Deep Breath

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Before we start this joint-review, we just want to remind everyone that we don’t want to hate Dr Who, and we really don’t enjoy ripping it apart… much. We’re just disappointed by it, because something that was so incredible to begin with has turned into something that could really be a lot better.

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Lewis: When that averagely-animated dinosaur first appeared on the screen I immediately thought ‘Here we go, more of this crap.’, and to be honest, I don’t think I was wrong, at least not for the majority of Saturday night’s episode.

Ben: I think it was hard to judge. My full opinion of series 8 won’t be formed ‘til after a couple of weeks. But these are my initial impressions. Firstly, I want tosay that the first 15-20, for me, were pretty uncomfortable to watch. Starting with the woeful new opening credits (the music made it sound like Christmas and the clock thing was just stupid, what happened to if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The previous opening credits were good) It was like Capaldi was trying to emulate Matt Smith and for me it didn’t work. However, as the episode continued, a doctor developed that I quite liked.

Lewis: I definitely agree with you on the first 15 minutes being a bit painful. To be honest, it just felt like the writing was a bit stodgy. Also, I’m not a massive fan of Steven Moffat’s 19th Century crime fighters; they get on my nerves a fair bit. As for the opening credits, I actually didn’t mind the song; it felt new but also sounded a bit like the older theme songs. The one nit-pick I have is about the graphics for the opening sequence. They were awful. The old one definitely had better CGI, and so why downgrade it to this cartoon-like image?

Ben: The delivery of dialogue was much improved, especially from the Doctor’s end, but I still don’t know what to think about the Clara character. I think now that the endless flirting (which did happen all the time) is over I may grow to like the character.

Lewis: Same here in terms of Clara, she seemed a bit more likeable in this episode (Which I thanked God for). So, for me, the episode had two characters that were far more likeable than they used to be, since while Peter Capaldi is the new Doctor, the character is the same. However, in my opinion, this doesn’t save the episode.

Ben: Yeah, the story was pretty standard for the below par ideas that have seeped into episodes ever since the loss of T. Davies. The script itself was good while the story pretty poor. I think Moffat managed to write a script which was; funny at the right times, showed the audience that this doctor will be darker in character, and also assured us that there will no longer be any of this hugging crap (hallelujah). I also appreciated the mentions of previous Doctors (the long scarf bit amongst others), they were done in a tasteful way that poked fun without humiliating them (thinking back to Skyfall, which failed to do this, and how the older Bond films took a real battering at the hands of the pouty blonde man).

Lewis: I quite like Skyfall… and Daniel Craig…

Ben:  I am not saying I don’t like Skyfall, I am saying that after the first few funny comments, the remarks about previous got pretty vicious. I don’t like Daniel Craig, but I think that could be an argument for another day. The story on the other hand was a rip off of the Madame Du Pompadore episode, which I for one was able to suss out pretty quickly. It again shows the uninspiring and dull stories have to be improved.Also, the series already seems to be developing one of the long-running storylines that Moffat is such a big fan of, an Americanism that I really cannot stand, especially when they are so frequently shit (And this one looks to be one of those crap ones).

Lewis: I for one quite like a long-running story, but only if it pays off at the end. And Moffat just doesn’t seem to be able to give us the pay off that the show deserves. He’s pretty good at writing a one-off script (Blink comes to mind), but as for a season-arcing plot-point, it’s just not worth it.

Ben: I said that about his writing in my earlier Doctor Who piece. Going back to what you said earlier, I really hoped that the lizard and her team would be left behind with Matt Smith, unfortunately not. I can see them coming back at least once a series which is really irritating because none of them are really that likable.

Lewis: I can’t agree with you more there, and Mr Moffat, the next time you want to find an excuse for a cross-species lesbian kiss, either make it a good one or just do it without it.

Ben: I liked Peter Capaldi;but I didn’t really like much else. On the plus side the old non-Teletubbies Daleks are coming back in the next episode, and I think that it is from this point a proper opinion will be formed.

Lewis: Indeed, It wasn’t the worst episode I’ve seen, but it could’ve been a whole lot better. Anyway, thumbs up to Peter Capaldi, and bring on the Daleks.

Thanks for reading! If you want to call us idiots or other more explicit names, please leave a comment.

-Ben and Lewis

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3 thoughts on “Deep Breath

  1. How dare you insult animated dinosaurs AND Americanisms! Actually most Americanisms ARE shit but the on-going narrative is one of the few things we’ve got over British TV. I think you need to stop being so stodgily British and just enjoy the large rampaging dinosaur and the new(ish) steam punk infused opening credits. I think that was actually created by a fan. Here is where I agree with you: Capaldi was much cooler than I was prepared for especially with his Scottish accent (sorry non-Scots Brits). I don’t even remember the plot line. Did it make any sense? But I don’t watch Dr Who for the plot line. Its all about the characters, the time travel, the adventure and hilarious dialogue. The intermittent social commentary is also great when it happens. Oh and now I disagree again: Madame Vastra is awesome. I love it when she said “Humans are apes, men are monkeys.” That she understands the difference made me stand up and fist pump just there. Cheers!

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    • Hey! We practiced very hard to be this ‘stodgily British’, thank you very much.

      I’m sorry… that was rude… and not very British of us.

      The opening credits are based on a fan-made design, but the fan-made one is so much better than what they produced for this season, which I don’t really understand? And no need to apologise to us non-Scots, everybody likes an angry Scottish person.
      We agree with you about the social commentary, the dialogue and the adventure, but it needs a plot to work! In fact you yourself said that a season-arcing storyline was something that Americans have over us, and I have no problem with those (Ben does), but saying that the plot isn’t important kinda negates your argument that the season-arcing storyline is better, since without a plot it wouldn’t exist at all (Which is the issue with the previous seasons or Dr Who). I would even say that the characters, character development, dialogue and social commentary all exist and grow around the plot of the episode or season, and that it’s an intrinsic part of any fiction of any kind.

      But hey-ho, each to their own, haha. We’re not even going to get into the subject of Madame Vestra, we’ll probably end up being even more rude.

      Thanks for commenting by the way, we don’t get many of these.

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  2. The season arcing storyline is better which is why I watch Sherlock, not Dr Who. While Sherlock has BOTH amazing character and plot, it is not necessary to fully enjoy a show. Saying a season-arcing storyline is better does not negate my point that you can have a one off plot and a great character and that is all you need. I’m basically differentiating the two things as being different but not equal. I PREFER the season-arc but I don’t find it necessary to provide good TV. I do think CHARACTER is the main thing. I am often confused by the plot of Dr Who and at times is it just plain nonsensical. BUT it is fun because the Dr is fun and his nonsensical adventures are fun and that is ultimately what matters. (so says the non-stodgy American)
    P.S. Thank you for resuming your polite British-ness and not insulting Madame Vestra

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