Who Review – Deep Breath
THIS IS IT, EVIL GEEKS!!!! After Matt Smith’s tear-jerking exit, the 12th Doctor has finally landed! We’re in for 12 straight weeks of the the 12th Doctor, so it’s basically like geek Christmas. In fact, it’s so much like Christmas that there’s even a new Doctor Who on. I can’t tell you how excited I’ve been to finally see the 12th in action, so let’s cut right to the chase…it’s time for 2014’s first (of many) WHO REVIEW!!!
It’s fitting that a post-regeneration episode of Doctor Who would be about adaptting to new changes. Immediately we are presented with a T-rex, stomping around the streets of Victorian London, which is something that would require a whole hell or a lot of getting used to not only on the behalf of all 1870’s Londoners, but on the dinosaur as well! There really is no greater change one can go through I suppose than finding themselves in a brand new body. I can’t imagine the amount of “getting used to” that would take before everything felt normal again. Usually the Doctor spends post regeneration episodes in kind of a stupor, phasing in and out of consciousness like David Tennant, or fumbling around while getting the hang of a new body. The 12th Doctor gives us a little bit of both in his first appearance, with near nonsensical rants being punctuated by fainting spells. This shows us that while the idea of being able to regenerate when you die is pretty cool, the truth of it is that it seems to be incredibly traumatic, painful, and generally unpleasant for the Doctor when he experiences it. He’s trying to figure out who he is, while simultaneously mourning the person he was. In a way, it’s kind of like being a teenager, but all that change is compressed into about a 24 hour period.
The Doctor isn’t the only one having trouble adapting to his new look and personality. Clara can barely process what she is witnessing, so she isn’t really convinced that this newer, yet older at the same time, Doctor is still the person she knew and as we find out, possibly fell in love with. Luckily she isn’t completely alone in this time of uncertainly, as when the TARDIS finally crash lands, it does so in Victorian England where we find the trio of Vastra, Jenny, and Strax. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated having them in this episode. They were one of my favorite parts of the Matt Smith era and having them along on the 12th Doctor’s first adventure is almost like being able to bring a comfortable security blanket with you. Strax is never one to disappoint in the comic relief department. His line about melting the Doctor in acid, followed by the correction of NOT melting him in acid was a highlight in this episode which felt a little heavy at times. The Doctor’s three Victorian companions are more at ease with his regeneration than Clara seems to be; Vastra seems to know full well what it happening and that regardless of what Clara thinks, this older Doctor really is the same person she knew. Even with Vastra’s reassurance, we the audience aren’t really sure who this new Doctor is because he does some VERY un-Doctory things throughout the episode, including apparently leaving Clara behind TWICE. Once while she is facing almost certain death at the hands of the episodes big bad and again near the end of the episode, leaving her to think that he stranded her in the Victorian era.
Speaking of the big bad, how freaking CREEPY were the robots in this episode?!?! They seemed incredibly similar to the Cybermen, but kind of in reverse. They start out as metal creations and end up taking on bits and pieces of people over time, creating kind of a patchwork cyborg, with a steampunk twist to them. The main villain has been around for eons, long enough so to know that certain parts of a tyrannosaur’s eye would be useful in upgrading his systems. Although, if this robotic menace has been around since the time of the dinosaurs, how is it that Vastra isn’t familiar with the threat? Wouldn’t the Silurians have encountered him during the time of the dinosaurs?
Let’s talk about the ending for a little bit. There were three pretty massive takeaways from it and I’ll freely admit that I had to watch it a few times in order to wrap my head around what happened. First of all, the newly regenerated Doctor possibly straight up murders the villain. We’re never shown the act itself, but one moment the Doctor and the cyborg are struggling by the door of the airborne TARDIS and the next we see the villain impaled on a spire. This Doctor certainly feels like a darker, more serious incarnation than the 11th, but is he so far removed from that persona that he’s comfortable enough to kill? Could it be that the time he spent trapped on Trenzalore affected him so much that his personality has changed this drastically? I suppose being stuck defending a town for like 1000 years would put a bit of a frown on anyone’s face, but is he so unwilling to deal with bullshit now that he’ll take the easy way out and just kill baddies? This is the Doctor and I don’t believe he has changed that much, but I’m sure that we’ll find out over the course of the season.
The second big to-do regarding the ending comes in the form of how Clara is ultimately convinced that her place in the universe is still beside the Doctor, traveling through time. I don’t want to spoil it, but there really is only one person in the entire universe that can convince Clara that the new incarnation of the Doctor is still the same person she knew and when that person shows up, it’s unexpected and MAN is it kind of an emotional sucker punch.
Lastly, who or what the holy hell is Missy? The final moments of this episode were a complete head scratcher for me. Who is this person who A.) apparently greets people in heaven after they die, B.) Refers to the Doctor as her “Boyfriend” and C.) Seems to be bat-shit looney. After watching it over a few times, I have two theories as to who she could be. My first instinct is to think that she’s a new version of the Master. Or since she’s in “heaven” maybe she isn’t a “new” version of the Master, but rather his original form? It’s not unheard of that a Time Lord can switch genders during a regeneration AND the last time we saw the Master was when he died in David Tennants arms. Not going to lie, I really hope Missy is the Master. I think that would make for an incredibly entertaining storyline, especially considering how close the Master came last time to completely defeating the Doctor once and for all. My second theory is kind of a longshot. Did anyone notice that Capaldi’s Doctor wears a wedding ring? The Doctor is after all married to River Song, who is in fact dead. Could Missy be River in some other form? When she died in the library, her consciousness was saved, so is it possible that the downloading process has somehow transformed her into what we now see as Missy? I guess we’ll have to stay tuned to find out. Stop back next week and EVERY week that we get a new adventure with the Doctor for an all-new Who Review!!!
Wanna catch up on past trips in the TARDIS? Read On…
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Posted on August 24, 2014, in Features, Geekology, Reviews, TV, Who Review and tagged 12th Doctor, bbc, BBC America, Clara Oswald, Deep Breath, Doctor Who, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Peter Capaldi, Sci-Fi, sonic screwdriver, Tardis, The Doctor, Who Review. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.