Hello, sweetie! On Aug. 23, Peter Capaldi crash landed into his new role as an alien humanoid named The Doctor in the Series Eight premier of the classic British television show, “Doctor Who.”
The episode, “Deep Breath,” premiered in the United States on BBC America at 7:30 p.m. With the exit of fan-favorite Matt Smith, the Eleventh Doctor, many fans were nervous about the incoming new actor, who looked to explore an older, fiercer and more dangerous portrayal of the Time Lord. According to BBC, Capaldi said, “I was keen he be a little darker. He’s struggling with himself and who he is.”
The story begins when a dinosaur mysteriously appears in the middle of Victorian London, splashing about the Thames River. The dinosaur proceeds to vomit out the TARDIS, containing both the fresh-faced Doctor and his companion, Clara Oswald. Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax arrive on the scene soon after to investigate the presence of the dinosaur as well as its questionable spontaneous combustion.
The new Doctor, onset with sudden amnesia, due to his regeneration reboot, faces both new and old foes, with the appearance of a mysterious woman named Missy. Capaldi lives up to his promises to bring us a darker, older Doctor who, unlike his previous regenerations, begins to look his age of 2,000 years. This Doctor is not the floppy-haired, silly and charming young fellow of Smith’s portrayal, but is instead an unpredictable, unstoppable force.
Capaldi’s performance soars as he proves to the Who universe and to Clara that despite how much he has changed, The Doctor is still unabashedly the Doctor at his very core.
Jenna Coleman gives the performance of her companion career as Clara Oswald, a young English teacher who had previously traveled with Smith’s Doctor. Clara must face the new Doctor and determine for herself whether the Doctor she knew is the man standing in front of her. Coleman’s true talent shines brightly as Clara not only begins to explore her own inner strength without the Doctor she knew, but also the trust in the new Doctor she comes to know.
“Deep Breath” is the exciting beginning of a new era for “Doctor Who.” While it may not be quite as distinctive as “The Eleventh Hour,” writer Steven Moffat’s previous Doctor debut, Capaldi rises to the challenge and ushers in a new Who that will thrill and electrify both new and old viewers.