The one which introduces Peter Capaldi’s version of the Doctor, while tackling a dinosaur in London, a familiar mechanical menace and deep questions about whether the Doctor really is still the Doctor.
Best Moment: Clara’s observation that they should probably start calling the police was pretty hysterical. I also really enjoyed the exchanges between Clara and the Doctor. Capaldi and Coleman play very well off each other. Plus, who doesn’t love the ludicrousness of a T-Rex roaming through Victorian London?
Verdict: I really enjoyed this episode. Capaldi was delightful. Not in a zany, loveable Matt Smith way. No sir. This is a very different Doctor indeed. Did you see the expression on his face when Half-Face Man fell to his death? Terrifying. Yet it still is the Doctor. No matter that he is older, and his relationship with Clara will be different, he’s still the same Doctor. I loved the discussion of the broomstick. One of my favourite lines from John Dies at the End is the discussion about the axe, and I thought it was appropriate to bring this discussion up in regards to the Doctor.
Yet, at the same time, it was odd. You see, Clara of all the Doctor’s companions, should be the most accepting of the Doctor’s change. Hasn’t she met every single incarnation of the Doctor? So to have her be the companion having the hardest time with the Doctor’s change in appearance was… strange. Having said that, I absolutely loved Clara this episode. Considering the whole previous season Clara just seemed like a plot device, it was interesting to see Jenna Coleman actually show us who Clara really is and what she is capable of. I’m really looking forward to seeing more of Clara as a person, and not just a mystery.
Speaking of mysteries, still not sure what to make of the ending. It’s been a long time since I’ve watched Girl in the Fireplace, so I wondered if it wasn’t another reference to that, since we already had the mechanical menace and Madam de Pompadour references, but apparently it isn’t related. I guess we shall just have to wait for Moffat to reveal things at his own pace.
The episode clearly took great pains to get the audience to accept Capaldi as the new Doctor, right down to bringing Matt Smith in for a cameo. A lot was made of the fact the Doctor isn’t Clara’s boyfriend, and that the Doctor might finally be growing up a bit. Ready to face his darkness. Any other show and I might be weary. How much forced darkness do we really need? But this is Doctor Who and I trust even a darker, more dangerous Doctor will entertain.
One last note: I could probably get used to the new TARDIS interior. Still not sure about the credits though.