Verdict: 2.5 / 5
Since its 2005 revival, we’ve been treated to five new doctors in the Doctor Who series. The latest series, aired in 2014, introduced us to the latest incarnation played by Peter Capaldi. The episode on this DVD, Deep Breath, is the first episode in the 2005 eighth series.
Deep Breath introduces us to Peter Capaldi’s Doctor Who. Yes, we first saw him in The Day of the Doctor, but those were only his eyes and eyebrows. A Tyrannosaurus Rex appears in Victorian London and spits out the TARDIS. Series favourites Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint, and Strax go to investigate the matter and track down the TARDIS. Within a few moments, the latest incarnation of the Doctor bursts onto the screen in a newly post-regeneration state. From there it’s discovered something more sinister is afoot in old London, which includes the stealing of body parts and androids.
The overall premise of the episode is interesting but is hampered by Steven Moffat trying to be too clever for his own good. Jenna Coleman’s portrayal of Clara Oswald is frustrating as always, and she just comes off as whiny and needy.
There are two saving graces to this episode. The first one is Strax, who provides some comedic relief if at times a tad forced. Having Strax hit Clara in the head with a newspaper felt like sweet justice, but maybe that was just me?
The second is, of course, Peter Capaldi. He’s first shown to be somewhat crazy and off his rocker as he tries to recover from being regenerated. It’s later shown that he’s a darker doctor than Matt Smith’s version and even capable of killing. This sets up the rest of the season to be a very dark journey, but that is never fully realised.
Deep Breath falls flat as an introduction episode. The introduction episodes for the tenth and eleventh Doctors (The Parting of Ways and The Eleventh Hour) were far superior.
Doctor Who’s Deep Breath extras are interesting, but you’ll never watch them more than once.
• Deep Breath Intro has Strax vlogging about each incarnation of the Doctor. When it comes to introducing the twelfth, he admits he’s actually the thirteenth Doctor and that the numbering becomes confusing.
• Behind the Scenes has some interesting bits of information on this new season. The most fascination to me is how the Capaldi’s clothes were designed and why they gave him the current look.
• Doctor Who Live – The Next Doctor was a feature shown on BBC. It was a revel on who the next Doctor would be played by. Special guest stars on this feature included Peter Davison (the 5th Doctor) and Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott).
Overall the DVD is worthwhile if picked up for a cheap price. I would advise holding off and rather purchasing the season 8 boxset. After all, Doctor Who is best watched on a binge.