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Doctor Who Review: Deep Breath

Tonight’s series premiere launches a new chapter in Doctor Who history. Peter Capaldi shows that the Twelfth Doctor is more than just a guy with intimidating eyebrows. [Photo courtesy of the BBC.]
The plot itself was far more horror inspired than recent series episodes. In between Twelve stumbling around in a post regeneration stupor, the Doctor and Clara struggle against androids who are salvaging human body parts. However, this plot in my mind took a back seat to the character development. 

The heart of Deep Breath is an identity crisis. Clara is struggling to cope with how much the Doctor has changed. She reflects the audience members who are still unsure of what to make of Twelve. She doesn’t understand why the Doctor appeared older post regeneration. Through her struggle she realizes that her previous assumptions about the Doctor were wrong. He’s a 2000 year old Time Lord hiding his past. As the episode develops, Clara gains reassurance that the Doctor’s essence is the same. She realizes so much of her perception of the Doctor was based on superficial appearance and not his personality. Along with coming to terms with the Doctor’s change, she also becomes more assertive and confrontational.

Twelve so far definitely has a more confrontational attitude than Eleven. He’s not approaching traveling through space and time as child’s play. He pushed the main android out of a hot air balloon to certain death. He also has a mad energy that needs motivation and or someone to steer him in the right direction. He sees Clara as a friend and an ally. He refuses to be characterized as Clara’s boyfriend but still acknowledges he needs her support. 
Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax return for another adventure. Their appearance was highly effective in establishing continuity from Eleven’s era to Twelve. Although Deep Breath appears to be an earlier incident in their timeline, Twelve can still count on the trio’s support and friendship. Fans who wanted to see more from Madame Vastra and Jenny definitely get what they wanted. Strax has more one liners that will quickly become fandom memes. They are key in not only outsmarting the androids, they also assist Clara with coming to terms with the Doctor’s change
Deep Breath was an excellent post regeneration episode, however I am cautious about judging the entire series off the introduction. So far, Clara is stronger and Twelve is a different brand of eccentric than Eleven. I am incredibly wary of looking at either those who are excessively hyping up this series as well as those who are excessively critical. It’s too soon to tell if the foundation laid in Deep Breath will continue throughout Series 8.

Doctor Who World Tour NYC In Photos

I spent the Series 8 premiere in NYC Thursday on the fan side of the barricades. For those of you who haven’t followed us since the early days, we obtained a press pass for the Series 7 premiere.  On Thursday I only used what a fan would have at their disposal for reporting: an iPhone and a notepad. 

I got to the Ziegfeld at 6:45 am. Only a few people were on the standby line and ticket holder line. Waiting and line and making new friends is an important part of the premiere experience which I missed at the Series 7 premiere. I passed the time hanging out with friends, occasional food and restroom breaks, as well as hanging out with my friends on the line. Quite often BBC staff and other press would stop at the front of the line for interviews and photos.

Shortly before the cast arrives, a Cyberman threatens everyone.

Photographers eager to see Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman arrive on the blue carpet. Most of the blue carpet arrival photos were too blurry to post.

Before he joined the press on the blue carpet, Peter Capaldi signed my pass! I should also note my dress is one Clara wears in Deep Breath.

Before the screening starts, Chris Hardwick gestures excitedly while threatening everyone about recording or posting spoilers.

I sat in the front row stage right. Overall Deep Breath was an excellent start to Series 8. There’s more I can say but will hold back until the 23rd. The Q&A session featured topics such as: previous Doctor Who viewings, Capaldi’s casting process, and what fans can expect from Twelve.

The Series 8 World Tour was a very thrilling experience and I can’t wait for the Series 9 premiere! 

Five Emotional Moments In Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary

(Image courtesy of the BBC)

My celebration of the 50th started at the beginning of the year. I’ve been busy experiencing the events leading up to today beyond the TV and laptop screen. I attended as well as organized conventions and meetups held in honor of the 50th Anniversary. Every once in a while I would try out watching Classic serials to deepen my appreciation of the past. All of this was in anticipation of seeing The Day of the Doctor at yesterday’s Times Square 3D simulcast.

I realized it it impossible for me to objectively analyze The Day Of The Doctor and the specials leading up to it. The happy tears of joy, nostalgia, and excitement are what made the 50th so meaningful to fans. This list an attempt to highlight some the moments from the particular moments from The Day Of The Doctor, The Night of the Doctor minisode, and An Adventure in Space and Time that stirred something deep in our Whovian souls:


1) Four’s Return

The collective screaming, clapping, and sniffles was intense and could be heard whether it was a post on social media or the person next to you at a screening. I was so excited because I thought it would never happen. Tom Baker hasn’t filmed a Doctor Who scene since his regeneration. Whether fans were seeing their childhood come to life again, appreciated Four’s importance in Who history, or were glad to see their favorite Doctor again this was the moment with the most emotional impact. 

2) Ten’s Return 

Ten is my favorite Doctor. I couldn’t help but scream when I first saw David Tennant appear on screen. Many people came of age with or recently discovered Doctor Who thanks to Ten. Although Ten’s appearance was not a surprise, fans were still eagerly waiting in anticipation. 10’s interactions with 11 were perfectly written and much better than what I imagined. Not only did the Tenth Doctor get a fitting tribute, several unfinished plots from his series finally received closure. 

3) The Night of The Doctor

This minisode did more filmed justice to the Eighth Doctor than the entire 1996 made for TV movie. Six minutes cemented years of Big Finish audio drama productions starring the Eighth Doctor as Doctor Who canon. Fans loved seeing Paul McGann return to the spotlight after years of neglect. Seeing Eight regenerate into the War Doctor was another fitting closure ending years of fan disappointment. I’ve never got around to listening to the Eighth Doctor Big Finish adventures but now is a great time to start!

4) One’s Monologue & One Meeting Eleven

An Adventure in Space and Time was a fitting tribute to the First Doctor, William Hartnell and the crew that brought Doctor Who to life on November 23rd, 1963. The special not only included the moments of nostalgia fans would expect but also the struggles and uneasiness of the earliest days of Doctor Who. As soon as David Bradley recited this quote from the Five Doctors everyone cried: “One day I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.” One’s vision to the Eleventh Doctor was another tearjerking moment. He realized his work has lasted much longer than anyone ever expected. 

5) The Deconstruction of the Time War

Every Doctor helped to save Gallifrey from destruction. Ten, Eleven, and the War Doctor brought together the Classic Doctors through flashbacks as well bringing Peter Capaldi in from the future. This moment was an excellent combination of nostalgia and excitement from the future. Although the end of the Time War is a game changer for the mythos of Doctor Who, there’s an entire new dimension open for exploration. Yesterday was just as much a celebration of the past but a stirring of excitement for the next 50 years.

In efforts to avoid essay writing, we had to leave a few more moments out. What were your favorite emotional moments from the 50th Anniversary?

C2E2 Doctor Who Cosplayers

Jesus—was a friend of mine, you Whovians are not a bunch to be reckoned with. So many Doctor Who fans have really surged in the U.S. as well as their cosplayers, so you get your own special post, especially special for you guys. Jerks.

But the Doctor Who cosplayers far surpassed those from last year and stepped it up, so take it away, maestro.

He even committed to David Tennant in the FACE. That’s true fandom.

Just off the night shift at the H&R Block, getting ready for some cocktails and John Coltrane records in his rec room.

I just liked his swagger.

Loved this sophisticate (adjective purely functioning in my mind) gentleman on the left who just had a certain air to him. As the next day, he was fully prepared…

…With another costume!

You can get it, girl.

Chill early-20s Aladdin professional seeks to share a 2 bedroom apartment above a dim sum restaurant or noise d.i.y. performance space. Must love cats.

Now I know people think jumping into photos like Gordo trying to get into every club picture in the school yearbook is cute (I made a Lizzie McGuire reference, handle it) but as a reporter, we want to murder you and every milkshake you ever intend to enjoy in your life. Yeah, that.

GORGEOUS, also had a missed connection before it was removed. Totally deserved.

This adorable young doctor had a sister with non-descript fuzzy cat ears who was mad that nobody wanted pictures of her, only her sibling.

Better to learn it now: We don’t want to see your cat costumes, ladies. Also learn, I have no guilt that warrants me to be nice to kids.

I guess they get My Little Pony in Heaven.

For more photos or close ups of some of these costumes, check out our facebook page and “like” us:

Attention Whovians: TDHN Will Cover Gallifrey One!

I’ll be live tweeting/live blogging the awesome happenings at Gallifrey One in Los Angeles this weekend. This convention is one of the largest Doctor Who specific cons in America. count.

Follow our Twitter and track the hashtag #TDHNGally1Diary. These posts will be a fan’s eye view at the panels, special guests, cosplay, and other events. Keep checking our site for long form posts as well. If you’re going to be at Gally and you want to find me, leave a message in the general ask box.


Doctor Who Review: The Snowmen

Fans who missed tonight’s Doctor Who Christmas Special on BBC America are missing much more than usual. This special introduced the new companion Clara, portrayed by Jenna Louise-Coleman. [Photo courtesy of BBC America]

The episode starts with the Doctor continuing his mission to stay off the grid. He camps out in Victorian era London, enlisting the help of Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax to keep everyone wanting his help away. Meanwhile, an alien consciousness occupies a human host and creates snowmen to attack the citizens of London. Clara, an incredibly curious governess knows about the Doctor and wants him to save the day. 

In many instances, the plot plays a secondary role to characterization in this episode. Several references to the Doctor’s identity myth, Sherlock Holmes, and Game of Thrones serve to frame the Doctor’s battle between the part of him who wants to get involved and the one who wants to avoid the pain of getting attached to people. Strax, Jenny, and Madame Vastra move from being one-off sidekicks to allies of the Doctor with interesting backstories and more fleshed out personalities. 

Clara’s official introduction made a very good impression on me. She is not afraid of danger, and she’s incredibly curious. She isn’t afraid to question, flirt with, or answer back the Doctor. Like previous companions, she believes very strongly in the Doctor’s ability to save the world from alien harm. Her sassiness reminds me a lot of Donna. A lot of what fans found endearing in Oswin is also present in Clara.

Christmas specials rarely end in a cliffhanger, but this one leaves the biggest questions unanswered. We know Oswin from Asylum of the Daleks and Clara are the same person but we don’t know how it’s possible. The episode mentioned the Ponds but made no mention at all of River and how the Doctor currently views their marriage. Coming up with theories to explain it all will keep fans very busy during the hiatus.

Overall, this Christmas special is quickly becoming my favorite of them all. It had the pacing and gravity of a regular episode but with the benefit of extra time. Clara was defnitely the best part of this episode for me, and I’m looking forward to the rest of Series 7. 

Doctor Who Review: Top 5 Reasons Why We’ll Miss Amy & Rory

Fans expected The Angels Take Manhattan to have a depressing ending, but we never never knew how. [Don’t worry, this post will not spoil exactly what happens.] My heart was breaking while I watched. Fans are going to miss Amy and Rory in a huge way, and here’s the top 5 reasons why:

1) We’ll Miss Rory’s Quiet Strength:

Rory started out on the show as Amy’s awkward boyfriend. People laughed at him being a nurse. Deep inside though, there was a Roman Centurion ready to fight. Once he got used to the awkwardness of traveling with Amy and the Doctor, he brought this side out. He didn’t need to say that he was a tough guy, he just did it. The beginning of A Good Man Goes To War was the best example of this. 

2) We’ll Miss Amy’s Silly Yet Serious Sassyness:

Amy always had a witty response for every time Eleven acted the fool. She wasn’t afraid to flirt to get good results in tricky situations. When things got rough, Amy was able to turn off the goofy but keep the attitude. Her interactions with Riddell and Nerfetiti in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is an excellent example of Amy’s ability to balance this element.

3) Amy and Rory’s Timey Wimey Fairy Tale Romance:

Amy and Rory are a perfect ship to support. There was no maybes or “will they won’t they” about their relationship. The dream wedding was inevitable. [Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of BBC America] Amy and Rory were willing to make huge sacrifices for each other in Asylum of the Daleks, and this is what makes their relationship so special.  River was the result of their enduring love for each other. Giving the Doctor another companion to keep his emotions in check also shows that he plays an important part in their relationship.

4) We’ll Miss Amy’s Character Development:

We watched Amy grow up through the last two and a half seasons. She started out as an emotionally insecure 12 year old and became become a stoic wife and mother. Both “old Amy” and “young Amy” in The Girl Who Waited showed a woman who was struggling with conflicting emotions in a powerful way. Even the choices she made in the season finale showed incredible maturity compared to the beginning of series 5. If Amy had more adventures with the Doctor, we would be able to see her grow as a person even more. 

5) We’ll Miss Rory’s Loyalty 

Having a devoted partner like Rory is every person’s dream. Rory waited 2,000 years for Amy to get out of the Pandorica. Who else can say they were willing to do that for the one they loved?  His loyalty wasn’t exclusively reserved for Amy. He supported the Doctor, River, and all that was good in the universe as well. 

Doctor Who Review: The Power Of Three

The Doctor is rarely patient enough to stay in one place for an extended period of time. [Picture courtesy of BBC America] Mysterious black cubes appearing on Earth makes him change his mind. Chris Chibnall uses this episode to develop even further the themes introduced in Pond Life.

Amy and Rory start to make plans for the future that do not involve traveling with the Doctor. Amy accepts a job as a travel writer and agrees to be a bridesmaid for a friend’s wedding several months away. Rory wants to become a full time nurse again. Although both are looking forward to settling into normal life, the element of surprise is always there. 

Although the cubes at first appear to do nothing, they begin to act in suspicious ways. The Doctor and Ponds team up with U.N.I.T to investigate where the cubes came from and what their objective is. While U.N.I.T studies the cubes’ movement, agents of the villains are inside Rory’s hospital. Eventually the cubes emit signals that cause everyone to go into cardiac arrest around the world. The Zygons believe that humans deserve to die because they are inferior compared to other advanced races.

Fans will notice many parallels with the second series Christmas special. Both The Power of Three and Christmas Invasion involve a plot where aliens use mysterious population control methods to disable/kill at least a third of the entire human population. The Atraxi used blood types while the Zygons used the heart’s electrical impulses. Even with these similarities, the episode does not feel like a rehash.

Classic Doctor Who fans will enjoy the reappearance of the Zygons. Although the Zygons were mostly out of view until the Doctor and Ponds confront them, they still posed a serious threat. Even though I may not have seen the original serials, I appreciate the homages to episodes in the distant past. 

Old and new school fans will also love Kate Stewart, the current leader of U.N.I.T. She is the daughter of the beloved Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, who was played by the deceased Nicholas Briggs. Not only is she another fitting tribute to the Brig, she also shifts U.N.I.T back towards an anti alien invasion military agency allied with the Doctor. This apprerance is much more in line with how Classic Who used U.N.I.T. Previous New Who episodes show the agency as either somewhat antagonistic or completely opposed to the Doctor. 

The friendship between the Ponds and the Doctor is hard to break, and this episode does a wonderful job of showing it. Unfortunately this is the second to last appearance of the Ponds. Next week’s midseason finale will be sure to conclude their story in epic fashion. 

Doctor Who Review: Dinosaurs On A Spaceship

The entire episode is built upon the crossover dreams of a nine year old (or adult nerds at heart). Photo courtesy of BBC America On the surface, the premise seems outlandish, but this is exactly what makes this episode a fun departure from the high stakes drama of Asylum of the Daleks.


Silurians looking for a new planet to live on filled a spaceship with dinosaurs and other precious ancient rarities. Solomon, an unethical collector of rare items, infiltrated the ship attempting to steal everything. He defeated the Silurians but ended up stuck on board. The ship is now on a crash course towards Earth, and the Doctor must avert disaster..

He recieves the distress call and assembles a gang to investigate. Queen Nerfetiti, an Indiana Jones-eque wild game hunter named John Ridell, and the Ponds answer the Doctor’s call. Rory’s father Brian is swept up into the action by accident.

Sherlock BBC fans will definitely appreciate this episode. Rupert Graves (Lestrade) guest plays John Ridell. Graves does a great job with portraying a character who undergoes a serious change in attitude. He thinks that he can act like a jerk towards Nerfetiti and Amy and get away with it, but Nerfetiti threatens to break him in two. Over the course of the episode he gets a serious lesson in how to respect women. 

Queen Nerfetiti steals the spotlight. The episode begins with her actively hitting on the Doctor and wishing for a change of pace from her life in the Egyptian court. The writers turned her disaapearance from history 14 years into her husband’s reign into a plot worth watching.  She is fiercely protective of her ability to make her own decisions, and this rubs off on Amy. Nerfetiti is not afraid to use weapons and other means to defend herself. Her interactions with Ridell are the most interesting portions of the episode.

Continuing on the themes from the prequel and last week, Rory and Amy are still struggling to settle into domesticity. The Doctor’s overwhelming presence in their lives comforts them yet scares them at the same time. Brian finds out about their adventures in the worst way possible, which only adds to their stress. However, Rory uses the trip as a chance to bond with his father, which adds to his character development considerably.

The Doctor tries to keep a low profile, but he can’t avoid it the universe’s spotlight. He is glad that the ship’s computers do not recognize his existence. At the same time, he also has some pent up emotions waiting to be released on the next opponent who crosses his path. I believe the ethical issues that arise from his dealings with Solomon will be an important clue in how the rest of the season plays out. 

Check back next week for a review of next week’s aliens versus cowboys episode!