Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100% (Critics) / 93% (Audience)
Directed By: Ben Wheatley
Written By: Stephen Moffat
Starring: Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman
Synopsis:Season 8 begins with Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor. In the opener, the Doctor and Clara are in Victorian London where a dinosaur is on the loose and a spate of deadly spontaneous combustions take place. (Source)
There were a lot of call backs to earlier seasons in this episode that I really didn’t mind all that much since most of them were call backs to a time when I thought Moffat could do no wrong with this show (ah, to be so wide-eyed and naive once again).
Count me is as a lover of the new opening them.
I love Vastra, Jenny and Strax so having them play an integral part in this episode was a major plus. Why is the BBC not moving full steam ahead with a spin-off for these characters? Oh! And Madame Vastra judging Clara was possibly the best thing ever.
By the end of the episode I was a lot warmer to Capaldi’s Doctor than I initially was. I like that he is going to be a lot more gruff and even a bit darker of a soul than previous incarnations.
Really enjoyed the cameo at the end too. It was a nice way to close one chapter while opening another.
Anyone else think that Missy’s garden in “Heaven” was laid out in pretty much the same way as the TARDIS is?
And I loved that they had the wonderful Elisabeth (Sarah Jane Smith) Sladen’s husband in the show as the homeless fella The Doctor was talking to in the alley.
I have never been a fan of post-regeneration episodes and really think the show should have skipped that part for Capaldi’s debut just because a lot of his confusion came off like he was a doddering old man and that couldn’t have gone over well with the fangirls who are probably already having major anxiety over the fact that The Doctor is no longer a young hipster.
Still think that Clara is a lot of wasted potential as a Companion. Coleman started off so wonderfully but has been in a completely downward trajectory ever since. Here’s hoping she gets a chance to truly shine before she leaves.
The mysterious Missy seems way too much like a certain curly haired, spoiler averse former Mrs. Doctor. If she ends up being another River Song I just might have to book a flight to England and throat punch Moffat.
Final Verdict: This was a bumpy start for Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor but by the end of the episode he found his footing. The appearance of The Paternoster Gang was well done and some possibly interesting crumbs were tossed out for future storylines. Still have some issues with the direction of the show but I am very optimistic about Capaldi’s Doctor.