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Doctor Who Episode Recap: Deep Breath

We open with a freakishly over-sized Tyrannosaurus Rex (or, since the beast is female,  possibly a Tyrannosaurus Regina,) who is rampaging in terrified fury through Victorian London. At least she’s not a dinosaur on a spaceship. As the ordinary folk scramble in terror and try to avoid becoming dino chow, three odd little characters rush through the scene with a more analytical approach. There’s a lovely young woman named Jenny, something that appears to be a giant walking, talking potato, and Madame Vastra, lesbian Silurian. As Vastra gazes up at the magnificent lady lizard, I wonder if she’s possibly fallen in love. (Watch out, Jenny.) Moments later, they realize the dino is choking on something, and it spews out a big blue box. Gotta wonder how the newspapers reported this the next day. Gotta wonder why it didn’t make the history books.  The Tardis slams down conveniently near Vastra and her party, and one particularly clueless guy (Oh, look! It’s the local detective! Where’s Sherlock Holmes when you need him?) declares that the big lizard currently stomping buildings and people to pieces has laid an egg.

Vastra sneers at him because he doesn’t realize it’s a police box, and I stop to consider that these Victorian folks probably don’t know what a police box is, either. Or if they do, they just know it as that big blue thing that always seems to appear right as the entire world goes completely insane. Yet another reason to be scared out of their wits.

The walking potato man, who will heretofore be referred to as Strax, orders the occupants of the box to surrender to the glory of the Sontaran Empire, and the man inside pokes his head just long enough to tell Mr. Potato Head to shush. Probably something Strax hears a lot, actually.

It is, of course, the Doctor, although none of the Paternoster Gang are sure yet because he looks very different from the last time they saw him. The Doctor doesn’t recognize Strax, either, confusing him with one of the Seven Dwarves. He does recognize Vastra (“the green one) and Jenny (“the not-green-one”) but he is still very disoriented in his post-regenerative haze. Moments later, Clara stumbles in a daze from the Tardis, probably wondering why she traded in an idyllic classroom of menacing delinquents for these ghastly adventures, especially since this new Doctor who does not resemble her cuddly young friend has forgotten her name. The Impossible Girl is now the Asking Questions One. (But does she ask the right questions?)

The Doctor sees that he has not actually managed to escape from the dinosaur, so he tries a new approach: “not flirting”. He’ll be not flirting with more than one person this episode, even if he does refer to the dino as his lady friend at least once. After a few more moments of incoherent rambling, the Doctor passes out.

Regeneration is a bitch, isn’t it? At least he didn’t try to strangle anybody this time, and he’s not set right with a simple cup of tea (although this first scene for Capaldi borrows really, really heavily from The Christmas Invasion.)  As Clara informs the Paternoster Gang that this older man with a new face is the Doctor, Vastra puts on her best Brigadier hat and murmurs “Here we go again,” and the credits roll.

For the rest of the recap, follow the link.

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