Deep Breath

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    wolfweed @wolfweed

    I wonder if the bookies are taking bets on Missy’s identity? It would be interesting to see the odds…

    So far we have:

    The Master

    The Rani


    River Song

    Tasha Lem

    Black Guardian

    Old, evil Clara

    The woman from TEOT

    Missy from NIS


    Any I’ve missed out? (Of course she could be none of the above, someone we’ve never met before…)

    janetteB @janetteb

    Currently rewatching while finishing off the jelly babies and fishfingers. I really enjoyed it. The story was a simple framework upon which to hang the real matter of the episode, how the Doctor deals with his new body and how Clara accepts it. Peter Capaldi does not leap into the role as Matt did. He fumbles about, feeling his way, a new, different Doctor but still our Doctor. Clara is really coming into her own now, she is strong and smart and is bringing new depth to the role.

    I was overjoyed when the woman in the shop was referenced. Finding out who she was was one of my wishes for this series. Now for Ian.

    I agree with the above comments re’ the new music. The visuals were great but the music lacked oomph.

    And so it begins, a whole new mystery to solve. Like @bluesqueakpip I was thinking that Missy might well be the Master. There has been some speculation that he might regenerate as a woman. The next question is why “rescue” the robot? Is Missy making a collection of all the Doctor’s vanquished foes? It appears that Missy is the woman from the shop. At a first wild guess I would say she isn’t. The woman in the shop might be her nemesis, maybe even Clara, or an aged Claricle. Clara might well not recognise herself in her eighties. I am still hoping that the woman in the shop is either Susan, River or even Romana. Another question, are we going to find out who is behind the Marie Antionette and the Madame Pompadour? The civilisation from which they originated clearly was familair with human history and had time travel capabilities. Maybe Moffat is doing  a little more than mining an old scrip for a good idea. Maybe he wants to take the story further and the story here is not merely a background for the Doctor’s regeneration but the setting up of a new story arc. (rubs hands with glee and reaches for theorising hat.)

    Comment from Owain, my youngest, they should not have shown the impaled robot at the end. The top hat falling was “cool” and all that was needed. I get the feeling that it is not the Doctor who is lying at the end. Just as we find out he did not steal the coat I think we can assume that he did not push the droid. Thanks to @magnetite for pointing out that that was Elizabeth Sladden’s husband.

    I liked the call from Doctor Eleven. It brought a tear to the eye which makes it a pass at least.



    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    I was a bit too “amped up” at obscure o’clock this morning to ignore this, so I watched before going to sleep.

    I was delighted, and I believe SM should be congratulated for producing two extremely good regeneration stories during his tenure (this is unheard of in 50 years of Who history). Lightish in tone, but effectively doing what needed to be done for each Doctor and reassuring the audience that, yes, this is the same show.

    The big difference between Deep Breath and Eleventh Hour is the companion factor. Having Clara in play lets him effectively do the same trick as with Rose in Christmas Invasion. She becomes the audience observer trying to work out just how she/they feel about the Doctor. That’s where the comparison ends, because SM subverts quite a lot of expectations in that dynamic.

    I thought Jenna played a blinder here. For a large part of series 7 Clara was a likeable cipher to be worked out. Here the work she did in Day and Time of the Doctor was extended (and perhaps was not so overshadowed by events) and Clara conveys bemusement, concern and occasional betrayal (her face when the Doctor appears to abandon her at the door!) very well. Absent though is the bit of self-pity I thought Rose demonstrated in Christmas Invasion. From her confrontation with Vastra (another brilliant exchange after the Snowman “lies” scene) to her confrontation with the Droid, to her resignation at perhaps being left behind, she really does impress me.

    Peter Capaldi was just awesome. What were all those concerns about him being an “old guy”? If I reach that age and can produce such a whirlwind of activity, I will be a happy man indeed. I doubt I could do it know. Brilliant lines with the comedy, and lots have been mentioned already. They came so thick and fast though. “You all sound English, It’s like you’ve all developed a fault!?” being a favourite of mine.

    There is a lot of juicy things to pick up on – his apparent abandonment of a companion, and the reverse perhaps means we are in for a Doctor who thinks differently. Apparently callous – but if there is no way to open the door, find another route and trust in his companion to hold her own (which Clara does). As the episode progresses to the end, we see that yes – his trust in Clara is absolute. She is the route to perhaps find himself. The question “did he jump or was he pushed” for the droid is an interesting one, and hats off to the dialogue that revels in ambiguity leading up to that.

    Interesting that the Doctor left Clara with the Paternoster Gang (THEY NEED A SERIES, BBC) as he nipped off somewhere. Be interesting to know what the pressing business was. Perhaps flying to the aid of his other selves for the events of Day of the Doctor?

    Lovely cameo by Matt Smith, and one I guess they filmed when filming Time of the Doctor with this intention. Handing over the baton in a timey-wimey way. Lovely to see.

    Like Eleventh Hour, we have the seeds of a new arc in place with the mysterious Missy. In charge of “paradise” and seems to consider the Doctor her “boyfriend”. The mysterious woman in the shop? The arranger of the dinner date in the restaurant? So a control freak game-player with an invested interest in keeping Clara and the Doctor together. Who knows such details as that Clara is “the impossible girl”. Some future Clara, perhaps? This may be lack of sleep though.

    Fantastic to have a full run to look forward to!

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Just to reassure those who have asked – Yes, the episode threads are for discussing the content of the episode in question, so nothing you talk about in the thread itself can be considered a spoiler.

    I know many posters keep away until they’ve seen the episode but all we’d ask is that you show a little bit of consideration for people looking at the activity thread. If all you wanted to say was “OMG MATT SMITH!!!!!!!” try to extend your essay writing skills by putting in some other thoughts first and making that you’re last point. We’re not twitter. 🙂

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    ..plot was crap..
    ..moffatt has lost it i think..
    ..boring return of the forgettable jenny, vastra and sontaran..
    ..derivative and boring..

    Wow. Where do I start? I finished my “Doctor Who whinge Bingo Card” one paragraph into your post. Truly a first.

    It must suck, being you.

    I didnt like the scottish accent, it’s not the doctor

    Try telling that to the Seventh Doctor.

    phoebe-phire @phoebe-phire

    @janetteb yes oomph, that was the word I was looking for. Liked the graphics but miss the BOOM! at the end.

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    @wolfweed Thanks for the breakdown. I’d add two more to the list: The Moment (which we know can project itself as whomever it chooses), and a female version of The Master from The Mind Robber. That fits with the ‘Missy’ = Mistress theme, but it also conveys the slightly fictional vibe I got off the character. It was almost as if she was narrating the story of the Doctor and Clara, and maybe also goes to her vaguely ‘Bad Mary Poppins’ appearance. Bonkers, I’ll admit, and probably a bit too far up the back story, but if they can bring back the Great Intelligence, why couldn’t they bring back the Master Brain?

    Anonymous @

    @phaseshift @janetteb  the overall view in this house was ‘yuck, it was boring. I don’t wanna watch this.’

    Fortunately, I loved it: I loved the endless fantastic and sinuous dialogue. I loved the dark corridors (corridors, Janette, they’re back!), the lighting and the confused, delusional and derelict doctor with his nightie and slippers -such a phenomenal world for the Doctor in which to inhabit his new part. It was that phenomenon of the Doctor as fundamentally a look-a-like man that frightened Clara. Once he became sublime and showed his strip of red, she started to view him differently.

    “Oh, the metaphors” -no-one in our house sourced a single metaphor, I believe my family have turned stupid with ugly action movies, fast running and raised eyebrows rather than an actual conversation and witty dialogue.

    But of course, it takes more than an outfit to intercede for our Clara -another metaphor for us, I guess.

    And then the phone call at which point, already reaching for tissues, I just honked my nose and the family be damned.

    It reminded me of why I love this show: it’s fun, the conclusions you think are right are wrong and you turn right around and are faced with another.

    The woman in the shop -my favourite of all the questions. And I believe, the last one?

    Never!! OK, so I see some people above think ‘the woman in the shop’ is not the Lady At the End (dubbed this in our house as people were complaining about everyone talkin’ too bloody fast)?

    We shall see. But so much tension and absolutely none of it fake.

    All based on cause and effect, a question and an answer, a better question and another answer: and isn’t this the best of us as humans? To ask rather than to just sit, semi-idle? To work out a problem using logical thought processes, with diligence and amusement and frantic activity. But: to see the wonder in all things. I guess it takes the Doctor -any incarnation- to make us the best we can be. That was always 11’s line. But it’s appropriate .

    Let’s hope that newbies and haters can keep their comments thoughtful and generous. The Doctor would??????

    Kindest, purofilion.

    *I must apologise for lecturing, but I am still teary. It could be the brandy. There was no time for a jelly baby!


    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Sorry I left out your Moment theory.
    And I like your ‘Mistress of the Land of Fiction’ theory. Fairly bonkers but plausible.

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    @wolfweed No prob, and it’s really good to see all of them together. Personally, I’d hate it if it turned out be an evil, or even just a mildly deranged, Romana. That would spoil things for me, I think. I’d also rather think of River’s story as completed now. But they all look like plausible candidates in terms of building theories about who it might be, and what that would signify about Clara. Great fun: I’m so glad Who is back!


    Anonymous @

    @timeloop  you are so bloomin patient. For the rude people out there who cannot type a straight sentence, you are awesome TimeLoop, I would just say “piss off” and then….I’d be just like them….they have the right to an opinion and yes, I’m looking at you @…….. but I’m smiling so ‘don’t hate -appreciate’ !  Just use the paragraph option so we can understand you better.

    @whisht I really wondered what you thought of it, and @arbutus too. I see the music is considered an issue but I loved the new theme: I had to crank up the stereo but it was subtle & the sense of adventure was there.

    @barnable you thought the phone call back to Mat was a bit unnecessary? I don’t know. From my own point, yes, but it did make me tear up -so sentimental? Probably, but I reckon that it made certain unmentionables in my house actually sit up. Mr Ilion (who will lose that name SHORTLY!) fell asleep. I need to go all Sontaran on him!

    Having rewatched the end on my own (oh, at last!), I think @bluesqueakpip is right: she is the Master/Mistress. The Missy. She was twirling so it had to be him/her! 🙂

    Now, what’s that song: I’m in Heaven, I’m in Heaven, da da du di da da do di da da daa: OK, that makes a lot of sense: Fred Astaire? Or some one else? I could imagine that playing in the background with the twirling Missy.

    Thank goodness, tomorrow is a day off. The bro is staying and didn’t think much of it. He got up and promptly fell down the stairs. Oh, great.

    Kindest, puro.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    The new theme tune…

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    @janetteb I love your point that the Marie Antoinette and the Madame de Pompadour may suddenly have acquired a new importance, and this could be the seed of a larger arc. Time-travelling clockwork-android-operated spaceships that last for millions of years and are searching for the ‘promised land’ are not to be sniffed at, especially now we know there’s more than one of them around. I wonder if there was some significance in the panel that the lead android took something from just before the fight with the Doctor. Makes we want to go back to The Girl in the Fireplace and see if Moff had left any clues in there.

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    Just occurred to me that Madame de Pompadour was Louis XV’s official mistress. Missy, is that you?

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    I’ll just add I loved a lot of the identity questions that were posed. Vastra’s (Neve Mcintosh is GREAT) bit about the veil and how the Doctor wears a face was interesting.

    Why that face? Is there a hidden message to himself?

    A subtle question for the audience with the broom reference. It’s an old question, in many forms, but how do you know if it’s the same item when nothing is original in it? The Droids confusion is down to his central programming being fundamentally changed by his organic components. How do we know that the Doctor is the Doctor. Because he says he is? Or by evaluation in word and deed? Is it the eye of the beholder? Nice plays in the script, and it’s probably why I love SMs more oblique approach.

    Anonymous @

    I get it now @whisht you don’t mean the Doctor’s theme you mean the opening credit music: The Doctor Who theme opening. I was assuming something else! Shoulda read carefully. As for your comment re The Madness of King George, I thought the same thing! How apt that he was blazing, literally blazing with wonder, and curiosity and sadness for the being of the dinosaur -or its dying.

    Reminded me of so many creatures we’ve seen thru the Doctor’s eyes. Was he translating or was he saying how he felt: (when lying in the bed with Clara sitting beside him) alone, lost in the deserts of time….

    What I really liked was how easily The P Gang are embedded -one’s a lizard, the other a Sontaran and yet we cope and laugh and deal with it. How many others -creatures/monsters would we come to completely accept if we had the chance?

    I know some people think the Dinosaur was just an audience grab, but it really needed to be big, so the Doctor would begin to notice. Would he really, in his state, be ready to deal with similar murders? He’s febrile, half mad with regen energy – as if he was on heightened alert but barmy all at once.

    As for the plot, I thought it was substantial @nortii it was as difficult and filled with opposing conclusions as a season opener needed to be. @confusedpolarity I loved your ideas about it too -did it remind you of a much earlier time, before Number 9 and 10, when running wasn’t the ‘main’ thing?

    @serahni I enjoyed your comments about the relationship Clara has with the Doctor, too. Your comments about its lack of grandiosity was bang on. I think that it was an almost introverted look into the Doctor’s past, his personality and a bang -on performance, too, from Clara (a girl, impossible or not, that I never really warmed to).

    @fivefaces make some great points about the identity issues this episode collects together: it was this that convinced me it was going to be ‘a ride of my life kinda story’: his delusion, his grandeur within himself at times, the arrogance of ‘you great puddings’ and ‘it will be like a piano falling on your brain; right, now the piano” and….


    Wonderful. But sad, too. I felt lost. Where was the Doctor? Was he really there? So needing that call from Matt Smith makes me shallow too! I loved the statement from Capaldi: “I’m not your boyfriend” and then again, “that statement was meant for me”.

    What a great social comment: but not grandly overblown either. Just a fragment, a statement, another statement and then the  meaning which makes us shiver with embarrassment. Knowing we’ve all sometimes wanted something we cannot have, not ever. Or perhaps it was something else I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I’ll need to muse some more.

    Probably, I’ve used up 2 pages of posts by now: my apologies mods. And again, thanks to you all @timeloop @craig @chickenelly @fatmaninabox (did you work out all the flowering plants in Heaven?) @wolfweed and all who make this site a great place to be!

    Kindest, puro

    Anonymous @

    Still cogitating so won’t post full thoughts till this evening. But I’m definitely tending to agree with @bluesqueakpip‘s Missy as The Master theory. As I’ve said before, the old-school moustache-twirling Master of old is just hopelessly outdated now and really won’t work. You have to go for the bonkers fruitloop angle that Simm was edging (but not quite capturing, I think) towards. But no one does bonkers better than Michelle Gomez. I’m looking forward to seeing more of her.

    Slightly depressed to see that even we’re not immune from the ill-focused  ‘Moffat raped my childhood’ rants and ‘won’t someone think of the children??!’ hypocrisy over the The Kiss. I guess that means we’ve made it to the mainstream. Myself, I, more than ever, want to see a Paternoster Gang spin-off.

    And as @phaseshift says above, I’m slightly bemused by all the comments here and elsewhere about the Doc’s Scottish accent. It’s like Sylvester’s Doc never happened.

    Timeloop @timeloop

    I like how the discussion got started again immediately =D! And some of the replies are just so long that I am sure I will miss bits and pieces I wanted to comment on while reading your opinions.

    It is really interesting to me that there is such a wide array of opinions! Usually most in this forum agree on the general tone of the episode. This is not a love or hate thing, even in this forum most had different highlights. While some of us thought that Matt was unnecessary others shed a tear or two.
    And while I thought that most of the “Yes it is still the Doctor – Clara getting schooled as a stand in for the audience” was unnecessary there were also people who really liked that part (@ConfusedPolarity) and people who still haven’t let go of 11, let alone RTD (@phoebe-phire). I mean, come on, that was years ago! “Timey-whimey” is much harder to do because you have to leave traces so it stays plausible in hindsight. I am sure Rowling could have put all the important information in one book (Or imagine Tolkien doing that!) but that was hardly the point in telling the story. Which is also exactly what we are trying to pick up before the big revelation?

    I think in general this episode was more focused on the relationships. What I would be interested to hear from the disappointed people: What was the last episode you REALLY, REALLY liked (try to keep it within 11’s range though; he really had enough good ones to pick one)?

    Yes @confusedpolarity I thought he really abandoned her and used this time to create a plan to solve the situation in general, trusting on her getting out on her own.
    So surprising that people think that the droid jumped out on his own. @janetteb Do you really think the Doctor would not do it? Just think of Pompeii, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship or a Town Called Mercy.

    @phaseshift Like most of us I was looking forward to more of the Paternoster Gang, too. However I feel like the last episode really was enough for a longer time. I don’t want them to become an old thing in Doctor Who. They should always be new and refreshing. More screen time for them would just make them less special at this point IMHO.
    This might be out of place and tell me if it is but try to handle negative comments a bit more graciously. Kinda reminded me of a Town Called Mercy where Amy says ‘you’ve got to be better than this’.
    Again @phaseshift I think that new face is a symbol for hope. He brought hope to that one family. So he tells himself even in the worst circumstances there is hope? What do you think?

    @whisht You are quite hard on the female Doctor part. I am pretty sure that, if they were to decide it should be a woman, there are more than enough talented women out there to take on the challenge.

    @purofilion Why did your household think it was boring? Also, I think you might be the first to say that you love the new soundtrack. Yes, YouTube says it is Fred Astaire (ignore the graphics):

    (P.S.: Thanks for making it a great place, too)

    @wolfweed You can take River off that list. Clara has met her and would have recognized her as the woman in the shop. My money is on @Bluesquakpip with it being the Master as a female regeneration as a way to test out how the audience would react. Just seems to be a very plausible explanation. The BBC has to think practical. However it would be a bit dull if we were to see the Master again, wouldn’t it? I mean, come on! Something new and exciting! Maybe someone who is helping the Master with something, doing his deeds? Moffat has said often enough that he wants to keep the audience on their toes – someone completely new would be good for that. I think I just talked myself out of the Master-idea, didn’t I?

    @fivefaces Interesting point that the Moment might be behind this? But why would it want to harm the Doctor? It helped him do the right thing with Gallifrey.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @timeloop I think the Doctor persuaded the droid to jump which is really no different to pushing him but I prefer never to know. I like the ambiguity of that just as we will never really be certain that the Doctor planned to return and save Clara when the door shut. I like your point about a new villian but I suspect that Missy is the Master. We don’t know that Missy is the woman from the shop though I doubt very much that she is River.

    @purofilion It is a pity that you can’t pop down to Adelaide to watch “Who” with a more appreciative audience.

    I have just spent an hour on the Guardian blogs and I feel somewhat damaged. So nice to come back here where there is civilised discussion.




    thommck @thommck

    Can we exhale now?

    Great to get back into bonkers theorising again, I love reading all your ideas and everything that I didn’t spot! I kept expecting to see the wise words of @htpbdet, I think I’ll always miss his absence from here :'(

    On with the episode then. I “borrowed” a projector from work and we had our own mini cinema at home. We watched the last bit of the Xmas special to re-cap on Smith’s regeneration and then it was on with the main event! I was actually impressed with the new opening titles. I had thought the fan attempt on Youtube was a bit OTT but they’ve managed to pare it down to a successful montage of imagery. I can’t really comment on the music, a) because I was listening through tinny projector speakers, and b) I’m ashamed to say my ear isn’t that musically inclined that I ever notice the differences over the years!

    I thought the episode was really good, and my two sons (12 & 10) were on the edge of the sofa for most of it, even my wife sat through it all with much less tutting than the Matt Smith era 😉

    It was great to here about “The Woman from the Shop” again, and then so quickly see Missy opening up a new thread of theorising for us. As someone else wondered on here, is Missy also the “So that’s who …” from the Time War book? I’m pretty confident it isn’t River Song. It could possibly be Tasha Lem but only because of a similar “look”. The Mistress/Master is a good shout and one that completely flew over my head at the time but it almost seems too obvious now. The initial thought I got about Missy in Heaven was that she was Moffat’s representation of an overzealous Super-Fan, obsessing about the doctor so much that she thinks he is her boyfriend. Collecting all of his victims in a vain attempt to impress, console or connect with the Doctor. This makes me wonder who could have such all-seeing power and it would certainly seem to be a timelord.

    I have always been a fan of Clara but (seemingly in contrast to other people) in this episode she confused me. Surely she should be the most comfortable with the Doctor changing faces, she has seen into his soul and watched through his whole lifespan, why was she so unable to accept his new superficial look? She seemed like a different character completely. I know from the 50th anniversary special we are meant to understand she doesn’t really remember much about the whole Claricle thing but it just didn’t gel with me that her character would be so distraught about the Doctor’s change.

    The Matt Smith cameo was a nice surprise. I wanted to give myself a pat on the back for being so good at avoiding spoilers this year! The DW team know how much we love to see old characters returning and so it was an easy little treat for them to slip in. It wasn’t really necessary for me but it seemed to be for Clara, as well as my youngest son. He didn’t like the look of the new Doctor at all in the run up to this episode and was determined not to like him. However, as the end credits rolled he was acting like it was the same Doctor as always, so mission accomplished!

    The Doctor new his face was familiar but it hasn’t twigged he saw it in Pompeii. Is it a reminder to him that he can make a difference and saving one family from Pompeii is better than letting time roll on without interference. Has it giving him the go ahead to be more of a meddler?

    One other thing I’d like to talk about was how beautiful all of the cinematography was. I’m not sure if it was the Director or the fact it was going to be on at the cinema but the quality was amazing. I really hope we get treated to this luxury every week. It makes all the US SciFi shows look cheap in comparison!

    I think that is probably enough rambling for now

    thommck @thommck

    Oh, I forgot to add, we were all holding our breath during those scenes under the restaurant and non of us lasted as long as Clara! I know Straxx admired her spleen but did he also say she had extremely capacitive lungs?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Like @jimthefish, I am in many ways still cogitating. But I will say one thing about the Matt Smith insert.

    Remember that charming little YouTube video published, where Peter Capaldi reassured that little girl by showing her a photo of himself with Matt and Jenna? And saying ‘Well, look, they’re fine with me being the Doctor.’

    That was, I think, the main target of the phone call. All the very small fans for whom this is their first regeneration and for whom Matt Smith is their one and only Doctor. And since this new Doctor is very different, they got Matt Smith’s Doctor reassuring them that ‘this new man – is still me’.

    The secondary target was all of us still in mourning for Matt. Too my surprise, I found I was one of them – and he wasn’t ‘my’ Doctor. But I think he grabbed a place in my heart.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    For those wondering about the cinema prequel, I’ll give you a brief synopsis. It features the P’ Gang  with Strax doing another Field Report (or blog as he is ribbed about). He goes through the previous Doctors and their personalities (if I remember right he almost skipped McCoy). Contains the word ‘puberty’…

    They’re interrupted by a call to adventure – To Deep Breath!


    It’s funny stuff. I’ll post if & when it becomes uploaded.

    Stormaggeddon @stormy72

    Hi there!

    I enjoyed the start of the new series and surely was impressed with PC as Doctor! A great performance! Is he going to be a good Doctor? Indeed he will! Did anyone recognize a theme of the newly regenerated Doctors to run around in nightgowns???

    I like the TARDIS-intro, being vomitted onto the banks of the Thames by a time-travelling dinosaur, something you don’t see every day. 🙂

    Again the Pater Noster Gang is on the spot, I like Strax more and more. Watching Vastra and Jenny flirting away is great and highly entertaining.

    I liked the optics of new opening credits, although the new theme music is not that great.

    I’m looking forwards to the next episodes…

    phoebe-phire @phoebe-phire

    Lol @timeloop that made me laugh, you are so right.  I loved 9 and 10 (and classic 3,4,5) 11 just never grabbed me.  I’m so looking forward to getting onboard again with 12.  ‘Though I think I’m going to need an essential potted history of 11 as some of this is going over my head.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    Well, I had to wait till this afternoon to watch it as is traditional with the family gathered on or around the sofa, and I was getting rather agitated as various people created various entirely unnecessary delays (some of them devised solely to wind me up).  And then I ended up holding my breath for much of the episode, so I’m not sure I’m in any fit state to comment.  I will, obviously, regardless.

    Yes, I loved it.  The plot was in some ways an irrelevance although we know that Missy and her robot heaven will have a significant role to play, especially if you lot are right about who she is (and I think you probably are).  The dinosaur was kind of a joke, I guess, the opening sequence a homage to all those monster movies (and past series of Who) where alien or ancient creatures stomp around in familiar cityscapes.  But when the Doc was apparently channelling Dinosaur in its lonely lostness it reminded me of Eleven and the Minotaur in The God Complex – is he ‘translating’, or is it his own thoughts we’re hearing?

    Will have to give some thought to the fact that Missy’s Paradise is the garden from The Girl Who Waited.  Coincidence?  Don’t believe in them.  There were droids in that too, n’est-ce pas?

    Lots and lots of references to Who past, and the now obligatory ‘You’ve redecorated.  I don’t like it’ as Twelve revamps the Tardis.

    That will have to do for now.  I’m going to whiz over to the Guardian blog and take another deep breath and read below the line.  I have a feeling they won’t have liked it.  Ah well, I can then come back here and exchange or just enjoy bonkers theories in a much more civilised environment.

    Loving Capaldi, looking forward hugely to the rest of the series.


    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Red Waterfall Time in the Garden!


    The Promised Land/Heaven

    Whisht @whisht

    ooh @timeloop – apologies you misunderstood me (that’ll be my convoluted writing!).

    I absolutely think there can (and probably will) be a female Doctor – I’m assuming that the show-runner is waiting for the right actress to come along and ‘be’ the Doctor in the audition.
    Basically (I think the term is ‘blind’ auditions) they should hire whoever impresses them most regardless of age, gender, colour, physical capabilities etc.

    And I look forward to it happening as whoever they choose will be the best person they can find!


    And yes – @thommck has convinced me that having Matt at the end was a good thing (as @bluesqueakpip says, its for all those who still haven’t accepted Capaldi who may be young or holding on to 11 as he’s their Doctor).

    And absolutely loving the Missy thinking! There was me trying to remember who controlled the Library (isn’t a hard-drive the ‘heaven’ where an AI consciousness would download to after its body is destroyed?) but Madame Pompadour etc is just too juicy (need to find my bonkers hat)!

    In terms of the Paternoster Gang getting their own series – yes please!
    But I guess they’re trying to figure out which audience to aim it at and how to differentiate it from Doctor Who (the show).
    And I’m glad that we live in a world where a child’s question can be answered thus:
    “But dad – how can Madame Vastra be married to Jenny?”
    “I know, its a bit fantastical that a woman can marry a lizard, but just play along with it as its fun”.


    wolfweed @wolfweed

    TygerHawks @tygerhawks

    New here, but thought I saw something and have been searching to see if I am crazy.  At the end, when they land in Glasgow, in the background a single blonde female walks across the scene and looks at the Tardis as she walks by.  Clara is confused as to where they are, but the Doctor knows immediately.  Was this a homage to Rose?

    Charlie Cook @charlie-cook

    Jury out…

    Liked the new credits, but got so bored found myself wondering who did Clara’s hair as it obviously wasn’t Jenny.

    Intrigued by the Missy/Master idea…

    …and let’s get Paternoster Gang on CBBC

    Whisht @whisht

    hmmmm… “Missy”….. or Papal Mainframe, where AIs go to Heaven….?

    Tasha Lem was after all just the Mother Superious, not the Mainframe (which was referred to as “the Papal Mainframe herself”).

    Would other AIs also go to the Mainframe to ‘die’ (ships such as the Madame Pompadour, the Library(?) etc….).

    Apologies – bonking out loud.


    Arbutus @arbutus

    I hope everyone has seen it by now, despite inconvenient real life getting in the way of things. I got up very early this morning and watched all of it before anyone else got up! I had my tea, and watched it on the laptop with my cat Cima, who seemed quite happy to watch the new Doctor with me. It was lovely, and I was very happy, because I really, really liked it. I’m looking forward to more of the new Doctor, and looking forward to watching that again, which I will do ASAP. I won’t have time to read all your comments until later, but I wanted to hop on here with a few first impressions.

    I thought that was possibly the best examination of regeneration that we have ever seen; I loved how they explored it from both Clara and the Doctor’s point of view. I thought Capaldi was amazing (no surprise there) and felt there was an almost “BG” feel to his interpretation. I have never really warmed up to Clara before, but I loved her here. I liked that the “cliffhanger” at the end was really more of a teaser, and didn’t especially impact the story at all. I hope that this means a return to a more subtle style of story arc. Matt Smith’s brief appearance was a nice touch; I felt the emotion of it without real sadness, which tells me that I am already more than on board with Doctor Number Twelve.

    I will have loads more to say after another viewing, and I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s thoughts. Let the speculation begin!

    j0hn52 @j0hn52

    I am not loving the thought that Missy is a female regeneration of  The Master preparing the viewers for a female Doctor!

    NO NO NO!!!!

    Whisht @whisht

    Hi @j0hn52 – why?

    Interested as to why you thought it was a poor story and why you don’t like the idea that Missy could be a female Master.

    ghimmelmann @ghimmelmann

    The (ahem) biggest problem with this episode was the Tyrannosaurus:

    WhoGirl @whogirl

    Well, what is left to say! I love reading the comments (positive more than negative to be honest) and all the theories.
    My whole family sat down to watch last night, and none of us were disappointed. The opening credits- think they will be a grower for sure. Like the cogs and funky music, miss the swirly timey-wimey things a bit though. And as for a T-Rex vomiting the Tardis, what a way to start!
    Thought the pace was a tad slow to start but once the story got going I forgot about time. Absolutely LOVE Strax- PLEASE PLEASE can the Paternoster Gang have their own series!! ‘Next time just take the stairs’. What a brilliant trio.
    It was a big risk to go with a Doctor so different to what we’ve been so used to. And boy does it pay off. It has left us wondering what he’ll do or say next, and what other new characteristics he has. I know some people thought having Matt’s Doctor calling at the end a bit undermining to PC, but I think it was a nice way to say to some fans, ‘it’s ok’ as well as to Clara. I think it was good to have a little bit of reassurance.
    I had a thought in my head early on about the link to the SS Madame du Pompadour, but I dismissed it. Interesting to see their return, as gross as it was, but I quite liked it!
    I also recognised the garden from Two Streams, glad I wasn’t the only one. I think it’s pure coincidence. They have reused sets and locations before. Of course I could be wrong and it could be another one of Moffat’s grand story arcs!
    And as for Missy- I’m going to put it out there and say I think she’s just a brand new character, which would be great.
    Overall- thoroughly enjoyed this opener. Bring on the next episode!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Dealt with in the episode. Madame Vastra says dinosaurs were mostly this big. Jenny points out that she knows dinosaurs were NOT this size – she’s seen the fossils. As have we.

    But Madame Vastra caps Jenny’s evidence with ‘I was there’.

    In other words, if you’re happy to accept the Lizard Woman From The Dawn of Time, just go with the giant dinosaur big enough to swallow a TARDIS… 😀



    I have always been a fan of Clara but (seemingly in contrast to other people) in this episode she confused me. Surely she should be the most comfortable with the Doctor changing faces, she has seen into his soul and watched through his whole lifespan, why was she so unable to accept his new superficial look? She seemed like a different character completely. I know from the 50th anniversary special we are meant to understand she doesn’t really remember much about the whole Claricle thing but it just didn’t gel with me that her character would be so distraught about the Doctor’s change.

    Clara isn’t a Claricle, she is Clara – the seed-stock for the Claricles, yes, but she is also a discrete person. Yes, she had a trip through 1-11’s time line and will intellectually understand the notion of regeneration. But that no more prepares you for the reality than knowing that a close friend is dying of cancer prepares you for the moment:

    Buffy: Was it sudden?

    Tara: No….yes….It’s always sudden


    Was a little uncomfortable with the retcon of the De Pompadour class being time ships (they clearly weren’t in GITF), but can rationalise it as a design defect in over-engineered repair-bots making them so by default.

    Definite echoes of Vincent and The Doctor in the Doc’s unconscious ravings.

    Posing Jenny was a comic delight.

    If Missy isn’t the Master I will eat a marmite sandwich (aka Satan’s yeast extract).

    Completely baffled by those who thought the plot was a mess – it was quite straightforward and linear by Moff’s standard.

    The new theme music lacks fatness.

    I suspect the “haven’t we seen that set before” vibe is more to do with budgets than story.

    As ever the show provides a masterclass in walking the line that must appeal to everyone from 7 to 70+ (with the added complication of different cultures now).

    And 2 of the first three posts in this thread from people who created accounts solely to post content-free negativity (one of them seems to have been disappeared). I wonder if they had bets with their classmate. Plus ça change.

    Anyone who thinks GITFP is not one of the finest single eps, but “crap from Tennant’s time” is not worthy of a response.

    Timeloop @timeloop

    I don’t have much to add right now.

    Sorry that I got it wrong @whisht. Also echoing you in asking ‘why’ @j0hn52 . And: What was the last episode you did like?
    Also @whisht Somehow I am really intruiged by your idea:’Would other AIs also go to the Mainframe to ‘die’ (ships such as the Madame Pompadour, the Library(?) etc….).’ I mean the library knows everthing, right? It would know how the two streams facility looks like and how it works. River has shown she can change the reality in dreams ‘disgracefully’… But it CAN’T be! Can it? Furthermore she always left the Doctor messages so he would come to her ‘grafitied the oldest cliff face in the universe’-‘you wouldn’t answer your phone…’ She was trained to kill him once. And she knows his life well enough to influence it as she pleases(‘River always knew’), she left with a last ‘spoilers!’ … But it CAN’T be! Her story is finished…..

    Maybe we will get some new ideas if we sort out who Missy can’t be: I say it is not his daughter from the reproduction machine(10’s time).

    I’m surprised that I am alone with slowly being fed up the the Paternoster Gang (only for now…. just give it some time to recover).

    Sorry @tygerhawks, I didn’t notice anything.

    What is going over your head @phoebe-phire I’m sure most here are able to help you to get up to speed (too bad you didn’t like 11 as he is my Doctor, but to each their own, there are ENOUGH to choose from ^^)? I am glad you have a positive attitude towards 12 though.

    @pedant Nice to see your input.

    Onigma @onigma

    My first post on here. Loved seeing the bonkers theories last year, so thought I might as well join in!

    Really liked the episode. I was surprised at the fairly negative reaction to it online. Though PC and JC in particular were great, and Michelle Gomez gave a great first impression. I would personally love it if she turned out to be a female Master – and would have of course fit in with the Moff’s claim that he doesn’t want to bring the Master back – he didn’t say anything about the Mistress!

    Oh and a fun fact for you – Brian Miller wasn’t the only connection to SJA. In addition to the garden in TGWW, “Heaven” was also the courtyard and boathouse in Phil Ford’s “The Eternity Trap” – the fourth story in the third series of Sarah Jane. PF said the boathouse scene was his favourite from the whole series, so they were clearly inspired to use it again – twice!

    Anonymous @

    @pedant – Welcome back 🙂

    Is this just a fleeting visit or can we expect more from you? If you have any Marmite sandwiches going spare, just throw them in my direction – love ’em. Marmite and Cheesy Beanies on toast – little slices of heaven 😀


    (did you work out all the flowering plants in Heaven?)

    After spending all afternoon painstakingly going through that scene, I’ve successfully identified the flowers as being of the pretty variety 😀

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @timeloop – function of the Paternoster Gang. I think they’ve replaced 1970’s/1980’s UNIT as ‘home’.

    The 21st Century may be Clara’s home, but the Doctor’s current ‘home’ time zone is Victorian England and the Paternoster Gang. Like the poem by Robert Frost, it’s his: ‘Home is the place where, when you have to go there, / They have to take you in.’

    Another signal that the Capaldi Doctor is the same man as the Smith Doctor; he automatically flies the TARDIS to the same ‘home’.

    Timeloop @timeloop

    @bluesqueakpip Yes, I know that. I loved them in this episode, I have no grudge against them. I’m just saying I wouldn’t mind a break from them now.

    giulia42 @giulia42

    Hello everybody!
    Newbie writing here, I thought the moment had come for me to share my opinion on the series with fellow Whovians! And please excuse me if I make mistakes – English is not my first language.

    I find the new opening theme amazing as far as the graphic is concerned – except for the TARDIS that looked like it would suit a cartoon better than a TV series. The theme itself was quite plain and I really hope they do something about it, as it just doesn’t set the right mood for the show.

    Since it took me quite a few episodes to get to like Smith, I didn’t expect Capaldi to strike me right from his first line – I like his accent, his humour and above all his darker, more mature Doctor, and “it is to be hoped” that the show will feature less running and more thinking/coming to terms with past mistakes. (Nine,) Ten and Eleven might have been the cheerful, lively, young faces that the Doctor chose to forget what he had done during the Time War, but Twelve is telling us he’s ready to fully acknowledge that there is ‘another’ side, with which the last two dealt but didn’t really accept.
    Well, at least these are my expectations, and with Twelve still figuring out who he is we can only wait and see how this regeneration turns out to be.

    There’s another couple of things that looked a bit different from the previous seasons to me: the screwdriver joke and the ‘rough’ images of the optic nerve of the Half-Faced Man, and of the villain himself impaled by a spire. I am not saying that I found any of these disturbing or inappropriate, just something else other than what I was accustomed to see on the show.

    I neither liked nor disliked Clara in Season 7, she never really stood out (well, except when she scattered herself through the Doctor’s timestream to save him around a million times, of course), and I have mixed feelings about her in “Deep Breath” too. As she kept questioning the ‘old face’ and ‘grey hair’ I wanted to repeatedly hit her head with a lava lamp, but I must admit that I too felt scared by this man that I could barely identify as the Doctor at first (and the ‘broom metaphor’ didn’t help).

    And as for Missy, I too believe it is a female regeneration of the Master.

    FiveFaces @fivefaces

    @wolfweed Fantastic spot. BBC cost-trimming by recycling locations, or significant plot point? I have to say, I’d go with the latter. (In the same way that I fondly believe that Moff never lazily re-uses ideas; he’s always just being self-referential.) Add in the white robots from The Girl who Waited, and is this more support for The Mind Robber hypothesis?

    Anonymous @

    For those posting negative comments, It’s very easy to watch something once and then trash it. Instead of doing that, how about watching it a few times first so you can see things you didn’t notice first time round? It may well change your opinion.

    I’ll be honest, on first watch my thought was “Meh” but, having seen it a few times since, coupled with the thoughts of others here, I’m beginning to appreciate what a great season opener it was. It’s not quite ‘Partners in Crime’ but it’s a lot better than some other opening episodes that I could (but won’t) mention.

    I still, however, don’t like the new theme arrangement 👿

    Right, I have to put Doctor Who on hold for a few days, I have a landscaping project to plan as part of my course. Does anyone happen to have a dry stone wall on there property that they don’t want?

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Pah!  Just settling down for a rewatch on iPlayer, but the BBC website has gone all wonky.  I’ll therefore post a few comments in the meantime:

    1) The Doctor landing in Glasgow I thought was also a reference to Sarah-Jane.  Didn’t she tell Ten in School Reunion that he last dropped her in Aberdeen?

    2) Cyborg man’s obsession in a vague ‘Promised Land’ reminded me of the similar belief held by the last of humanity in Utopia.  Of course in that episode was the reappearance of the Master.

    3) Like others, I think throughout the episode were a few nods to past Doctors/actors, as well as nods to these actors’ work outside of Who.  Some have been mentioned above, but the impaling of Cyborg man on the church spire I took to be a reference to Troughton’s demise in The Omen.

    *pipe at the ready, come on BBC website!*

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Okay, the mother-in-law is off to the botanical garden, so I have a little time to read and enjoy all your comments! Here are some back. I have been jotting down thoughts as I read yours, so I may end up repeating things that others have said, but oh well.

    @miapatrick    quibble: if thought eleven though he wouldn’t regenerate. I know the doctor lies, but….   When Eleven made the phone call to Clara, he had already begun to regenerate. So he knew what was coming by then.

    Did people really sign up to this forum entirely to come on and tell us how much this sucked? I really do wish that people could remember that loads of others don’t agree with them, and avoid stating their negative views (or indeed any views) in such a hard and fast manner. @smeglennon, I’m glad you know what will happen so you don’t have to waste your time watching (and commenting)! Sorry you don’t like the new Doctor, but lots of us do, so your “it’s not going to work” viewpoint is only valid for you.

    I seem to be in the minority here, but I love the new theme. It is certainly more restrained than the Tennant ones we’ve been watching (although I also liked Eleven’s quite a lot), but it works for me. The chiming bells made it nicely suspenseful, and I like the greater subtlety. I also like the new TARDIS (despite the insufficient number of round things!).

    @devilishrobby   I loved how they addressed the age issue… especially with the Doctor essentially laying claim to responsibility for presenting himself as “fancy-able” in his quest for acceptance. I have to say here that I personally find Peter Capaldi extremely sexy, but then I’m an old girl myself. (Can I add here that I don’t see why my fandom, and that of others my age, is any less important than that of the younger generation? I watch as many episodes as they do!) I think that the mysterious Time Lord has come up before in regard to the woman in the shop, and it seems perfectly possible. I’m just glad that Moffat hasn’t let that mystery drop, as has sometimes happened in the RTD era. Moffat does seem good at keeping track of all his loose ends.

    @timeloop   I also didn’t feel entirely comfortable with Vastra’s scolding of Clara. But it did give Clara a chance to stand up to her (and maybe sort herself out at the same time), and I think we were supposed to be applauding that right along with Jenny. And maybe that was exactly what Vastra was trying to accomplish for Clara? Because she did a very quick about-face. I’m saving most of my commentary for after a rewatch, but I really agreed with pretty much everything you said.

    @serahni    Yes, I agree about the simpler plot here. I think this same thing has been said before about The Eleventh Hour, which had the same job to do, taking a certain amount of focus away from the threat part of the story.

    @bluesqueakpip makes a very good case for Missy as the Master. I’m personally hoping that she isn’t the Master as I would rather have a more interesting explanation, and I’m also not too keen on all these Time Lords continually escaping back into our universe without explanation, but I fully accept that I may not get my wish in this!

    @confusedpolarity   The Doctor himself admits that he has tricked people into destroying themselves in the past. So I think it’s entirely believable that he might urge the cyborg to destroy itself. And he has certainly destroyed monsters when necessary. I suspect that anyone who claims “the Doctor wouldn’t have done that” is strictly an AG fan. I love your “evil future Clara” theory!

    @wolfweed   Really? They would stop watching if the Master became a woman? That seems extreme to me for a character that has only rarely appeared in AG Who. I don’t really want a female master, but it won’t stop me watching!

    @whisht     No, the last we saw of the Master he was getting sucked back into the Time Lock with Rassilon and Co. So I would definitely want to know how he got out (maybe that is how he ended up regenerating?).

    @whisht  @thommck I tried holding my breath along with Clara and couldn’t remotely keep up with her. She must have lungs the size of a tank!

    @janetteb   I like the idea of the woman in the shop as an aged Claricle! I agree that I don’t think that it was Missy, she seems malevolent to me and I’m not sure she would have intervened in such a helpful way. Your son makes a good point about the impaled cyborg as well.

    @phaseshift   Absolutely agree with the elegance of the doctor’s broom metaphor. It was actually very moving to me, as it seemed clear that he was also referring to himself.

    @purofilion   It occurred to me, reading your post about needing the call from Eleven to reassure you, that Sarah Jane Smith would have recognized this new Doctor with no trouble. I certainly did!

    @jimthefish    As with my comments above about the “would the Doctor kill” question, I’m pretty sure that comments about the Doctor’s new Scottish accent are coming from AG fans who wouldn’t recognize Sylvester McCoy if he walked into their house for breakfast. And yet, Christopher Eccleston????? So not sure why a changing accent would bother anyone, really.

    @thommck     I think that the difference between Clara accepting the earlier versions of the Doctor and this latest one is the absence of her Doctor, the Eleventh. Those other versions of him, were in her mind, other versions of him, this is now the new and only him. Her Doctor is gone. Also, a lovely point that Matt’s cameo was meant for the younger fans, for whom regeneration is not “here we go again” but truly an end. Nice. I’m glad it worked for your boy.

    @bluesqueakpip   He wasn’t ‘my’ Doctor. But I think he grabbed a place in my heart.  Absolutely agree

    Welcome, @giulia42! I loved your thought that the new Doctor is one who has once again fully accepted all the aspects of himself. As a fan of the old days, I am happy to see those aspects back in play.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I still, however, don’t like the new theme arrangement

    That is something that is definitely growing on me as I re-listen. It’s got a very light sound, but it’s quite a complicated mix. @Purofilion would probably do a better job of description, but what I can hear is that the drum beats have been overlaid by clock chimes. The electronic ‘wah WAH’ has also got an overlay – to me, it hints vaguely at bagpipes. Electronic bagpipes. Yes, they do exist. 😉

    I think my initial reaction (I didn’t like it) was largely sheer shock; it’s so very different from any previous AG theme.

    The Capaldi Doctor’s theme sounds to me as if it’s using the bodrhan rather than a Scottish drum – but Capaldi’s mother was Irish.

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