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< The Time of the Doctor
8.2 - Into The Dalek >

8.1 - Deep Breath

Rating Votes
10
7%
8
9
19%
20
8
27%
29
7
25%
27
6
13%
14
5
7%
7
4
1%
1
3
0%
0
2
1%
1
1
0%
0
Average Rating
7.5
Votes
107

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: DalekbusterScreen5ReviewsReview Date: 4/20/17 5:16 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The third Doctor Who TV movie so far, Deep Breath saw Peter Capaldi's debut as the Doctor in the show and like Day of the Doctor was released in cinemas as well as broadcast on TV. Unlike Day of the Doctor, it also served as the first episode of series 8; a strong series for the show which saw a number of the new series' best episodes.

Deep Breath is the story of Clara struggling to come to terms with this new Doctor as he recovers from post-regeneration trauma. Meanwhile, a group of Clockwork Droids from the SS Madam De Pompadour's sister ship the SS Marie Antoinette are trying to find their way to the 'promised land' and using a restaurant as their base to harvest people so they can use them as spare parts to replace any they are using that are currently rotting. This is arguably one of the darkest episodes of Doctor Who as it sees a ship made out of human skin and the film's main clockwork enemy Half-Face Man impaled on a spire. It is nice to see the show explore such dark themes with the Clockwork Droids even if their return was surprising given their last appearance before Deep Breath was eight years ago in The Girl In The Fireplace. This reviewer hopes to see them return again as they are among the most intriguing of the new series' creations but whether they will or won't is anybody's guess.

The writing is up to Steven Moffat's brilliant standards, however it never reaches the highs of Day of the Doctor. It is also a little too slowly paced and doesn't quite have the same cinematic feel of the TV Movie and Day of the Doctor. Director Ben Wheatley does a great job however (as he does in the next episode Into The Dalek) and we can only hope he returns to direct another episode of the show at some point. Maybe Steven Moffat's final episode?

Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman are brilliant as the Doctor and Clara; Jenna Coleman in particular giving a very believable and engaging performance as someone who no longer knows who her friend is (although it can be argued that her response to regeneration is out of character for Clara because she has seen every regeneration of the Doctor up to 11 and therefore should expect that he changes his face once in a while anyway). The Paternoster Gang are also on top form; I will admit that I wasn't sure on them in their first appearance in A Good Man Goes To War but they have grown on me, especially Dan Starkey, who is absolutely hilarious as Strax. It's a shame that they haven't returned since during Peter Capaldi's era as I think they work well as supporting characters.

Oh, and I can't write a review about any episode of series 8 without mentioning the music. Murray Gold's music here is on par with what he produced for the Specials: absolutely incredible. Every piece is stunning and whilst there's no track to beat Vale Decem, it is easily Murray Gold's best music produced for Steven Moffat's era.

Overall, Deep Breath is a brilliant introductory TV movie for Peter Capaldi's Doctor unfortunately let down by a slow pace and not enough of a cinematic feel for something that was shown in cinemas.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: NewWorldreviewsReview Date: 1/2/16 8:16 pm
3 out of 4 found this review helpful.

On first pass, I was willing to give Deep Breath a pass. Sure, bits of it seemed silly, and there were moments where the story crawled to a halt, but on the plus side, a lot of the silliness that had crept into the later half of Matt Smith's tenure had been virtually eliminated. However, looking back on Deep Breath with, not only a cold, detached view, but also with the foreknowledge of where Peter Capaldi's Doctor will go, I have to say that Deep Breath is a bit of an underwhelming start. Sure, it held my attention, and there were scenes that I really liked on there own, but overall, I found Deep Breath a cluttered story that wasn't quite able to break above it's average status, and become what it should have been. I think that while some people have complained that this story is indistinguishable from a season 33 story, I rather like that. Like with Robot (Tom Baker's introduction from season 12), Moffat breaks us gently into the world of this new Doctor, and that does allow the show to have a transition period, which it did start in the 2013 specials, and is brought to it's logical conclusion here. I also feel that, while some complained that there wasn't enough plot to sustain 75 minutes of television, I'd disagree. There's plenty here that would have engaged an audience, and the ideas are certainly strong enough to sustain any runtime. Of course, it all depends on the strength of your writing, and I certainly don't think that this is one of Moffat's best scripts. There is simply too much here in this story that pulls at the interesting sci-fi ideas, and chews up there runtime. While some of the characterisation work that is done (particularly in the case of Clara) is interesting, most of the first half is a lot of pissing around with some silly jokes thrown in. In particular, the Doctor's initial madness gets tiring by the end of the first scene, but it's extended for at least twenty minutes till they reach the bridge, and only then do you get a small inkling of what this Doctor is going to be like. Certainly, in the second half of the story, the Doctor is given a more consistent role to play, and we start to see flashes of what this character will be like, but we can't form an opinion by the end of this story. And while I like that it indicates a journey for this Doctor's character, I can't help but wondering whether some people will just be turned off by this lack of definition. But, of course, I'd rather have an interesting story than pandering to general public conventions. That is what Doctor Who thrives on, of course. As I mentioned earlier, I did think that there are too many ideas for this script, and I feel like Moffat has taken the plots that he had, and just thrown them together to create a mishmash of different ideas that are competing with each other for superiority. There's lot's of great scenes (the tramp scene and the restaurant scene were particular highlights), but it all just felt all disconnected and loosely linked. The scenes were interesting, but they just didn't flow into another. I also found that the Paternoster Gang were rather superfluous to this story, with them really there simply for comic relief. It's a shame, because Moffat could have done interesting things with them, but it just came across as shoving them in there. They just felt like comic relief, which was a pity considering that there was the extra runtime to develop them, and since they were side-lined in Name Of The Doctor. It just feels like the story was overstuffed full of fun elements (dinosaur, clockwork Robots, the Paternoster Gang, post-regenerative crisis) but none of those elements quite come off. Certainly, I felt that, bar Clara and the Doctor, the characters were under developed and barely noticeable. As I said, the Doctor and Clara are interesting, and while I do feel that they could have pushed the boat out with the development, I did like the work that was done here. Both Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman give great performances, and while their dynamic isn't as developed as it is in later stories, the pair still work really well together. I like the work that Neve McIntosh, Catrin Stewart and Dan Starkey did, but as I said, I felt that they were just there to pad out the story,, and I wasn't really keen on the moral high ground that Vastra was put on. All that material that was related to the Doctor and Clara fancying each other just feels a little contrived, to explain away some silly lines which were best forgotten about. The Half-Faced Man, played by Peter Ferdinando was probably the only guest actor who stood out, with a chilling performance. I also thought the work with his head cogs and make-up was fantastic. I did think that the Missy cameo was more forced this time around, and Matt Smith's cameo just felt hideously self-indulgent, considering this was meant to be a confident start to a brand new era. It just comes across as hideously self-indulgent. Some of the sound effects, such as the Cloister Bell and the bong sound when Vastra knocked the Doctor out seemed a little silly and over-the-top. However, Murray Gold's music was, for once, really good, with some wonderful electronic pieces. I also thought the whole story looked fantastic with some great direction from Ben Wheatley and design from Michael Pickwoad. The new TARDIS looks fantastic too, the orange really looks fantastic. Howard Burden's fantastic costume for the twelfth Doctor is also great too, a nicely stripped back look. The titles and theme are also given a revamp, and I love the work that is done with them. The clockwork is a lovely motif, and the ideas behind it are wonderful. I also thought that the theme felt a little cluttered, but the electronic parts were a wonderful call-back to the 1980's themes. On the whole, Deep Breath is a story that doesn't quite come off. There are good ideas, and it looks fantastic, but Steven Moffat was just too concerned with, like in Time Of The Doctor, shoving too many elements into the script. It's a shame that Moffat couldn't have stuck with just a few of his ideas, because I feel that the whole script just comes as little more than a cluster of ideas. It could have been a really interesting bizarre sci-fi murder mystery, but it just feels like a real let-down. However, it's still watchable, particularly any scene with Peter Capaldi. A flawed work, but with some merit, and there is a lot worse from the pen of Steven Moffat
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: AlfredReview Date: 10/12/15 8:39 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Capaldi is good. The bit with Clara coming to terms with the regeneration is maudlin and there is a gratuitous helping of Matt Smith for all the fans who can't move on. And the Paternoster gang should have been retired with the Matt Smith era. The story picks up once the clockwork man makes his appearance and the Missy bit at the end adds some intrigue.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: WreosirReview Date: 8/29/15 5:17 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A brilliant performance by Capaldi and a good atmosphere mask the unnecessary trash of half the episode.

DOWNS
The Paternoster Row Gang NEED TO GO. Seeing as they were featured unnecessarily in a full forty minutes..
Moffat should have used those forty minutes more wisely. Building new characters, keeping suspense up, but instead he sticks us with a maid, a potato whose humor was below-par, and a lizard, which wouldn't be that bad except nothing interesting happened whatsoever. It just felt like a waste of time.

UPS
However, everything else overcasts that - mainly the genuine sense of confusion the Doctor feels at trying to understand who he is. The acting on the parts of himself, Coleman, and the Half-Face Man (wonderfully creepy) were brilliant and the great "dark" personification of the Doctor set the tone for the rest of the season.
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