Doctor Who XXXIV(8).1: Deep Breath

Stuart Manning for www.radiotimes.com

Stuart Manning for http://www.radiotimes.com

More to follow here or elsewhere in the next 24-72 hours, I hope; but the experience reminded me of watching Rose nine and a half years ago, adjusting to the change of pace. The dinosaur could be viewed as a feint, but its death before the Doctor could rescue it served to emphasise both this abrasive character’s underlying compassion, and that this was a Doctor Who more interested in reflection (literally – mirrors, mirrors, mirrors throughout, which reminded me of strange_complex’s thoughts on the subject back in 2011) and for the moment a gently self-conscious introspection. Steven Moffat seems to be working on his writing of women and of the couple-like relationship of the Doctor and companion. The new Doctor is repenting of the excesses of his Matt Smith persona, and where the eleventh Doctor found his female companions subjects of investigation, the twelfth seems determined to discover the self he has obscured beneath manic jollity and forced youth, and alongside this the reasons why he has become this physically older person. I’m not sure what all the children in the cinema (the Phoenix Picture House, Oxford) made of it, but there should be enough to keep them excited next week as the Daleks return to the screen, and while lacking the hyperactivity of David Tennant and Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi is still a physically active Doctor and is anxiously compelling in a fashion conveying both great age and childlike confusion at the same time.

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Posted on 24 August 2014, in doctor who reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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