Spoiler Warning: Doctor Who, Season 8, Episode 1 “Deep Breath” spoilers to follow.
The long awaited first episode of our new Doctor is finally here! This episode dives straightaway into the issues that have been the loudest among the fanbase since Matt Smith’s regeneration. With a new face and a new intro, the episode is set to make a splash. We open on a T-rex rampaging through London, and it soon spews out our beloved blue box, the TARDIS. Our new Doctor emerges incredibly confused and not at all right in the head. While he recovers, Madame Vastra gives Clara a good talking to, believing her to be upset that the doctor is no longer wearing a young, attractive face. The Doctor rushes off in a tizzy, leaving his companion alone and frustrated without him. He soon re-appears in an alley, trying to express to a drunk man how worried he is about the true meaning of his new face.
We next happen upon the doctor and Clara in a restaurant full of non-breathing people; fans will be reminded of the Clockwork People from the Season 2 episode, The Girl in the Fireplace. After an escape attempt, the Doctor tells Clara only one of them can get away, and leaves her to the robots. She puts on a brave front in the face of interrogation, and the Doctor rushes back in at the last possible moment, followed by Vastra and team. The group engages the steambots in combat, and during the fight, it becomes apparent that we are indeed seeing a new incarnation of the Clockwork People. The episode is set in Victorian London, and being steampunk in theme, the monsters feel quite appropriate. Meanwhile, the Doctor is trapped in a human-powered ship with the head of the Clockwork People. Just when the fight seems lost, the camera pans to the bot impaled upon a building, and shut down. A special surprise at the end takes the feels to a new level, and brings Clara and the Doctor back to even ground. Interestingly enough, for the first time, the Doctor appears to be wearing a wedding ring. At the end of the episode, we’re introduced to a new character, who claims that the doctor is her boyfriend; she wears no ring.
It’s apparent very quickly that this will be a darker, angrier doctor that can’t be easily tamed. It’s easy to see that Capaldi is drawing on his previous experience as his foul-mouth character in “The Thick of It.” In true Moffat style, quips are written in so subtly that you’ll miss them if you aren’t paying attention. We also get a good peek into Vastra and Jenny’s relationship, including their first on-screen kiss (which is completely adorable). Clara is back even smarmier and feisty as ever. Nostalgia is rampant, as quite a few references to previous episodes and doctors appear. If this episode is an indication of what’s to come, this Whovian is incredibly excited. Geronimo!!