SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen Doctor Who series 8 episode 1 starring our brand new Doctor Peter Capaldi don’t read this. What do you think the Doctor would call you if you read this and then complained about spoilers? I think he would call you a pudding brain.
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Do you hear that? That’s the sound of Doctor Who landing. After an excruciatingly long wait, since I don’t have a TARDIS, the Doctor has returned. I went into tonight as openminded as possible. I really didn’t want to drag my David Tennant and Matt Smith loving prejudices into this experience, and I think I did as well as humanly possible. Sure there are a few little emotional things that I will complain about, I’m only human and not a Cyberman after all.
Let’s do the episode play by play first:
Right away I’m excited because dinosaur… but I’m also going to nit pick here because that dinosaur is way too big. I know we are watching a show about time travel in a blue box but come on T-Rex was the size of a school bus not parliament. The two largest parts of my nerdom Doctor Who and paleontology are having a throw down. OK, I’m putting this aside and moving on.
The dinosaur is rampaging around in the Thames and causing quite a stir in Victorian London. Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax are soon on the scene. The dinosaur just threw up the TARDIS, that explains that. I guess I’m still waiting on my full on not on a spaceship Doctor Who in the Jurassic episode.
Madame Vastra isn’t sure that’s the TARDIS? Really Vastra what else would it be?
The Doctor can’t remember anyone’s name. He’s actually very light hearted so far, not nearly as grumpy and serious as I had imagined from Steven Moffat’s statements.
Strax and Clara are the same height and should wear name-tags, that got a laugh from me.
The Doctor doesn’t want to sleep, unlike David Tennant who almost slept through a Christmas tree murder. (That’s a murder committed by a Christmas tree mind you.)
Madame Vastra is being a little hard on Clara. I mean damn lizard lady why you gotta be so cold blooded?
I think it would take me a little longer than ten minutes to get used to the new Doctor, chill Vastra. Vastra is casting shade with her veil. Jenny is still cool though.
Clara gave Vastra the big he’s not my boyfriend how dare you speech, and has a weird Marcus Aurelius fetish.
They are really throwing the Vastra and Jenny relationship jokes around hard in this one aren’t they? It’s like Madame Vastra is Deborah and Jenny is Raymond here. Gawd Vastra don’t be mean about Jenny’s mom living across the street.
The Doctor is sniffed the floor and then drew on the floor with chalk, but we don’t know what he’s drawing yet.
The Doctor just went AWOL to flirt with a wildly oversized T-Rex.
Did I miss it or did we not explain the floor calculations?
The T-Rex blew up and it’s the clockwork-face android guy’s fault I bet.
Oh and there was a body part snatching clockwork-faced android for a moment earlier.
This Doctor doesn’t seem to think much of humanity. Maybe he is going to be a bit grumpy and rude. Clara is being awful kind to someone who just said her whole species had pudding for brains.
The Doctor just jumped in the river and disappeared.
Oh Strax with your inability to tell genders and your throwing papers in peoples faces, I love you.
In the meantime the Doctor is harassing a homeless man in an alley that’s colored like an instagram filter.
Um, hey there Jenny, looking pretty good girl. Jenny could get it.
Clara rushes in to say something and Vastra tries to get her clothes off, why are they making Vastra into a horny frat boy? (Yes, I do see the irony in my saying this directly after saying “Jenny could get it.”)
Clara goes to meet the Doctor at a restaurant that looks pretty ominous. If you ever see a building called “family restaurant” with no windows think twice. That’s basically a shady FREE CANDY van in restaurant form.
The Doctor and Clara have some issues to work out. In the meantime who put the ad in the paper?
Oh it’s a body organ snatching operation, who smells Madame Pompadour?
The Doctor and Clara are working together nicely, I can’t believe I’m going to say this but, I think Clara suits this Doctor far better than Eleven.
The Doctor just abandoned Clara and was kind of a jerk about it. Eleven would have told her he’d be right back.
Clara does a pretty fair job out reasoning a robot.
OH it was the Doctor in disguise, Clara isn’t dead!
They used Geronimo as the code word for Jenny and Vastra to make a kickass entrance. Speaking of has the new Doctor used a catchphrase yet?
Clara, Vastra, Jenny, and Strax are in trouble unless the Doctor can convince Mr. Android body snatcher to jump.
Jenny can still get it.
The Doctor doesn’t do murder… never-mind that in David Tennant’s first episode he all but threw an alien off a spaceship.
Oh man they are selling some lizard on lady action in this one. Vastra just made out with Jenny, to save her. Screw you Clara and Strax, just suffer.
The Doctor got him to jump by talking about brooms and that deactivated all the other droids. Mission accomplished y’all.
The clockwork android landed on the cross on top of Big Ben to make a POINT about the show being in London. GET IT? #nailedit
Alls well that ends well… WAIT, THE DOCTOR ABANDONED CLARA LIKE A DUMPSTER BABY?
Nope he came back for her with a new look TARDIS… well it’s a little bit new look.
The Doctor has a big red thinking chair now.
WAIT, CLARA JUST ABANDONED THE DOCTOR LIKE A DUMPSTER BABY?
Clara is like let me put aside saying goodbye to my time traveling friend for a sec I gotta take this call.
I’m not sure I’m digging the Eleven’s pep talk phone call.
I get it, we are helping everyone ease into this thing, it is a big change. This is a much bigger change than David Tennant to Matt Smith.
So overall I thought it was a good show… it’s just a very different show. It is a lot more like the original series Doctor Who, we will have to see how that plays with modern audiences.
I think Capaldi has the chops to make a great Doctor, but I’m not sold yet. I think in the end they are going to have to tone down the standoffishness a bit to make the character relatable. It’s tough enough to relate to a genius alien time traveler, but a rude one? That’s tougher.
I didn’t love the intro or the theme music, but that’s all just cosmetic. Doctor who is in the stories. The TARDIS is still here, the Doctor is here, the sonic is here, I’m ready for adventures. I would like to get a better look at the new sonic soon though.
I don’t think this episode was as good as Tennant and Smith’s first episodes. There were no fish fingers and custard, no “you get one chance.” This is a more cerebral Doctor and for better or worse he’s our Doctor now. I’m excited for the future and reserve the right to withhold damning criticism or heaps of praise until we see a few more episodes.
Overall the episode gets a B from me.
What did you think of series 8 episode 1? Are you digging the new Doctor Who? Let us know in the comments below.