It's been a week, is that long enough for spoilery discussion? I'm very paranoid about this sort of thing (I hate being spoiled on things myself, so I refuse to do it to others if I can help it) so I'd like to make sure. But with the second episode being shown tonight, I figured it's about time I mentioned the brand new series of Doctor Who, and my thoughts on Mr. Capaldi as our newest Time Lord hero.
Just to be sure, though....
Man, I still don't like River Song.
Anyway, last weekend marked Capaldi's debut as the Doctor, and I've been pretty good at avoiding spoilers about what sort of a Doctor he's set to be. I'm not very aware of his previous work as an actor, but I instantly warmed to the idea of him when I saw his old fan letters to the Radio Times and realised that this was a role he was truly passionate about. As lifelong ambitions go, 'playing The Doctor' isn't one many people get to experience, so the guy must be giddy to tick this one off his bucket list.
For most the episode, we really didn't get to experience Capaldi's Doctor. He took the regeneration a lot harder this time around and spent a big chunk of the episode falling around, babbling nonsense and generally scaring Clara half to death. Madam Vastra (who, along with Jenny and Strax instantly make any episode 100% better) chastised Clara on her reaction to the Doctor's new face, and I must admit, I took issue with her heavy handedness about it. I get why they were doing it, I guess - to drum it into the viewers also that we also mustn't immediately judge Capaldi on his older looks, but there was far more going on than a change of face and I entirely understand why Clara was so put out about the whole thing. If he'd come out of the TARDIS looking like Capaldi but acting like Matt Smith? I don't think Clara would have had much concern, but instead, our first glimpse of the newest Doctor is kind of alarming. He acts like an old man suffering with dementia, remembers nothing, gets people confused and generally doesn't convince us he's the same old lovable Doctor we've grown to know these past few years.
Of course, that's all temporary and by the end of it, he's acting more Doctor-ish and less worrisome. He's still not quite there, still learning who he is, but as the episode progressed he found his footing quite well. And from what little we saw of that, I really like him! He reminds me in a lot of ways of Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock - unsurprising I suppose given Moffat - and the bizarreness is refreshing against Matt Smith's wackier ways.
Speaking of Matt Smith, I quite liked the telephone call at the end. I never thought I'd accept Matt Smith all that much given my huge ridiculous love of Tennant's Doctor, but seeing him again made me realise I'll miss his Doctor a heck of a lot. Again, I think it was a way of coaxing us, the viewers, into the transition as much as Clara. It's sad that Capaldi, being such a departure from the run of "young sexy" Doctors, needs these constant reminders, but I suppose there's a whole generation of people now that forget or just plain don't know Doctor Who's origins, and don't realise he's not actually meant to be a young sprightly young man. I quite liked Vastra's explanation; "You might as well flirt with a mountain range.” Ten/Rose aside (says I, the huge Ten/Rose fangirl), it's nice to remind people that he's not just a young sprightly wacky man pulling all the ladies. He's something far, far different, alien indeed, which is probably why I've always enjoyed the moments when he shows that - his darker, morbid moments full of long purple prose about dying stars and humanity's frailness.
I've heard a lot of people rage a little about this new woman, who called the Doctor her boyfriend, clearly being set up to be part of the series' arc. I personally got more of a 'crazy' vibe from her, that she's not the next River Song (please!) but in fact someone with a far darker association with the Doctor. Who knows! I suppose we'll find out over the course of this series, if Moffat doesn't do his usual trick of vomiting up some convoluted plot full of grand ideas and grander plot holes.
It was pretty solid episode, even if the teaser with the dinosaur was entirely misleading. I can't wait for the rest of the series - I'm so glad Doctor Who is back! For now, though, here's a .gif of Strax smacking Clara over the head with a newspaper, which was quite possibly the best part of the episode.
I'm Selena, an artist, blogger and gamer - but maybe not always in that order! Dream Somehow is a blog dedicated to travel, geeky adventures, vintage style and a little bit of Disney Dreaming! If you'd like to learn a little more about me, click here.