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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Experimental yet succesful series
Peter Capaldi. An interesting and controversial choice. Perhaps it was time for an older man after the two pretty boys. I wasn't sure at first but I can now confidently say he was the right choice.

DEEP BREATH (9/10): Very action packed series opener. Great introduction to Capaldi's Doctor. Jenna-Louise Coleman performed incredibly here, The Paternoster Gang...
Published 3 days ago by Lew623

28 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great program, bad business technique.
First off, I must start by saying that although this series was completely fantastic (almost as good as other recent releases such as Star Wars X and Sherlock Series 4), I do not approve of this business scheme. Sending me the product before I even order it so that I have no other choice but to buy it lest I rip apart causality by refusing to do so? That really isn't...
Published 9 months ago by Amy

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Experimental yet succesful series, 23 Nov 2014
Peter Capaldi. An interesting and controversial choice. Perhaps it was time for an older man after the two pretty boys. I wasn't sure at first but I can now confidently say he was the right choice.

DEEP BREATH (9/10): Very action packed series opener. Great introduction to Capaldi's Doctor. Jenna-Louise Coleman performed incredibly here, The Paternoster Gang added humour and secretly bringing back the Clockwork Robots. Genius!
INTO THE DALEK (7/10): I had been looking forward to this episode, to meeting Danny Pink. Turns out he's going to be a love interest instead of a companion. *Groan*. But the episode on the whole was good. Nice idea, good actors all round. Some dalek action. Good stuff.
ROBOT OF SHERWOOD (8/10): I enjoyed this episode as I have always loved Robin Hood. I enjoyed the old BBC series back when it was on. Although the monsters could have been a bit more imaginative, the way the competition between The Doctor and Robin was played made the episode.
LISTEN (9/10): "What if you're never really alone?" Oooo! This one got me! Had the hairs of adults and kids alike standing on end at the back of their necks. It was a nice little scare. And the idea that it was all in The Doctor's head since Clara touched him on Gallifrey was a cool twist. But by now I was starting to worry about the love stuff. Taking up a bit too much of the episode.
TIME HEIST (10/10): I just loved this one. It was so slick, so well written. The two actors playing Psi and Zaibra will go far in acting, very good performances. Keeley Hawes also played the perfect villain. And the Teller monster, give the guy who designed that a medal!
THE CARETAKER (3/10): NO! NO! NO! We do not want Waterloo Road! Goodness me, too much love-stuff, too much of that ghastly Courtney girl. NOT GOOD!
KILL THE MOON (4/10): Oh dear! They brought Courtney. Awful actress! And plot holes, why would Clara be nice to a girl that bullied her when she started teaching. They should have ejected her into space, little brat. The idea was okay if a bit childish and the spiders would have been good if used a bit more.
MUMMY ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (9/10): And Doctor Who Series 8 is back on track! The design of the Mummy was brilliant and the whole story even better. That clock counting down at the bottom of the screen every time someone saw the Mummy really added to the terror. The guests of Frank Skinner and Foxes added to the quality of the episode also.
FLATLINE (9/10): Doctor in my pocket! Almost comical, this one. I love that The Doctor was stuck in the TARDIS in Clara's bag while she went around solving the mystery like Sarah Jane Smith. The highlight of the episode for me was Jovian Wade as Rigsy. Outstanding performance. He really stole the show.
IN THE FOREST OF THE NIGHT (7/10): Trees saving Planet Earth? Well it's original, I'll give it that! The episode would have been better without all those kids, I must confess. Not many acting skills and they all looked a bit clueless on screen.
DARK WATER (10/10): Incredible! Capaldi and Coleman at their very best! The Nethersphere and 3W theory was such a good idea. And Michelle Gomez was a perfect M_____, I won't spoil it for you!
DEATH IN HEAVEN (7/10) Such a good build-up to the introduction of the Cybermen. Such a disappointment here. Tip for you Steven Moffat; if you're going to do a cybermen episode, be sure to include the Cybermen! Having The M_____ in this meant that there was not enough Cyber action. Think back to the classic days of "The Tomb Of The Cybermen" and "The Invasion". That's how you do a Cybermen story! It was a mistake in my opinion to kill off Osgood, she was a popular character. And when Santa Clause appeared at the end, my reaction was - "After this series, why not?"

ACTORS: Capaldi - really good actor, portrays a darker Doctor really well. In Time Heist, I really accepted him as The Doctor. He may not be able to run very fast but who cares.
Coleman - Clara is one of my favourite Doctor Who companions ever. Coleman is such a great actress and I will miss her when she goes.

STORY-ARCS: Promised Land - one of the best arcs yet, that's all I have to say.
Danny Pink - yuck! Too much lovey-dovey mush! Why couldn't they have portrayed Clara and Danny as friends. A relationship like that of Jamie and Victoria or Ben and Polly. I didn't see much point of this character seeing as he stepped inside the TARDIS like twice was it? and never actually travelled anywhere.

But overall, an experimental but successful series of Doctor Who. Roll on 2015!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Series 8: "The Promised Land"?, 14 Nov 2014
Number13 (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Complete Series 8 [Blu-ray] [2014] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Coughed up and spat out by an outrageously oversized CGI dinosaur (fortunately, while protected by the TARDIS) wasn't the most auspicious way for the latest incarnation of the Doctor to make his arrival, yet when the blue door opened all was well.

Peter Capaldi seized the attention from his first scene in `Deep Breath...' and emphatically is The Doctor, growing in his opening story from despairing fragility and memory loss back into the heroic Time Lord who has lived a dozen lives and has memories he might want to forget. He went on to a series of superb performances in every episode, mixing action with humour and the darker, truly alien side of the Doctor as displayed in many of his incarnations right back to the First. If this review was just of the new Doctor, it would be 5* without a doubt.

Clara provides him with an interesting companion who has her own life to lead but just can't give up on the thrill of travels in the TARDIS. Jenna Coleman plays the role excellently, at times as quite a traditional companion, then occasionally taking the lead in a reversal of roles. This was sometimes very successful, as in `Flatline', while in other episodes like `Kill the Moon' I felt the Doctor should have been given more prominence.

In her life on Earth, Clara swaps alien monsters for the duties of a teacher at Coal Hill School and romance with ex-soldier Danny Pink. Personally I thought these elements were the weaker parts of the series and lead to some of the least successful episodes, although `Listen', which involved the future and past of Clara and Danny, was extremely good. The constant antagonism, even prejudice that the Doctor displayed towards Danny and all soldiers throughout this season seemed quite out of character for our tolerant Time Lord, especially since he once spent five years living on Earth surrounded by his friends from UNIT. Danny's back-story from his time as a soldier was not revealed until the finale, but it was so obvious I guessed it in his first episode and it seemed a poor stereotype.

The season-long story arc involving `The Promised Land' and `Missy' was very intriguing and culminated in one of the best episodes of the season with 'Dark Water', but in some ways I never felt it quite paid off. I'm still not sure why the Half-Face Man and the robot knights were trying to reach `The Promised Land' or why `Missy' chose Clara specifically. The notion of Clara as `the impossible girl' connected with the Doctor throughout his timelines, as seen in series 7, was very original and I thought it would be the important reason for her specifically to be tied in with `Missy's schemes in some interesting way, but instead it seemed to have been forgotten.

The 12 episodes were very varied in theme, style and (judging by content) in target audience too. Leaving aside the finale for the moment, my favourites were Steven Moffat's `Listen' and the two superb and contrasting stories by Jamie Mathieson, `Flatline' and `Mummy on the Orient Express'; if any proof is needed that a great script is what makes great `Doctor Who', these weeks provided it. `Listen' was almost like a classic M.R. James ghost story plus time travel, with a slow pace to let the tension build; `Flatline' was an inventive horror comedy with clever ideas, relative dimensions and zombie graffiti in an urban setting while `Mummy' brought back to life (at least for a older fan like me) the splendid `Gothic' age of late 1970's `Doctor Who' with a gruesome, terrifying `monster' and a fine supporting cast - the Doctor even offered a jelly-baby in the style of his legendary Fourth incarnation. I hope the nation's sofas had plenty of room behind them for this one(!)

`Deep Breath ...', `Into the Dalek' and `Time Heist' were enjoyable episodes, the regeneration story plus a typically fun romp around London with the Paternoster gang; the required `Dalek' action story with a twist - a *good* Dalek (no, the Doctor didn't believe it either!) and a slick, stylish heist `movie' in 45 minutes with hints of `Ocean's Eleven', `Mission: Impossible' and `X-Men'. These three stories were `Doctor Who' in full entertainment mode, though `Deep Breath ...' included some interesting thoughts on our reactions to age and change within the lighter surround.

Two very different comedies were included in the season. `Robot of Sherwood' seemed to be pushing the boundary of what counts as `Doctor Who' and has divided fan opinion; personally I thought it was highly silly but great fun and enjoyed every minute for the comedy interlude it clearly was. It only just fits within the `Doctor Who' Universe, but who cares for once? As Robin tells the Doctor: "I'm just as real as you are." Touché! `The Caretaker' started as a three-handed comedy in Coal Hill School with a clunky-looking alien robot on the rampage and this part of the story worked well as action comedy, but I was much less keen on the seemingly rather forced rivalry and `class' tensions between the Doctor and Danny Pink. The Doctor isn't an "aristocrat" - `Time Lord' is a qualification from the Academy on Gallifrey and not some inherited title.

`Doctor Who' is science fantasy, not science fiction, but the key word is `science' and this was where I felt both `Kill the Moon' and `In the Forest of the Night' went astray, casting off science for outright fantasy, though I did like the arachnophobic opening third of the former and the initial forest concept of the latter. In my opinion these were the two weakest episodes of the season by some distance and I won't be in a hurry to watch them again.

Finally, it was time for the season-ending two-parter and the great showdown with `Missy' in which all would be revealed. `Dark Water' was a superb episode to start the season finale, as Steven Moffat took us into very dark waters indeed with a sudden, quite shocking death and the skin-crawling `revelations' (albeit with some touches of humour) about the `afterlife'; the darkest, most appalling concepts ever raised in the lifetime of the show. Daring stuff, but as the Doctor tells us, it's all a scam, none of it was true. Three spectacular `returns' from the classic era were superb: the Matrix (it was a `Doctor Who' idea first, by legendary writer Robert Holmes in 1976), the Cybermen re-enacting iconic scenes from `The Invasion' and this time also actually coming down the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral and what I thought was the breath-taking (if controversial for some fans) reveal of the true identity of `Missy', very well played by Michelle Gomez.

For me, `Death in Heaven' didn't live up to `Dark Water'; it seemed as if an almost conscious backward step was taken into the relative safety of a big CGI spectacular. Some of the ideas from `Dark Water' were carried through but diluted, others such as Danny's cliff-hanger dilemma were simply forgotten about while some of the new additions such as UNIT seemed almost pointless in terms of their contribution to the plot. The `return' of the Cyber-Brigadier was obviously meant to be a heart-warming moment for classic-series fans but personally, in all the darkness of this story, this was the only element I found distasteful, perhaps because I'm a fan of the 1970s Third Doctor / UNIT era and my original Doctor and his human friends. The character interaction between the Doctor and Clara was very well written and acted, the highlight of the episode for me, but for a season finale there were too many loose ends for my taste, notably all the questions raised by Danny speaking to Clara "two weeks later". On the other hand, perhaps we haven't seen the true end of this story quite yet?

While there were parts of this season that weren't to my taste and I did feel the ending was uncertain in places, the variety of stories was such that it would have been a surprise if everyone liked everything. No doubt the episodes I liked least will be someone else's favourites, and also the reverse - as fans of the show, we know the Doctor is all for freedom of choice!

Overall, I thought it was a very good first season for this outstanding new Doctor, with some excellent episodes; thanks for reading.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who is Missy?, 11 Nov 2014
Mr. R. W. Graham (Lincoln, U.K.) - See all my reviews
A brand newly regenerated older Doctor bringing back memories of original Doctor William Hartnell and 3rd Doctor Jon Pertwee completely silencing those new series fans who have never heard of those Doctors and have only seen David Tennant and Matt Smith. Peter Capaldi is excellent as the new Doctor doing a great partnership with companion Clara who is trying to get used to the new Doctor. 12 episodes in this set starting with the feature length Deep Breath which sees the newly regenerated Doctor in Victorian London and is one of the best debut episodes of any Doctor. The end of the episode introduces the big mystery of series 8, Missy, who looks like an evil Mary Poppins and seems to be talking to people who have died because of The Doctor. Into The Dalek brings back The Doctor's oldest enemies in one of the most original Dalek stories while Robot of Sherwood sees The Doctor meet Robin Hood. These are excellent opening 3 episodes. Listen sees The Doctor fighting a monster who may or may not be real, Time Heist sees Doctor Who do Ocean's 11 as The Doctor robs a bank, The Caretaker sees The Doctor at Coal Hill School back where the series began in 1963 investigating aliens and meeting Clara's new boyfriend Danny Pink, Kill The Moon sees The Doctor on the moon and Mummy On The Orient Express sees The Doctor facing a mummy on the Orient Express in space. Flatline sees The Doctor facing monsters from another dimension and In The Forest Of The Night sees The Doctor fighting an invasion of Earth by trees in the weakest episode of the series. It all leads up to an excellent 2 part finale, Dark Water and Death In Heaven which sees the return of The Cybermen and UNIT and sees the mystery of Missy resolved which is a huge shock for the Doctor. Despite some wobbles and a couple of average, weak episodes this is a strong first series for the new Doctor.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The good the bad and the Capaldi!, 8 Nov 2014
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Complete Series 8 [Blu-ray] [2014] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
It's always a troubling time when there is a change of doctor, what will they be like? Will it ruin the show? I was a huge fan of Matt Smith so was a little worried going into season 8.

On the bright side it was still a good season. Several of the episodes such as the Mummy on Orient Express, Robots of Sherwood, Flatline and the last two episodes of the season were excellent (Missy was especially brilliant, need more of this quality). There was some genuinely funny moments throughout the season and a few good scares too.

On the downside I found some of the writing weaker than previous seasons, with a few episodes that had plot holes in them and the focus on Clara and Danny was somewhat heavy handed in some places though I understand why.

Finally there is Peter Capaldi the new doctor. The first episode with him handling his regeneration I found quite jarring and a struggle to get through at first though that is down to the aforementioned writing rather than his performance because when allowed to play the role of the earth ignorant grumpy old doctor he really shines.

So all in all it's a good season, just needs to iron out some of the creases and let Capaldi settle in a bit. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chemistry Explosion, 23 Nov 2014
Loving Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor and his interactions with Jenna Coleman's Clara, who by the way is so good for this Doctor. The chemistry is spot on, and as a Twelve/Clara shipper, I really hope Jenna will be back for series 9. Twelve needs his impossible girl.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Adventures in Time and Strangeness, 1 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Complete Series 8 [Blu-ray] [2014] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Doctor Who has taken an odd turn the last few years. A lot of the reviews posted focus on the content of the episodes of the series, rather than the product itself. I will offer my views on the current series later in the review, as this is naturally part of the content, but first I would like to detail my review on the actual physical product first.

As ever, Amazon have duly delivered on date of release a Blu-Ray edition of the series, along with their customary Pre-Order Guarantee, and I noticed that I was charged less than the pre-ordered price, so I am grateful for this.

5 Discs are supplied for the Blu-Ray edition, which include all 12 episodes of the current series and accompanied by bonus features as follows:

Doctor Who: The Ultimate Time Lord
Commentaries and Interviews
Doctor Who: Earth Conquest: The World Tour
Doctor Who: The Ultimate Companion
Exclusive Q&A with Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat
Behind the Scenes.

It also includes subtitles in English for the Hard of Hearing and Audio Navigation/ Audio Description on the episodes.

The cover is as shown on the listing, marked with a BBFC rating of 12.

Having detailed all this, I find it conspicuous by its absence that that the UV copy, previously included with Matt Smith Season 7 Blu-Ray and the Day of the Doctor 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray, is not available with this boxset, yet digital copies are available to buy separately with Amazon Instant Video. As I have bought the soundtrack of Day of the Doctor and a digital download is automatically included as part of the purchase, I find it strange that there isn't a video equivalent on this occasion,and it is for this reason I've marked the product down to a 4 star.

As far as the series is concerned, I find Peter Capaldi an excellent choice of Doctor, managing to exhibit characteristics well from his forebears, whilst also delivering his own style. I also like Clara as a companion, as the lack of love interest with the Doctor is preferred and her willingness to challenge the Doctor is welcome, as I found Amy Pond far too abrasive a character. The introduction of another male regular, Mr Pink, is also a refreshing change. Overall though, I have found this season somewhat hit and miss however; sadly somewhat more on the miss side.

I do enjoy Doctor Who thoroughly, and been an fan since I was 7 in the late 80's, long before it was currently in vogue, so I am willing to give some leeway to stories that I might enjoy less. Having said that, I feel the writing and general stance since Steven Moffat took the helm has moved away from being innovative science fiction on occasion and more into what I consider "Strange Fiction"- the opening appearance of this season of a T-Rex regurgitating a swallowed TARDIS being a prime example. This does not mean there isn't some good science fiction this season, eg Flatline and Listen, some are enjoyable remakes of films ( Into the Dalek and Time Heist as interpretations of Fantastic Voyage and Ocean's 11), but others in particular- namely In The Forest of the Night and Kill the Moon- just seem to be weird ideas that have little or no real basis in reality and offered up as fiction with very little science to them. Kill the Moon, in its defence, started well as a sci-fi episode, but I really felt the ending was an unrealistic/ un-credible plotline.

There has been a tendency this season of a standoffish rivalry between principal characters, some of which is enjoyable, others more arbitrary. Again, this seems to be at the direction of the writers as it seems inconsistent at times. There also seems to be a desire to seek sensationalism at the expense of the delivery of a good storyline. A prominent example is the alluded lesbian kiss/ resuscitation/ kiss of life between Madame Vastra and Jenny, as well as the Nethersphere/ Afterlife concepts, to keep the series in the public sphere. I personally applaud and celebrate the inclusion of the former, but it seemed that this aspect then resulted in a hype of media frenzy taken out of context and in the rest of the episode being overlooked and unimportant. Similarly, the latter concept was intriguing, but also very reminiscent of "The Matrix" and felt it perhaps was lucky not to have been challenged on that basis. Consequently I feel that, although the BBC have used CGI and other effects to their usual high standards to create the episodes, some of the stories themselves have not always lent themselves to be believable and hope this will be addressed next season.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breath of Fresh Air, 19 Nov 2014
Some great episodes (Time Heist, Listen, Flatline) and a spirited interpretation of the Doctor. I alwasy enjoy the more alien versions of the Doctor and found Capaldi's complex and (when teamed with Clara) hillarious.

I admit it- I like banter (especially inside properly sci-fi concept-focussed episodes like Flatline).

Downsides- the tree episode wasn't great & the finale had too many holes (one thing happening after the next & not all making sense).

I haven't bothered to buy seasons for a couple of years now, despite liking Matt Smith, but I've bought this and really look foward to season nine.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The clock has just struck twelve, 30 Sep 2014
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Complete Series 8 [Blu-ray] [2014] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
After the departure of the incredibly popular Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, there was obviously some concern that his replacement Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor wouldn't draw in the casual audience especially after the incredible 50th Anniversary episode The Day of the Doctor.
Fortunately however, Capaldi gives a great performance as The Doctor and really makes his interpretation his own. He also has great chemistry with Jenna Coleman as companion Clara Oswald, even if it doesn't quite match Coleman's chemistry with Matt Smith. There are also several great episodes in this season including Listen, Kill the Moon, Mummy on the Orient Express, Flatline and the two part finale Dark Water/Death in Heaven with an interesting twist with new character Missy.
However, while this series features some great episodes and the performances' are terrific, the series does seem to fall flat on several occasions. While Danny Pink is a well developed character, I found the relationship between him and Clara to be a little bland and even though Clara is a great companion and Jenna Coleman does a great job in the role, the focus of the series is more on her rather than on developing Capaldi's Doctor which hurts the series overall. Also while there as some great episodes in the series, overall I think while it's certainly one of the darker series of the show, it tends to lack the fun factor and didn't really start to grip me until the finale.
An in all, while I don't think Series 8 of Doctor Who is one of the best of the show's history, it's still good enough to increase interest in what Steven Moffat has in store for the future of Capaldi's Doctor, as long as The Doctor becomes more of the focus of the show once again.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant series this year, 3 Nov 2014
Brilliant series this year. I think Peter Capaldi has flourished in the role of the doctor. I think this has helped the relationship between the two main characters, making this series darker and funnier at times with Capaldi's dry sense of humour. Every episode so far has been good, I particularly enjoyed Mummy on the orient express, robot of Sherwood and deep breath. I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who hasn't watched it yet. Michelle Gomez is sublime in the role of Missy, the chemistry between her and Capaldi are brilliant. This series includes the classic enemies the Daleks, the cyberman and of course the mistress ( the master).
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb New Doctor!, 3 Nov 2014
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Complete Series 8 [Blu-ray] [2014] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Fantastic series, and I think Peter Capaldi is just excellent as the new Doctor. Looking forward to both the xmas special and his second series. A+++++
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