Deep Breath

‘Doctor Who’: ‘Deep Breath’ spoiler-free reviews round-up

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The opening episode of Doctor Who‘s new series premiered in Cardiff and London yesterday and the first reviews have been appearing in the media.

> Order ‘Deep Breath’ on DVD on Amazon.

> Order ‘Deep Breath’ on Blu-ray on Amazon.

‘Deep Breath’ airs on Saturday 23 August on BBC One. Here are some of the spoiler-free reactions so far…


The Independent: “It is a perfectly paced, hugely enjoyable 80 minutes of everything you want from Doctor Who – action, silly jokes and enthralling sci-fi … The plot contains a sharp lesson on ageist assumptions – just because the Doctor has gone grey, doesn’t mean he has lost his youth appeal … It is one of the scarier episodes of the series, but the dark mood [director Ben] Wheatley creates makes the Doctor’s dark side all the more plausible.”


Den of Geek: “There’s a sense that the show has changed a little, certainly, yet perhaps the biggest surprise is how relatively quiet much of the feature-length opener is … it feels like there’s space and room afforded to talk, to put the brakes on more, and to more evenly space out action sequences … Capaldi comes across as quietly broken, and really quite mysterious. He is also, and no bones about this, very Scottish.”


Empire: “Capaldi snaps straight into the role and you accept him instantly … [he] channels some of the charismatic fierceness of The Thick Of It‘s Malcolm Tucker. This is something Moffat embraces in his smart, zinging script … [Jenna] Coleman offers up her strongest work yet as a Clara who is confused, angry and grieving for the Doctor’s expired last incarnation…”


Doctor Who Deep Breath Madame Vastra


HeyUGuys: “This is the Doctor that Who needs right now … The most heartbreaking aspect of the opener is Clara, played again with huge aplomb by the massively underrated Jenna Coleman … If anything, Jenna Coleman steals the whole episode.”


The Telegraph: “It is important not to downplay Jenna Coleman’s role in all of this. Outwardly tough, inwardly insecure, her Clara has you rooting for her every step of the way … This was a highly effective opener, showing that Doctor Who is still the most intelligent, ambitious and eccentric show on British television. In his unsettling, cerebral performance, Capaldi fits right in.”


Starburst Magazine: “…while ‘Deep Breath’ is neither as sharp nor as breathless as ‘The Eleventh Hour’ was, it nevertheless manages to introduce Peter Capaldi’s new incarnation of the Doctor in a relaxed and entertaining fashion, and although it’s unlikely to set pulses racing nor to assuage the doubts of those who wanted a fundamentally new vision for the series, what it will do is reassure all viewers that Capaldi was not only the right choice, but the only sensible one.”


Doctor Who Deep Breath


What Culture: “The title ‘Deep Breath’ is fitting then as, with a continuity in companion and production team, the episode uses its extra breathing room to focus on the new Doctor and exploring the altered dynamic between him and Clara … Unfortunately, the script seems unable to justify the length and there are signs of padding when the pace drops to a laboured crawl just after the first act.”


Total Film: “[Capaldi] is funny, terse, wayward – likeable with it, sure, but also sharper than his costume’s curt lines and clear that his is a Doctor about whom assumptions shouldn’t be made. Deep breath, relax: Capaldi knows how to fly this thing.”


The Herts Advertiser: “Sumptuous period vistas, breathtaking monsters and heart-pumping action sequences are all there in good supply, but the 75 minute length also gives the story room to breathe … And perhaps most refreshingly, given his tendency for convoluted timey-wimey plots, this is Steven Moffat at his most straightforward, offering a story which isn’t too clever for its own good, but instead focuses on the logical development of the narrative and motivations of his characters.”


Doctor Who Deep Breath 2


Radio Times: “[Capaldi] shows the severity of William Hartnell’s Doctor, the aloofness of Tom Baker’s and the style and gravitas of Jon Pertwee’s. But by the end he is very much his own Time Lord … ‘Deep Breath’ is not the most riveting Doctor Who story ever told, but the 80 minutes fly by and it fulfils its mission to reboot. There’s a striking change in Steven Moffat’s style of storytelling.”


South Wales Evening Post: “[Capaldi is] unpredictable, frenzied, yet strangely vulnerable, and it is this tenderness in his character that makes him so instantly likeable … while it’s early days yet, there is a definite chemistry between the two stars … it harks back to the William Hartnell period, with the quick-thinking assistant helping her brilliant, if a little eccentric, older relation.”


CNET: “…it’s vintage Moffat: packed full of clever, quotable dialogue delivered with relish, breathless action, and scenes that turn on a sixpence from intense character drama to sinister suspense … ‘Deep Breath’ is a great show, diving headlong into the mirror to face a very different Doctor to the Time Lord we’ve seen before.”


Doctor Who Deep Breath


Unreality TV: “…we all needn’t have worried about Capaldi as the new Doctor. He’s everything you’d want in a Doctor, and more besides. Whilst it may be a little slower than some episodes we’ve seen in the past, don’t let that put you off, as it all comes together towards the end.”


The Mirror (their full review is quite spoilery): “Well, yes, the new guy may be a bit older than his predecessor (what’s a decade or two between Time Lords?), but he doesn’t skimp on energy.”


Metro: ” Jenna Coleman portrays [Clara] much brassier, aggressive and assertive than we’ve seen her previously … There are a number of scenes, full of tension and pregnant with malevolence which prey on the eye and mind aided hauntingly by a scintillating score from regular composer Murray Gold. Very different to the Matt Smith era.”


What are your hopes for ‘Deep Breath’? Let us know below…