Doctor Who: Does the New Doctor Stick the Landing?
Let's get this out in the open at the beginning; Peter Capaldi is already an amazing Doctor. He is literally the best possible candidate to embody the classic and rebooted series and take it into its second 50 years of life. It is impossible not to see what made Tom Baker's first several seasons so memorable in Capaldi's mannerisms, but there is also that iron edge of Eccleston's that captured a new audience. In Capaldi's Doctor there is little fault.
Little, but not none.
Of all the post-regeneration episodes I would say that "Deep Breath" does the worst job of introducing us to who the new Doctor is. There's none of the quiet strength of Troughton in "Power of the Daleks", or the tenderness seen in "The Eleventh Hour". I would argue that even McGann's movie is a better how-do-you-do to the new bloke than "Deep Breath".
First of all, they spend entirely too much time on the confused shenanigans following the regeneration. Capaldi stumbles around compellingly, but with incredible silliness far longer than is necessary. Tennant got more done asleep than Capaldi gets to do in terms of total running time.
Even when he's up and about there's still a hesitancy to really commit to a new incarnation. Half of his lines sound like they could have come right out of Smith's mouth, making you wonder what the point was in even switching them. Only in the last act does the Twelfth Doctor stand tall on his own as a new man.
On the plus side is Clara, who is finally getting some real character development outside of being last season' living MacGuffin. I've heard a rumor that Steven Moffat really wanted the Victorian era Clara seen in "The Snowmen" to be the proper traveling companion, and that the BBC forced a modern day Clara on him.
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