Deep Breath (Dr Who: Series 8, Episode 1)

August 24, 2014 at 6:33 am | Posted in Film Review, Show Review, TV Review, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Having hidden behind the family sofa, as a young boy, while watching Doctor Who, I found myself unable to resist seeing the ‘new Doctor on the big screen. I went to see Deep Breath (Doctor Who: Series 8, Episode 1) at the Embassy Theatre this afternoon – it was a sellout.

Warning: Plot elements discussed.

The new Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, looks and sounds like a serious cross between Rowan Atkinson and Billy Connelly!

The ‘old’ Doctor is gone – regenerated. How will Clara, played by Jenna Coleman, cope? What would you do if your best friend (maybe more than that) went from looking like your cousin to looking like your uncle?

There is a hilarious deprecating send up by Stax, a Sontaran turned butler (with mixed results), played by Dan Starkey. All of the past Doctors are introduced in Strax’s “blog”! The rest of the Paternoster Gang also appear. Madame Vastra (a Silurian, played by Neve McIntosh) and Jenny Flint (a human) provide an example of how you can make an odd relationship work. They also provide some local colour and a bit of intelligent muscle – though less so in the case of Strax.

No sooner does the Doctor appear – dazed and confused after a regeneration – than London needs to be saved. Watch it when it screens on TV to find out from what. He really does need Clara’s support; but, who will support Clara while she comes to grips with the change in the man in her life?

Having explored the companion dynamic when the Doctor is the same physical age as the companion, in Series 7, the writers can now look at a relationship between a older man and a younger woman. Where will it go?

While still pitched at a wide audience, this episode deals with some meaty issues.

Certainly by the end of the extended episode, Clara has come to accept an older looking Doctor. But it does take a phone call from the previous Doctore to tip her over the edge. This sets a dangerous plot device precedence – the Doctor can phone ahead and presumably phone back. There is no need to contrive to bring the actors al together: a voice will do. Causality is dead.

Still I enjoyed it. The special effects are world class CGI: long gone are the Jon Pertwee days, when half the props looked like they were borrowed from the producer’s son’s toy box.

As with any good episode 1, it hangs out some very tempting glimpses of where the series might go – like an official girl friend for the Doctor! who runs heaven (or does she?).

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