August 26, 2014

Taking A DEEP BREATH with DOCTOR WHO On A Big Screen

Well, last night - along with several other fellow fans and friends - I managed to catch the Series Eight premiere of Doctor Who on the big screen.
(Thankfully, although yes, I did pay to see it....I didn't support any evil cable companies in the process. Or at least, it meant being able to see it and support my favorite franchise without breaking copyright laws).
So I'm going to write a review of Deep Breath....but instead of coherent paragraphs, I'm going to do a series of impressions and bullet points, because I haven't had enough coffee to think these through.
  • I'm extremely grateful that Doctor Who is filmed in HD - on the big screen, comparing it to clips of David Tennant's run (shot on digital video), new Who looks wonderful. (And Tennant's video looked....washed out).
  • Loved the intro, which was a nice way to introduce the concept of regeneration and history. Highlights: "The first Doctor was a woman"; "Half man, half granny"; "Introduced a new concept - puberty"; and "Where did the rest of the Doctor Go?". Kudos for making the War Doctor the must-see Doctor.
  • New opening credits: completely awesome. In fact, definitely the best part of this episode
  • OK, Steven, we get it - you love the Victorian era. But I think we can do without the Paternoster gang for's slowly, but surely, becoming a jump-the-shark concept
  • Loved the Doctor's first word - with that word, Capaldi pretty much owns the role
  • You know, I think the Capaldi Doctor/Capaldoc should have a dinosaur as a companion. Yes, seriously
  • Wow, Clara is actually given a personality....and it's not necessarily a pretty one
  • Although I loved the banter between Vastra and Jenny, just a note to Mr. Moffatt - could you not emphasize the fact that they're married in a way that seems patronizing? Thanks.
  • I loved the hints that the Doctor is trying to tell himself something, and I liked the idea that he subconsciously chooses his own face.
  • Barney, the bum that the Doctor has the conversation with (involving "attack eyebrows")? That's Lis Sladen's husband.
  • Although I like the fact that Jenny is given a bit of glamor....honestly, do we need the reminder of same gender (as well as interspecies) marriage? I think most viewers have gotten that by now.
  • The restaurant scene - a great moment that captures the Doctor and Clara's new relationship
  • I also loved the gradual callback to a previous episode, but which only announces itself once in a closeup.
  • I loved Vastra's confrontation with Clara - now, see, this is the kind of scene I like in my Who: direct, character revealing, and imaginative.
  • You know, I don't mind an action sequence in Who....but why do I have the feeling that Strax will soon be replaced by Curly of the Three Stooges?
  • Note to Steven Moffatt: look up "subtlety" in the dictionary. I didn't mind the interspecies kiss, but it seemed a bit....well, gratuitous.
  • I loved the final confrontation between the new Doctor and the big bad....and the fact that this Doctor seems willing to admit that he may not be "following his programming"
  • Pure speculation on my part: I wonder if the main arc for this season will be the Doctor trying to "find" his personality. After all - he doesn't have the baggage of the Time War anymore, he's spent one incarnation in a long, full life, and with a new regenerative what kind of impact will that have on him? And if I'm right, can Steven Moffatt handle it with the subtlety it deserves?
  • Also, is anyone else getting tired of the "psychotic ex-girlfriend of the Doctor" trope? (I'm thinking specifically of the very end). With River Song, it started cute and became cliche....but between this, the end of Deep Breath and Time of the Doctor, well....Moffatt once wrote an entire series about the end of a relationship. I wonder if his lack of subtlety is striking again....

All in all, a really good view....and a promising start. Here's seeing how the rest of the series fares.

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