In Review: Doctor Who – Deep Breath

After what seems like a really long wait. The Doctor is back and in 'Deep Breath' we have the perfect introduction to Peter Capaldi's take on the Doctor, which sees him channeling a little Tom Baker and perhaps even a bit of the manipulative 7th Doctor as portrayed by Sylvester McCoy.

Synopsis: The  regenerated Doctor is surprised to find a dinosaur running rampant in Victorian London while Clara is just worried about what the change in him will mean to their friendship.

Review: After what seems like a really long wait. The Doctor is back and in ‘Deep Breath’ we have the perfect introduction to Peter Capaldi’s take on the Doctor, which sees him channeling a little Tom Baker and perhaps even a bit of the manipulative 7th Doctor as portrayed by Sylvester McCoy.

The story of this opening episode is full of exposition, but somehow manages to keep things balanced and interesting. And the Victorian setting was and always will be the perfect excuse to bring back Madam Vastra, Jenny and Strax to give fans from Matt Smith’s turn something to latch onto.

Dan Starkey as ever is wonderful as Strax, who once again brings forth the comedy element and there are some fun moments between Strax and Clara, which will likely get a smirk from the most cynical of us.  And of course the dynamic between Vastra and Jenny is as fun as ever to watch.

The CGI work for the Dinosaur looked fantastic despite the Dinosaur being a minor plot device to get us to the proper meat and potatoes of the plot, which brings back a foe from David Tennant’s run as the Doctor and fleshes them out a little more…

The episode ends a little ambiguously suggesting that we’ll see this enemy of the Doctor return before the eighth season comes to a close.

I can’t say I was totally blown away by this episode. Maybe the long wait between Christmas and now had me expecting something a little more, but it did give us opportunity to see Capaldi unravel some layers to this new incarnation of the Doctor and by looks of things the relationship between the Doctor and Clara could possibly wind up with a similar vibe to that of the 3rd Doctor and Joe Grant, only with Clara having more smarts than Jo did and much less fearful of the deadly situations she finds herself in.

In terms of the new Doctor. I like him, but feel that younger viewers may not warm to him easily given that they have been quite spoiled with the younger actors.

The new opening title credits are fantastic, but not sure about the remixed theme tune.


  • Dan Starkey's comedic turn as Strax
  • Little unsure about the opening music. It will probably grow on me.
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
4 Comments on this post.
  • Raissa Devereux (@RaissaDevereux)
    24 August 2014 at 2:13 am -

    I agree the fan made titles are awesome. The theme music however is too synth driven, like the Seventh Doctor’s theme which set my teeth on edge. The character stuff was awesome. However, the plot was merely serviceable. The call-back to Girl in the Fireplace was cool, but lackluster somehow. I wonder if that’s Moffat’s subtle commentary. This significantly less romantic Doctor can’t remember one of his most romantic adventures. I also wonder if Missy will be Moffat’s commentary on “shipping” in modern Doctor Who.

  • Raissa Devereux (@RaissaDevereux)
    24 August 2014 at 1:23 pm -

    I just realized what bugged me about the writing. Clara was splintered in his time stream. She lived many lives while witnessing his many lives. Yet, al of the sudden, she’s freaking out over the change. Plus, as another fan pointed out elsewhere, Clara was able to see the Doctor in the War Doctor and talk him down when no one else could. It just doesn’t mesh.

    • Ian Cullen
      24 August 2014 at 1:59 pm -

      Yup, come to think of it. Clara not remembering the Doctor can change or even taking that onboard from her past experience with him was a bit off. Liked the use of the Clockwork Men, but story was only really just an okay story supporting by strong character work. Theme music is still going to take some getting used to. Hope they change it.

      • Raissa Devereux (@RaissaDevereux)
        24 August 2014 at 4:50 pm -

        Yes. The character work was the point. The plot was like fanfic designed to help fans mourn Eleven. How the characters reacted was an afterthought beyond the performance level stuff. By the way, I think Missy will end up being short for The Mistress. Moffat realized they were going to have to replace Simm and also knew they needed a test balloon for a female Doctor. Two birds, one stone. If I’m right, the fanfic writers will have a field day. They’ve been writing slash fiction with the Master and Ten for years, and they’ll maybe get to see a version of it be more canon with an x chromosome. If I’m right, the casting process must have been insane. They couldn’t afford to get this wrong.