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 episode lasts 76 minutes and, since this is a rough cut, the opening credits still use the previous ones when the programme was made under Matt Smith’s tenure as the titular hero. Oddly, it’s masked to an approximate 2.35:1 ratio, but not oddly, this leaked episode is time-coded and watermarked, as well as containing occasional text to point out when certain SFX/CGI should appear. It’s clear that general sound effects are still to be added, although there is a great score present on this print.
It does work brilliantly well in black and white, especially after Wheatley’s A Field In England, so it’d be good if the eventual Blu-ray/DVD release contains a version of this like that. However, given the length of the episode, there are times when it goes on a bit and could be tightened up, but then again, it’s rare that there’s ever a Doctor Who episode which doesn’t feature any padding. Since the 2005 reboot, only The Day of the Doctor is the episode which I would say works perfectly from start to finish, and it’s a shame that the BBC ended their 3D trial because that one was a great example of making an engaging TV sci-fi drama in 3D. But then, given how other 3D trial programmes included the ‘not at all necessary in 3D’ Last Night of the Proms, what can you expect? There is certainly still life in the format, but then there’s also a lot of films produced in 3D where 2D was perfectly satisfactory.
What follows is not a mass of spoilers, it’s no more than I’d write in a regular review regarding the content, but since the BBC are getting pissy about the fact the episode has been leaked online in the first place, I have put a spoiler tag around it so that no-one can visit this page and accidentally read something they wish they hadn’t. As such, I won’t be using any pictures from this episode in this particular review. When the episode is aired proper, I shall then do so. I also won’t list anyone in the cast list below other than the two main characters.
Bear in mind, also, that any comments posted below by other people may contain spoilers, so it’s best only to read down there if you’ve seen the episode. Please don’t post any links where the episode can be found. Any such links will be deleted.
The official full length TV launch trailer for Doctor Who Series 8 – teaser trailer
Am I a good man? – teaser trailer
Doctor Who Series 8 begins August 23rd on BBC1, and even if you do watch this episode in its leaked form, I still urge you to watch it when it’s broadcast, not least because it’ll be complete with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, full FX and it’ll be in colour.
I see into your soul, Doctor – teaser trailer
Director: Ben Wheatley
Screenplay: Steven Moffat
The Doctor: Peter Capaldi
Clara Oswald: Jenna Coleman
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.