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

8.1 - Deep Breath

Rating Votes
10
7%
9
9
17%
23
8
35%
46
7
21%
28
6
14%
18
5
5%
7
4
1%
1
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
7.6
Votes
132
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

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User Rating:
8
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Reviewed By: MercuryReview Date: 11/20/18 2:32 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This episode has a storyline where our newly regenerated Doctor (Peter Capaldi) arrives in Victorian England having brought with him a giant dinosaur. The TARDIS was in fact stuck in the dinosaur's throat! The Doctor and Clara then meet up with The Doctor's friends the 'Paternoster Gang'. Clara and The Doctor himself struggle with the Doctor's new and as yet unresolved transformation. There is a spate of 'spontaneous combustions' which The Doctor and his friends seek to investigate. There is also a half faced man lurking around.

Capaldi is impressive in his full debut with excellent acting and wonderful personality on show. Moffatt's writing of the many scenes and all the dialogue based around introducing Capaldi's characterisation of The Doctor is extremely well executed. As a vehicle for bringing in the new Doctor this episode is incredibly good. It has a wonderful script for Capaldi which he exploits fully. It is funny, references the show's history and has intelligent and thoughtful dialogue based around The Doctor struggling with regeneration and starting to establish his personality. It also has an improved feel to the Smith era as the filming style is full of slower scenes for character building and more in-depth dialogue.

The story itself if you take out the new Doctor introduction part of the plot is quite fun and entertaining but has a few issues. If you took out the regeneration side of things this would not be a great story just a fun, lighthearted romp. However, it should have turned into a very good episode purely because of Capaldi and his well written and acted character building scenes. Instead it is damaged by some issues which bring overall quality down a bit.

The issues I have with the plot are that like many Moffatt/Matt Smith era stories there is a tendency to overlook logic and credibility. Firstly the giant dinosaur was a bit of an issue for me. Why did Moffatt have to make it a giant dinosaur (about 8 or 10 times the size of known Tyrannosaurus Rex fossils if you measure it against the Houses of Parliament), thereby discarding all we know in science about dinosaurs? It is an unnecessary, pointless move by Moffatt purely to add spectacle (not for the first or last time). It would have worked better either with a regular sized dinosaur biting rather than swallowing the TARDIS or a giant alien monster unknown by science.

Secondly, why would the half faced man not have a finished face or at least a mask as some means of making his appearance not stand out so obviously? They have had the time and resources to build all sorts of things and yet he does not finish his face and roams around London without anyone noticing his obvious missing human features. Again spectacle over riding logic.

Thirdly, why does Clara react so badly to The Doctor's change to an older man? Of all companions she has even less excuse for this having met other incarnations of The Doctor before and coped perfectly well. If she has 'forgotten' these encounters with other versions of The Doctor it would still make her a remarkably shallow character. It would have been much better if she accepted his new appearance but found his new personality hard to accept and started to get more uncomfortable as the episode went on, or over the first couple of episodes, before getting used to him.

I felt these issues were partly overcome by the superb quality of Capaldi, the script and the filming style as well as the humour and entertainment value but not entirely.

I had been greatly looking forward to a rumoured return to a more thoughtful, slow burning drama in this series and was hoping for great things from lifelong Who fan Peter Capaldi as The Doctor. I think they met those expectations with the filming style and I was generally very, very happy with this first episode, mainly due to Capaldi who showed potential to be creating one of the better characterisations of The Doctor. It was a decent episode but illogical, plot hole issues stopped it reaching its full potential.

My rating for this episode: 7.5/10
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
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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:
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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:
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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.