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Deep Breath Review

Clint Hassell gives his verdict on Peter Capaldi’s debut.

capaldi-point-deep-breath

As an introduction to Doctor Who, “Deep Breath” is not the best option; “Smith and Jones” and “The Eleventh Hour” are far superior in introducing the basic concepts of the show’s mythology to novice viewers. However, “Deep Breath” is a magnificent solution to Doctor Who’s one, big problem: how to convince the growing fan base to accept the Twelfth Doctor when he looks less like Matt Smith and more like, well, that old guy from “The Fires of Pompeii.”

Make no mistake: marketing the new Doctor is a huge problem for Doctor Who’s production team. While hardcore and long-time fans are quite accustomed to the concept of regeneration and the myriad personalities and appearances of the Doctor, that group is small compared to the legions of newer viewers, brought to the program through its recent resurgence in popularity and expansion into foreign markets. Consider that a 10-year-old fan – certainly within the show’s target demographic – might be too young to have experienced a previous regeneration first-hand, perhaps having only seen the Russell T Davies era via Netflix or reruns.

clara-strax-vastra-deep-brathTo assuage the audience, showrunner Steven Moffat filled “Deep Breath” with as many familiar elements as possible, as if to reassure viewers that, “See – it’s still the same show!” The episode returns, once again, to Victorian England and the Paternoster Gang, where feminist Vastra is still having criminals “for dinner” and Strax is predictably dim and humorously blood-thirsty. Even easily flustered Inspector Gregson appears, and he’s part of the supporting cast to the supporting cast! Clara is dressed in Victorian garb for the third time in twelve episodes. The Clockwork Droids return. References are made to previous companions Amy and Handles, Four’s scarf, Bitey the Cybermat, and the TARDIS roundels. Famous quotes from the Second, Third, and Tenth Doctor’s eras are repeated, and the Cloister Bell chimes. The teaser from “The Christmas Invasion” is practically copied line-for-line, this time replacing Clara and the Paternoster Gang for Rose, Mickey, and Jackie.

brian-miller-capaldi-deep-breathAfter a comfortably familiar first act, the episode includes many metatextual moments where the dialogue openly acknowledges perceived “faults,” including Peter Capaldi’s aged appearance and his Scottish accent. Addressing directly, with a self-mocking humor, the big, grey elephant eyebrows in the room is a terrific tactic for getting the audience to accept the Doctor’s new, non-traditional handsomeness. In the show’s most metatextual moment, Matt Smith, himself, cameos as the Eleventh Doctor, pleading with Clara – and the audience, by default – to embrace the new Doctor.

vastra-veil-deep-breathMost impressively, where Moffat’s script really excels is its use of specifically-chosen supporting cast and rich, layered symbolism to both examine the concept of regeneration and confront the viewing audience on its attitude towards the new leading actor. Vastra’s hiding her face under a veil seems a cold-blooded and, ahem, scaly response to Clara’s initial reticence towards Twelve’s new appearance – from Clara’s point of view, each successive Doctor has been younger in appearance; why not this one? However, considering Who’s recurring cast, Vastra is uniquely sensitive to being judged based on physical appearance.

But, it’s not just the Doctor’s physical appearance: this one is mad, and rambling – and not in a charming way. He’s gruff, and lacks pretense, and, for once, is unsure of himself. Enter Jenny, a character who isn’t shunned for her outward appearance, but for who she is on the inside.

By having Clara voice the audience’s inner feelings, and then allowing for the perfectly selected, uniquely suited Vastra and Jenny to respond with the production team’s rebuttal, “Deep Breath” actually shames the audience into accepting the new, older Twelfth Doctor. It’s… brilliant. Is Clara wrong to wish for Eleven’s return? Is Vastra being unfairly sensitive? That the episode can present both sides to such a layered argument, using symbolism and previously developed characters, and thus get the audience to ponder their own feelings about the Doctor – and, by extension, Doctor Who as a whole – elevates this show to high art.

capaldi-mirror-deep-breathThe reveal of the Clockwork Droids is another example of ideally suited returning character-as-symbolic argument, a silver tray illustrating that the ever-changing anatomies of the Half-Face Man and the Doctor are, literally, two sides of the same coin:

The Doctor: “Question: if you take a broom and replace the handle, and then later replace the brush – and you do it over and over again – is it still the same broom? Answer: no, of course it isn’t, but you can still sweep the floor . . . . You have replaced every piece of yourself, mechanical and organic, time and time again – there’s not a trace of the original you left. You probably can’t even remember where you got that face from.”

Here, the production team reminds the audience that, while lead actors and companions have been recast, Daleks recolored, sonic screwdrivers redesigned, and opening titles and theme music reworked, the show continues to function – and entertain, and inspire – as Doctor Who. Apart from his appearance or personality quirks, Twelve is still the Doctor; he’s observant on levels beyond anyone else in the room, he’s got a plan, and he does, indeed, put the protection of others above all else.

clara-test-deep-breathReally, the biggest problem with “Deep Breath” is Clara’s characterization. While her positioning as audience cipher is truly inspired – and, in fact, why the “companion” role was created within the framework of the show – Clara’s reaction is both out of place within the series’ canon (Why does Clara not understand the concept of regeneration? Yes, this is the first time she’s been present for one, but she’s recently met three different versions of the Doctor. Surely, in the post-adventure debrief, the subject arose?), and undeserved as someone who has yet to travel with the Doctor as a full-time companion. What this episode really needs is a reminder of Clara’s backstory. Clara jumped on board the TARDIS because, ironically, traveling with Eleven, each Wednesday, was a stabilizing factor in her life, as she coped with the loss of both her mother and her friend, the unnamed mother of the Maitland children. To recognize that the inherent change of regeneration would upend that sense of stability would not only account for Clara’s control-freak persona, but also explain her slow acceptance of the new Doctor in a way that doesn’t retcon Eleven’s personality and motives into that of a “flirty boyfriend.”

Step back in time...

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282 comments
The11thDoctress
The11thDoctress

This episode had a lot of points... I was so scared to watch this episode because I had my ideas of what Capaldi's Doctor would be like ; a stern, overly blunt, cold man who fishes for compliments and needs people [Clara] to save him when he's being careless. Alas by the moment he told Strax "Shush" and slammed the Tardis door in his face, I knew it was going to be a great season, and I laughed for 3 minutes. Of course, I'm a hardcore fangirl of Doctor Who, and even though I was 8 when 11th started in 2010 and I started watching after the Christmas special, I had my best man Netflix by my side, and I watched and cherished every episode of 11th and I fell in love with him, and we all have our favorite Doctor, our one Doctor that when you hear the word "Doctor" that's the only face that comes to mind. 11th was and will forever be my Doctor. I watched Deep Breath, and I was already missing my Doctor. Capaldi, although a little cold and careless, will learn to be a warm, strong man we all think of as The Doctor. When you first see him, you'll think "Well he's Scottish, old, and mean" But when you get to know him, he's wise, intelligent

galexia1321
galexia1321

I loved the episode. Capaldi reminds me in a way of Nine, since both are very serious. The way Capaldi played the Doctor showed his raw and exposed; he wasn't the strange alien creature who is so distant and higher than humanity. He has emotions, and reacts appropriately to the fact Clara won't accept him. I thought Clara was a great take on the fanbase; many people have complained that the Doctor can't be old since David Tennant and Matt Smith are so young. Though I started the series at Nine and went onward, I managed to use Netflix to see snippets of the older Doctors. All of them played the Doctor well, and that's what really matters. In the end, Clara realized it doesn't matter how a person looks, it's who they are that defines them. As for Missy... I really hope she's not going to be the next River Song or Rose. Honestly, I did like River; she was a strong, independent woman who didn't mind using both her looks and wits to help the Doctor. Rose is my favorite companion in the modern series, but because unlike Clara, to her it didn't matter what the Doctor looked like. She tried to help the Doctor be a better person, begging him to save Cassandra and spare the Dalek. Missy, on the other hand, could be an excellent set up as a villian; she could be a psychopath who is trapping people in a fake paradise who insanely believes she is doing good and that the Doctor loves her. She could be a sociopath who is using people to reach the Doctor, again insanely thinking they are together and could end up trying to kill Clara to get the Doctor to herself. The setup would fit. Overall, while I agree it's not the best episode to start on (Rose, The Eleventh Hour, and other episodes would be better), I thought the episode was brilliant by addressing issues from the fans, bringing back a bit from other episodes, and generally showing the new character of the Doctor for all to see.

EmilyDrWho
EmilyDrWho

i love the fact that they have such an amazing relationship going on between Vastra and Jenny, people are saying that the 'lesbian lizard perv kiss' shouldnt have been allowed for children but im not been funny right but kids are gonna have to learn that women can love each other and that they do and they need to learn to respect that

Adrian Stuart Meadows
Adrian Stuart Meadows

I was fairly pleased with the performance of Capaldi, looking forward to watching him a lot more. My issue is not with the doctor, it is with the quality of the story, not just for this last episode but for the last 2 seasons. I think for the last couple of seasons since Matt took over, the relationship between the Doctor and his companion(s) has become too central to the show, and I thought when Amy and Rory went their way that things would change. I do believe that the relationship between The Doctor and his companion(s) should definitely be an element of the show to watch it for, but gets a little stale when it takes up a lot of the story. Another thing, I expected and I am still hoping for a more serious element to The Doctor this series and Capaldi hinted at that, and likewise I am also hoping for the antagonists to become a lot more serious. Yet so far, all I've seen(other than slight promise from Capaldi) is the hint of flirtation with The Doctor and his companion(s) especially when Matt was around, and especially with River who in my mind had overstayed her welcome after the first few episodes we saw involving her.. There was the mention of a 'woman' in the episode who seemed to link Clara and The Doctor together and that really intrigued me and I think that could lead to a promising story, but then as we saw at the end of the episode when the presumed 'woman' referred to The Doctor as her 'boyfriend', it really made me cringe and just reminded me of the relationship Matt's doctor had with River. What I'm saying is, in stories like that with 'new' characters coming into the mix, I'd much rather have a slightly worrying element thrown in The Doctor's way, this woman for example I had hoped would actually turn out to be a villain of The Doctor and had a huge plot against him that would be revealed and span across the whole season or more. Now however, although it seems we'll see/hear a lot more of her, she's not going to present The Doctor with any new challenge, which is what I think he needs in the same way characters like The Master and Davros challenged who he was. Current villains like Daleks and Cybermen, though they usually are exciting to watch, they too have been overused lately and their scare-effect has been much reduced. These are just my opinions and I know others who feel the same, but there's still the whole season for something really interesting to occur, which I am hoping for. 


garyseven
garyseven

Just a thought. When did the 11th Doctor call Clara? How did he know she was with a new Doctor if he thought he was on his last regeneration? Some more of the Timey-Wimey thing? Just a thought.

Mercy Reborn2
Mercy Reborn2

I think it was ok, to not understand about the regeneration thing but Clara didn't have to be rude,  to the doctor and Vastra .. Clara didn't act very nice, and I don't think many companions have understood straight off but they weren't rude. I think she seemed a bit selfish

JasonWright1
JasonWright1

"Why does Clara not understand the concept of regeneration? Yes, this is the first time she’s been present for one, but she’s recently met three different versions of the Doctor. Surely, in the post-adventure debrief, the subject arose?"  This bothered me too, but then I realized that while Clara saw the different faces of the Doctor in his time stream in "The Name of the Doctor, and then met several in "The Day of the Doctor"...she's never experienced a regeneration...and even if it was discussed some things might have been missed.  Why does that matter?  She knows about regeneration, but she's never seen it happen.  And while she's seen the Doctor age (both as 1 & 11) she has no reason to think that the Doctor doesn't always start young and then get older as he goes.  She's not shocked that he's regenerated...she's shocked that he's regenerated and he's OLD already.  Also, knowing that the Doctor that you "know" is going to regenerate is not the same as experiencing it.  It's like in "The Day of the Doctor", Clara knows that the Doctor "destroyed" his people, but she didn't know that 11 did it, and that changed things for her.  And it's also the same for the audience.  We know that that Doctor regenerates, but in just my small circle of friends who are fans I've seen many different reactions to him actually regenerating.  I have friends that started with Matt Smith who are still grieving his loss; why should Clara be any different?  I know the Doctor isn't "dead" but it's kind of like he dies every time he regenerates; he's both the same person, yet completely different.  It's complicated.  "Yes, the Doctor is here.  He came when I called just like he always does...but not my Doctor.  Not MY Doctor." - that's how River Song reacted to meeting 10 and she knew all about his regeneration cycles - and had regenerated herself - but meeting a version that didn't know her still messed with her head.  It's complicated.







EyebrowsAttack
EyebrowsAttack

Great review, really enjoyed how you foregrounded what you valued about it and then put your reservations at the end.  Nice to see a level head with all the positive and negative hype that necessarily blows around with such things.  Most impressive was how you put things into the big picture perspective in terms of the challenge the production team had with this older and darker doctor - well beyond the both more and less demanding whovian core fanbase.  While I don't fully agree about your issues with her reservations about the new doctor, face and actions, (they made sense to me), I do agree that it would have been really good for the broader fanbase if (brief) scenes or just dialogue here and there were included reminding us about her past and how the doctor was previously (and no longer) a stabilising force, adding to her disorientation during deep breath.

Fall of the Eleventh
Fall of the Eleventh

Has anyone noticed how the Doctor modeled his outfit after what he first saw Clara wearing? White blouse/shirt, shined leather ankle shoes/boots, red at the waist in an otherwise dark ensemble. His need for her, almost for approval shows so much in the last couple scenes. His vulnerability shows so much right before 11's call. Which reinforces how lost & unsure he really is. There hasn't been a Doctor so almost dependant in some ways on a companion. His love for the bossy, egomaniac, control freak which started with 11 is much deeper now.

As for Missy, her chomp & the way she acts before she starts to spin reminds me of another villan from DW but I can't remember who.

Zeldazelda
Zeldazelda

I did think Jenna Coleman proved to be an incredible actress in this episode, which makes me really sad if the rumors she's leaving proves true.

Planet of the Deaf
Planet of the Deaf

One little bit of dialogue I didn't get when I first watched, was that Clara was reluctant to say Geronimo, the code word for the Paternosters to come in. More memories of her Doctor ...

Oodkind is nuking spiders.
Oodkind is nuking spiders.

I didn't mind that Clara had a hard time letting go of Eleven. He was her Doctor. She knew that he would change eventually, she just didn't know that it would happen so soon. Maybe she even thought that all the rest of the Doctors she saw aged to be grey and started young. I forgive her for that. However, what I thought seemed strange, was her treatment of Twelve. She was about to flat out leave him when Eleven called, and she hadn't even been around him after he had fully recovered from regeneration. She was nice to the War doctor, someone about to commit genocide, but when 12 was solving a murder mystery, a good act, she was angry? It seemed a bit odd.

She came off as a jerk. First was the lies about not being interested in flirting. May I point out what she said in TotD, "I'm an English teacher from planet Earth, and I've run off with a man from space because I really fancy..." And all the kissing in the Crimson Horror. Saying she wasn't flirting is an obvious lie. Then was her treatment of The Doctor when she barely knew him. I know, he abandoned her to the droids, but he was there the whole time. She should have forgiven him when she realized that he was still there to save her. I'm glad they gave her more personality, however, even if it is negative traits.

TardisKid101
TardisKid101

I think Deep Breath was really good. I think next to The Eleventh Hour it is the best Doctor Who post regeneration episode. Clara's character development was excellent and I can't wait for more Capaldi. He's Scottish so he can complain about things now! LOVED THAT LINE!

The Lazy Cat Has a Terrible Decision to Make...
The Lazy Cat Has a Terrible Decision to Make...

I'd just like to say I think Clara never really cared all that much about the Doctor being young and handsome. That's exactly why she was so angry at Vastra, because Vastra made the assumption that that's why she didn't feel comfortable with the new Doctor. When it was really the fact that he'd changed at all (though his age did confuse her).

Remember, Clara still loved the 11th Doctor when he grew very old. She's not the superficial young woman that so many people in her life expect her to be. Simple example, but in Time we learned that she hated boy bands, and her step mother(?) said "of course you don't, not at your age". Her only pinup was a Roman Emperor for crying out loud! that was Clara's point, that's why she said her little rant "just because my pretty face has turned your head, do not assume that I am so easily distracted".

(This wasn't aimed at anyone in particular, just voicing my take on that scene.)

Htershane72
Htershane72

Oh and a special mention to the sqawking harpy at 23 seconds in. 

A fine example of an extra grabbing their moment of screentime and reducing Row J of our local cinema to tittering twits in the process.

Htershane72
Htershane72

For me Clara/JC was the highlight, I was never in any doubt Capaldi would be brilliant.


From "Asylum" through to "Time of The Doctor" something was amiss, I can't put my finger on it. JC has been more than up to it, ticking all the boxes on the "things companion actors must do well" chart and pulling of the dramatic range required with aplomb so no fault of the actress but something wasn't working for me. 

That changed on Saturday, JC pulled a blinder and Claras clicked! The restaurant scene and the subsequent ones in the basement were sublime.

I hope they keep this standard up and Jenna stays for another series (or at least part of the next). Maybe her and Doc 11 just didn't fit? I think 12 could be "her" Doctor in the same way 4 was Sarah Jane's depsite starting with 3.

troughton who?
troughton who?

Where on earth did Clara not understand the concept of regeneration? She took a while to warm to the new Doctor, who was radically different to his predecessor in looks and personality. She'd met 10, who was also handsome and not *that* different to 11 personality wise, and the War Doctor, who came across as a polite, sensible old man. Plus as past selves it wasn't quite the same. If your friend burst into light and turned into someone radically different, I would be pretty put out.


yiffniff
yiffniff

" ... as she coped with the loss of both her mother and her friend, the unnamed mother of the Maitland children ... " Clara's mother died?  Really?  Wow, I completely missed that.  If that's the case that gives her a great justification for wanting order and consistency in her life, and should absolutely have been played up here.  



Zeldazelda
Zeldazelda

Are you kidding? It seems perfectly appropriate to me within the canon why Clara struggles to accept Twelve. While she has met other doctors and understands regeneration, Eleven was "her" doctor. His personality, looks, mannerisms, quirks were the only ones she was familiar and comfortable with and she probably felt like she knew him inside and out.

Even in his old age, he was comfortably still Eleven in personality and even in looks (though markedly older) and the last time she saw him before regeneration in the Tardis he was young again - which was a little weird but that's another story.

She did not expect him to be so different personality-wise and look-wise, and the age thing put him even further away from her. (As another said, she probably expected a new regeneration to start off young and slowly age.)

He didn't even remember her at first, and though he seemed to "have her back" when he rescued her, he was mainly pleased she had gotten some valuable information from the droid and not at all concerned with her suffering. She didn't trust this new personality (as you know, if trusted friends have ever betrayed you or markedly changed their personalities from what attracted you in the first place or seemed to no longer care that much for you.). And she isn't as in control of herself and her reactions around him, which I'm sure doesn't make her feel too good about herself or him.

Makes perfect sense to me for Clara, and I have to admit for myself too. Eleven was the first doctor I watched live (USA). I also went back and Netflixed every episode back to 2005 and some of the classic Doctor Who, too. So you could say I had seen and understood the regenerations, even liked the other doctors, but I'm still working to accept the new doctor because Matt Smith was my doctor and his looks, mannerisms, personality and quirks are who I initially bonded to. Haven't I read that others felt the same about other doctor transitions even though understanding the process and maybe eventually accepting and liking the new doctor?

King Joffery
King Joffery

To me, Deep Breath was Moffats best script since A Good man goes to War, all the ones after that were either alright - god awful (including Day of the Doctor) 

Kathrin Lily Franke
Kathrin Lily Franke

@galexia1321 Sorry, but have you forgotten what Rose was like when Nine regenerated? She was at least as hostile as Clara was - if not more so. Clara accepted it was the Doctor, she just couldn't understand why he would get a new face that looked old and had grey hair... she probably assumed, from what she'd seen with 11 (and 8.5 and 10) that they'd start looking young and grow old. Rose, on the other hand flat out rejected the idea that the man tucked up in bed could be the Doctor, at least for the first bit - until he appeared on the ship.                  Of the season openers Rose and The Eleventh Hour are probably the best - for obvious reasons: Rose because it's the first of New Who, Eleventh Hour because it's a clean break with what was there before (Doctor, companions, production team). I think Deep Breath is a good starting point as well, it probably owrks well enough if you haven't seen series 7 as there are not that many specific references to that particular season (apart from the end when he asks about the phone number) - there's more stuff from the previous three Doctors in particular, as well as a few from the Classics. Other than that Blink is probably one of the good ones to start with.

Moreroundthings
Moreroundthings

@garyseven  I think 11 called Clara after he zapped the Dalek mother ship and had started to reboot - ie before Clara came out of the church and entered the TARDIS.  If you recall the TARDIS phone was hanging off the hook as she reached the door.  11 knew that he had been given a whole new set of regenerations by then as he was already "re-booting".  And that it would be a "Whopper" and "its a-coming"...


He, 11 did not know that Clara would be with the new Doctor but he certainly hoped she would still be.  "Is that the Doctor?" 11 asks.  At the same time 12 also asks "Is that the Doctor?".


Clara answers "Yes" to both of them.


So a bit of timey-wimey but not too much.  Remember that 11 had already called the past on his mobile to ask UNIT to move Gallifrey Falls from the Gallery to the Tower of London in the Day of the Doctor.  So the TARDIS telephone can be patched through to earlier or later than the Doctor's own time-stream.

parrot999
parrot999

@garyseven He called her between blowing up the Dalek Mothership with his regeneration energy, and changing appearance...  If you recall, in Time of the Doctor, Clara put the TARDIS exterior phone back on the hook.  That was right after he called her from his perspective...

VictorianDoctorApproves
VictorianDoctorApproves

He called Clara after he destroyed the Dalek Ship, and returned to the TARDIS before Clara got there. He had already received his new regeneration cycle.

anitahoward
anitahoward

@Fall of the Eleventh Yeah, Missy really, really reminded me of someone. And it's going to drive me nuts until I think of it. Is it possibly Madam Kovarian? But it wasn't just her face, it was her voice (which was completely different from Kovarian's). I'm sure I'll think of it sooner or later. 

EmilyDrWho
EmilyDrWho

@The Lazy Cat when she says about her pretty face turning vastras head is that indicating about vastras sexuality?

YaelMoise
YaelMoise

@The Lazy Cat Ok, I'll grant you that her affection for the Doctor didn't seem to wane when he got older in TotD... but, first of all, it's not like she really had time to let it sink in that he's older. The whole thing happened so quickly for her: The Doctor's young and naked, then the Doctor's older, then the Doctor's old, then the Doctor is the older 12th. Bing-bang-boom. I don't think that judging her based on what she did when in that state of flux is really what counts. I do think that what she did when things finally settled down is what matters.

And what did we see when things slowed down? 16 minutes of her complaining about him being old. And then even after the Vastra's speech, we had her comment about his hair in the restaurant (which even the Doctor called her on for being not ok), and so on and so forth. 

And as to the pinup... I'm really sorry, but it means absolutely nothing. MY sole "pinup" as a teen was a poster of a yellow swallowtail butterfly I got from a nature magazine. It doesn't mean I'm not at all shallow about looks or youth. It may not be my sole defining characteristic when looking for a partner, but it's definitely, undeniably there. Not having normal "pinup" posters in your room as a teen is not any kind of evidence for someone being "beyond looks". My having a swallowtail butterfly as my sole choice for posters doesn't mean that I'm only into "abstract, non-human ideals of beauty" and her having Marcus Aurelius doesn't mean she's only into "the inner man" or even that she's not "so easily distracted".


And I'm sorry, but I found her comment to Vastra to be EXTREMELY rude. 


However much they pissed me off, I would think long and hard before seriously suggesting a married person was into me. Let alone in front of their spouse and in the middle of their front room. 


The Lazy Cat Has a Terrible Decision to Make...
The Lazy Cat Has a Terrible Decision to Make...

Vastra's words were effective in addressing some fans' uncertainty of the Doctor's older appearance, but it did not necessarily delegate Clara to a mere substitute of those particular fans, because she has a different view to them.

Moreroundthings
Moreroundthings

That's a very good point! I remember how distraught Sarah-Jane was when 3 "died". And indeed number 4 did become Her Doctor - as he became mine...

That said 12 is now My Doctor and JC as the companion is finally getting her chance to show her true ability and Clara really rocks! Terrific.

Scootersfood
Scootersfood

@yiffniff Yeah, I believe it was said in the Bells of Saint John (though I could be wrong) and it was a pretty big part of the plot in AKhaten.

AndrewMedbury
AndrewMedbury

@King Joffery are you trying the get into character as joffery, because day of the doctor is considered his best, and deep breath has rcieved far more hate from what ive seen, it mkaes..... love and monseters "shivers..." bearable

Planet of the Deaf
Planet of the Deaf

@The Lazy Cat A good question! I only discovered this site last year, so have no idea how plotlines and characters were praised or picked apart before then!

YaelMoise
YaelMoise

@The Lazy Cat There have been some major discussions about Amy, though mostly in the context of the "Is Moffat sexist" debate. Not as a stand-alone issue. I've heard some serious debates about Martha, but again, this was in the context of a bigger debate - that of the Doctor and romance. And yes, like others have said, Rose is hotly contested. Really hotly contested. In her case, it's definitely stand-alone and quite comparable. 


galexia1321
galexia1321

@Kathrin Lily Franke @galexia1321 While I agree that Rose was hostile, I think it was less because of his appearance. Note that in the episode Clara continually asks why the Doctor's face is old when he's just regenerated, and how to turn him back. Rose was more concerned with the fact that the Doctor had just changed; she thought she'd known him. Yes, both were wary of their new Doctors, but Clara was supposed to be a model of the audience who were against an older Doctor. Rose was a person who was rightfully surprised by the sudden change in appearance.

The Lazy Cat Has a Terrible Decision to Make...
The Lazy Cat Has a Terrible Decision to Make...

Well that was just my own take on the scene, we all look at things differently. Besides, it's worth bearing in mind that she'd had a very long and confusing day when she lost her temper with Vastra, and even though it was a bit rude Vastra didn't seem to mind, heck Jenny clapped!

Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

And it also serves as a bit of a reality check to those many who were looking down on the teenage female portion of the fanbase, and assuming that they were shallow and only watching the show for "hawt doods lol."


YaelMoise
YaelMoise

@The Lazy Cat I don't know... Donna seems to be something of a consensus. Well... at least to the extent that she's not really "debated" all that much. Heaven knows I know people who dislike her. My brother is one, for example.


Planet of the Deaf
Planet of the Deaf

@YaelMoise @The Lazy Cat Was Rose hotly debated at the time the episodes went out though?

I know it's all the same show, but it seems more appropriate to compare new Who companions with each other, rather than with Classic Who companions, when the role was a bit different.

 Notsosmartguy The new Caretaker.
Notsosmartguy The new Caretaker.

What people often forget is how easy Rose had it with ptsd 9 into heartthrob 10. Clara assumed that when he regenerated he would be younger. Also after he "abandoned" her I think we can forgive her if her faith in the Doctor was shaken. Also add on the fact that Clara had a thing for 11 and was mourning him while trying to find a new regeneration mad doctor in Victorian London.

twoheartsonemind
twoheartsonemind

Thank you! As a teenage female viewer, I get really annoyed when my entire demographic is generalized like that!

Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

Well, personally, while Amy isn't my favorite character, I do see her and her development as being rather complex, but at the risk of seeming unclear or even distasteful to others. And to their credit, there are moments that I will fully admit have the potential to be very controversial. Attempting to engage the Doctor in sport (well, it could be sport), the handling of the fallout of that in the following episode, the "you may definitely kiss the bride" line in the Series 5 finale, her reaction to the events of Let's Kill Hitler as a whole, the divorce subplot in Asylum of the Daleks... all of those are fair points for contention (some of which I would agree with, some I wouldn't). But then you get the wackier ones that are clearly founded on a misunderstanding or a misinterpretation, like when some will say that she was being a melodramatic nastyname in The Girl Who Waited in response to being left on her own for 36 years even though Rory's 2,000 year wait dwarfed the amount of time that Amy spent stranded. However, what those individuals fail to realize is that Rory's wait was willingly accepted, whereas Amy's was forced upon her, so she has every right to be upset. And personally, I find it a bit tasteless and futile to "compare" traumas as if the worse ones are like rare trading cards. It's just silly. So as with anything, there's a mix of logic and nonsense to it.


troughton who?
troughton who?

@YaelMoise @The Lazy Cat It comes across like Donna is incredibly popular with Doctor Who fans... but not so much with the British public, as Catherine Tate was a love-her-or-hate-her comedian. A lot of people hated her purely because of the actress that plays her. Rose is quite a divisive character with the fandom but overwhelmingly popular with the british public. It's not necessarily exactly like this, but the general trend.

YaelMoise
YaelMoise

@Planet of the Deaf @The Lazy Cat Wellll... I knew about places like this, back then, too. I just never really bothered with them. To be honest, I wouldn't have bothered with this place either, not to the point of actually posting, if it weren't for my impression that people here were EXTREMELY accepting of other people's views and very polite.

PatrickGerard
PatrickGerard

@Planet of the Deaf @AztecsDaleksAndCavemen @YaelMoise @The Lazy Cat They actually did read letters sent to them. Capaldi was NOTORIOUS as a teenager for the letters he wrote the BBC. Most of the production staff knew Capaldi by name long before he was famous and before he was cast, there's a whole chapter in a book about the history of the show that is basically centered on Capaldi (by then a prominent actor) and his obsession. I'd wager if they knew Capaldi from his letters, they had received letters and phone calls about Adric and met fans at conventions.



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  1. […] A number of people have raised concerns over Clara’s reaction to the Doctor’s regeneration. For example, in Clint Hassell’s review of “Deep Breath”: […]