Doctor Who returns for Season 8 (since it’s relaunch in 2005) with Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor in the premier episode ‘Deep Breath’.
The first episode is set in Victorian London, has a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Thames and clockwork robots that harvest human organs for spare parts – so yeah the usual stuff you expect in a show right? Joining the Doctor you also have his companion Clara (played by Jenna Coleman) and other cast favourites such as Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint and (my favourite) the Sontaran Strax.
While the episode in itself wasn’t exactly the gripping edge-of-the-seat ride (it had it’s up and downs), I thought it threw out a good question to mull over – Doctor Who? Not so much as who is the Doctor, but who is THIS Doctor. Now, Eccleston was my first Doctor and Tennant my favourite. But when I first saw Tennant in the role, was I impressed? Not so much… but I was intrigued – curious to see how things might pan out with this new upstart.
It’s a very similar feeling after watching Capaldi… who is this Doctor? What is he like? How far is he willing to go and how much (or who) is he willing to sacrifice? Like Tennant said when he first took on the mantle “I don’t know what sort of man I am”. However, we all find out that he was the sort of man that gave “no second chances”.
With Capaldi though, the answer isn’t as obvious just yet. The scene was similar to Tennant’s debut, both pranced about in their pyjamas and had their showdown with the episode’s antagonist high in the sky. However, we Tennant we know that he caused the Sycorax to fall, but with Capaldi that question is left unanswered. Did he push his clockwork adversary, or did it take its own life? Is it “against his programming” to take a life? It’s that bit of intrigue that promises potential and possibly some exciting times.
The episode tries to make a point (a little too hard maybe) that this is NOT the same Doctor. David Tennant, and Matt Smith after him, had their legion of fan-girls. Capaldi on the other hand is a much more mature (older) Doctor, which is what (very) possibly prompted the episode to stress on the difficulty Clara (who represents the fan-girl) has in accepting the ‘new’ Doctor.
I,for one, am quite excited to see what kind of Doctor Capaldi (a lifelong fan of the series) will portray. Bring on the Daleks!