Monday, August 25, 2014

Everyone take a deep breath...

On Saturday Peter Capaldi burst from the TARDIS in a flurry of confusion to start the new season of Doctor Who, and he was glorious.

Let’s talk about it. Be warned, SPOILERS ahead!

Deep Breath

The Dinosaur looked fantastic. Much better-looking one than we had in 1974’s Invasion Of The Dinosaurs — even by the standards of the time it was rubbish).

The Paternoster Gang have more gadgets than I think they had before (discounting Strax’s many weapons of course) — Jenny’s got a scanning thing, they have the constable put their ‘lamps’ around the dinosaur, Vastra’s even got a carriage locking thing. I found that a bit distracting, but not unpleasantly so.

The opening credits: well, I'm not a fan of them, they're way too literal. I liked that Capaldi’s eyes feature at one point, and the blue swirly smokey lights are fine, but did we really need gears and clock faces to know he’s a time traveller? Really? Hokey and cheesy. Quite a letdown, actually, after the opener we’ve had since Snowmen, which was easily my favourite of the modern series. The music — well, also not a fan, it might grow on me but I kind of doubt it. Again, last season had a really good interpretation.

The Doctor. Ah, the Doctor. Well, at first you can’t really get a handle on who he is, other than being Scottish (he can complain now and blame things on the English), but by the time he meets Clara in the restaurant he’s pretty much firmed up. And that’s when the episode really gets going. It’s a fantastic scene, with strong performances by both and the dynamic is exciting. And this episode is Clara’s best so far, actually.

There’s a beautiful moment when the Doctor is lying in bed (in a room just for not being awake in), quietly translating the dinosaur’s sad monologue — I’m all alone, it’s cold here, the sky is gone — but is it really a translation, or his own sadness?

The pacing — a bit slower than usual, which I liked. It allowed the story to unfold more naturally. I think the trouble Clara was having with the regeneration would have been too rushed otherwise.

Overall, it was impressive and bodes well for the upcoming season! What did you think?

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