Doctor Who: Deep Breath Review

BY DANIEL SHEPPARD

After much anticipation and excitement since seeing the Doctor regenerate on Christmas Day, fans all over the nation were avidly watching BBC One on Saturday night, as Doctor Who returned to our screens with a new face.

Already knowing that the first episode of the eighth series, titled Deep Breath, was to feature a dinosaur in Victorian London and Peter Capaldi, we were already expecting greatness and this feature length episode truly blew all expectations out of the water!

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Despite the dinosaur incorporated into the story being somewhat short-lived, the episode saw the Doctor and Clara fight against an iconic nemesis that hasn’t made an appearance in the show since 2006. As many watched the story unfold, references were thrown left, right and centre before the big reveal; something the writers famously love to do. As well as seeing villains from a previous series, a friendly face made an unexpected appearance that had fans’ hearts in their throats in an emotional scene that had all geeks fighting back the tears. Clearly Steven Moffat wanted to open the series with a bang so what better thing to do than wave a hand to the faithful followers of Who?

From David Tennant’s appearance in The Christmas Invasion to Matt Smith’s appearance in The Eleventh Hour, the first episode for any new Doctor is always a struggle. Why? Because the audience have followed the former through a journey and grown to love them. When they get taken away from us, we don’t want anyone else but them. Peter Capaldi’s appearance in this episode is no exception. In fact, for nearly the duration of the episode, we weren’t ready for him. Considering Capaldi spent the vast majority of the hour and twenty minutes as a dazed and confused Time Lord, not a great deal of room was left for character development. However, during a heart-warming final scene in which the Doctor returns to his ordinary state of mind, it’s fair to say that he’s going to grow on us.

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Whilst many fans still criticize the casting of an actor in their late fifties as the Doctor, it has to be mentioned that William Hartnell played the Doctor from 1963 – 1966 and Jon Pertwee from 1970 – 1974. Both were older actors, but let’s face it, they’ve made a mark in British television and Doctor Who history!

To see Clara show a side of vulnerability and independence that wasn’t perceived in series seven, as well as an episode that was very much led by the characters and storyline as opposed to bold settings and extravagant and garish monsters, Deep Breath was the perfect introduction to the eighth series of Doctor Who and leaves us eagerly awaiting Saturday’s next adventure – Into the Dalek.

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