommander said:
Mcoffey said:
Can Madame Vastra and company have their own spin-off, please? They have a great dynamic, one I'd rather see given it's own spotlight, instead of constantly stealing it from the Doctor.
I thought they were very obnoxious, if nothing else. They're a bit annoying and detracted from the arc of this episode. And the entire lesbianism thing between Vastra and the maid felt forced.
It feels like he's introducing them for the first time each time they show up. Like, he's got to go over the important character beats every time: Vastra is a Silurian who fights crime in victorian London, Jenny is her maid who is also her wife and she's sassy, Strax is a lovable oaf who wants to kill things. He does this every time, and they show up a lot so it feels grating after a while. I'd hope if they got their own show, Moffat could trust the audience not to immediately forget they exist after each episode.

I think Rory and Amy talked about their marriage enough that it's not him "shoehorning" diversity as much as it is he's not a super great writer and doesn't expect much of his audience.
 

webkilla

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thetoddo said:
webkilla said:
I enjoyed it.

The discussion between bad guy and the doctor in the 'escape pod' about not reaching paradise, and exactly who is lying about their 'programing' was delicious to me.

I honestly hope that this doctor is a bit darker. With the Day of the Doctor episode, he's no longer on the run, but has a mission: To find home - and... he doesn't expect to make it there alive? Oh dear

I for one look forward to seeing where this goes
I think it's more that he knows that while he may save his homeworld he will likely not be welcome there after he does than not thinking he's going to go all Moses in the desert.
Sounds good to me - can't wait to see what'll happen with that