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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor is back with a roar
After a brief appearance at the end of The Time of the Doctor at Christmas, Peter Capaldi makes his full episode debut as the 12th (or maybe 13th) Doctor in a feature length episode.

Soon after his regeneration the Doctor we presume must have crash landed in Prehistoric times and the TARDIS is swallowed by a dinosaur. By dematerialising the dinosaur travels...
Published 5 months ago by Matthew J. Parker

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only buy if you're a Doctor Who fan
***THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS***

`Deep Breath' is the first episode of Series 8 of the revived run, and Peter Capaldi's first full episode as the Doctor and it is written by head-writer Steven Moffat.

I must firstly talk about the new title sequence. I have to say, I love it! It's all entirely CGI, as to be expected, and it starts off with a shot...
Published 2 months ago by Robert E.


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor is back with a roar, 23 Aug. 2014
By 
Matthew J. Parker "the legend writes:" (Todmorden, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who - Deep Breath [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
After a brief appearance at the end of The Time of the Doctor at Christmas, Peter Capaldi makes his full episode debut as the 12th (or maybe 13th) Doctor in a feature length episode.

Soon after his regeneration the Doctor we presume must have crash landed in Prehistoric times and the TARDIS is swallowed by a dinosaur. By dematerialising the dinosaur travels with the TARDIS and they end up in Victorian London - the dinosaur eventually coughing up the TARDIS and the new Doctor stumbles out with Clara, bumping into the Paternoster Gang, and is as confused as ever after the regeneration process. Whilst resting the Doctor wakens and heads off to chat to the frightened dinosaur but sees it spontaneously combust en route. Discovering that there have been many reports of spontaneous combustion in the press recently the Doctor decides this is more of a link to murders and decides to try and solve the mystery, especially after spying a man with a half human, half android face.

After past disappointments when I've been over excited about certain Doctor Who episodes (Time of the Doctor for example), this episode is a great start to the Capaldi era, thankfully toning the character of the Doctor down from the past couple of incarnations and introducing a wonderfully darker and dangerous Doctor. There are many references and lines in the script that reference past stories ' here we go again' - Brigadier in Robot, Doctor waking up and looking under his bed - Spearhead from Space' and the regular 'You've had this place redecorated - don't like it' - Troughton in The Five Doctors. You can tell the episode is directed by Ben Wheatley - some of the sets look amazing and the tone throughout is creepy and at times very unsettling, perhaps for the strongest time since Blink was originally aired. The character of the Doctor is not unlikeable in the sense of Colin Baker-esque beginnings but there is one scene in particular where he basically leaves Clara to what may be a particularly unpleasant death so he can save himself. The 'villain' is also the stuff of nightmares - think 'Frankenstein' via 'Sweeney Todd'

There are one or two niggles as you might expect, for example, a young 11th Doctor ringing Clara to tell her to help the new incarnation - surely the young 11th Doctor presumed he'd grow old and die on Trenzalore and not regenerate as he was at the end of his regeneration cycle - maybe it's me who's missed something though? The blu-ray as a stand alone release is fine as it's feature length but is not an essential purchase when the box set will be out by Christmas.

A good strong start though and if this is the way the season will go we could be back in a future 'classic era'. Here's hoping
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take a Deep Breath and Start Again …, 30 Aug. 2014
By 
Number13 (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Coughed up and spat out by an outrageously oversized CGI dinosaur (fortunately, while protected by the TARDIS) isn't the most auspicious way for the latest incarnation of the Doctor to make his arrival in Victorian London, yet when the blue door opens all is well.

It's a long time since the Doctor last had a commanding, lived-in face and grey, curly hair but those were great years which also began with the Doctor in a nightshirt, in a bed, in an erratic post-regeneration state of mind. Peter Capaldi seizes the attention from his first scene and emphatically is The Doctor, growing in this 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. A superb performance, mixing humour with action and hints of the darker, truly alien side of the Doctor as displayed in many of his incarnations right back to the First.

The direction and filming are excellent, the sets and effects are the usual high standard and with most of the other characters being familiar faces, we know the acting will be equally good and it is. The regeneration story is very well told, covering about the first and last quarters of the episode; if there's a weakness, for me it comes from the other parts of the story, which are generally enjoyable and action-filled but not especially memorable. (Though from the ending I suspect the `journey to the promised land' seed planted here might grow considerably through the season.) Classic-series fans will enjoy spotting at least two lines of dialogue inserted in tribute to the past.

This 80-minute episode combines the regeneration story with a fairly typical romp through the usual semi-pastiche olde London. Madame Vastra and her team always spice up a story, although the inhabitants of London must be fairly dense not to notice they have a sentient lizard going around with her very friendly maid and a butler from a high-gravity planet who was hatched in a reproduction line. Strax the comedy Sontaran is wonderful here, but though I laugh it's not without a thought back to the time when Commander Linx showed his was a warrior species to be taken seriously.

The villains of the piece are another appearance of the 51st century clockwork droids that gave Madame de Pompadour so much trouble. It's quite familiar ground, the Half-Face Man or chief droid here is again trying to repair itself, against all need or sense, by enforced organ donation from passing humans, dinosaurs, whatever's handy and living. The script references "Sweeney Todd without the pies" and in a non-violent form that's a fair summary. As is usual for new series `Doctor Who', this story of body-part-snatching is well told but in a quite safe, `Gothic-lite' style. I thought of `The Brain of Morbius' from 40 years ago which also tells a tale of botched body-part assembly but does it with the gloves off! (And the arm, head ...)

It's down to Clara to provide the real sense of peril (one of the roles of any companion), and Jenna Coleman does it excellently, trapped in a traditional villain's basement lair between a host of clockwork droids and the Half-Face Man with a dangerous-looking blowlamp up its sleeve. There's a very good scene where she tries hard and successfully to conquer her fear but we all know (and so does she) that it's the Doctor's role to rescue his companion yet again - which he duly does.

The more interesting side of this episode is the question of acceptance and prejudice. And no I'm *not* thinking of `that' kiss. It was an in-context, `share my breath' kiss of life between Vastra and Jenny and when we accept without blinking the idea of a human being married to an intelligent prehistoric reptile, anything else is routine.

Instead, the script squarely confronts ageism through Clara's reaction to the `new' Doctor and her struggle to accept that the apparently young man (though we know he was neither) that she travelled with now looks much older, though still only a fraction of his immense age. Strangely, this is handled both very well and also with a major plot error, though one which was probably unavoidable.

Unavoidable, because only the Doctor's companion can give us this viewpoint, it's another of their basic roles to stand in for us, the viewers at home. The difficulty here is that it makes no sense in story terms. Isn't Clara "the impossible girl" who has been with every incarnation of the Doctor (in some strange timey-wimey way) since the moment the First Doctor fled Gallifrey, in an erratic, stolen TARDIS that she helped him choose? Surely Clara should be the one companion of them all (after Time Lady Romana) to understand and easily accept regeneration? Instead she struggles with it in a way not seen since Peri wailed "You were almost young!" as the Fifth Doctor gave way to the Sixth. (Believe me Clara, this regeneration was a doddle for a companion to live through compared to what Peri put up with!)

So it has to be through Clara, helped by the insights of Madame Vastra that the script gently instructs the viewer that this really is the Doctor, that he was never `young' and that human prejudice about age and `pretty' faces should not affect how we see the last of the Time Lords - or anyone else. It's a pity that it takes a phone call from the previous incarnation to finally do the trick; it's a nice dramatic twist in the story but not an option available for humans so it would perhaps have been better if Clara could have made the adjustment fully through her own good sense. In one way it's a sad comment on current attitudes that the show felt it necessary to coax viewers into accepting an older face for the Doctor; on the other hand, education was part of the original remit for `Doctor Who' so in that sense it's very appropriate.

Personally, I'm delighted to have the natural order of the Universe restored by watching a Doctor whose human alter ego is slightly older than me(!) and from this excellent debut performance Peter Capaldi promises to be a really great Thirteen.

For fans who don't want to wait for the box set, want to collect every `Doctor Who' item released or just want this enjoyable story because it's the first in the new era, the release is quite reasonably priced. It's worth four stars for the brilliant new Doctor, the interesting observations it makes about reactions to age and change and a fun outing with the Paternoster gang very much in the normal style of the new series, which even a classic-series fan like me can enjoy.

After all, we need to accept change when we travel through Time with the Doctor ...
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who is back, and with the best writing since 2005!, 25 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Doctor Who - Deep Breath [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This episode tackles the idea of regeneration perfectly. "The Christmas Invasion" gave us nothing more than some whining and a sudden heroic ending, while "The End of Time" set us up with the idea that the Doctor was dying, then "The Eleventh Hour" seemed to act like a complete reboot, making the transition from Tenth Doctor to Eleventh Doctor very difficult for many people. "Deep Breath", however, guided us through the eyes of companion Clara Oswald into the new era of the series.
Clara Oswald feels most comfortable when she is in control of her immediate situation, however with the Doctor having changed drastically and with Clara far from home, she has lost all control over the situation and has lost sight of who the Doctor is. As the narrative tries to teach Clara that the crazy grey-haired man she finds herself with is, in fact, the same baby-faced floppy-haired daddy-longlegs she met in 'The Bells of St. John', the audience, too, is reassured of the Doctor's identity. The plot itself widens out to deal with a series of mysterious murders in the heart of Victorian London, and the return of the "Paternoster Gang".
Returning characters Jenny and Madame Vastra, an inter-racial wife-and-wife couple who share Doctor Who's first ever female-female kiss in this episode, and their alien butler Strax find themselves being written better than ever before. In fact, Clara too seems to bloom better and brighter than ever before in this episode. Even Strax, mostly a comic-relief character, comes across as a much more believable character. Writer Steven Moffat seems to have greatly improved on his past faults and found his feet when it comes to writing these characters, whose foundations were initially laid in the previous series.
The episode was quite funny. While humour is not the main focus of Doctor Who, I personally feel that comedy is important when writing a show about a 2000-year-old space alien bumming around the universe in a flying police telephone box, because if you take that premise too seriously, you set yourself up for ridicule. Comedy is also a very welcome form of entertainment in these somewhat difficult, cynical times. For the long-time viewer and all-around nerd, there were plenty of references to the past. These felt natural enough, and lent some continuity and familiarity to the episode.
This episode, while the first episode of the new series, relies on the viewer to already have some familiarity with Doctor Who and I would not recommend it as a starting point for new viewers.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only buy if you're a Doctor Who fan, 23 Nov. 2014
***THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS***

`Deep Breath' is the first episode of Series 8 of the revived run, and Peter Capaldi's first full episode as the Doctor and it is written by head-writer Steven Moffat.

I must firstly talk about the new title sequence. I have to say, I love it! It's all entirely CGI, as to be expected, and it starts off with a shot going through winding clock cogs before it goes onto a spirally clock face with the TARDIS appearing before going through the clock face into space and revealing all the lead acting credits. The music, as well, is very electronic, whiny and I think suits the whole thing very well. It certainly works tons better than the orchestral arrangement they used for the Russell T Davies and the start of the Steven Moffat era. Eerie but also very sci-fi, it is very up to date and it works.

But this episode is also written by Steven Moffat who is currently the head writer. Now, Steven Moffat, whilst he started brilliantly in Series 5, has certainly lost his touch recently from Series 6 by making stupid decisions, writing scripts poorly, introducing some irritating characters that don't make any sense, recycling old ideas and wearing them out and all sorts. He was a lot better for `The Day of the Doctor' and OK for `The Time of the Doctor', but I gave him one last chance for this series to pick his game up, and so he's opened the series with `Deep Breath'. And what did I think of it?

Peter Capaldi really was excellent as the Doctor. I was delighted when his casting was announced anyway because he's much older and just has that mysterious, otherworldly face which I think really works well with the Doctor, and then his portrayal in the episode added to this. He's much darker now after Matt Smith and I find it so refreshing to have a Doctor who's much calmer and less light-hearted after they went completely overboard with Matt Smith. The Doctor starts off as very deranged after just regenerating (and crashing the TARDIS into a dinosaur's mouth), and so can't quite figure out who he or anyone else is and his head is quite scrambled, but he slowly comes back to himself again as the episode goes on which is always really good, however still obtains a huge realm of mystery surrounding him that you still don't know quite who this particular incarnation is due to his darker character traits and I think this is a very interesting concept. He also has some great moments and lines of dialogue and I can't wait to see what else they're going to do with him throughout the rest of the series.
Clara was also very good and this could very well be her best episode yet. In Series 7, whilst I still liked her, there wasn't really anything to her other than the fact that she's died and come back multiple times and fallen through the Doctor's timeline which seemed to be her only noteworthy trait. But here, this is largely redeemed. She becomes more of a companion in this story, and I loved watching the scenes where she bravely stands up to the enemy and wins which is something she hasn't ever done before. She's also clever and can figure things out for herself to get herself out of danger, like the scene where the node droid is examining her and she isn't breathing so she looks like a droid herself, and this eventually allows her escape out the room.
But as for Strax, Vastra and Jenny, I don't have so much praise. I never liked them anyway because the idea was stupid. You have Strax who's portrayed as a comical Sontaran and helping the Doctor which to me makes no sense, and then Vastra, a female Silurian, doing the same thing, who's in a relationship with her companion, Jenny, a human. Now, I have no problem with same-sex relationships generally or in the media whatsoever, however that seemed to be the characters' only defining point. I didn't really mind the odd `married' reference once or twice throughout an episode, but when it's referenced so much and rubbed right in your face then I have problems. It doesn't even seem genuine by Moffat doing this; it's almost like a "look at me" gimmick kind of thing, and he even seals the deal with a breath transfusion, clearly meant to be interpreted as a kiss. It's almost as if Moffat highlighted places in the script where he could throw in a reference just for the sake of it.
And as for Strax... well, he's not changed and that's NOT a good thing! In fact, he was insufferably irritating. The calling Clara `boy' thing may have been a little amusing back in `The Snowmen', but now it's entirely overused. Also, Strax mistaking clothes for a coat, and hair for a hat and all sorts of weird antics, and idiotic quip after idiotic quip when he's supposed to be a "companion" is just utterly, utterly stupid! If the only thing he can do other than be a doofus is... be a doofus, what else is there to him? There's also the scene in the droid spaceship where Vastra and Jenny jump through the top like Samurai warriors and then Strax just falls through like a clown in a circus act. They're incredibly clichéd and stupid ideas and I think it's time that Strax, Vastra and Jenny die quietly and we never hear of them again because there's literally nothing else you can do with them!

The episode is too long. It clocks in at 75 minutes and, to be honest, it really doesn't need to be that long. The main problem is that it's filler after filler with many scenes in the episode being completely unnecessary. A lot of these, funnily enough, involve Strax, Vastra and Jenny again. The "veil" scene for example makes no sense whatsoever and adds on several wasted minutes to the episode. Strax also giving Clara a random medical check-up also takes up some time as well. But when they're all trying to figure out what's going on and where it's coming from, talking about the Doctor and even a few scenes on the spaceship as well, these are all needlessly dragged out and take up extra, unnecessary time so the episode's pacing can be quite slow in places. In fact, I think the episode would have benefitted more from just being 45 minutes which is the regular time length.

But despite these criticisms, there are lots of really good things about this episode. The scenes on the spaceship are definitely the best parts of this episode. They're full of tension and suspense, for example, the scene where Clara isn't breathing whilst being examined by the droid node is really, really tense because if she breaths just once he'll instantly know that she's not a clockwork droid herself. It gets even better when she eventually manages to escape the room and then ends up in a corridor which has dozens of clockwork droids standing at either end. And the music, being quite literally onenote with not much happening in it suits the scenes perfectly and you feel the threat. The makeup and design is also excellent. The clockwork droids (an interesting choice of monster to bring back, by the way) look brilliant! The node is the highlight though, with the human half of his face and then the robotic half of his face and the way it's all been designed and executed makes it look really real. Whilst I still prefer the masquerade look from `The Girl in the Fireplace', seeing as that wouldn't have worked here, what they have done is really good. If I have to give one nitpick about this whole scene, though, it's when both the Doctor and Clara say "Geronimo". It's old. It was a part of Matt Smith's era that should have gone with him. Whilst I love it as a catchphrase, there really should be something new for Peter Capaldi's era rather than keep repeating things that now seem out of place. I'm hoping that part was just a oneoff.

I love Capaldi's final confrontation with the node droid at the end of the episode. It's a great first demonstration both of his ability to play the Doctor and the writers to write him. My favourite part was where the Doctor says "one of us is lying about our basic programming, and I think we both know who that is", meaning murder, and then the next time we see them, the node is dead, pierced at the top of Big Ben and the Doctor just looking down and then at the camera. It's moments like this that define his new persona of a much darker character and I really am looking forward to seeing where else they're going to go with this.

I think, though, despite all of this, the actual storyline itself does feel a little reused. The plot is basically the clockwork droids have been trying to rebuild themselves since the dawn of time by taking the body parts of animal organisms including humans to repair both themselves and their ship. It does sound remarkably similar to `The Girl in the Fireplace' where the ship's repairs had come from the parts of the crew and they were looking to use the head of Madame de Pompadour to complete the work. There are slight differences here with some genuinely well thought out and creepy scenes, but on the whole I think that, whilst it's decent and works OK for this particular episode, as an episode itself it leaves it a little lacklustre. One thing just to add quickly, and this is something that's never been done before for any other Doctor, is that Matt Smith makes a small cameo at the end of the episode where his Doctor phones Clara from Trenzalore just before he regenerates to give her confidence to trust his new incarnation, and I think this was a really nice moment in the episode.

Finally, the episode ends with the node droid in "heaven" with Michelle Gomez as "Missy" or, according to Doctor Who Magazine, "The Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere". I like this final scene on the whole but when Missy starts talking about the Doctor loving her so much, I'm a little worried that she'll end up being the typical Moffat female, witty and flirty. She'll obviously be back in the two-part finale along with this "heaven" setting, and I'm looking forward to seeing where this is going, but we'll just have to see what happens with Missy's character. So, time to sum up.

`Deep Breath' does a brilliant job at introducing the new Doctor as a much darker character and developing Clara more as a companion, with some great moments and scenes, and some genuine suspense and creepiness. Peter Capaldi gives a brilliant performance and I can't wait to see him more throughout the series. However where it stumbles is that it's plot is almost reused from `The Girl in the Fireplace' leaving a lacklustre impression on the episode generally and filled with too many `filler' scenes which make the episode so much longer than it needed to be, with irritating and fiercely repetitive characters (Strax, Vastra and Jenny) that let it down. However, it does overall present itself very well as the first of what could be a very good series, and so gets a 6/10 from me.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor is back with a roar!, 23 Aug. 2014
By 
Matthew J. Parker "the legend writes:" (Todmorden, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
After a brief appearance at the end of The Time of the Doctor at Christmas, Peter Capaldi makes his full episode debut as the 12th (or maybe 13th) Doctor in a feature length episode.

Soon after his regeneration the Doctor we presume must have crash landed in Prehistoric times and the TARDIS is swallowed by a dinosaur. By dematerialising the dinosaur travels with the TARDIS and they end up in Victorian London - the dinosaur eventually coughing up the TARDIS and the new Doctor stumbles out with Clara, bumping into the Paternoster Gang, and is as confused as ever after the regeneration process. Whilst resting the Doctor wakens and heads off to chat to the frightened dinosaur but sees it spontaneously combust en route. Discovering that there have been many reports of spontaneous combustion in the press recently the Doctor decides this is more of a link to murders and decides to try and solve the mystery, especially after spying a man with a half human, half android face.

After past disappointments when I've been over excited about certain Doctor Who episodes (Time of the Doctor for example), this episode is a great start to the Capaldi era, thankfully toning the character of the Doctor down from the past couple of incarnations and introducing a wonderfully darker and dangerous Doctor. There are many references and lines in the script that reference past stories ' here we go again' - Brigadier in Robot, Doctor waking up and looking under his bed - Spearhead from Space' and the regular 'You've had this place redecorated - don't like it' - Troughton in The Five Doctors. You can tell the episode is directed by Ben Wheatley - some of the sets look amazing and the tone throughout is creepy and at times very unsettling, perhaps for the strongest time since Blink was originally aired. The character of the Doctor is not unlikeable in the sense of Colin Baker-esque beginnings but there is one scene in particular where he basically leaves Clara to what may be a particularly unpleasant death so he can save himself. The 'villain' is also the stuff of nightmares - think 'Frankenstein' via 'Sweeney Todd'

There are one or two niggles as you might expect, for example, a young 11th Doctor ringing Clara to tell her to help the new incarnation - surely the young 11th Doctor presumed he'd grow old and die on Trenzalore and not regenerate as he was at the end of his regeneration cycle - maybe it's me who's missed something though? The dvd as a stand alone release is fine as it's feature length but is not an essential purchase when the box set will be out by Christmas.

A good strong start though and if this is the way the season will go we could be back in a future 'classic era'. Here's hoping!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ONE EPISODE ONLY, 8 Sept. 2014
I like Peter Capaldi's Doctor. He is somebody with a bit of grit and perhaps an extra layer of complexity over the usual Boy Scout doctors. All he needs now is some more good lines.

Clara is excellent as the sidekick.

What's with the green lesbian lizard thing? Though she is quite charming, I wouldn't want to get into her bad books.

The steep price of this episode is a bit cheeky. For just just ONE episode. Come off it! Maybe that's why the episode is called "Deep Breath". You will have to take a deep breath before handing over your squids for just one episode.

I suspect that DVDs are on the way out and the powers-that-be know this. Hence they want to coin as much as they can in the short term. Shame on them.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An answer for Matthew Parker, 25 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Doctor Who - Deep Breath [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Matthew Parker. Re Eleven's phone call. You have missed something. By the point of the call he had been gifted new re generations and had partly regenerated destroying the Dalek ship so yes he did know he was regenerating. Great review otherwise though.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Exit the box and surrender to the glory of the Sontaran Empire!" - The beginning of the Twelfth Doctor, 20 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
20/24 of Tim Bradley's Amazon Advent Calendar 2014

Okay! Take a `deep breath'! Here comes the Twelfth Doctor!

This is the first of a brand new series of `Doctor Who' episodes with a brand new actor taking on the lead character. `Deep Breath' is the first story for the Twelfth Doctor played by Peter Capaldi. Peter starts his tenure as the Doctor with Jenna Coleman as his companion Clara Oswald. This episode was shown on Saturday the 23rd of August in 2014. Fans have been waiting for nearly nine months to see the new Doctor and for the series to come back and he's finally arrived.

This is a 1-disc DVD with limited special features. This first episode of Peter Capaldi's Doctor was shown in cinemas before it came out on DVD. I advise you to purchase the complete Series 8 of `Doctor Who' containing all 12 episodes of the Doctor and Clara to avoid disappointment.

Before we talk about `Deep Breath', let's go back to when the announcement was made that Peter Capaldi would be playing the Doctor following Matt Smith's departure. I remember vividly the day Peter was announced the new Doctor on Sunday 3rd August 2013 during the 50th anniversary year. I had just come back from attending a convention in Slough the day before on Saturday which was the `Project Motor Mouth 2' convention run by Janet Fielding. I discovered they were going to announce the new Doctor on a special live programme on BBC1 in the evening, which became `Doctor Who Live - The Next Doctor'.

I'd been wondering who would be taking the lead role of the Doctor from Matt Smith following the news of his departure. I had my own personal preference of actors I would like to see playing the Doctor including Alistair MacKenzie (from `Monarch of the Glen') and Stephen Mangan (from `Dirk Gently'). I had heard rumours that Peter Capaldi was a top contender for the part, but didn't think seriously on them. Imagine my surprise, when I saw Peter Capaldi walking out onto the stage of `Doctor Who Live', announcing that he was the new Doctor. I was amazed and surprised by the announcement and looked forward to seeing how Peter would play the Doctor in the series.

Of course Peter had been in `Doctor Who' before this. In 2008, he made a guest appearance in a David Tennant episode of `Doctor Who' called 'The Fires of Pompeii' where he played Caeculius. Not long after, he appeared in the third series of 'Torchwood - Children of Earth' where he played John Frobisher in all five episodes. I was not expecting Peter Capaldi to be announced as the new Doctor, but I wasn't disappointed. I was surprised that they'd cast an older actor rather than a young actor to play the part as I'd been used to David Tennant and Matt Smith as the `younger Doctors' of the new series and preferred the idea of an old man in a young man's body really. But it was a nice change and a welcome one at that.

It turns out Peter has been a fan of `Doctor Who' for most of his life and had wanted to play the part since he was young. I'd seen him act in other things including episodes of `The Vicar of Dibley' and is well-known for that series `The Thick of It'. I knew Peter Capaldi was going to do something different with his interpretation of the Doctor and wondered how it would develop in the series. It would take a while, but I was looking forward to seeing Peter as the new Doctor and hoped I would enjoy what he would do with the part.

On Christmas Day in 2013, Matt Smith regenerated into Peter Capaldi where he had his last few minutes to appear in the closing story of the Eleventh Doctor era. As fans, we would have to wait for nearly nine months for the new Doctor to return with Clara in the TARDIS, but I knew how to be patient.

Nearly nine months later, this episode was shown on the big screen before it got shown on TV. I didn't see this episode in the cinemas, and personally I'm very glad I didn't as I would have missed out on all the seats as there was such a hype about Peter Capaldi's arrival as the Doctor that I wouldn't have got the chance. Fans from America came to Cardiff to watch to this episode in the cinema which got me puzzled I can tell you.

In the week leading up to the episode's transmission on TV, I went on holiday to Scotland with my parents. On the way up, I listened to `The Fifth Doctor Box Set' from Big Finish with the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric and had a few `Doctor Who' books to read and enjoy. We arrived at the cottage where we were staying on Saturday the 23rd of August, just in time to see the brand new episode of `Doctor Who' on TV. I was looking forward to it and hoped to enjoy it watching with my parents on that evening.

First impressions on `Deep Breath' - It's a good opening episode to start off the Peter Capaldi era of `Doctor Who'. But I wouldn't say it's the best. As with regular Steven Moffat-penned written episodes of his era, it's rather complex and hard to grasp at times. I know when I came back from holiday my friends at work weren't impressed with it, especially with the huge T-Rex dinosaur stomping around Victorian London which they thought was ridiculous. It's an okayish sort of episode and I did find it hard to get into Peter Capaldi's Doctor on first instance when I saw him. But more on that later on as I go on to explain the story.

The story picks off following 'The Time of the Doctor' after the Doctor's regenerated before Clara's eyes in the TARDIS. But the TARDIS gets swallowed up by a T-Rex dinosaur on the way, which somehow managed to time-travel with TARDIS inside its mouth to get to Victorian London. The dinosaur in Victorian London is noticed by the Paternoster Gang - Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax. When the dinosaur spits out the TARDIS onto land, the Doctor comes out with Clara acting all confused and deranged. Clara is upset and unsettled about the Doctor's change in appearance and feels she doesn't know him anymore. As the Doctor's regaining his new personality and manner, a menace lurks in Victorian London as the Half-Face Man is causing trouble. Can the new Doctor recover from his regeneration in order to sort it out?

Peter Capaldi makes a grand entrance in his first appearance as the Doctor in this episode. As with every regeneration episode of `Doctor Who', the Doctor's going to act strange and erratic when he starts out his new life. He certainly is very erratic in this episode as he's all confused and hyper-active and Clara and the others are telling him to calm down. There are comments made on the Scottish accent the Doctor's acquired, which I found amusing when watching it. What struck me about Capaldi's Doctor is the dark level he brings to the character that has some echoes of Colin Baker's Sixth Doctor in it. Capaldi's Doctor manages to see the little details of every situation whether it's a dinosaur being blown up or strange customers in a run-down restaurant. He is asking questions that no-one's ever thought about.

Jenna Coleman returns as Clara Oswald, the Doctor's companion in this episode. I really love Jenna as Clara in `Doctor Who' as she's so lovely every time I see her. I like how she plays Clara's reaction to the Doctor when she sees him changed. She doesn't like the change of appearance in the new Doctor. She can't understand why he's become an old man since he's recently regenerated. Deep down inside, she wants Matt Smith back and feels she doesn't know the Doctor anymore. She can't cope with the new Peter Capaldi Doctor who's erratic and is no longer the `pretty boyfriend' she once knew. I like the focus of Clara's journey in the story as it connects to the audience in adjusting to the new Doctor and his behaviour. I like how Clara handles things by herself whilst the Doctor's wandering off.

I was delighted to see the Paternoster Gang from the previous era of `Doctor Who' return to the first episode of Peter Capladi's era. It helps us as fans to settle back into the series with familiar faces and identify friends we recognise as well as Clara in order to ease the tension for those who might or might not be unsure about the new Doctor. I think it's a wise decision of Steven Moffat and he has a niche of bringing in old familiar characters into a new setting and direction for the future of the series.

Neve McIntosh returns to play Madame Vastra the Silurian, leader of the Paternoster Gang. I found how Vastra has developed into an interesting Silurian as it unusual for many `Who' fans since the Silurians once were enemies of the Doctor. I like how Vastra seems wiser than everyone else and is trying to explain to Clara why the Doctor's changed. She uses her black veil as an example for fitting into Victorian society. Some of the remarks Vastra makes upsets Clara. Neve's Scottish accent as Madame Vastra fits well when opposite Peter Capaldi's Scottish accent Doctor. Vastra manages to knock the Doctor out into sleep when trying to calm him down.

Catrin Stewart returns to play Jenny Flint, Madame Vastra's official maid and wife. It's Jenny along with Vastra and Strax have come back for more episodes in `Doctor Who' since their first appearance in 'A Good Man Goes To War'. I've met Catrin once at a convention in Birmingham in 2011. I found Jenny's character very interesting in this episode as we see and learn more about her. Though I'm not a homosexual, I found her marital relationship with Vastra interesting. Jenny gets to be an action girl again alongside Madame Vastra. She also gets to pose for Madame Vastra looking rather nice, and I thought Vastra was doing a portrait of Jenny like she did.

Dan Starkey returns to play Strax the Sontaran. I do like Strax in these episodes. Dan knows how to play as he's done plenty of stories TV and audio. I've had the pleasure of meeting Dan Starkey at a convention in Tunbridge Well. Strax sometimes seem dim being used for comic relief compared to to the standard Sontaran. I found it funny when the Doctor calls Strax names of the Seven Dwarfs from the Disney film in his confusion. I like Strax's scenes with Clara when he medically examines her, throws a newspaper at her and calls her `boy' sometimes. Strax gets into the action, wearing his Sontaran armour again.

The monsters of this episode are the half-human; half-robotic clockwork droids led by the Half-Face Man (played by Peter Ferdinando). These are quite scary in appearance especially when the Doctor and Clara take lunch at the restaurant where their headquarters. The Doctor thinks he's seen these clockwork droids before, and he has when he was the Tenth Doctor in 'The Girl In The Fireplace'. The Half-Face Man is a pretty mysterious character who killed the T-Rex dinosaur and collects bodily organs for their crashed space-ship in order to get to the Promised Land (wherever that is). The Doctor gets to confront the Half-Face Man when they sit at a table in the restaurant. The best way to avoid being seen by these clockwork droids is to take a `deep breath' and hold it, which Clara tries to do.

I'm not overly keen on the new Peter Capladi clockwork title sequence and new title music of `Doctor Who'. It doesn't seem that exciting or memorable to me. But I supposed I'll get used to it in time.

At the end of the episode with Clara returning to the Doctor's newly re-decorated TARDIS and finding him in new dashing clothes including a red cape like Jon Pertwee. The new Doctor invites Clara to join him in his travels in the TARDIS. But Clara is not so sure and is thinking of leaving the Doctor since he doesn't know him anymore. Then she gets a phone call on her mobile. Who could it be? She answers it! It's the Doctor. Not the new Doctor, no. It's Matt Smith.

This took me by surprise. I had not expected to hear or see Matt Smith appearing briefly in the episode's closing moments, and for me it was a delightful moment to watch. Doctor 11 is calling Clara through time from Trenzalore, moments before his regeneration in `The Time of the Doctor'. I should have seen that moment in the episode where the phone was dangling out from the police box when Clara saw it in `The Time of the Doctor'. It completely slipped my memory and sight. Doctor 11 gives Clara a proper goodbye, which is a lovely moment and one that is fitting since the Eleventh Doctor and Clara said goodbye properly in his last episode. Doctor 11 tells Clara to stay with the new Doctor, telling her that he needs her now more than ever as he's so scared.

Doctor 12 overhears Clara's phone call conversation, knowing who it is that's ringing. Clara finishes her phone call with Doctor 11 and soon accepts the new Doctor, thanking him for making that phone call on her mobile. She gives the new Doctor a hug, even though Peter Capaldi's Doctor not a hugging person anymore. They soon go off to fetch coffee, as they're in Glasgow which was not where the Doctor interested as he was meant to take Clara home. It's a nice way to end the episode with the new Doctor and Clara. Although she's not so sure about him yet, Clara's going to continue travelling with the Doctor and find out what kind of man he is before judging him.

The episode ends with a surprise guest appearance of Michelle Gomez playing the mysterious Missy. Now I knew that Michelle Gomes was going to appear in the season finale of Series 8 with Peter Capaldi's Doctor. So I wondered what her involvement at the end of this episode was all about. More importantly, I wondered who she is and what her real connection was to the Doctor. She certainly seemed interested and I wanted to know what the revelation was. All would be revealed later on, as I continued to enjoy the series with the Doctor and Clara.

The special features on this DVD include the following. First there's the `Deep Breath - Intro' which is the introduction shown in the cinemas when the episode was on the big screen. The intro features Strax (Dan Starkey) with Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh) and Jenny (Catrin Stewart) on a spaceship. Strax is talking to us as an audience, going through each of the previous 11 (no 12 sorry) Doctors before coming to Peter Capladi. Strax makes remarks which are meant to be comedic, especially Matt Smith's chin which even for me made me laugh when watching it. This all leads into the episode itself when Madame Vastra calls Strax to join her and Jenny back to Victorian London.

There's also the `Deep Breath - Doctor Who Extra' behind-the-scenes featurette which looks into the making of the first episode of Peter Capaldi's Doctor. It features interviews with Peter Capaldi himself; Jenna Coleman; Steven Moffat the head writer; Neve McIntosh and many others. This is the first of a series of behind-the-scenes documentaries on the new series of `Doctor Who' that replaces the sadly-missed `Doctor Who Confidential' documentaries that I enjoyed.

And finally there's the `Doctor Who Live - The Next Doctor' programme that was shown on the 3rd August 2013 announcing Peter Capaldi's appointment as the Doctor. This lasts for half an hour and I remember watching this very vividly on TV. My only complaint about this programme is that it takes too long to build up to Peter Capaldi and he only appears at the end for the last three-to-five minutes being interviewed and most of it it's teased about who the new Doctor is. There are live interviews with previous members of the `Doctor Who' team including Peter Davison (the Fifth Doctor); Lisa Tarbuck (who appeared with Peter Davison in the Big Finish audio `Plague of the Daleks' and voiced for the animated David Tennant story `The Infinite Quest) and Bernard Cribbins (who played Wilfred Mott). There are also recorded interviews with other members of the cast including Janet Fielding (Tegan); Anneke Wills (Polly); Colin Baker (the Sixth Doctor)r; Bonnie Langford (Mel) and Jenna Coleman (Clara). I was disappointed Sarah Sutton (Nyssa) wasn't interviewed in this programme as I really like Sarah a lot. I was amazed to see Peter Davison interviewed live on that show as I had only recently met him at the convention in Slough the day before. It was the same with Janet Fielding, although her interview was recorded before meeting her in Slough the day before.

Like I said, this is a unique DVD release of the first episode of Peter Capadi's Doctor. The rest of the series will be coming out on DVD in the Series 8 box set. I don't understand why it is `Deep Breath' comes out first on its own before the complete series is out on DVD and it's an example of poor marketing. The special features on the `Deep Breath' DVD won't be the same in the box set of Series 8 as I understand the `Doctor Who Live - The Next Doctor' programme isn't on there. But if you're a completest, it shouldn't really matter to you I expect.

The additional special feature on the Series 8 box set for `Deep Breath' includes the cinema panel with Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat shown after the episode was screened in cinemas on its premiere date.

So for an opening episode of a season and the first episode of Peter Capladi's Doctor, it's okay. It's a decent start to his new era and I enjoyed watching it when I saw it in Scotland. I wasn't sure what to make of Peter Capaldi yet. He started off being very strange at first and wasn't so sure whether I would like him. Lately I've changed my mind about Peter Capaldi recently as he's a very good performer and delivers a brand-new interpretation of the Doctor who's older and not like previous young incarnations of the character. He's a cross between Jon Pertwee and William Hartnell in my opinion. I was looking forward to seeing more of the series and getting to know Capaldi's Doctor as he developed for the rest of his first season with Clara as his companion.

The next story for the Doctor and Clara is 'Into The Dalek'.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new man, 28 Aug. 2014
By 
Mr. R. W. Graham (Lincoln, U.K.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who - Deep Breath [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
A newly regenerated Doctor crash lands the Tardis in Victorian London and ends up fighting against familiar looking clockwork droids while trying to make sense of his new identity. Doctor Who goes back to basics in the first feature length episode of series 8. No more flirting, no more boyfriend type Doctors, those days are gone with a new no nonsense, darker and older Doctor harking back to the classic series days of original Doctor William Hartnell and 3rd Doctor Jon Pertwee. New Doctor Peter Capaldi is excellent with an excellent debut episode up there with the best debut episodes of any previous Doctor. Jenna Coleman is also excellent as companion Clara, trying to make sense of the regeneration and new Doctor who is so different from the Doctor she knew yet is still the same man while Madam Vastra, Strax and Jenny return in a fun romp. A promising start for the new Doctor and if you can't wait for the series 8 complete boxset, this is well worth a look.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fine enough, 12 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
ive seen nearly every doctor's first episode except Troughtan's. Must say this isn't the best but also it isn't the worst. It brings a new arc into the opening on the question who Missy is...
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Doctor Who - Deep Breath [Blu-ray]
Doctor Who - Deep Breath [Blu-ray] by Peter Capaldi (Blu-ray - 2014)
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