Warning: May Contain Spoilers
First broadcast on BBC One on 23 August 2014. Written by Steven Moffat and directed by Ben Wheatley.
When the Doctor arrives in Victorian London he finds a dinosaur rampant in the Thames and a spate of deadly spontaneous combustions.
Who is the new Doctor and will Clara’s friendship with him survive as they embark on a terrifying mission into the heart of an alien conspiracy?
The Doctor has changed. It’s time you knew him.
Well, after eight months of waiting and hype, it is finally here – Peter Capaldi’s first full episode as the Doctor. Was it worth the waiting? Was the hype justified?
On the strength of this episode, my answer is a qualified ‘Yes’.
Peter Capaldi is brilliant; if he hangs around for a few years I have no doubt that he will be regarded as one of the greatest Doctors.
He managed to perfectly capture the mental disorientation that follows a regeneration. I haven’t seen anything like it since Colin Baker took over the role.
I’m glad that he was allowed to keep his accent. I would have liked it if David Tennant had kept his but I put that down to the production team.
The story left a little to be desired though. The dinosaur was a gimmick and really added nothing to the story that couldn’t have been achieved somehow else.
The android wanting to become human has been done better elsewhere. It all goes back to Pinocchio.
Clara’s reaction to the regeneration was a breath of fresh air. Previous companions who have actually witnessed a regeneration have usually accepted the new Doctor without reservation.
Another bright spot was the return of the Paternoster Gang; any appearance is to be welcomed. It ever a group of characters warrant a spin-off it is them.
The Matt Smith cameo at the end was nice but unnecessary. Sure it fitted in with Clara’s reservations but I think they should been resolved through the new Doctor’s actions.
The final scene sets up the Big Bad for this series and I hope that this is an arc that is concluded within this series and isn’t dragged out for years.
An auspicious, if flawed, start. I’m hoping for improvement as the series progresses.