Doctor Who Recap: Jurassic Start

The following contains spoilers from the Season 8 premiere of Doctor Who. If you haven’t watched it yet, don’t walk, RUN to another TVLine story. If you have, allons-y!

The TARDIS has landed — or, rather, has been spit up — bringing with it one familiar face, and one very new one. But the 12th Doctor and his friends have more than just his latest regeneration to deal with; a dinosaur has been transported to Victorian London!

Before you tell us what you thought of the 12th Doctor’s first episode, let’s recap the episode.

RELATED Doctor Who: 13 Best ‘Modern’ Episodes!

Madame Vastra and Jenny bring Clara and the disoriented Doctor back to their place, where he freaks out about everything: the bedroom (“So you’ve got a whole room for not being awake in?”), the mirror (“Don’t look in that mirror, it’s absolutely furious!”) and especially the accents (“It’s spreading! You all sound so English!”). So Vastra feigns a Scottish accent and put the Doctor to sleep. She also has time to spout this gem of a line: “People are apes. Men are monkeys!” (Bring on the Vastra/Jenny spin-off already!)

Later, while Clara’s coming to terms with the Doctor’s regeneration — and being accused of considering the him her “boyfriend” — the Doctor jumps out the window and goes in search of the dinosaur. But just as he gets there, it spontaneously combusts. When Vastra asks who or what is responsible, he says the real question is, “Have there been any similar murders?” Then the Time-Lord-with-no-attention-span notices the mechanical man responsible for an earlier eye theft. So he jumps into the Thames after him.

The next morning, Strax brings the TARDIS back to their residence because he reasons that the Doctor will always come looking for his box and not be melted with acid. Then DoctorWho_S8Premiere3_DWhe “sends up” the newspaper, hitting Clara in the face. (Side note: I’ve always loved his Sontaran comic relief, but he is killing it this episode.) Later, just as Vastra figures out that the spontaneous combustions are being used to cover up what’s missing from the bodies, Clara rushes in with a newspaper advertisement inviting the “Impossible Girl” to lunch. Not long after she arrives at Mancini’s, the Doctor turns up, now dressed in a homeless man’s clothes.

As the Doctor and his companion have their first real post-regeneration conversation, they realize they both think the other is an egomaniac responsible for the ad in the paper. But it doesn’t matter because they’re in a trap full of more droids (put a different wig on some of them and we’d be in “The Girl In the Fireplace” territory). Before they can escape, they’re strapped into their seats and lowered into the “larder.” They both get free, but while the Doctor escapes, he leaves Clara behind to face the leader. She attempts to escape by holding her breath, but fails when she gives into her burning — pun intended — desire to inhale.

Never fear, though, the Doctor has her back. Having slipped into another mechanical man’s face skin, he returns — along with Vastra, Jenny and Strax, who completely fails at his aerial silk descent. As more droids arrive, the Doctor follows their leader into his hot air balloon escape capsule. Once above London, the Doctor tries to reason with him, before threatening to kill the control node, saying he’s already come a long way to protect humans.

Down on the ground, the droids have overwhelmed Clara and the Paternoster Gang. But just as it seems they’ve lost, the droids deactivate and we see that their leader has been impaled on Big Ben. (Ouch!)

When they return home, they see that the TARDIS has gone. Nonetheless, Clara still changes back into her modern attire — just in time for the Doctor’s arrival. Upon entering it, she notes that the interior has changed (there are more round things on the wall). As they discuss who put the ad in the paper (it’s the same woman who gave Clara the Doctor’s number) she gets a call and it’s none other than Matt Smith the 11th Doctor. Turns out he had time to give her a ring before his regeneration back on Trenzalore. He tells Clara not to be scared and asks her to help his newly regenerated self.

Hanging up, she turns to face the 12th Doctor, who asks her to see — really see — him as he’s still the man he’s always been. Once Clara does, she and the Doctor go out for coffee and chips.

But the episode doesn’t end there! Moments later, we meet Missy, the Doctor’s “girlfriend” (?!) who introduces herself to the still alive control node and welcomes him to heaven.

Thus ends our introduction to the latest incarnation of the mad man in a blue box.

So what did you think of Peter Capaldi’s first outing as the Doctor? Were you happy to see Matt Smith again? Is “coffee and chips” the new “fish fingers and custard”? Are you ready for a Paternoster Gang spin-off? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Rachel says:

    Thought Peter did an amazing job as the new Doctor, but the writing was just awful. The first hour lag and just when it was getting good towards the middle, it fell apart again at the end. I felt the same way through half of last season too. Im still a devout Whovian and watch it every Saturday with the family, but I must say, its just not up to par like it use to be.

    • Meghan says:

      Yes, my thoughts exactly. Peter was excellent, and I actually enjoyed Clara here. The bit at the end with ‘Missy’ ended it on a sour note for me though.

    • CMG says:

      I liked the pacing of the episode. I hate that these days, it seems people’s attention spans are so short that they need instant gratification. I hate that people don’t seem to have respect for traditional storytelling with a beginning, a climax in the middle, then a resolution at the end. I liked that this episode was an extended episode that provided the time to do that sort of traditional storytelling, and not the Michael Bay “WHAM BAM POW KERPLOOEY” comic book level writing.

      Not that there was any rumors of her leaving, but I’m glad that Jenna stuck around. I think that when she’s given good material, as she was in this episode, she’s one of my favorite companions (The sad part is that she hasn’t always been given that material.)

      I thought the use of the Paternoster Gang gave the opportunity for some witty moments, some moments of levity that helped balance this episode out quite well.

      • Eli says:

        you can watch a re-run of Til’Death, then….

      • Avarian says:

        There is a difference between good story telling (beginning, middle, and end) as you put it and slow dribble with everything rushed in the last 10 minutes. That is not good story telling. Moffat is awful and I am very weary of him. His leaps and bounds of absurdity trying to make the plot fit together is tiriing. He’s not a good writer, never has been–he just knows the right people. I really want him gone. The show will beneift greatly from his departure.

        • Mark says:

          You’ve got a long wait then, he’s already working on Series 9, and some of us happen to enjoy his writing. And I don’t appreciate you insulting someone’s work. Are you a TV writer?

          • rowan77 says:

            Mark, settle down. Avarian is just as allowed to say she/he dislike’s Moffat’s writing as much as you are allowed to say you enjoy it. As I am a TV working TV writer, I am inclined to say that the episode felt overly long (they could have cut 5min from the larder sequence alone), but the dialogue was largely sharp and funny. I think Coleman and Capaldi haven’t worked out their timing yet, so the banter could/should have flowed better. I think (hope) that will come with time. I will say that the writing was the best written since Clara became the companion. Season 7B was just awful – which had nothing to do with Jenna Louise Coleman, and everything to do with Moffatt being overly busy with too many projects. With Sherlock series 4 not happening until possibly 2015, this gives him breathing room to do Who properly again.

        • Tallus Rip says:

          500% Agreed.

        • maggie says:

          Avarian, I agree with you as well.

        • Celina says:

          I disagree… Although I don’t see this episode as excellent, and I have some critiques, I enjoyed. I liked how the characters interacted, the jokes, the dynamic between the new doctor and Clara (actually, I think they have way more chemestry than she and Matt did).
          And, I think it’s not fair to say that Moffat is awlful. I think he is a great writer and some of the best episodes of Doctor Who is written by him. Also, he writes Sherlock too, which is awsome!
          He had some problems, yes, but Russel T Davies had it too… It wasn’t flawless with him either.

    • Sara says:

      This so much! To go further about something in the writing that bugged me, I was confused as to why Clara was having such an issue with the regeneration. She, out of any of the modern companions, should have been the most understanding since she knows every regeneration. This whole, she didn’t see the Doctor in him thing, rang false to me because she could even see the Doctor in John Hurt’s Doctor when no one else could.

      The writing is just so weak because they seem to be so distracted by trying to make some big mystery plot to last the whole season. One of the things that I loved about Russell T Davies’ reign was that you didn’t realize that there had been all these little clues leading to the finale until it was actually the finale. Moffat beats us on the head with his “cleverness.”

      I hope it gets better, I really love Peter Capaldi and look forward to seeing his Doctor evolve. He was still holding on a bit too much to Matt Smith’s characteristics this episode.

      • David4 says:

        RTD hit us over the head with his mystery BS too. Not sure what DW you were watching for the last several years.

        • Liza says:

          He did? I don’t remember RTD ever using a companion as a ~mystery~ or puzzle for the Doctor to solve, like with River Song, Clara and Amy (to some extent). The closest is at the end of season 4 with ‘why do I always run into Donna?’, but he didn’t hit us over the head with it.

          Plus, there is a difference between casually having Bad Wolf in the background/casually mentioning Torchwood/Saxon and zooming in on a giant crack/the pregnancy test on the screen, and constantly yelling SPOILERS :P

        • Sara says:

          Please give us some examples of when RTD hit us over the head with his mysteries.

        • Sara says:

          For the “last several years” as you say, I have been watching Moffat beat us over the head with his mysteries and sacrificing character development. Why do you think so many people have an issue with Clara? Instead of writing her anything that would make us learn to love her and discover her importance, we have been told over and over that she is the Impossible Girl and that is reason enough to like her.

      • Karen MT says:

        She knows he’s regenerated, but she’s never actually seen it happen. It didn’t help that the Doctor was so out of it right afterwards. Didn’t know how to fly the TARDIS (and then banging into things like the dinosaur’s throat!), kept getting names mixed up, didn’t know what a bedroom was, etc. I think she was more freaked out that he was so messed up after the regeneration. She just needed a reminder that it’s still the same person.

        • Well put. It’s been pretty shocking and downright traumatic for Clara.

          Remember, too, it’s still the same day that she watched the Doctor grow old and infirm over the course of centuries, only for him to explode and transform into an entirely new (and newly bonkers) individual. Knowing regeneration and having it happen in front of you are two completely different things.

          It’s worth noting that while she has already interacted with Ten and the War Doctor, they were both relatively stable individuals, and not nearly as manic as the newly-regenerated Twelve. His behavior and demeanor could not possibly be comforting or anything less than alarming to Clara.

      • michelle says:

        Also the doctor had the same problem with clara when they met because he knew 2 women that looked just like her. Glad he knew it was his mistake

      • Deion says:

        Did you not see that Clara’s initial feeling for the new Doctor was supposed to be an allegory for fans who balked at Peter Capaldi’s casting? It stands out to you because Clara has seen different versions of The Doctor. She knows he changes faces, but at first, she can’t accept this new face. You know that she should, because she knows he’s still The Doctor. As we all do.

        • Sara says:

          Oh, I totally got that it was supposed to be an allegory for the fans. However, my point was that it was heavy handed and done in such a way that it did not ring true with Clara’s (very limited) character development from last season.

    • dman6015 says:

      Well, from the episode list, it looks like Moffat has written half the episodes this season, so prepare yourself. I wish we could view it as they do in Britain – no commercials. Loses continuity and artificially chops up the episode. American TV writers write for commercial breaks, BBC writers don’t. I think it makes a difference.

    • Abby says:

      Thank you! My thoughts exactly! I found myself accepting Capaldi very quickly as the Doctor. And I was Meh about the storyline until Heaven. I was so disappointed. I wish they would drop Moffatt and really head in a new direction. Until he’s gone the Doctor will suffer.

  2. Bender says:

    As with every regeneration there is a amnesia/figuring out who I am period. I welcome our new Time Lord overlord

  3. ggny says:

    I miss Matt Smith and Karen Gillian together. There was just so much magic there and they where a huge reason Doctor Who really took off in the USA. This episode was ok though just didnt have the same magic Matt Smith’s first episode did

    • David4 says:

      It was big in the USA LONG before Matt Smith.

      • ggny says:

        Nope it was a Cult hit. Matt Smith’s years made it main stream that why you even see a review on this site.

        • knd says:

          Yeah that’s just not true at all

        • David4 says:

          Live in your little bubble universe. It’s as big now as it was five years ago. It’s still a cult favorite and I’d say more people loved DT Doctor than Matt Smith.

          • Alison says:

            I think being on BBC American helped it be a hit in America, but yes I would have to agree it become a HUGH hit from cult around the world UK hit. As far as I know they never went around the world for a tour or did screenings in cinemas all over the world. I was able to watch it on BBC America and never saw a poster on a bus until it “landed” on BBA – and that’s how I found it (And Matt’s face wasn’t on the bus). Doctor Who and Sherlock I’m sure is helping BBC from going bankrupt again, well that and

          • maggie says:

            Alison, Eccleston and Tennant’s episodes were shown on SciFi (now syfy) first and then rerun on BBC America. SciFi (syfy) is more mainstreaming the US than BBC America. The reason why BBC America wanted the first run rights is because of the ratings it got as a first run on SciFi.

        • maggie says:

          The reason why the show brought back David Tennant for the 50th Anniversary is because he is the most popular Doctor ever. Poll after poll shows that. So people must have been watching long before Matt Smith.

          BTW, this site started January 2011, and Smith was already The Doctor. So it wasn’t possible for this site to cover any Doctor before Smith, because this site didn’t exist.

          • Willy says:

            The reason why the show brought back Tom Baker for the 50th Anniversary is because HE is the most popular Doctor ever.

          • Pat Weiser says:

            I agree. Tom Baker is beloved by all of us that saw the ‘classic’ doctors. He is by far the most popular Doctor.

          • ali says:

            Tom Baker is the most popular doctor actually. Huge following in the 70’s.

          • Sara says:

            To those saying that Tom Baker is the most popular Doctor, I can’t really (and won’t) argue with that because he definitely for decades has been. However, maggie is correct that recent poll after recent poll (by the BBC, Doctor Who’s official magazine, and various other sources) have placed David Tennant as the most popular Doctor with Tom Baker usually taking second place. Now, one would have to take into consideration how recently David Tennant’s tenure was. So, we will have to watch and see how long he stays “Most Popular.” So they brought back the TWO most popular Doctors of all time in the 50th.

        • Lana says:

          It was big when David Tennant was the Dr., Matt was good but David was awesome

    • Tom Charles says:

      been waiting for someone to say this. Can’t stand Smith, glad he’s gone

      • Linda says:

        I stopped watching when Matt Smith took over from David Tennant. There was just something about him that I didn’t like. Happily watched last night’s episode and really enjoyed it. Dr. Who is back on my TV viewing list!

    • dman6015 says:

      No, no, no, laddie. David Tennant made Doctor Who what it is today.

    • falc1526 says:

      I refuse to watch any episode I know amy is in, she ruined the entire matt smith era.

  4. JR says:

    Thought the mechanical man at the end, looked like it had Matt Smith’s face. The doctor said in the episode why did he get the faces he gets as the doctor. He felt though that he saw this current version from somewhere else. Then the new Doctor asked the mechanical man if he knew where he got his current face. But it was only at the end, did the mechanical man’s face resemble Matt.

  5. Nessie says:

    I liked it. I felt that the overall story was pretty meh, but there were some nice character moments (more character development for Clara in this one episode then the whole last series). My only real problem was I was waiting for that one moment when I was really like ‘yes there is the Doctor’ and I never got it (like Tennants ‘that’s the sort of man I am’ or Smith’s ‘Basically…run.’).

    Overall I thought Peter was great and sold it well. I’m excited to see where this series will take us.

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  7. TV Gord says:

    I loved it! I didn’t give much thought to the actual plot, so I didn’t notice any weak writing in that regard. I was more interested in how The Doctor and Clara would get on, and I thought they were loaded with chemistry! I got exactly what I expected from Peter Capaldi, so I am looking forward to the rest of the season!

  8. Margaery says:

    Debut episodes are usually great. Rose, The Christmas Invasion, The 11th Hour. Often one of the strongest of the season. If Deep Breath is supposed to be one of the better episodes, this season isn’t going to be fun. While Peter Capaldi is perfect, this story was too depressing. As debut episodes go, this was the weakest of the last 4 (or is it 5? I enjoyed War Doctor’s entire run more than this, so it’s still bottom of the barrel.) . Is the new theme to be “Everybody dies?” The T-rex dies, the solution to the problem of the week is suicide. We even watch the Doctor dying, again.

    • David4 says:

      The last episode before this, the Christmas one, was garbage. Garage is giving it too much credit because garbage had a use at one point.

      Also it might not have been suicide.

      And the Doctor doesn’t die.

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  11. Atacadores says:

    The truth is that the first two or three episodes with a new doctor are always awkward. But I really loved the capaldi’s debut and I’m pretty sure that this will be an awesome season. I loved the way Moffat & his team had recuperate the droids from 10th doctors’ period and how I felt intrigued by the mysterious add and Missy.
    ps: Strax had reminded me a bit of John/Sherlock dialogs. I wonder if both episodes weren’t written at the same time….

  12. superCoderOne says:

    Great job! I loved Matt Smith and I thought it would take me a few episodes to accept the new Doctor, but I am on board with Capaldi as The Doctor. Good first for the new Doctor.

  13. David4 says:

    I loved it and the more chatting less running the episode had. However the dinosaur looked insanely huge and was pretty useless to the episode.

    AKA I wanted more dino.

  14. Pat Weiser says:

    I don’t know if it was the writing, the plot, or Capaldi, but this just didn’t deliver. I have been a fan since the 70’s and every Doctor has ‘claimed’ the role in his first story, but this one just bumbled along. No magic, no fun.

  15. Ed says:

    it seems to me that there is way too much sit/walk/stand and talk about coming up with the resolution from Moffat…I miss the run around explore and figure things out from the RTD days

  16. Jo says:

    Have watched Dr Who from the beginning and tonight’s episode was terrific. The show has always and should be campy. It is quirky and silly with a lot of smirks and laughter. Serious questions are asked and fables delivered. Now that the digital age is upon us robots and aliens are perfection and the boxes with strings have disappeared. Don’t take things so seriously.
    Enjoy the adventure!

  17. Fantastic handfuls of writing (the first scene, “bedroom”, “have you seen this face before”, “If I wasn’t cross, I’d be cross”), great acting, brilliant directing, sketchy editing and retreads of former glories.

    • AT says:

      Yes, I agree. There were great moments, but didn’t hold up through out. I think the best bit was with Capaldi in the alleyway talking about his familiar face. Just a great scene. Too bad the whole episode wasn’t as good as that scene.

      • Isobel says:

        Agree Capaldi by himself talking was great, but I’m just not generally a fan of Moffat’s writing for Doctor Who, I like Sherlock, though that’s maybe because he has Mark Gatiss to balance him out

  18. AT says:

    While I thought Capaldi was great, I wasn’t overly impressed with the episode itself. There were great moments, but It felt all like a bit of mishmash of previous episodes. There were bits of dialogue and conversations that came before between other characters. I saw moments EXTREMELY similar to “The Christmas Invasion,” “The Girl in the Fireplace” (obviously), “End of the World,” “Blink,” “The Next Doctor,” “The Snowmen,” etc…Not to mention the repetitiveness of Moffat’s go to tricks. “Don’t blink” became “stay out of the shadows” which then became “don’t look out of the corner of your eye” which then became “don’t click” and has now become “don’t breathe.” SIGH. As much as I love Doctor Who and love Capaldi, I have grown tired of Moffat’s writing. He’s had his great moments, but unfortunately even with the freshness of a new Doctor, I’m afraid his writing has become a bit stale. Plus this “Missy” character seems like it’s going to be a repeat of River Song. My guess? It’s the Master who has regenerated into a woman who is now obsessed with him romantically, wants to kill him, but then can’t go through with it. It will be just like the River plot. Personally, I’m someone who just can’t stand seeing so much repetition. I don’t have anything against Moffat, but it’s time for a new showrunner and a new voice, especially when episodes really start looking way too much like past ones already done and done better. Oh and I didn’t understand the inconsistency of Clara’s character. In past episodes she seemed to know a lot about the Doctor. She had seen EVERY one of his regenerations, but suddenly she has no clue? She even knew the Doctor’s name. In “Day of the Doctor” she talked about how old he was and now suddenly it’s a surprise? It just didn’t fly with me. It felt like her character was slightly changed to suit the purposes of the story to falsely create an emotional arc. I would have bought it more if it had aligned with what we had seen with her in previous episodes.

    • Sara says:

      It is like you went into my mind and wrote out everything I was thinking!!!

    • DarkDefender says:

      AT you clearly seem to have a problem with Moffet (and his writing).. But that aside..
      I think you hit the nail on the head for why Clara and 12 are probably not going to work. She spent WAY too much time lamenting about 11 and how 12 was not the same.. Yet she is supposed to be the impossible girl who knew all the different regens of the Doctor (as was the entire premises in The Day of The Doctor) half of which were the older earlier Doctors… And even accepted 11 when he got old on Trenzalore.

      • AT says:

        Well I have liked some of his episodes to be fair, but I feel he’s grown repetitive. So having a problem with his writing style as of now versus a few years ago seems like a fair opinion! I’m not for attacking the man like some do, rather just giving my objective opinion on the writing as I see. So I’m not sure what’s wrong with that. But yeah, I agree. It just didn’t feel consistent or “right” with Clara considering her past behavior.

        • David4 says:

          I hate the Moffat hate but at the same time I feel he should be let go. RTD had the same issue, he was burnt out after a few seasons and by the time Maffot took over it was really bad. I think a lot of the last season showed it’s time for a new show runner even thought the 50th special was great. DW is just too crazy and needs new blood.

          • AT says:

            While I see no problem objectively criticizing someone’s writing, I don’t think people should turn to personal attacking. That all said, I personally am not a huge fan of “some” of Moffat’s work on Doctor Who. That’s not hate as I see it. It’s a critical opinion. Anyway, I agree. I feel like the show needs new blood again.

      • Playhouse says:

        She MET all of the regenerations. That doesn’t mean she necessarily spent a whole lot of time with any of them. Eleven was her Doctor, the one she actually knew. It makes some sense that she would take issue, especially as he’s fluttering about half-baked just after the regeneration.

        This all, of course, is also meant to be a meta statement on the change from the young’uns (Tennant and Smith) to Capaldi, for all those who just got into Who during the Davies/Moffat era.

        • AT says:

          I agree “some” issue would have made sense, but the level of issue and her seeming clueless behavior just didn’t fly. Especially since in previous episodes she’s talking and acting like the Doctor tells her everything. In “The Day of the Doctor” for instance she’s talking about how much he tells her about how he feels bad for killing his people. He’s apparently quite open with her offscreen, not to mention she’s never shown any problems with seeing his various faces or seeing him old. She knew exactly what happened and had a reaction that didn’t quite add up. She didn’t recognize him. Sure, having a reaction and an issue with him not being “her” Doctor anymore makes sense. But the over the top reaction which wasn’t consistent with how we’ve seen her before did not make sense.

          • DarkDefender says:

            Exactly.. And the fact that Rose Tyler seemed to handle 9’s regeneration into 10 way more smoothly. She kind of set the bar high.. And using the age difference as the (seemingly) only basis for discord.. Seems shallow and didn’t give Clara a fair shake.
            Instead of just a general new Doctor adjustment, they seemd to highlight and beat a dead horse with the fact that Clara wasn’t adjusting to his look (and age) when she didn’t even give him a chance to show his personality as Rose did in transitioning from Eccleston to Tennant who each played the Doctor differently.

        • Pat Weiser says:

          Clara didn’t meet ALL the regenerations. All the classic regenerations were missing. In fact in the preview the fifth and sixth doctor were not even mentioned! They skipped from Tom Baker to Sylvester McCoy completely ignoring Peter Davison and Colin Baker.

          • DarkDefender says:

            I think the point being made was that Clara had met some of the older versions of the Doctor and 12 having aged should not have been as shocking as it was portrayed.

          • Sara says:

            Her monologues in The Name of the Doctor implied that she met them all (also, they totally showed Peter Davidson in that ep). The only face she didn’t recognize was John Hurt’s Non-Doctor Doctor. What are you referring to in regards to “the preview?”

          • Pat Weiser says:

            The BBC preview show just before the episode. I couldn’t believe they snubbed those two Doctors.

          • Sara says:

            So in other words, you aren’t even referring to an actual episode?! Did you even watch the episode that showed her within the Doctor’s timeline? I may be remembering incorrectly, but I am pretty sure they covered every single Doctor, original series and reboot.

          • Pat Weiser says:

            I have seen every single episode of Doctor Who, classic and new. Perhaps I don’t recall every single detail of every single episode.

          • Kate says:

            Well, you certainly missed more than a single detail to have missed the amazing sequence with Clara falling into the Doctor’s timeline and seeing every regeneration. You claim up that “all the classic regenerations were missing.” That is a huge fallacy. You are apparently basing your statement not on an episode, but rather on a clip of “previously on” scenes that the writers/directors/editors of the show probably had nothing to do with. I would encourage you to rewatch The Name of the Doctor, especially since (based on other comments you have made) you seem to really love the original series. It was so cool to see them all again and see Clara in there with them!

    • Playhouse says:

      I don’t know that they’ll turn into a tragic romance angle, but Missy definitely felt much like the Master (and a way to comment on those who were clamoring for — and explore — a female Doctor with this regeneration).

      • AT says:

        I don’t think he’d go that far either with a tragic romance, because I don’t think the Doctor will have romantic feelings for “Missy.” But she did mention “boyfriend,” which sounded a lot like River Song. My guess he’ll go down a similar route as River but not down the marriage route. It will be more like early River/Doctor rather than her final episodes where they’re closer and more romantic.

      • PJ says:

        The Rani? Anyone? Also the boyfriend line could have been sarcastic not literal. Someone also brought up the theory that she is Death itself and his reboot made her mad about it as she was expecting him to join her.

        • JeffDJ says:

          Yeah, as soon as Missy said “my boyfriend” it was obvious (to me, anyway) that she was being sarcastic. Not sure why so many people are worried about River-esque romantic shenanigans. Clearly she’s up to no good.
          As to who she is, I’d love it if she was the Rani (she kinda has that vibe) rather than a female regeneration of the Master. (Anyway, wouldn’t he still be time-locked on Gallifrey, where we last saw him being whisked back to with Rassilon?)

    • Doctorwhoooness says:

      I totally agree with all of this, also I realised that a lot of things in this ep related some how to the old companions, like his new face is in the Pompeii ep when he was with Donna, he’s Scottish like Amy, the clockwork, he was with Rose& I also think River is going to come back some how, Missy seems a lot like river. Like how she’s saying that she’s his girlfriend, like how could she be unless they’re using the same story line, unless Missy is river, because in the end (well end for river) she got saved in that virtual world which could also maybe be known as ‘paradise’ we never know, but the biggest question is, who wrote the ad in the paper? Is it the same person who gave Clara the doctors number in season 7? I hope we find out who it is, I feel like this ep was full of teasers and I’m so excited to find out.

    • Avarian says:

      The Master becoming a woman was actually an idea of writer Michael Halding, who gave Moffat the idea on this thread…

      I hope he gives him credit for it but I doubt it.

      • randall says:

        There has been talk of a female Doctor or Master for decades. Are you publicist for this “writer” or what? Lol

  19. DarkDefender says:

    I thought it was okay.. and I’m still on board with Capaldi. But… Unlike the first episode with 9 and the regen to 10 (both of which I loved instantly) I felt this was more like 11 to me.. It will take an episode or 2 for me to warm up to a new Doctor. I felt like there was too slow a pace in the first half (which made me compare it to A Christmas Invasion – which was brilliant from start to finish).. I’m still not convinced Clara is up to the challenge as 12’s companion.. And for all the talk of a darker Doctor.. I found the episode, as a whole, to be quite funny and lighthearted.

  20. Nancy says:

    Coffee and chips isn’t the new thing… Don’t you get the chips reference from Rose and the 9th?

  21. Christiane says:

    At first I wasn’t really feeling the new doctor but as it continued on I started to like it more and more. These first episodes are always hard for me. Before it even starts I just decide I hate the new doctor and by the end he always wins me over and it happened again with this episode. I really look foreward to getting to know this new doctor and this woman who claims she is the doctors girlfriend? I know he’s been around for a while and has had alot of loves but I’m like girl please. You have to compete with Rose, River Song and the Tardis….you better be something totally awesome. Because right now I hate you. Other than that I loved it! Oh and I loved the explaination of why he is older. I thought it was great and I hope it continues to get better.

  22. Another case of the episode’s extra length not really being necessary, but like the doctors before him I think I’m pretty sold on Capaldi (us Peters need to stick together), just want him to have a better adventure.

  23. I’m thinking (hoping) Missy is The Rani. It would be nice to see the return of one of the Doctor’s older foes.

    • maggie says:

      Yes! I thought she might be The Rani as well. Glad to see I’m not the only one who considered this. Everyone else keeps saying River, but I don’t see that.

      • Isobel says:

        Agree I think with a new doctor they’ve closed River’s storyline and it looks like they’re bringing elements of classic doctor who for Capaldi’s run, I just wish there would be more

    • steven kitty says:

      Missy may be Romona, escaped E-space (or did the Control Node fall into E-space), and regenerated. Bringing back Romona offers a lot of possibilities.

      • JeffDJ says:

        Nah, can’t be Romana. Missy has a villainous vibe about her that just doesn’t fit with our favorite Time Lady of years gone by.

  24. Trenton says:

    Capaldi is obviously talented and can do a lot of things with this role. He is great at comedy and thats such a big part of the doctor. I liked his darker lines like have a terrible feeling im going to have to kill you. I’m curious if they will go in to how the Doctor chooses his faces that would be interesting. Always love Souffle Girl, the best companions are always the ones that can really stand up to the doctor in fun ways. I think thats why amy and rory were such big hits…also doesn’t hurt being drop dead gorgeous.

  25. JeffDJ says:

    I enjoyed the episode a lot and loved Capaldi as the Doctor. I also like the new vibe between him and Clara and look forward to seeing that develop over the season. I also enjoyed the Paternoster Gang, and while I’m starting to tire of Strax’s schtick (I could have done without his medical exam of Clara), I loved the banter between Vastra & Jenny.
    And to clarify a point in the recap, there weren’t more round things on the walls; after Clara noted she didn’t like the console room’s redecoration, the Doctor agreed, saying there *should* be more round things on the walls and he should try to find out where he put them.

  26. marksbonner says:

    The thing that really killed it for me was the really bad attempts at humor. Then the very bad special effects every action shot involving Peter Capaldi. It got better, thank goodness, but not good yet.

    I really hope this is just transition nonsense and we get some real character development now. And not just “I’m the doctor and I’m really cross”.

  27. Grateful Jerry says:

    Peter was great but the rest was forgettable.

  28. GhostWolf says:

    First off, Peter Capaldi was the Doctor right off the bat and already love him and may even give Tennant a run for his money (never was a big fan of Matt Smith – too goofy and he became second banana to his mysterious companions). We are back to difficult regenerations (again, this seemed to be not an issue with 11th came in – too smooth). Sometimes there were glimpses of the 4th coming through which I also liked. Also, straight out he notes he was not Clara’s boyfriend and is not into hugs – yes yes!!

    Really liked the new new opening (really needed an overhaul after all this time) and the story itself was not rushed but paced better (another issue I had with Smith’s era).

    I could have done without the Clara / Strax bits which were just filler (though liked it when the paper hit Clara in the face). The balance between the Doctor and companion (soon companions) still needs to be adjusted – more on the Doctor and story and less on the companions. Another unnecessary bit was 11th cameo at the end – why Clara would have such an issue accepting the 12th after everything didn’t make sense. The Missy bit could also have been scrapped and used at a different time.

    In the end, looking forward to another 11 continuous weeks (hopefully) of the show along with the Christmas. Let 12th’s run be a long one (with better and more memorable stories than they have been in the last few years).

  29. Rick Katze says:

    I’ve been following Dr Who since the very first episode of the 3rd Doctor.

    Regenerations mostly seem to bring out the weird in the Dr. This episode seemed to be laying the storyline for the season. As such it is often choppy since the story is not contained like, for example, “The Girl in the Fireplace”. Even the two episodes where Captain Jack was introduced, while not a totally self-contained story, was less choppy.

    Yes, this doctor is far different from his predecessors but Eccleston(?-spelling) was far different from the doctors who followed him.

    The jury is out but I tend to trust Moffat. He usually delivers.

  30. hookups says:

    “. Most soldiers are periodically transferred to a new base in a different region of the country. Because everyone makes mistakes, and those who refuse to learn from them get themselves into bad decisions.

  31. krine says:

    Without a decent writer, a TV series or movie can fail. I wasn’t impressed with the episode either but I found Peter Capaldi to be a wonderful addition to the show. But, I saw the leaked episode many weeks ago. At any rate, the writing does get better in the following episodes.

  32. Sheila says:

    Not crucial to the episode, but when did Jenna-Louise Coleman become just Jenna? Why the name change?

    • JeffDJ says:

      “Jenna Coleman” debuted with “Day of the Doctor”. Not sure why she decided to change, though it is more concise and rolls off the tongue better.

    • Znachki says:

      Saw an interview somewhere where she said that she’s never actually gone by “Jenna-Louise”, and that, as more and more interviewers were calling her that, it was weirding her out a bit, so she changed it to Jenna. It could have originally been some kind of union thing. Many actors change or hyphenate their names due to that. I used to work in an Equity house, and we had several of those

  33. Within the first couple of minutes, Capaldi already brought more depth, heft and believability than Smith ever did. The problem with Smith is that right from the start, and most of the rest of the time, he played it for laughs. There was no there behind the there. Never once did I buy into him, particularly when he tried to be tough or dramatic.
    I am worried though if Moffat continues to be show-runner. He can be a good writer and storyteller IF someone else is running things and has the greater vision. But when he’s the boss, things get all mucked up.

  34. anniesusanto says:

    Peter Capaldi did a great job as new and ‘confused’ Doctor. I quite enjoyed his version of the Doctor. As it was the first episode, he did an impressing job and I am pretty sure that he will do better and better later as the show continues. But, I must admit that the memorable scene in this episode is (sadly) not the new Doctor’s one. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the 11th and Clara’s phone conversation scene. It put me on tears. I used to ship (well maybe until now) Clara and 11. Their chemistry is just so strong. And watching Matt Smith as the Doctor just make me miss 11 more and more. But, I’m looking forward for 12th Doctor. Peter Capaldi is a great actor. I believe he could bring new and fresh Doctor. And I love Clara here. I can’t wait for next episode.

  35. Curt Jones says:

    While I was skeptical about Capaldi as the Doctor, I was absolutely gob smacked at how well he pulled it off. He will take the Doctor to ever new heights.

  36. kd86953 says:

    I enjoy both the RTD episodes and Moffat episodes for different reasons. Same with my love for Tennant’s Doctor and Smith’s Doctor (I was indifferent with Eccleston’s Doctor). As long as the show continues to entertain me, makes me laugh, cry, gasp, shake my head at how they’re able to connect to previous Doctors/episodes, I’m still all the way in. I thought it was a great episode, a great Doctor, and I’m stoked to see what Capaldi does.

  37. mikaC says:

    Matt Smith was in it?! Crap, I turned it off after 10 minutes — couldn’t get into the new doctor at all.

  38. KC says:

    I liked the first episode and I hope it gets better and better. There wasn’t enough focus on the Doctor when there should have been. The writing seemed a bit ‘off’ to me, but like I said I hope it gets better.

  39. Linwe says:

    I really really enjoyed Peter Capaldi’s take on the Doctor. I’ve never been this surprised by any of the Doctors but he seems to be something completely unique, and I can’t wait to see how his character develops.

    The rest of the episode fell flat whenever he wasn’t onscreen. Thin story, forgettable side characters (can we PLEASE get rid of the Paternoster Gang?) and the ever-boring Clara Oswald, who really should not have had this much trouble figuring out what regeneration is. Plenty of the others figured it out without the benefit of having met other Doctors before. And what they’re telling us her character is like doesn’t match what they’re actually writing for her. Hopefully the rumors about her leaving at Christmas are true. Also did not need “Missy” at the end being all “The Doctor is my boyfriend!” I’ve had more than I can take of that ever since Rose back in S2. If the Doctor isn’t going to flirt, then please stick to that.

    I think Capaldi’s Doctor will be worth it. I just hope the rest of the show is worthy of his Doctor.

    • David4 says:

      The woman at the end is an insane bad woman, so I doubt the Doctor will be flirting with her. Also I think it was meant that the Doctor will not be flirting with Clara.

      But I agree, I hope Clara leaves, she seems pointless now that her storyline has ended.

      • The woman at the end is an insane bad woman . . . unless of course she is a man or former man or trans-whatever what with this talk of Missy (could be short for Mistress) being the Master. Sadly, it would not be surprising if the politics/ideology of “sex being nothing but a construct” were to infect the show.

  40. krine says:

    Peter Capaldi was the perfect replacement for Christopher Eccleston. I could never stand Matt Smith or David Tennant. They turned the franchise into a comedy series.

    • Isobel says:

      I didn’t mind Tennant so much because he had some good episodes and serious moments but I agree about Smith, with Moffat’s writing it just became ridiculous

  41. Desi says:


  42. Pat Weiser says:

    How do I unsubscribe from these comments? It’s filling up my inbox!

  43. Tom Hamilton says:

    When The Doctor sys to the half faced robot that one of them is lying, I remembered Rule One

  44. Emmy says:

    I went into this episode with a certain amount of hesitation, but I have to say that I thought both Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman were brilliant. Sure there were a couple of holes in the actual story but to me that wasn’t the point of the episode. The point of the episode was to establish a new dynamic between the characters. I know some people are bashing Clara but honestly I thought her reaction and feelings about the regeneration were normal and completely understandable. If this episode is a glimpse of what is to come I think Clara and Capaldi’s Doctor will become one of my favorite doctor/companion relationships.

  45. margifish says:

    In defense of Clara’s ‘lamenting’ (as another commentator put it) over 12 being so different from 11…give the girl a break. You have to remember that although it’s been months for us as viewers to accept the transition from 11 to 12, it’s literally the same day for Clara. She went from *boom* 11’s old, *boom* the Doctor is going to outright die, to *boom* yay he’s young again, to *boom* regeneration. Knowing about his regenerations (and aside from when she was trapped in his time-stream her *echoes* experienced his past faces. Unless they clarify it later, she doesn’t have full memories/recollections of all those lives…this is modern, ‘real’ Clara.) isn’t the same as seeing it happen right in front of her and having to deal with the aftermath of it, especially with how unstable 12 was acting in the beginning. It wasn’t until she reaffirmed “if he’s still the same Doctor, he’ll always have my back”, and he was there to take her hand (after seemingly abandoning her to the droids), that she started to come to terms with it, and the call with 11 (which I thought was beautifully done, especially with 12’s follow up and upset at how she wasn’t seeing the real him past the new face) cinched it for her that he’s the same man she cares for.

    As to people claiming Clara won’t ‘work’ with 12, I don’t think that’s true (or fair). The whole flirting will they/won’t they romance is gone now (thank God!), as the Doctor clarified for himself “I’m not your boyfriend”…but they can still have a close friendship. In my opinion removing the flirting/fake romance aspect will actually strengthen their relationship since it won’t be a distraction anymore. They can move more into a mentor-like relationship now.

    As for the episode (which had one of two weak spots), I thought it was a really good opener (I love the Paternoster gang….I would totally watch a spin-off with those three. Strax is comedy gold all by himself), and I love Capaldi’s take on the character. I also loved the call because it gave 11 a chance to actually say goodbye to Clara, which didn’t really happen in the Christmas special. I’m excited to see where the season is going to go.

  46. hated the dinosaur. Hate when they add extremaly “amazing” stuff that really are not necesary and makes all of us wonder how the hell people didn´t write about the dinosaur in the news of the time and nobody remembers something so ridiculous. What I really loved was the acting of the new doctor. Pity the argument was so horrible written.

    • Alison says:

      It was a parallel to The Doctor. An old relic lonely out of time and feeling alone. That was the purpose of the Dinosaur.

  47. Tallus Rip says:

    It has potential, but Steven Moffat is a dull and soulless writer. Bring Davies back and I might watch it again. Watching everything Moffat did was just a chore, and I barely made it to the 50th Anniversary Special. I haven’t touched DW since. I’d rather imagine it’s good, than to watch it and disappoint myself. So far, it’s worked out pretty well for Sherlock, one of Moffat’s other creations.

  48. Cort says:

    Here’s my take on it, I started on Matt Smith and I have seen very little of Tennant, but I think that they’re both amazing actors/Doctors and each did an awesome job being the Doctor. So while I may not be the oldest of Whovians, I think that this new Doctor is just that. He’s new. And he’s different, as each regeneration of the Doctor is, but hes a good kind of new, and a new kind of different. He’s an amazing actor, and his version of the character already has me wanting to keep watching. I think that this new Doctor will continue a line of great Doctors in the past, and I do hope and believe that the show around him will do the same.


  49. Patrick Maloney says:

    I like Control Node more than what other people are calling him, Half Faced Man.

  50. sharlene says:

    Bottom line is the writing has been stellar the last few seasons, I have no idea why this episode felt like it would never end and the plot was incredibly dull. The new Doctor Who is a good actor without ccharisma or charm, such a harsh change from the incredible Tennant and charmingly sad Matt Smith. This dour take on Doctor Who isn’t working for me. Enjoyed the snappy dialogue scenes, but otherwise completely forgettable. Love the actress who plays Clara, she’s like Tennant, she can do comedic and also heart-breaking with amazing ease, I wish she was the new Doctor Who somehow.