The Doctor and Clara find themselves in London with Madam Vastra and the gang. There are clockwork men and the Doctor is still scrambling to find himself. Clara doesn't understand the regeneration process for the Doctor.Written by
This is the first episode in the new series and the first overall since the first episode in the "The Leisure Hive" story to première in August. See more »
In the scene when Clara says she is thirsty, Strax places the bucket of water on the desk in front of Clara, it is there in the following shot, but it disappears into the next shot without Strax or Clara moving it. See more »
The curtain raiser for Peter Capaldi's tenure as the Doctor in truth for me didn't do a lot more than that. I could have guessed that the first half-hour would contain little more than some "getting-to-know-you" exposition as the Doctor finds his post-regenerative bearings, which of course means irrational behaviour, emotional outbursts and an identity crisis the latter of which only gradually resolves itself as the story progresses.
As well as Jenna-Louise Coleman's Clara's accompaniment as the "impossible girl", more familiar faces are also present in the forms of Madame Vastra, her same-sex wife Katie and their hilarious Silurian sidekick Strax as ever, wielding subtlety like a flying mallet. Eventually the doctor saves the day against the cyborg enemy and with a welcome cameo from Matt Smith, by the end, both he and Clara have something to build on for their adventures to come.
For me the problem though was that there was little sense of danger to the Doctor, even as he fought with the Cyborg leader high above London. There were some neat touches in the script, like the scene where the Doc and Clara are surrounded by clockwork assassins, a daring same-sex near-kiss between Vastra and Katie plus, being Scottish myself, I enjoyed Scottish-born writer Moffat's employment of a Scottish Doctor, using some vernacular-ish Scottish phrases complete with accent to match, recalling of course David Tennent's successful stewardship of the role two Docs ago.
In this scene and character-setting episode, there was a sense of something being held back although there may be an intriguing back-story emerging concerning the mysterious Missy which I hope will eventually pack a punch. For now the story here was the equivalent of early-round sparrings; we can only hope for some knockout episodes further down the line.
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