Peter Capaldi is finally on our screens as the 12th Doctor (or 13th or possibly 14th, counting is difficult these days) but was it worth the wait?  For the most part yes, it most definitely was.

SPOILERS AHEAD

Deep Breath is one of the better first new Doctor debut episodes (my favorite being The Eleventh Hour) and the extended running time really helps, and makes me glad we will be getting two part stories back this series.  The episode starts off with a dinosaur just because they can, but luckily it never gets out of hand like Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, and actually makes for an early character defining moment for the new Doctor and his more serious tone.  He still runs around and does crazy stuff but there are a lot of somber moments with this new Doctor.  He’s rather frightening in some parts and does not seem like the type who will put up with any sort of nonsense.  This Doctor talks as well, he’s not always running around shouting.  There’s a scene in which he is rummaging through the streets of London when he finds a mirror and uses a homeless man to talk to about his new form while trying to figure out why he subconsciously chose this new appearance.  Moffat claims the scene in which the Doctor and Clara are talking in a restaurant is a great showing of how much calmer the new Doctor is, and while it is good, I prefer the previously mentioned scene, this is a Doctor who can carry his own, he doesn’t need a companion, he just commands respect.  I still don’t have a real feel for him

He may be the 12th or the 13th or technically the 14th Doctor, but no matter, the more I watch the more I can say I can't until next week.

He may be the 12th or the 13th or technically the 14th Doctor, but no matter, the more I watch the more I can say I can’t until next week.

since first episodes are always sort of sporadic for the new Doctor but I can say I like him so far.

You may have known already but Jenny, Strax, and Vastra make a return, still with as little rhyme or reason as possible, but at least they made an appearance and should be out of the way for a while (actually, Vastra wasn’t bad this time around, the same can’t be said for the other two, but so be it).  At least having the three of them around gave the Doctor and more specifically, Clara some sense of stability as the new Doctor comes into his own.

Clara is pretty cool this time around, she seems to have grown up, which as they allude to may be a result of this new Doctor not always being there as her “boyfriend.”  He’s still going to be there for her but the bliss and flirting is in the past (or future or future past or… it’s confusing).  This new Doctor is trying to come to terms with himself and his past.  While at this point he isn’t about to go and outwardly show this (which is a little odd since he does show how vulnerable he is), he needs Clara, and he knew this, so in a surprise, emotional cameo by Matt Smith, the 11th Doctor talks to Clara about what has happened and how the 12th Doctor will need help.

Oh, yes, there’s also a new story arc, surprise surprise.  A mysterious woman going by the name of Missy shows up at the end and claims she and the Doctor are in love, because we didn’t just go through that with River.  Apparently she knows the Doctor from his past regeneration cycles, and while many seem to think we’ve seen

Right, can we just discuss how funny they're both standing, seriously, what is Jenna doing?

Right, can we just discuss how funny they’re both standing, seriously, what is Jenna doing?

this character before, I wouldn’t be surprised if Moffat pulls some convoluted story out of nowhere to explain it, but that’s for another time and I will let the rest of series 8 play itself out.  Speaking of similarities (though, more intentional this time) the main villains in this episode required human parts to repair their ship, which of course is the same as in The Girl in the Fireplace, but I suspect it may be more than that and am interested to see where it goes.

I realize I didn’t talk much about the story here but the ending is what was important (mentioned above) and really, it’s all about the Doctor here.  Matt Smith gave his final farewell (well, until another anniversary special).  Peter Capaldi is shaping up to be really great.  Clara is as great, and sassy, and bossy as ever.  Episodes may now have room to breath and talk rather than just shout and run around like mad (really an issue exclusive to most of series 7).  There’s a redesigned TARDIS control room, complete with a few of the “round things” and a cool bookshelf.  Really, I don’t have much of anything to complain about with the episode, other than a few little things and the annoyance of Jenny, Strax, and Vastra it was  a really well done story, and it was so well done I watched it twice in a row at the movie theatre last night (hence the late review).

Though, now I know what everyone felt like when the 10th Doctor left (I was one of the few who was glad to see him go) as I’m still getting over the 11th Doctor leaving (my favorite of the new Doctors).  I know I’ll be good with Capaldi, it just may take a little longer to really get into it this time, but if the writing and performances are as strong as the debut I will have no worries that Capaldi very well may be up there with my top two Doctors (Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker).

As always, here’s the trailer for next week’s Into the Dalek, check it out, seems like the Daleks may be somewhat interesting again:

 

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