Doctor Who: ‘Deep Breath’ – I like the new Doctor

doctor_who_peter_capaldiThe new Doctor Who season started Saturday and I just got around to watching the season opener.  I think Peter Capaldi is going to make an excellent Doctor.  I’m pretty pleased to see the show return to an older Doctor.  Since it was restarted in 2005, the Doctors have been getting younger and younger, but anyone who watched the classic show knew that the Doctor has historically been a mature figure.  The show even played around with this in the 50th anniversary episode with a previous version of the Doctor wondering if his later youthful incarnations was some sign of a mid-life crisis.

Still, an older Doctor, particularly one that looks to be a bit rougher and edgier that we’ve been used to, appears to have the producers a little worried.  Anticipating the reaction of a major portion of the audience that probably never watched the classic series, they had Clara react against the new Doctor, wondering if he was the same man she knew before and why a regenerated Doctor would look so old.  A good portion of this opening episode is her coming to terms with him, and the episode features a pretty disarming surprise at the end to help clinch their relationship.

To make our acclimation of the new Doctor a little easier, the episode, in addition to Clara, also features Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax, with plenty of Strax humor to lighten the dialog.  Even the villain turns out to be related to one from a David Tennant episode several seasons ago.

As I noted above, Capaldi’s Doctor is a bit ruder and grumpier than the last couple of Doctors.  In many ways, his performance reminds me of Tom Baker’s Doctor from the 1970s.  There’s even an oblique reference to that version of the Doctor when the new one briefly considers wearing a scarf, then decides it would look ridiculous.  Since his was the first one that I watched as a boy, Baker’s Doctor will always be my baseline for judging others, so I’m pretty happy with the new Doctor’s similarities.

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14 Responses to Doctor Who: ‘Deep Breath’ – I like the new Doctor

  1. Steve Morris says:

    Yes, Peter Capaldi is a brilliant actor, who can play both comic roles and hard men. He’s probably much better known in the UK than in the US. Let’s hope that Steven Moffat uses him to good effect!

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    • I’ve never liked Doctor Who, so I probably won’t bother watching this new version either, but I agree with Steve that Capaldi is a great actor, and I have enjoyed him in roles in UK dramas and comedies such as Skins, Accused, The Thick of It and of course the Anglo-American version of the latter in movie form, In The Loop.

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      • I have a lot of friends who don’t like Doctor Who, for various reasons. The science is often nonsense and the stories tend to be pretty flighty, but they do occasionally touch on pretty deep philosophical topics.

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    • I have to admit that I only knew his name after he had been announced as the new Doctor, but when I saw him, I realized that I had seen him in a lot of stuff, most notably (for me) was in the Torchwood: Children of Earth series, where he was outstanding.

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  2. I grew up watching Baker and loved his quirky rendition and the really creepy smile he had. It’s good to hear there’s a Dr. who (bad pun unintended) brings that back.

    Also, is it just me, or would Benjamin Cumberbatch have made an awesome Dr. Who? I’m thinking of his Sherlock character…

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  3. I am *SO* excited for a rude and grumpy Doctor. I actually liked Eccleston for that very reason. I like a Doctor with some gravitas (although Tennant was the best mixture of gravitas and whimsy).

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