Welcome back Doctor, I’ve missed you…
Tonight Season Eight of my favouite show returned to the air, well, the eighth season of the modern era, the classic Who lasted twenty-six seasons. When the show rebooted in 2005 we had the marvellous Christopher Eccleston portraying a Doctor fresh from the Time War, he was angry and lonely. David Tennant soon came in as the tenth Doctor, who I consider “the” Doctor for this generation (though that may change as Season 8 goes on). Tennant’s Doctor was a little more fun, but still had the weight of many losses on his mind, the loss of his people and the loss of his companions. Then Matt Smith came in as the Eleventh Doctor…and things got a little ridiculous at times. I blame you Steven. Each of Smith’s three seasons had almost the same overreaching story arch, and somehow it became important that the Doctor was a love interest for everybody, and not just saving people. The music became obnoxious, as crescendos were forced upon the viewer just to remind us that something exciting was happening just in case we weren’t clever enough for this showrunner….I have to say I didn’t like much of the Matt Smith era. Now though, we’ve entered the era of the twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi. I have to say it’s nice to see the Doctor being played by an actor who is a bit older again. I can see a lot of “fathering” from this Doctor towards his companions, and hopefully (and thankfully) no more romantic plots with them.
Deep Breath; has been pushed a lot on social media. Twitter and Facebook have been on fire with the Doctor Who world tour where we were introduced to Capaldi and reaquainted with Jenna Louise Coleman. We were also subject to several annoying five second clips as we counted down the days until Saturday. I say annoying because they did nothing, just static and noise and a clearly imposed countdown number on top of a scene from the show. The scripts for several episodes were leaked almost a month ago and Mexican audiences on the tour have already seen the premiere episode so why not do away with these teasers and give us something more? Who fans have been excellent about not spoiling the upcoming season, so reward us like you did when the 50th anniversary episode was shipped to several retailers very early (before it even aired) by giving us an exlusive interview or more indepth previews!
Tonight the newly regenerated Doctor lands in Victorian London and meets up with the Paternoster Gang again (Jenny Flint, her Silurian wife Madame Vastra and Strax the Sontaran), which is a nice little link to have with the previous series as they did feature in several of Matt Smith’s stories. First, I think I love the new intro. The clocks and the vortex are great and a nice touch to return to having the Doctor’s face featured. I saw a lot of Moffat in tonight’s episode and I don’t like it. I hope I’m not going to be as frustrated as he scripts seven of the twelve episodes this season.
Okay, I’ve finished watching the episode, there were good things, and of course bad things.
- First, Moffat has to go. I could smell his specific touches all over this episode and they stunk. Kill the comedy, we don’t need “boink” sound effects or so much silly pandering. Pandering that I think is for himself and not the audience. I didn’t notice it at the beginning, but at the end Clara was wearing a sweater with silver bowties all over it. Come on, I’m sure Moffat has shares in a giant bowtie conglomorate but enough is enough. We get it, “bowties are cool, bowites are cool”. I personally do like wearing bowties, but enough hitting us over the head!
- I really didn’t need to see Matt Smith show up, Capaldi could have handled the transition with Clara just fine himself, if written properly. Clearly the writer of this story has a favourite Doctor…
- The story started weakly, but did get better as it tied back to The Girl in the Fireplace episode from Season 2, written by guess who, Steven Moffat.
- I loved the mystery solving and piecing togeter bits, but once everything was solved, it kind of fell flat again. This one really was a sine wave. Started weak, got strong and then finished weak…so I guess it was just half a cycle or oscillation…
- Hey, the opening credits were great though, weren’t they?
- And so was the preview for next week’s episode, but is it a little too soon to bring in Daleks or does the new Doctor need the boost they (and the security of a classic monster) provide?
- The tease at the end wasn’t so good in my opinion. Sure we have to figure out who this woman was, and what she will do to the Doctor’s life over the duration of the season, but it just seemed kind of weak to me.
- Hmmm, just realized there was no music in this episode except for the typical “loud when it’s supposed to be exciting” stuff. What happened to lyrics? Or the operatic stuff?
All this being said, Capaldi was excellent, and I do look forwad to the rest of the season with optimism. Moffat can write well as he did at certain points of tonight’s episode, I just hope he can get out of this stupid, tongue in cheek, romantic fantasy rut he’s been writing himself into for the past three years. If I were to rate the episode I’d have to say 3.5/5, because the parts I didn’t like, I really didn’t like.
Okay, I can’t wait….Daleks!