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S08.E01: Deep Breath 2014.08.23

The TARDIS spit out by a T Rex into Victorian era Earth, the Doctor now with his new face not able to remember names. Clara unsure whether this is still the same Doctor she knew aided by Madame Vastra, Jenny,  & Strax, the Doctor and Clara Must stop robots from using people for spare parts.

 

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Well, they said there would be less flirting this season and they were quick to establish there was no flirting going on. So many mentions of spleens, and I loved the calls backs. The intro was... the intro I always had in my head for what it should look like and I like the new theme. Even though I knew about the call I was still bawling, and I think they both needed it.

 

Things is, I'm not sure why Clara needed it; She's the impossible Girl. She remembers everything about being the Impossible Girl and all the very many faces the Doctor has shown her. Why was she so freaked out and non accepting of his new face? She knows this happens, and she knew he would have her back. But because of it maybe we got the call, so I'm okay with that.

 

Don't like Missy. I didn't like River either when she was introduced. But then again any woman who is introduced as a love interest has rankled me a bit, except for the T.A.R.D.I.S. herself, so maybe it will pass. Maybe we're not supposed to like her.

 

Just so happy that The Doctor is back. It's been too long.

 

Oh yeah, And holy Crap Jenny was hot as she was posing. I'm a very straight female, but, yum!

 

And why didn't the translator work on Clara so she spoke Dinosaur too?

 

I'm all over the place with this post. TL;DR: Squee!

 

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I really enjoyed it. Really, really enjoyed it.

 

I managed to go into it not knowing anything beyond what the trailer had shown, and I'd only seen the trailer once, maybe twice. 

 

For the first time since Asylum of the Daleks, I found myself actually caring for Clara, and while in Asylum it was more as a curiosity - knowing she was the new companion, not knowing how she was going to play into later episodes, given the whole her being a dalek thing - in this episode, I cared for her as a person. She was no longer just a plot device, she proved her worth (both as a character and Jenna as an actress, though I don't necessarily blame Jenna for not doing so for me before, it was definitely the writing). 

 

There were some things that didn't make sense, but I was too busy falling in love with Capaldi's doctor to really care. I'm Scottish, so hearing the little jibes about the English was amusing, the whole restaurant scene was really well done. 

 

I'm interested to find out how it's all played for kids though. While Capaldi's Doctor in this episode was funny, at times, it wasn't necessarily humour aimed at kids, he no longer has that child-like wonder of 10 and 11. 

 

Looking forward to the rest of the series. Hope they can keep up the quality. 

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I'm not a huge fan of the regen episodes, they have the Doctor acting so whackadoodle it's hard to get a good sense of what he's going to be like. This one was especially bad for that imo. I didn't like the ripped off Girl in the Fireplace plot or that Clara was so thrown by the Doctor having a new face, given that she's the impossible girl and has seen every incarnation of him. The dinosaur was bizarre....I liked Capaldi's energy and think he will be a good Doctor once he's established himself properly. The twist at the end was a head scratcher. As an english person I found the scottish/english jibes funny if a tad cliched.

Overall, looking forward to episode 2 and even though I wasn't thrilled, almost any episode of Doctor Who is still more entertaining than every episode of many other shows ;)

 

ETA The new titles; visuals were not bad, the music I don't like.

 

I loved Clara's "You've redecorated...I don't like it" line.

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I wonder why they stopped doing the fear factor for the episodes. They just sort of stopped. And while I don't have kids, nor am I a child myself they were really informative. I think with the globalization of the audience, it's become less of a kids show now than it once was, which on one hand I find sad, and the other I'm glad the show I loved growing up, has grown up with me. The kids who could watch it now will grow up, and they'll be able to watch it too. Doctor Who isn't going anywhere!

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Re it being a kids show or even a family show; they aired it at 7.50pm till 9.10pm on BBC1, I thought that was rather late in the evening considering. Usually it starts anywhere between 6.15 and 7pm! Strange.

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Oh, I know when it airs; it just feels to me little bit by bit, it's slowly moving away from a kids show. Blink would have terrified me as a kid. (It terrifies me as an adult who stayed up to watch Chucky when the movie first came out.) And I don't really think that's a bad thing. It's going to start earlier again next week. And I went back and re-watched everything for the anniversary. It was a kids show, sure, but some of the things that happened were pretty dark, they just never registered for me then. So maybe I'm just more aware of it now that I'm an adult. And I don't think having younger Doctors made it more kid friendly, really, or that it's going to get so much more dark now there is an older Doctor.

 

But then that look the Doctor gave the camera after half face "fell." Yeah, it's going to be dark from now on, no doubt.

 

But I mean, Blink would terrify Daleks, no matter how kid friendly the show was.

 

If I had to guess why the latter time tonight, I would say the "kiss". It wasn't a kiss, but still, close enough to maybe bump it a little later.

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Damn someone is sensitive about Capaldi's age, hehe, they kept bringing it up enough. I like Capaldi, and have watched him since "Lair of the White Worm," but Jesus, he really is a throwback to the first Doctor in that he is in his mid-50's but looks even older! Look, I am Capaldi's age roughly, but I liked the younger Doctors (and Eccleston, and Tennant weren't kids exactly) Since I'm not a child I rather enjoyed the always simmering undercurrent of attraction between the Doctor and his companions (of both sexes), but all that "you thought that I was your boyfriend" stuff. tonight..just no, please end it with this episode.

 

ETA, oh hell yeah Jenny looked hot, the Victorian layers of underwear, etc probably was as uncomfortable as all get out to wear, but it is alluring one must confess.

Edited by LiveenLetLive.
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I had fun. Capaldi made for a fine first-time Doctor, even if Moffat seemingly broke the rules in inviting Matt Smith back. Or maybe Smith did his part before his official final scene, And my mother likes that Capaldi speaks slower than Smith.

 

I try not to nitpick, so making "Deep Breath" a sequel to "The Girl In The Fireplace" doesn't bother me much. Granted, I didn't think we needed one, but I kinda liked how I managed to put two and two together before the Doctor. Makes me feel smarter than I actually am, you know?

 

I'm not in any hurry to go back to Victorian London, but I'll understand if it means more Vastra & Jenny. And Strax, of course, who still can't differentiate between the genders. I'm not titillated by Jenny and Vastra, though. I guess I don't dig interspecies romance . . . or at least romance involving Silurians. Sorry, Madame Vastra. Please don't tongue-lash me into submission.

 

So Missy is the new "girlfriend"? And she put the ad in the newspaper instead of the Doctor in the future/past? Whatever . . . I'm still hoping to see River. At least she wouldn't look like she was robbing the cradle.

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I was skeptical. With each new Doctor I need a few episodes before I start to warm up. And I was extra skeptical because apparently I was suffering from a combination of enjoying hot male leads and ageism (which is weird, because I go for older men... I digress). In any case, I wasn't feeling Capaldi... until the end of the episode. 

Granted, he's an amazing actor and his line delivery was excellent. I'll need to watch again because there were some excellent quips that I can't easily recall. 

Jenny was lovely... count me as another straight women who enjoyed her scenes. Although the "we're married... and we're gay... did you get that? We're MARRIED" got hammered one too many times for my taste. Not sure why they kept making a big deal out of it. 

The phone call... I wasn't spoiled for a single thing so it was a wonderful breath catching moment. I loved hearing his voice and then we get to see him. So damn bittersweet. 

Just an excellent, excellent start to the season!!

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Okay, maybe it's a bit early but I think I kind of love Capaldi's Doctor.  He broke my cold dead heart when he's trying to get Clara to see him in the TARDIS. That was just a lovely bit of acting.

 

I was shocked to see Matt Smith and I thought that was an emotionally satisfying bit for the final farewell.

 

I did wish there was more of the new Doctor and less Clara.

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I noticed the age stuff and it got old fast for me and sucked me out of the ep. Mind you, an older doctor did not suck me out of the ep but the constant mention of his age did. I felt like the writers made Clara a stand in for the audience and as she was chastised for possibly not being comfortable with the Doctor because of his age, the audience's anticipated dislike of him was being criticized too. UGH!

 

As for the ep. Not one of my faves.


I agree with those who say the ending with the Doctor imploring Clara to "see" him was good. 

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I liked it! I went into the episode not knowing much about it beyond the previews as well, so I was really interested to see how it would go. I loved all Capaldi's quips and I really liked how every so often in the episode he was more put together as he came into himself. First it was just the nightgown, then he got the coat, a tie, then that snazzy red jacket. A physical show of what he was going through mentally and emotionally. Callbacks to past episodes were a treat too, I liked the bit about the long scarf looking stupid and his "independent state of eyebrows" quip had me laughing.

 

In terms of Clara not reacting well to the regeneration even though she's seen all the faces...I didn't mind it so much. I think it's one thing to experience it theoretically (knowing the doctor changes because you've met his faces), but it's something entirely different to watch the person you've come to know actually change right in front of your eyes. She's seen all the past faces, yeah, but that doesn't necessarily mean she was around for their regenerations. /theorizing

Edited by Amelia.
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Damn someone is sensitive about Capaldi's age, hehe, they kept bringing it up enough. I like Capaldi, and have watched him since "Lair of the White Worm," but Jesus, he really is a throwback to the first Doctor in that he is in his mid-50's but looks even older! Look, I am Capaldi's age roughly, but I liked the younger Doctors (and Eccleston, and Tennant weren't kids exactly) Since I'm not a child I rather enjoyed the always simmering undercurrent of attraction between the Doctor and his companions (of both sexes), but all that "you thought the I was your boyfriend" stuff. tonight..just no, please end it with this episode.

 

I was wondering that myself, why he looks so old....can't believe we're roughly the same age. I find myself really missing Matt, but then again, I do get really attached to them and it took me a while to accept David and Matt. I was completely into Christopher right away, but that's probably because the old Dr. Who did nothng for me. I'm going to give this a good go, but I always do wonder why Moffatt feels the need to boot the old one out, when he has already got a great cult following. I know Christopher wanted to go, but I don't think David necessarily asked for it, and Matt definitely would have kept doing it. I really liked Matt and David together, and loved their suggestion that they co-play the parts. sigh. Guess I really don't get the vision for the show...

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Loved it. The bickering between 12 and Clara was refreshing. Almost a 10 & Donna dynamic. Almost.

 

The tray moment was great. Capaldi can do so much with the smallest details. He can balance gravitas with absurdity with the greatest of ease.

 

So is that Missy character the woman who called Clara? Not nearly as cool an entrance as walking up wearing a spacesuit with "Hello Sweetie."

 

Also, I got my BINGO with "Geronimo". 

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Can Moffatt fuck off and die now, please? He's not just a bad writer, he's an offensively bad writer. He writes the same derivative, pseudo-profound bullshit over and over and over again. His characters are one-dimensional cardboard cutouts. They're not characters, they're nothing but short concepts on a whiteboard and they change depending on what he wants to achieve with the episode. WTF, was that rubbish with "explaining" the Doctor to Clara? Is she the companion who's seen every aspect of his entire time line or not?

 

It's one thing to say "no more flirting'. It's another thing to have characters deliver eons of laboured, poorly-written dialogue about it.

 

Capaldi killed it of course, but the acting was never the problem with this show.

Edited by AudienceofOne.
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My guess about the whole "Hey! We're married!" thing was probably because they just had gotten married. Any time before it was always so vague and hinted at. They are in the honeymoon of the marriage and if they were around on Facebook would be the people who have to mention it all the time with photos and that sort of thing. It's probably still so new for them it's weird in a good way to just say it to each other, still.

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Just found out that the guy playing the tramp the Doctor encounters is Brian Miller, husband of the late Elisabeth Sladen. Nice bit of casting there.

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Glad it's back!

The first one is always hard. And the phone call, man I LOVE not being spoiled! It broke my heart.

 

But that scene was wonderful and the fact it's uncomfortable and disappointing for the Doctor that companions freak out after regenerations was spelled out this time.

 

I liked the gradual process of the Doctor getting his act together. I actually like this redecoration, the last one was rather grim, cold and dark.

I especially adored the scene with the homeless person. I kept wondering why he didn't run away screaming. I wonder if there is significance this time about why a particular face. Will we have a throwback to the Fires of Pompeii?

 

I will get used to this Doctor and hopefully I will love him just as much as the other ones. He did manage to make Clara an actual character, not just the bloody impossible girl, aka plot point of the season, so I liked that. Although I'm not sure where the control freak thing came from. But then she never had any actual characteristics to begin with that I could see, so I'll just nod for now.

 

And Missy is some sort of delusional combination of River Song and Madame Kavorian? I guess we'll find out.

 

But seriously, enough with the boyfriend thing and the old! thing and the we're married! thing. I get it. Thank you!

Edited by supposebly.
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I love Capaldi in general - I find his face so interesting to watch. Ok, that sounded weird. I also love that they are letting him be Scottish, but it makes me bitter that they didn't let Tennant do that.

Can Moffatt fuck off and die now, please? He's not just a bad writer, he's an offensively bad writer. He writes the same derivative, pseudo-profound bullshit over and over and over again. His characters are one-dimensional cardboard cutouts.

I convinced a friend to start watching last week, and there was a line from one of the early Tennant episodes that he used again practically word for word on Sherlock - how boring it must be in your funny little brains. Sigh.

ETA: What was with Vastra flirting with Clara? Was she always skeevy like that and I forgot?

Edited by TexasGal.
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I'm going to give this a good go, but I always do wonder why Moffatt feels the need to boot the old one out, when he has already got a great cult following. I know Christopher wanted to go, but I don't think David necessarily asked for it, and Matt definitely would have kept doing it. I really liked Matt and David together, and loved their suggestion that they co-play the parts. sigh. Guess I really don't get the vision for the show...

These days, as far as I can tell, it's a mutual decision between show runner and actor who plays the Doctor, if not actually the actor's decision. Most don't want to be pigeonholed in that role too long since it's such an iconic role. The change does ensure the show's longevity.

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WTF, was that rubbish with "explaining" the Doctor to Clara? Is she the companion who's seen every aspect of his entire time line or not?

 

Very true. That scene was really condescending. But Vastra kind of sucks. I don't think she and Jenny have anything close to an equal-level relationship. Which is kind of off-putting, now that I think about it. At least Strax is good for an easy laugh.

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I agree that there were too many comments about the Doctor's age. A few were funny but they overdid it. The boyfriend/flirting annoyed me too. I also wished, as the poster above said, that there was less Clara and more Doctor.

 

I think Capaldi did a great job. I'm looking forward to seeing how this season plays out. Not looking forward to Missy and whatever that is about. I'll have to rewatch as I missed some of the dialogue.

 

Can't comment on the new theme because we were too busy groaning at the new titles to hear it.

Edited by Endeavour.
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I've been thinking about Clara and her reaction to the "New" Doctor.  And here is where I think it makes some sense.  Yes, she has see all 12 of his previous faces.  She knows that he regenerates into different people.  But she has also seen Eleven grow old.  In her mind, maybe the Doctor regenerates from an old man into a young man, who then gets old again. And based on what she has seen, that is an understandable belief.  Now she sees the "young" Eleven regenerate into the "old" Twelve.  So clearly in her mind something must be wrong, ie the regeneration didn't work.  At least that is how I am fanwanking her reaction.  Although I was convinced early on that she was not really Clara, which is why Vastra needed her veil again.

 

As to the rest of the episode, I was very happy with it.  I loved the slower moments and the look into Vastra, Jenny, and Strax's lives.  I also liked seeing the uneasiness of Twelve with Clara in the end.  He almost seemed like a lost puppy.  His fear was well played.

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I'm not sure if I like Capaldi. I loved the Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. I loved him almost as much as Tom Baker. If it weren't for Rose, I never would have stuck around for Tennant. By the end of his run, I really liked him, and I hated that he left. I never cottoned to Matt Smith, but I adored the Ponds, so I eventually grew to love him. They all felt like the Doctor to me.

 

I kept watching Capaldi  this episode, and I just didn't feel like I was watching the Doctor. For me, it wasn't the age. I thought John Hurt made an awesome Doctor. I think the Companions made the transition for me. Since I don't give a rat's ass about Clara, and she felt alienated from the Doctor, I just couldn't connect with him.

 

I think making Clara uncomfortable around the new regeneration made me uncomfortable with him, in part. The other part is, I don't think Capaldi is going to be one of my Doctors. Who knows, maybe I'll warm up to him. He's a great actor, and I really felt for him in the last scene. But I couldn't see him as the Doctor, though. It was nice that Clara finally did, though.

 

I wish I could verbalize better why Capaldi didn't work for me.

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I convinced a friend to start watching last week, and there was a line from one of the early Tennant episodes that he used again practically word for word on Sherlock

 

 

The bit where the clockwork men talked about repairing themselves and their ship with people, I think I threw something at the screen. As a consequence, I have no clue what their motive was supposed to be. Maybe Madame de Pompadour was somewhere around the corner and she could have explained it. Without flirting. There's no flirting anymore. The fact they hung a lantern on the whole thing doesn't matter.

 

That scene was really condescending. But Vastra kind of sucks. I don't think she and Jenny have anything close to an equal-level relationship.

 

The scene where Jenny was posing for a portrait and Vastra wasn't painting was not just not funny, it said volumes about their relationship and it was not good.

 

What was with Vastra flirting with Clara? We she always skeevy like that and I forgot?

 

Skeevy's the right word. And no, I don't remember her being skeevy before. But then, she's not actually a character. Just a Moffat note on a whiteboard that says: Gay Silurian in Victorian London? COOL.

 

Can't comment on the new theme because we were too busy groaning at the new titles to hear it.

 

Clearly positioning this Doctor in the realm of the Seventh incarnation, I thought. Which makes sense if he wants to explore the Timelords more. But yes, I didn't like it and the theme seemed weak.

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Just a Moffat note on a whiteboard that says: Gay Silurian in Victorian London? COOL.

 

 

LMAO! I was thinking exactly that every time I have seen her and Jenny. Well, not the Silurian part since I didn't know what her species was, but I said, "seriously, they must have sat in the writers room thinking "It would be sooo cool to have an interspecies lesbian couple in Victorian London. OMG and imagine how people will react when they find out they are married!!!! We are so amazingly clever!" Only, they are not. It was painful every time they pointed out in this one episode that they were married/a couple/lesbians/interspecies. Like, yeah, we get it. We got it ages ago when you first told us. Move on now.

 

but then, the one thing that has always bothered me about Doctor Who is when the writers seem to think they are far more clever than they really are. They can get VERY proud of their little brainfarts sometimes, but I keep coming back because it's a fascinating concept, the show, and when the actors are good, I love it. When I just don't like them, however, well, needless to say I'm thrilled to have my show back because I haven't been able to stomach watching it for two years now. (or has it been three? I have only watched sporadically for Matt Smith's first season then gave up completely because he just irritates the hell out of me. I'm probably the only person on earth who didn't squee with delight when he was on the phone with Clara.

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I'm probably in the minority here, but I really didn't care for the episode much -- it just seemed like a rehash of earlier material, and not a very creative rehash, either.

I liked Capaldi; he has the makings of a fine Doctor and I hope he gets better material to work with.  The final scene was intriguing -- i guess that's our plot arc for this season:  Who is Missy and what is she up to and what exactly is the "Promised Land"?

 

And, yeah, count me as one of those who got irritated by all the references to Doc 12's older appearance.  For pity's sake, he's not THAT old -- from the way they were going on about it, you'd think he was ready for a nursing home.

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So I'm watching the after show and color me dumb, but what was Capaldi doing when he was dropping Clara's hair on the floor? 

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I'm probably the only person on earth who didn't squee with delight when he was on the phone with Clara.

I've just registered here at PTV specifically to say No, you're not. Matt Smith never did it for me as the Doctor (not a bad actor, just horribly miscast IMO) and I was really, really hoping tonight would allow a fresh start for Capaldi/Twelve, so I can forget that Smith/Eleven ever happened. Is that too much for ask?

 

 

I liked Capaldi; he has the makings of a fine Doctor and I hope he gets better material to work with….

And, yeah, count me as one of those who got irritated by all the references to Doc 12's older appearance.  For pity's sake, he's not THAT old -- from the way they were going on about it, you'd think he was ready for a nursing home.

Ditto. What, is the mere thought of someone being older than 29 so upsetting that Moffat felt the need to lampshade it, repeatedly, and then beat it to death?

 

Can Moffatt fuck off and die now, please? He's not just a bad writer, he's an offensively bad writer.

YES to your entire post. So wishing we'd gotten a new show runner to go along with the new Doctor.

 

Overall, I can't wait to see what Capaldi does with the role. Hopefully Moffat's writing won't make my head explode before Capaldi gets some worthy material.

 

ETA: Amelia, my understanding is that he was dropping the hairs to gage the air currents in the room, which were undisturbed because the 'bots weren't breathing. I could be wrong, though.

Edited by Maelstrom.
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I wasn't too impressed when it was over. Then, I thought more about it and realized I had quite a few roaring laughter moments. I think I watched Strax falling about 5 times... And howled each time.

Capaldi was ok. I don't know, it just missed something. When Tennant was introduced, we had Rose, Jackie, and Mickey to help us transition. When Smith arrived, it was immediately established that he was quirky and boyish. He had a personality right away.

With Capaldi, I don't know what makes him unique and Clara isn't strong enough to help us. I didn't connect with him. Of course I'll stick around, but I need more character development.

Side note: I'm firmly in the bi category and appreciated Jenny's pose session. ;)

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As someone who has becoming increasingly irritated with the show, I was pleasantly surprised. I especially adored the conversation in the restaurant with the Doctor and Clara, as well as the interaction between the Doctor and the robot. Yes, I think there's been some rebooting of Clara's character and it doesn't quite make sense, but since I also think Clara being more of a plot device than a person last series was a major problem, I'll sacrifice the logic to character development. The clockwork droids as villain were a good choice for a regeneration episode because of the parallel between them and the Doctor, although the point was made perhaps a little too explicitly.

 

Don't think Vastra was being entirely fair to Clara, but the show did a good job of letting Clara hold her own without invalidating Vastra's point. I do agree that the treatment of Vastra and Jenny's relationship is irritating; it makes the show come off as both smug and less progressive than it thinks it is, and Vastra and Jenny as rather immature, as most adult women don't need to tell each other off for flirting or throw out constant reminders of their relationship to each other. Still, as a whole, I love the Victorian trio, and it is always nice to see them.

 

I'm still undecided on the Matt Smith scene; my gut reaction was happiness, but it also struck me as slightly indulgent and not entirely in character for either Doctor. I guess that's where the lack of proper build-up for Clara was too strong for suspension of disbelief to save it -- I just don't buy that they have such a close relationship, as it stands, that Twelve would be terrified of losing her or that Eleven would anticipate that he would be. The Doctor has had many, many companions; over the years, Clara hasn't seemed like an exceptionally close one (they don't even travel together full-time), and while I can see him wanting her to stay, it isn't clear to me why he couldn't just as well hang out with Vastra and Jenny for a while before getting a new companion.

 

Now to questions/mysteries: 

 

- Was the Doctor's forgetfulness about both the Pompeii and Madame du Pompadour incidents just being played for laughs, or were they suggesting something more serious? Given just how old the Doctor is now, we could be ripe for an exploration of how the Doctor's memory works; I get that he wouldn't remember everything, but the episode with Reinette, in particular, was rather emotional, and it is a little disconcerting that he wouldn't remember it even once she was name-checked. There could also, of course, be a more sinister explanation for the lapses.

- Is there going to be any significance to the Doctor winding up with that particular face? Obviously, the actual reason is that Capaldi happened to have played the other role first, but by raising it in the show, Moffat is opening the possibility of an in-universe explanation.

- Who is Missy? My first thought is that she exists in some virtual reality a la River Song after the library, but I don't think she's River. A female Master is more likely, especially given the name, but I don't know that she fits his MO. 

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companionenvy . . . first up: nice nickname. Secondly: On the After Show, they were speculating lots of stuff, like maybe Missy could be the TARDIS. They didn't bring up The Rani or Romana, though I'm guessing either one is a bit of a longshot. I'm hoping it's something newer and better than a female version of The Master, though "Paradise" could be a TARDIS. I have faith in Moffat, even if he might not be the best showrunner these days.

 

ETA: The Doctor must have been out of it while talking to the dinosaur. Doesn't he know that he and dinos aren't a good mix? Poor Tricey.

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Was the Doctor's forgetfulness about both the Pompeii and Madame du Pompadour incidents just being played for laughs, or were they suggesting something more serious?

IIRC, his memory always gets a bit of a shuffle with a regeneration, along with his personality. Plus he's over a thousand years older since then. Lot of stuff to both remember and forget.

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I liked Capaldi's Doctor; I think he's got the talent to be a fine Doctor if he's given good material to work with. That final scene with Clara and the vulnerability he showed worked really well.

Count me as another one who's heartily sick of Moffat. He's always so busy being clever that he forgets to be consistent in terms of plot and character. And so we get Clara, who knows the Doctor regenerates, suddenly being absolutely unable to deal with his regeneration because that suits the story he wants to tell today.

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Knowing that the Doctor regenerates isn't the same as coming to know one incarnation well and then personally witnessing a regeneration into one that's very different.

 

Also, this is the first regeneration in a long time where the Doctor's form got significantly older, so it's not that crazy for Clara to think something went wrong.

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I love Capaldi. I love the edge and the darkness, and I swooned when he gave the camera that "don't fuck with me" look.  

 

I am a big Matt Smith fan as well, but he already had a farewell scene. Granted, it was to say goodbye in front of Amy Pond ("The first face that this face ever saw,") but jeeze, bringing him back for a phone call was sort of like having a drawn out good bye only to return because you forgot your keys.

 

And just in case you missed it, The 12th Doctor is not Clara's boyfriend. Nothing gets by these eyes.

 

So…I assumed Clara placed the add for The Impossible Girl because she is T.I.G. and can do things like that.

 

The cyborg promised land was just dumb. 

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Also, is there anything to the "Promised Land" set at the end of the episode being virtually identical (though brightened up and greened up with more foliage) to where Amy found herself after leaving the room near the beginning of "The Girl Who Waited"?

Edited by QuantumMechanic.
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I always find the first episode with a new Doctor to be a bit uneven because we, as the audience  are trying to get used to the new version, and the new Doctor is trying to pull himself together and get a sense of his new identity while having regeneration memory issues to overcome. 

 

Overall I enjoyed the episode. The clockwork droids have always bothered me more than the Daleks ever will. I think It will take me some time to adjust to an older Doctor, just like it was hard for me when Tom Baker was replaced by a much younger Peter Davison. It's a much more obvious contrast in age than there was between David and Matt.

 

I guess my biggest issue is Clara. We all have favorite companions and up until now I have no real feeling towards her.  I adored Donna, Amy, and Rory, but Clara has never really done it for me. Maybe I'll get a better sense of who she is now that there is no potential romantic overtones cluttering up the screen  (hope there is no fanfic written with 12/Clara romance but more than likely someone will write it -ugh, that is just creepy).

 

I just still wish we had had more Paul McGann as the Doctor, ever since that mini-episode aired I feel an even greater loss about that. Why couldn't they have incorporated more flashback episodes involving his time as the Doctor? 

 

Lastly Capaldi's comments about his eyebrows were great.  He reminds me of a bird of prey and the eyebrows contribute to that.

Edited by Casual Viewing.
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Also, is there anything to the "Promised Land" set at the end of the episode being virtually identical (though brightened up and greened up with more foliage) to where Amy found herself after leaving the room near the beginning of "The Girl Who Waited"?

 

I thought that too. Maybe. Probably not.

Edited by supposebly.
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I watched the first 5 minutes with my 8 yo daughter and she was in tears.  She does not like the new doctor.  But she looooooooved Matt Smith.  She wants to be his companion.   I sent her to bed after that, but will have her watch the rest in the next few days.  I am interested as to how she will react to seeing Matt at the end.

 

I think I will be ok with him.  At this point I don't think I will hate him, nor will I love him as much as I did 10 & 11, but we will see.  The last scene w/ him and Clara made me think it is possible.  I was totally unspoiled for Matt Smith, and I was happy to see him again, but I was always so annoyed by his relationship with Clara, it just felt really contrived.  I did like Clara more this episode than I did all of last season.  Hopefully she will continue to grow on me.  If not, I hope they get a new companion soon. 

 

As for the story, I was kind of meh.  I found the end intriguing though and am looking forward to finding out more. 

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And then we were (hopefully) rid of Matt Smith.. except for that phone call.. no other Doctor has been able to say a specific goodbye (I'm not sure Tennant counts.. but I'm going with no) like that and I feel like 11 would have called Amy/Rory/River and not Clara. It just seems like an easy way to get over the acceptance issue Clara had of 12.

 

I do like some of the above comments though that the reason she was freaked out was because she didn't full comprehend how the doctor works, that 12 should have been young and grown old. That seems plausible but who knows.

 

I really like Vastra and Jenny, I don't like though, as Jenny pointed out, that their relationship has an obvious power divide.. Jenny looks and is awesome in her battle gear, she should kick Vastra's arse into better form! It was nice to see their story fleshed out a bit.. if only a tiny bit. I always enjoy seeing them.

 

Overall, I'm pretty keen to see what happens. The confused state of this episode worked I think and it's similar to other regeneration episodes. As others have said, the regeneration episodes are hard to get used to and, as with Tennant, I really got into Capaldi in about the last 10 - 15mins. I think once they tone down how 'ancient' he is the show could really do something with him.

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I thought this episode was mixed.  Some of it made sense, some didn't.  Peter Capaldi is a good actor, but I hope he dials the accent down a bit.  I lived in the UK for 4 years, but there were a few times I had to ask my Welsh husband to translate "Scottish English" into "English English"

 

My speculation is that the mystery woman is either River Song in a virtual world, or the Master (or would it be the Mistress now?).  The cyborg had to die to shut the others down, so either it's consciousness/software was uploaded somewhere else, or maybe it was repaired.  But who in Victorian London could do that?  Also, the cyborg landed face up on the steeple right?  That would imply it was pushed out by the Doctor, since if it jumped out wouldn't it land face down?  But that wouldn't be a surprise since we've seen the Doctor kill loads of times.

 

The scene in the alley with the tramp was just painful to watch.  I felt bad for the tramp, who was probably wondering if this insane man was going to kill him to steal his coat.

 

I've seen enough of the Victorian crew for a while now.  I agree with others that the power dynamic between Vastra and Jenny (and well, between Vastra and anyone) is kind of creepy.  And Strax is only funny in small doses.  I really liked him in "A Good Man Goes to War" and his death scene there was poignant, with his actual death not being like the death he always dreamed of.  Now he's just a buffoon.

 

I'll give it another few episodes to see how Capaldi develops the character.  I can appreciate 12 being a more subdued Doctor, as long as he's also likeable.  Abandoning Clara to the cyborgs was a dick move.  Something out of 6's playbook trying to kill Peri after regenerating.  But I liked Capaldi in the Fires of Pompeii, so I'm hoping he brings more warmth to the role.

Edited by futurechemist.
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I'm not sure if I like Capaldi. I loved the Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. I loved him almost as much as Tom Baker. If it weren't for Rose, I never would have stuck around for Tennant. By the end of his run, I really liked him, and I hated that he left. I never cottoned to Matt Smith, but I adored the Ponds, so I eventually grew to love him. They all felt like the Doctor to me.

 

I kept watching Capaldi  this episode, and I just didn't feel like I was watching the Doctor. For me, it wasn't the age. I thought John Hurt made an awesome Doctor. I think the Companions made the transition for me. Since I don't give a rat's ass about Clara, and she felt alienated from the Doctor, I just couldn't connect with him.

 

I haven't seen the originals, however, my reactions to the current doctor are much like yours - Eccleston was my first doctor and he was fanstastic... and then i grew to love Tennant as well.  I never did love Smith, but I did love the Ponds, so Matt grew on me there.  I haven't really connected with Clara, so everything with her is falling flat with me (and that might also be clouding my opinions of Matt Smith).  I think I like Capaldi... I think I'll end up liking him a lot more than Matt Smith, actually - I guess I just hope that Clara isn't a long term companion - I think she is what brings it down for me.

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Well, I liked Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax.  They need their own spin-off detailing their early years.

 

I liked Clara.  I don't care what others think, I like Clara as a Companion.  She has spunk.  Also, she was knockout in that Victorian era fashion and hairstyle.

 

Cray cray Mary Poppins lady seems interesting.  Love to see where this is going.

 

The restaurant was kind of creepy.

 

I was surprised by the return of the Clockwork Androids.  They seemed like such one-off monsters.

 

The thing I'm ambivalent about is The Doctor himself.  He just rubbed me the wrong way.  It wasn't Peter Capaldi's performance, though.  He did good with what he was given.

 

Also, I felt it odd that this show went with the slapstick humor.  Wonder if there will be anvil dropping later.  Literal anvils, that is.

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My compliment for this episode is that it didn't feel long.  Which I feel like is a good one for an episode I'm pretty 'meh' on.  There were moments of slapstick that just completely took me out of the episode.  Also, I get it.  I really do. The Doctor is old and no flirting. Oh...so we're just going to keep going on about it then. Sigh.

 

 

I felt like the writers made Clara a stand in for the audience and as she was chastised for possibly not being comfortable with the Doctor because of his age, the audience's anticipated dislike of him was being criticized too.

That's exactly how I felt during Vastra's rant to Clara in the beginning of the episode.  And I didn't have a problem with Capaldi being the new Doctor.  I liked the 11th Doctor but I wasn't that upset with him leaving.  Not like Eccelston (I was inconsolable) and Tennant.  I still felt like it was Moffat's chance to say a big screw you to his audience who dared to complain.

 

I had no problems with the acting/actors.  I'm interested in seeing where Capaldi takes the Doctor once he's all settled.  It's just the writing. I'm not a fan of that so much.

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Things is, I'm not sure why Clara needed it; She's the impossible Girl. She remembers everything about being the Impossible Girl and all the very many faces the Doctor has shown her. Why was she so freaked out and non accepting of his new face? She knows this happens, and she knew he would have her back. But because of it maybe we got the call, so I'm okay with that.

Here's the thing: I think we've been given a lot of mixed signals about Clara's splinter selves. Steven Moffat has waxed lyrical in interviews about how she knows the Doctor inside out because she's known every version of him...but from what we've seen on-screen, she doesn't actually remember anything at all about her experience in his timestream or her splinter selves. And when you look at it like that, her reaction to his regeneration makes a lot more sense. Our mistake is in believing she remembers more than she actually does - a mistake we were led to make by the showrunners, because they are stupid and inconsistent. She might vaguely remember all those faces, but probably no more clearly than when I try to remember a dream, and knowing the faces doesn't give her innate understanding of the regenerative process or prepare her for how it feels when it actually happens. I actually liked that she was allowed to react to it, rather than just taking it in her stride the way she has everything else - it made her feel more like a person than she has since...well, ever, in fact. I liked that the story took time to examine her relationship with the Doctor - or what she thought was her relationship with the Doctor; it's been sorely needed ever since they met.

 

I was more annoyed by Vastra acting like a big authority on regeneration, when she hasn't seen it before either - being a defrosted Silurian from the dawn of time doesn't make her an expert on Time Lords! But then, the Paternoster gang always annoy me - they've always been caricatures, breaking my suspension of disbelief, so I expect that. They were better than usual here, in fact.

 

 I always do wonder why Moffatt feels the need to boot the old one out, when he has already got a great cult following. I know Christopher wanted to go, but I don't think David necessarily asked for it, and Matt definitely would have kept doing it. I really liked Matt and David together, and loved their suggestion that they co-play the parts.

That wasn't a serious suggestion. Moffat hasn't 'booted out' anyone. David Tennant chose to leave. Matt Smith chose to leave. It's normal for British actors to only stay with a project for a short time and then move onto new challenges. Change is part and parcel of the show and always has been

 

- Was the Doctor's forgetfulness about both the Pompeii and Madame du Pompadour incidents just being played for laughs, or were they suggesting something more serious? Given just how old the Doctor is now, we could be ripe for an exploration of how the Doctor's memory works; I get that he wouldn't remember everything, but the episode with Reinette, in particular, was rather emotional, and it is a little disconcerting that he wouldn't remember it even once she was name-checked. There could also, of course, be a more sinister explanation for the lapses.

- Is there going to be any significance to the Doctor winding up with that particular face? Obviously, the actual reason is that Capaldi happened to have played the other role first, but by raising it in the show, Moffat is opening the possibility of an in-universe explanation.

- Who is Missy? My first thought is that she exists in some virtual reality a la River Song after the library, but I don't think she's River. A female Master is more likely, especially given the name, but I don't know that she fits his MO. 

The Doctor's forgetfulness was a combination of regeneration mania and the fact that it's been hundreds of years, for him, since he encountered Madame Pompadour.

 

We don't know yet who Missy is, but my first impression is that she's yet another of Moffat's stock female characters a la River Song, Tasha Lem, et al - we've never seen her before yet she claims to know him intimately and calls him her boyfriend. Typical Moffat and my one real complaint about this episode - makes me apprehensive of the season arc if it's going to go down that road yet again.

 

(hope there is no fanfic written with 12/Clara romance but more than likely someone will write it -ugh, that is just creepy).

Oh, there already is. Of course there already is. Extreme shippers don't care whether or not the characters they ship have ever so much as played a scene together - all they care about is having names and faces to imagine together. That kind of shipping is entirely unrelated to what actually happens on-screen.

 

I liked this episode a lot more than I thought I would, given that I've not enjoyed the Moffat era so far much at all. It told more of a character story than we've had in a long time, played Clara as a person rather than a plot device and gave a good introduction to the new Doctor, who I think I'm going to like. There are plenty of nits that could be picked - there always are, with all television ever made - but I found it a big improvement and hope season 8 continues in this vein!

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I thought it was a good episode for a new Doctor, not a great one.  I think my all-time favorite episode with a new Doctor in it was Spearhead from Space.  The 1970's Autons were just downright creepy. 

 

Vastra annoys me and I am not sure why they have to keep on bringing back her and her group.  Why can't they bring back someone who is entertaining like Jack Harkness? 

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I thought it was a good episode for a new Doctor, not a great one.  I think my all-time favorite episode with a new Doctor in it was Spearhead from Space.  The 1970's Autons were just downright creepy. 

 

Vastra annoys me and I am not sure why they have to keep on bringing back her and her group.  Why can't they bring back someone who is entertaining like Jack Harkness? 

I'm very fond of Spearhead from Space, too. :)

 

I've almost made my peace with the frequent returns to the Paternosters. They are the people currently within the Doctor's orbit - there are plenty of other old friends he could return to, but those people are no longer within his current orbit. He compartmentalises and moves on, that's what he's always done. I still don't much like the Paternoster gang - they've always been caricatures, shoehorned into the show without an origin story, and I can't believe in them as real people living in Victorian London, they break my suspension of disbelief - but I'm reconciled to the fact that we are going to continue to revisit them while Moffat is at the helm. I was reminded though, by our random visit to them in this story, of the fuss the 10th Doctor made about bumping into Donna again, as if that was unusual - hardly the first or last time he's randomly bumped into someone he's previously met!

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Although I had some problems with this episode, I believe Peter Capaldi has proven that my initial prejudice was unfair. It looks like he is going to be one of the great Doctors. I don't really enjoy the regeneration episodes because the Doctor's behavior is so weird (not in a good way). But by the end of this one, I was really seeing Capaldi as the Doctor.

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