25th Aug2014

‘Doctor Who: 8×01 – Deep Breath’ Review

by Paul Metcalf


Finally we have a new episode of Doctor Who and it’s directed by Ben Wheatley, you would think that the BBC were trying to create something special with Deep Breath for Peter Capaldi’s first full episode as the Doctor and I’d say you are right. A little darker than usual with references to past episodes and the introduction of a character that could be the new big bad, there are many things to take in… maybe too much.

To keep spoilers to a minimum all I will say is that The Doctor arrives in Victorian London with a dinosaur in the Thames and a spate of spontaneous combustions to investigate.  As his has only just regenerated it’s up to Clara (Jenna Coleman) and the Paternoster Gang to help him stay safe and work out just what is going on.

The big question that all fans want to know is what is Peter Capaldi like as the Doctor? Well I like him, he’s a darker version but witty with it and has a knack of treating people like he believes they are stupid.  There is an older feel to his version, and the fact that he is older is something questioned in the episode itself, but I also noticed there was a hint as to why he looks like a person that we’ve met before.  This is a clue that moves past quickly so keep your ears open for it.  There are also many references to past episodes as well as a nice tribute that fans may also pick up, but it may be one that British fans catch onto more.

What is most interesting with this episode of Doctor Who is that although there is a strong story in place that really intrigues the audience the main theme is still just who is this new Doctor?  There are moments that even make the audience question just how he has changed and it works well, though there were a few lines in the script that made me question if they had made a mistake with the mythology behind the character.  I managed to get past those though and got back to enjoying the episode which fit my tastes as a horror fan, but as a Doctor Who fan there remains questions.

The fact is I do feel that some fans of Doctor Who may not have liked this episode as much as I and others did, but everybody can’t be pleased all the time.  There is a feeling that I couldn’t shrug off that some people may be lost in the rush of references that are in the episode.  It’s fun to people who remember where these come from, but for others they just have to hope for the best and try to keep up with the story.

My verdict for Deep Breath is that this was a very good start for Peter Capaldi and if this season of Doctor Who keeps this feeling of darkness it will be a good year for the Doctor.  We have more episodes, we have a refreshed and regenerated Doctor and there is a confidence with the show that needs to be there.  This may not always be the Doctor Who we want, but there are times when we are given strong episodes, and this is one of those.  It’s going to scare those who want to be scared, it has references for the fans and it has some excellent acting not only from Capaldi but the whole cast and that is what we need in our Doctor, and this is a very nice return.

**** 4/5

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

2 Responses to “‘Doctor Who: 8×01 – Deep Breath’ Review”

  • Corin m

    Wow I hope that they seriously get better because it was bad, Clara makes way too much fuss about not being able to accept the new doctor for someone who was suppoded to have helped/guided older versions of him, why make her act this way against her background is beyond me, it dosnt make her more multi dimensional it just makes it look like the writer has compleatley dismissed all other episodes before. Her whishy washy charater needs to go fast she did nothing other than need rescuing hardly in keeping with her so called feistyness.

  • Little-mouse

    And I thought I hated Matt smith and the ponds but compared to these two they are gods. Not DT or Donna rose etc but better than Moffits new rubbish. Oh how I yearn for mr T Davis style plots :(