I enjoyed the review and analysis that I did before and I appreciated everyone’s feedback and discussion. However, it was the debate side of the threads that I enjoyed the most so from now on, I will merely offer some thoughts, pose some questions or throw a few ideas out there about each episode and let you do the analyses, tell me what you liked and didn’t like.
You can either offer your own thoughts about my posted question or talk about something else related to the episode. My icebreakers:
What are your first impressions of Peter Capaldi?
Does Moffat have a steampunk fetish?
Is this where Clara wins over her critics?
9 thoughts on “Open Thread: Deep Breath”
I quite liked Capaldi’s Doctor, I was expecting darker and got something largely avuncular with angry eyebrows, but regeneration periods are always traumatic, and that one was a doozie, what with the extra “impossible” regeneration energy. I wasn’t expecting a less alien Doctor from Matt Smith and that was a pleasant surprise.
Steampunk is still big, and the Doctor was Steampunk when retro-futurism was just futurism, but it would be nice to see some optimistic visions of the future again.
Clara, actually now that we know why she’s impossible, seemed very poorly written. If anything her and Vastra should have had the opposite dialogue, I thought.
Personally, I thought the whole episode was somehow a little off, like a weird fan-fiction project. It had buckets of pointless references to classic and new doctor stories that strained my knowledge, which didn’t seem to foreshadow anything, because there were simply too many, it became encyclopedic and strained. The new title sequence, actually was created by a fan, and struck me as amateurish symbolic (this is a show about time-travel, just in case you didn’t know) , with new music that could have only been worse if they’d dub-stepped the theme, actually no, that might have been better. The Paternoster gang back again, which I can only assume is to get the fans talking about Moffatt’s sexism or objectified lesbians again, and are obvious fan-fictioneer favs. Giant dinosaurs, why Giant? Just because. The body harvesting automata now relabelled ‘droids’ (did George sell that trademark with the Star wars property? Are Disney lawyers firing up to try and sue the Beeb?), back again – only this time, less scary, because they were people, not smiley faced masqueraders.
I could go on…
But I did like Capaldi, and his Doctor and Clara had a nice old school Doctor-companion feel. I just hope the pay-off with ‘Missy’ is worth that set-up.
Now that we have the “impossible girl” bit out of the way, I think we may see some improvement with her going in a new direction. I liked the new dynamic at the end and feeling positive about their relationship.
Hmmm, I’m not sure that that they will always be pointless. I suspect (and hope) that they will become relevant, especially his reference to having seen his face before. It was all one big encyclopaedia I agree, but I don’t think there was no point to it all.
Very intriguing… I have my suspicions about who she is but I won’t air them here :)
I don’t know how I feel about it to be honest. It did some parts really really well and other parts were strongly lacking, I felt. I agree completely with the previous comment about Clara. Why didn’t she know about his regeneration. She’s seen all of his lives. That just doesn’t make sense if she remembers that. It was never mentioned at all if she remembers that experience. In fact it was never explained how they escaped from his subconcious at the end of Name of the Doctor. … She seemed a bit better in the show in terms of having a role but she’s still badly written.
However I loved Capaldi’s crazy rant to the homeless guy that was really well down, but I felt a lot of his other scenes were him trying too hard. I don’t feel like he is comfortable as the Doctor yet himself but considering how much Smith changed from his opener I’m taking it with a pinch of salt until I see a real episode with him. I must add as a side note that I loved Smith’s raggedy Doctor and was a little sad he didn’t stay like that throughout his run. It had a very modern attitude.
I think the past references were very useful. They are all stuff the fans have been chattering about for a while and now we have finally sen this mysterious woman. Am I allowed to say my theory? I think it might be either the Rani or the Master trying out a female form.
However, that got me thinking. Is Doctor Who’s long history damaging it? People are always talking about old monsters and enemies they want back and seem a little disappointed when they don’t return. So much so it seems new monsters aren’t allowed to live up to their potential. Even say The Silence, who I thought were fantastic, they got written out very quickly
Getting back on track now. I liked the return of the gang. Strax was, for the most part, laugh out loud funny and even Vastra had me laughing. My final thought on them is the last action scene. It felt to me very clunky. Iknow they were fighting clockwork robots essentially but why were they fighting them on their slow clunky setting as equals? They should have been able to run rings around the baddies. I couldn’t help comparing it to the battles in Day of the Moon and a Good Man Goes to War. Paling.
My final thought is on his face. His talk about his subconcious trying to tell him something is intriguing. What about the trip to Pompeii does he need to know? In his final speech to the baddy he seemed to realise he reason after he held the tray up for them both to look into. What did he realise?
I’ll leave you with my favourite quote of the whole show: “it’s at times like this I miss Amy”. Don’t we all Doctor. I still feel the show hasn’t recovered since them.
Thanks for your comments Matt!
I’m going to rewatch later today to see if there was anything I missed on that score. It does seem rather weird now but I didn’t question it at the time.
That’s mine too – The Rani rather than The Master though that is just as plausible (Missy / Miss / Mistress being the feminine form of Master after all). We know he would (and has) gone to any lengths to extend his life before. If it is The Master, then I suspect that The Rani will never return.
I agree on that score. Now we know what they are, their whole reason for being is redundant. They could have been the next Weeping Angels but were thrown away in a single plot device to tie up the story of a single incarnation.
Looking forward to finding out! I really, really hope that all of the references, even those obscure ones that CJ rightly pointed to above as stretching even most hardcore fans, will mean something. It’s not like Moffat not to want to use it.
Yet Amy had her detractors too. I liked her, because when she was good (The Girl Who Waited, Amy’s Choice, Angels Take Manhattan) she was superb; but when she was bad, she seemed to devolve into a stereotypical shrieking Glaswegian who just told everybody to “shut uuuuup!!!!”
Hi Matt, I’ve just rewatched Deep Breath again and on second viewing, I think there are two things affecting Clara here.
1. She is in denial that *her* Doctor is gone, hence the comment about how to get him back – I think she knows the answer, but doesn’t want to accept it
2. She may still be confused about the mechanics of regeneration. She says she doesn’t understand why there is an old man in place of her younger Doctor – why does he have lines and grey hair? My guess is that she presumed regeneration starts them out as a young man and they grow older in their body, hence her conversation with Vastra “he doesn’t look renewed, he looks… older”.
I think this change was necessary for Clara to get the crush out of the system. I am expecting some real and meaningful changes in her relationship with him from now on.
As a side note, I do think the “he wore a young face to be accepted” is a pop at fair-weather fans.
I don’t think Missy is the Master or the Rani, as that would be too cool. :)
I suspect she is going to be something new, a bit like the Guardians of Time – Capaldi reminds me of the good points of Colin Baker, without the actual psychosis. It might be possible that she could be Romana III – finally escaped from E-space, I suppose, but usually Moffat’s arcs are more original than that.
I still find Madame Vastra quoting the Brigadier on regenerations very odd as she had only been a Matt Smith character as far as we know, that would all have made a lot more sense the other way around, but something tells me that the episode wasn’t intended for those of us who remember Tom Baker or John Portree (except maybe from the reruns), this was about convincing teenage American girls (who are seen as fickle and not so up on the shows histor [and still mourning David Tennant] – despite any evidence to the contrary) to keep watching… Job done I think, the rest of us aren’t going to be chased off by one dodgy episode, are we? We know sometimes it takes a while to settle a new doctor in. And if the job was to trend on Twitter, it certainly did that, and apparently was full of “feels”.
Romana… yes! That’s another one I briefly considered. After all, we don’t know that Missy is the Big Bad because she has done little… well, nothing… that could be considered villainous (yet). It was her (presumably) who posted the advert in the newspaper. What was the Promised Land thing all about? Why save the robot? All interesting questions! I think this requires a second viewing.
Yes that’s why I made my point about returning villains. It’s more likely that this woman is a brand new character but I worry fans will be too disappointed if she is not a returning enemy.
Anyway, I liked Amy’s screaming. It was very ‘her’.
Yes, it’s a very fine line between acknowledging the past and moving forward, especially when you have 50 years of history to draw on.