“Please, just see me,” implores the new Doctor, Peter Capaldi, in an uncharacteristic moment of vulnerability in Doctor Who’s first episode of season eight, ‘Deep Breath.’
The Doctor and his companion, Clara (played by Jenna Coleman) landed their TARDIS in Sydney today as part of the Doctor Who World Wide Tour, which was officially launched on August 7 in Cardiff, UK. Following Sydney, the TARDIS will fly to New York, Mexico City, and then end its global tour in Rio de Janeiro on August 19. The world tour has seen hundreds of fans provided with the rare opportunity of an advance screening of ‘Deep Breath’ (which will be simulcast on the ABC on August 24), followed by a live Q&A event with Capaldi and Coleman.
Following in the stead of eleven other great Doctors – most recently Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith – is no mean feat. With every new regeneration of the Doctor, there comes the inevitable comparisons and judgments made by Whovian fans. Indeed, with the huge popularity and cult following of both Tennant and Smith, Capaldi was truly left with a tough act to follow as the Twelfth Doctor.
But in his debut episode, Capaldi makes the Twelfth Doctor very much his own Time Lord, refusing to stand in the shadow of his predecessors. Capaldi should be applauded for taking ownership of the role and making sure that the audience sees him – and him only – as the Doctor.
Capaldi’s doctor is older, darker, and, in many respects, more volatile than those who came before. Capaldi’s doctor does not exude the endearing qualities and boyish charm that Tennant and Smith possess. Instead, he reveals a side to the doctor that takes some getting used to, as travelling companion Clara soon learns.
According to Coleman, series eight “is still very much Doctor Who, but it’s new.”
“[The Doctor] is unpredictable… The Doctor can change… [It’s] a much more dangerous game now,” she said. “It throws the whole dynamic up in the air.”
With Capaldi at the helm, the first episode of the new series does not lack for sharp and intelligent comedy. It also, as promised by writer Steven Moffat,delivers longer scenes that give the series a more feature film feel, along with stunning visuals and a great soundtrack.
‘Deep Breath’ was a brilliant start to the series, and it’s safe to assume that the rest of series eight will not disappoint. Asked to describe the rest of the series in three words, Coleman went for “Good versus bad,” while Capaldi indulged the audience with a cryptic response: “Tiny, listen, beware.”
And as to whether Capaldi will be sticking around for series nine? “You’ll have to watch and see… anything can happen,” said Capaldi.