Deep Breath is the first full new episode of Doctor Who to star the superb Peter Capaldi, after his all-too-brief appearance at the end of the Christmas episode, after he regenerated from Matt Smith’s incarnation, much to the shock of Clara (Jenna Coleman).
The first thing that struck me in this new series was – when the title sequence appeared – how come Capaldi’s face isn’t in them?
What follows is not a mass of spoilers, it’s no more than I’d write in a regular review of a TV show, but I do expect you to have seen the episode. Then again, if you hadn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this anyway.
Deep Breath begins with a Tyrannosaurus Rex reaching Victorian London, seemingly ready to destroy it, but before long, it coughs up a strange object… the TARDIS. This is a bizarre moment observered by Vastra (Neve McIntosh), Jenny (Catrin Stewart) and Strax (Dan Starkey), who just happen to be around when there’s baddies to be fought. Okay, so they make for a good threesome – if you’ll pardon the expression – but they do tend to feature rather too often.
Capaldi’s Doctor is still adjusting to his new body, much as previous Doctors have done. He even doesn’t understand that a bedroom only has a bed in it because it’s simply for sleeping in, because “what’s the point in having a whole room for not being awake in?”
Once again, Strax provides some great comedic moments, and again, like with Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat continues to make an issue out of sexual proclivities. I thought we were now in a more enlightened age, but Jenny and Vastra make practically a “Hey, we’re lesbians!!!” issue out of their relationship, and even a line from Clara adds to this when they’re having a conversation 17 minutes in.
Elsewhere, we also see Capaldi riding a horse at one point, which was hinted at in photos which were taken during the filming, and Clara’s adopted moniker from the Doctor, “Impossible Girl” also crops up.
And another highlight is Graham Duff (Ideal, Hebburn), completely unrecognisable as the waiter. He should’ve commented on Peter Capaldi, “Ooh, in’he scrummy!”
As well as writing Ideal, Graham also appeared as Brian (“Hi-Hi!”), and whereas he’s normally bald, here he has hair!
Go to page 2 for more thoughts on this episode.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.