Note: There are SPOILERS here. Also, my thoughts bounce around. I viewed this episode first for pleasure and natural curiosity and then the second time I made my notes. Of course some of these thoughts will be out of order only because I am thinking ahead at times as I view this a second time
The introduction with the dinosaur spitting out the TARDIS was an interesting opening. I also liked that the viewer wasn’t privy to the entire scenes of the regeneration of the Doctor. And hello…when Clara opened the door, pretty hot look I thought. LOL However I liked when the Doctor opened the door. ‘Shush’. The whole confusion, his obvious lack of understanding of everything…I don’t know if I liked that really. I mean, I can completely understand Clara’s inability to trust the new doctor…I mean, he doesn’t even remember her. “You really let yourself go.” (funny). “You’re very similar heights”. The obvious laughable moments mingled in with the bittersweet frustrations Clara was feeling.
*Intro* I like the whole steampunk clockwork intro. Very nice. The dark sinister eyes was a plus…showing me, letting me agree with my original belief that this doctor would be ‘darker’.
“Why is there only a bed in it?” I don’t understand why the doctor doesn’t understand the concept of the bedroom. It was confusing. To me anyway. I mean, he understands who he is. The size of his brain would be like a piano dropping on her head…but he can’t understand the concept of a bedroom? Odd.
The whole veil concept was quite nice. I liked all that psychological stuff. Clara is showing doubt and can’t understand why the doctor is ‘old’. The change and whether she can understand, accept the changes in the new Doctor…is the main plotline in my opinion. I know others were claiming there was no plot in the episode. I took this to be an introduction of the new Doctor as well as an introduction of Clara’s acceptance of who He is.
Previously, Clara was seen as the impossible girl, the one who has throughout history saved the doctor time and time again. Perhaps her acceptance of the doctor is the first play in saving this doctor. He seems to not be so easily accepting of himself.
Steve Moffat has proved through many of his episodes the appearances of humanity, with the good guys and the bad guys and has proven once again to do it again. The ‘bad guy’ in this episode simply seeks ‘paradise’. He is only doing his dirty deeds for survival and to achieve ultimate peace.
Clara goes all ‘heated’ and goes off and talks way too fast and it made no sense to me. The scene was confusing for me until the topic of the veil comes back to surface. (Did I say I liked that? I did.)
When the dinosaur is killed I kinda expected more emotion…perhaps I was waiting for Matt Smith’s emotions to come out. But wait…this isn’t Smith. It’s Capaldi.
“Shut up I, was talking to the horse.” (Thanks for reminding me this was Capaldi.) Nice. Funny clip. In fact the rest of the few scenes are filled with entertaining one-liners. (Some lost in the action). Oh wait…there is the emotions I was looking for. And the Doctor proves himself. Nobody is asking the right questions….yep. That’s the Doctor! And I liked how Clara calms him and asks him ‘what is the right question?”
So far this episode is balancing the Doctor’s role and Clara’s role quite nicely. So totally opposite from the last season, which in my opinion wasn’t all that great at all. *I actually attempted to watch the episodes in anticipation of this episode…and couldn’t get through much. Egads.
Strax had some very nice scenes in this one. Quite nice indeed.
Clara cleans up well. J She’s a lovely gal.
A confusing point for me was when the Doctor is with the homeless guy and he’s talking about having seen his own face before. “My face is fresh on” but he doesn’t know why that face was chosen. “Like I’m trying to make a point.” I just didn’t understand this scene and I have a feeling it is connected to the ‘olden days’ of Doctor Who which I didn’t watch. I’m not a die hard fan of Doctor Who and viewed all the episodes of the past (the black and white days and the long scarf days and such. I have only been watching since the 9th doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston. I’m wondering if Steve Moffat is planning on incorporating somewhere in this storyline the previous (first) role Peter Capaldi played in Doctor Who. What do you think?
The newspaper ad was something the previous doctor might have done but I didn’t see Peter’s role as the Doctor doing something like that…so I wasn’t at all surprised to find out he hadn’t. But…it did sound and feel like something a timelord would have done…which is why my friend William Muir was wondering, as well as many of you readers probably, whether it was Rani or even the Master. It’s already hit the web. (http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2014-08-23/doctor-who-who-is-missy )
When The Doctor and Clara are sitting in the restaurant things beginning taking a turn…the Doctor now plays the ‘Doctor’ hand and shows, proves to us he is really and truly THE DOCTOR…because only he would be seeing and thinking this way while everything is happening. It was definitely creepy feeling with the machines. A sincere ‘Nice Job’ to Steve Moffat. Very creepy indeed.
When the machine started pointing that green thingy at them…it was sorta like a duplicated scene of Strax and Clara. I would have preferred a bit of originality instead of two similar scenes.
When the Doctor left Clara behind…it was a very emotional moment (for me at least). I almost felt as if he was leaving ME behind. And of course I was like…’He wouldn’t leave her(me)!’ and of course he didn’t. He already knew, he had a plan. And seeing Clara believe that, close her eyes, and reach for him behind her with her hand…Squeal!
‘Captain my captain’…why did he say that? This was of course filmed before Robin Williams died…so no memorial or tributes here.
The whole ‘don’t breath’ was very similar to ‘don’t blink’ for me…but hey, I loved the whole ‘don’t blink’ stuff…so no complaints from me. It was cool.
Another confusing moment for me, when the Doctor was trying to remember why the dwelling…’I’ve seen this before, I’m missing something’. I’m not sure what he is implying or what I am missing…of course what he is missing at that moment. I hope to connect the dots through the episodes. (Or perhaps my friend will help me out there as he is the hard core Doctor Who fan.)
What was the need for Clara having a dream/memory of her being a teacher? Out of all the dreams/memories she could have…why that? I mean, yeah, Moffat uses it in the story, sure sure…but anyway…
Oh yeah…the nod to the 4th doctor…Capaldi asked for a long scarf and then changes his mind. I forgot to mention that. Was expecting him to consider a bowtie but was glad it didn’t go that far. But then it does…when Matt Smith makes a phone call to Clara.
But I understood the need for the call. The circling back to the veil, and Peter Capaldi asking her to see him…that he WAS the Doctor.
And why is THIS Doctor yelling Geronimo? Hello…this is Peter. Not the 11th doctor. It makes me wonder whether there isn’t a nod to every single previous doctor somewhere in this episode. I wouldn’t bet everything on that assumption but I’d place a hefty amount that there is probably some kind of wink to each doctor.
Of course at the last moment, before death which surrounds Clara and her friends, the Doctor saves them. The question is did the machine jump or did the Doctor push him? I think he jumped but that’s just my opinion. The machine states self-destruction is against his programming. The Doctor states murder is against his. Then he says one of them is lying about their basic programing. This statement leads me to wonder though if the Doctor didn’t push him. My friend Will, mentioned however the machine jumped because he had replaced so much of itself that there was nothing original left. This is a good argument for the ‘jumping’.
I liked when the machine was looking into the platter at his face, the doctor was looking at his own face. I also liked when Peter Capaldi looked at me…really, he looked right at me.
“I don’t think I know who the doctor is anymore’. Clara says. But she does know who he is. He is in many ways, the same man he always was. But she doesn’t accept that until after hearing Matt Smith’s voice in the phone.
Though I think a huge part of that phone call was for the audience’s benefit. Steve Moffat was asking the viewers to accept the new Doctor, understand that he is the same man he always has been. I tend to agree. And Clara does too. Do you?
1 thought on “Is Capaldi Good Enough?”
Each doctor is different, but 9 through 11 seem to have been a progression from wearing the dark aspect on the outside to trying to hold it in behind a breastplate of comedy. Every doctor is different, but I have a feeling we’re about to experience a bigger shift than we’re used to and/or a shift in an awkward direction.
Why didn’t we see the regeneration? Because this entire episode was the regeneration. Capaldi isn’t going to be a slight tweak to Smith. Just like Clara, we, the audience, might not even recognize him at first. So we got references to previous incarnations. We got a message straight from our dearly beloved, most recently departed Doctor – the one we could forever hold up as standard against Capaldi, – and we got to walk alongside Clara as she doubted to the point she thought Capaldi was an imposter who had done something to Smith.
I think Moffat (and team) knew we would need some help with the transition and gave it to us.
As a standalone episode, the season opener was a dud. It was long and boring with too much talking and not enough improbable blowing of things up. As a grief and transition piece, I have hope it’s going to turn us on to another great Doctor.