Doctor Who: Deep Breath– A (mostly) spoiler-free review
Published August 27, 2014 | By Shawna
Author’s note: Trying to avoid spoilers as much as possible, but am hesitant to declare anything spoiler-free as some people would consider it a spoiler if you mention that there is a dragon in The Hobbit. (Oops, sorry. Let the cat out of the bag on that one)
So, first impressions: Deep Breath blew my mind. Possibly the best Doctor Who episode ever, and this is coming from an obsessive life-long fan.
Surface stuff: My steampunk self was squeeing non-stop– Victorian London, scary automatons, all sorts of gears and levers and a hot-air balloon.
Great checking in with the Paternoster gang. Especially loved Vastra and wife quibbling like any other married couple. Not sure if Strax’s descriptions of the various regenerations made it to the network version (I went to the theater), but hearing the Sontaran take on the first 11-plus regenerations was hysterical.
Also, the creepiest episode I have ever seen, and all without any on-screen gore. And much of it written over the head of the wee ones (At least, I sincerely hope the wee ones don’t get the implication of what the hot air balloon was made of.)
Lovely bit of clever ambiguity in the end, with one question never quite answered.
Lots of great inside jokes for fans, and lots of Scottish jokes as well. (More squee)
On to the deeper stuff, and oh, sweet gods, is there a lot of depth. Perhaps the first regeneration story to realistically address what it must be like for the companions/friends of the Doctor when, hey-ho, it’s a brand new and different him. Also explores the true nature of love, be it romantic or otherwise. (To quote the bard, which no one in the ep did, but should have: ‘love is not love that alters when it alteration finds’). With perhaps a slight meta-comment about the loyalty (or lack thereof) of certain groups of fans.
We meet a Doctor that at once harkens back to the tough, ready-for-action, maybe even a tiny bit ruthless Doctor of the Pertwee era, and yet is in some ways the most vulnerable of them all.
The first episode with a new Doctor is always a bit scary to die-hard fans. If this season continues as it began, I, for one, am ready to fall even more deeply, hopelessly in love with the series.