Doctor Who: Peter Capaldi’s first episode discussion thread

My bio for Hoyden still reads:

This page is the only place in the entire Hoyden community where Mary dares to confess that she is not especially interested in Doctor Who. She hastens to assure Hoyden‘s dedicated readers that she has nothing but affection for otters.

Twelfth Doctor in the Tardis

This is no longer quite true: I now watch the big events. I saw the 50th anniversary episode, the last Christmas episode and I have every intention of watching the first Capaldi episode and seeing how it goes. Thus, a thread!

Note on times:

In Australia, the ABC will simulcast the episode with the BBC. This means it will screen at 4:50am AEST on Sunday August 24 (4:20am ACST, 2:50am AWST). It becomes available on ABC iview at the end of the screening and will also repeat at 7:40pm in local time.

No spoilers before broadcast please. Once the ABC and BBC broadcasts begin, this thread should be assumed to contain spoilers.

Categories: arts & entertainment

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19 replies

  1. Have enjoyed the first 10 minutes of scene-setting with familiar faces.

  2. “I hate being wrong in public. Everybody forget that happened.”

  3. Ugh, whatever, I’ll look forward to Phil Ford’s turn next week.
    I really didn’t enjoy this one, from the lol control freak wimminz element to the whole predatory man-hating discombubulated-by-a-pretty-face lesbian thing. But also the plotline recycling. But also the ‘not your boyfriend’ thing, excuse me? But also almost everything.

  4. I could have done without the phone call bit at the end, but otherwise I enjoyed it. Clara seems to be continuing with the whichever personality traits the writer feels like giving her this week thing.

  5. I like Capaldi. Would love to see what River Song would make of him.

  6. I am far from watching every episode and am unlikely to start, but it seemed to me that Clara has lots of reasons to be angry with the Doctor and maybe this was going to be her chance. (And if he’s going to use Amy’s name to manipulate her, that would have to be a pretty easy weapon to turn back on him, for one.) The phone call suggests not though.
    Capaldi seemed to be having fun, so that was fun to watch.

  7. Thinking about the Jenny/Vastra bits. I liked that they were presented as a couple and that their outward appearance as Lady and Ladies maid was their cover, but some parts of their storyline seemed to me, on reflection, to be almost performative lesbianism. Not that the actors did anything wrong, more the writing as mentioned by Chally. The kiss, the ‘oooh isn’t Clara hot’ stuff was perhaps for the titillation of a straight audience?
    I thought the ‘not your boyfriend’ thing was interesting but didn’t he say that wasn’t her mistake? I took that to mean that he in his previous incarnation had acted too much like a boyfriend and that in this incarnation wasn’t going to be like that.

  8. I got up at quarter to five on Sunday to watch the initial screening, which didn’t especially stand out to me as being that great, but I then rewatched the evening showing (with the script leaked to the Internet at hand as reference) and found it was rather more enjoyable, since the good elements of the story seemed to make a better impression on me, and I could allow the stuff I dislike to just pass by.
    Peter Capaldi was very good straight out of the blocks even with the silliness of a post-regenerative Doctor cliché to wrestle with for the first half of the story, and when he was in charge by the end of the story showed a lot of potential; I hope he will try to vary his character a bit than his predecessors who tended to fall into something of a rut. I would dearly love Jenna Coleman’s Clara not to be so much Manic Pixie Dream Girl (though is there a slight amount of realisation from Moffat by pointing up the ‘egomaniac, needy’ thing?); at times there is so little revealed of her personality aside from the MPDG I have difficulty seeing a second dimension to the character let alone any more than that. In this respect Russell T Davies’ companions for Nine and Ten were much better drawn and rounded characters.
    I am also finding the repetitive late Victorian settings and the Paternoster gang increasingly tired and seemingly little more than an excuse for Moffat’s self-indulgences; Strax is amusing enough and most of the stock-figure-of-fun humour there works for me, but the relationship between Vastra and Jenny Flint is gratingly unconvincing because of the misguided portrayal of what a lesbian and inter-species relationship might be like except as Mindy puts it, ‘perhaps for the titillation of a straight audience?’ I’m also really over Madame Vastra regularly and arbitrarily trying to put people on the carpet as heavy-handed authorial comment.
    It’s pretty common to have a second-rate villain for an opening story of a Doctor, so as not to take too much away attention from the main star that the audience wants to get to know, and in this respect the rubbish robots from the 51st century were creepy enough in a Whovian version of Sweeney Todd without offering too much of a challenge, but the revelation of the ship’s (badly out-of-scale) escape pod as a flesh-covered hot air balloon was one grotesquerie too far for me – Doctor Who is far scarier when there is some plausibility to the fantasy, and this was one little bit of unnecessary unbelievability too much. The Epilogue in the ‘promised land’ — bleurrgh. A reasonably enjoyable and rewatchable start to Twelve, but no great innovations.
    Another new visual opening, another new electronic arrangement of the theme, another new redecorating of the TARDIS console room — the continual tinkering with these things is beginning to seem like they’re aware they haven’t yet really nailed it. But this has often been the case over thirty-four years that Doctor Who has been in production, so it’s not as though it’s exceptional.

  9. I am also finding the repetitive late Victorian settings and the Paternoster gang increasingly tired and seemingly little more than an excuse for Moffat’s self-indulgences
    I’d rather see them doing their own thing, instead of being the Doctor’s local sidekicks. And while back in the Snowmen, they were friends who were trying to coax him out of his shell, this time, it acts like they (and especially Vastra) are somehow responsible for “managing” him – the same sort way River talked a lot of time, and also Tasha Lem. It’s a vibe I’m not keen on, a portrayal of the Doctor I’m not keen on, and a use of these female characters I’m not keen on.
    I do like that Vastra seemed to think less of modern Clara than Victorian Clara.
    I don’t like seeing yet another mysterious woman who’s apparently all about the Doctor, her “boyfriend.” I could do with a season where the Doctor isn’t the Greatest Obsession in the Universe (Especially for its Women).
    I like the new TARDIS look.

  10. I’m having “new Doctor shock” and the phone call did the opposite of helping. Interested in the theme of breathing/not breathing.
    I would love to see Peter Capaldi and River Song together. I dare Moffat to make a sexy scene with the two of them. I for one would be at the edge of my seat . . .

  11. Um, did anyone like episode 3? Anyone?

  12. I found it delightfully silly at least, but I’m very uninvested (and didn’t watch it all). I think petty manbaby bickering must be a trivial narrative kink of mine; it reminded me of the Firefly episode War Stories (which isn’t as silly, but did have OOC behaviour in order to further the bickering).

    • I too quite enjoyed the silliness, especially the petty manbaby bickering. It was however fundamentally just a look at teh shiny myth/legend excursion though, so I get why others might find it unsatisfying.

  13. And my husband would prefer a more episodic Who with less big season and multi-season plot arcs, so he liked that aspect of it also.

  14. I liked #3 a little better than #2 (some aspects of which sat a bit wrongly with me). It seemed like in this one Clara seemed to come into focus a bit more. I think they’re still working out this new doctor’s character a bit too. The manbaby bickering was a bit out of character with how he was presented in #1 & #2 I thought.

  15. After episode 4, I’m definitely on board with Capaldi’s Doctor. The episode was interesting enough, reminding me of the Silents at their best.
    But are we to interpret it as Clara now having inspired the Doctor to become the Doctor in the first place? Because that’s serious ultimate-companion-overkill.

  16. But she didn’t say the line, did she (“Run you clever boy…”)? Or did I miss it? Wouldn’t that have been a good place for her to say it?

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