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Review: Doctor Who Series 8

Review: Doctor Who Series 8Doctor Who Series 8 * by Steven Moffat
Series: Doctor Who #8
Also in this series: The Day of the Doctor *, The Magician's Apprentice *, Doctor Who
Released by BBC on 24 November 2014
Genres: Science Fiction
Length: 45m
Source: Seen on TV
Cast: Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Samuel Anderson, Neve McIntosh, Catrin Stewart, Dan Starkey, Jemma Redgrave, Michelle Gomez.
 
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The further adventures of the time traveling alien adventurer and his companions.

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I thought it might be nice to write a review of the episodes of Doctor Who I’ve seen so far. I was going to wait until the last episode has aired, but I couldn’t wait anymore, because I just wanted to tell you all how EXCITED I am for this series! I will be talking about each episode separately, and I will give my opinion on the series so far at the end. Here we go! Doctor Who is broadcast on BBC every Saturday, usually it’s on at 20:30 (CET) but the last two episodes were on at 21:30 (CET). Series eight has Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth incarnation of the Doctor, Jenna Coleman as his companion Clara Oswald, and Samuel Anderson as newbie Danny Pink. Beware, I might post some spoilers if you haven’t seen the episodes yet (why haven’t you?!). Also I might not be able to write proper reviews because I am just so excited for this series, sorry.

Deep Breath

First aired on 23 August 2014 | Written by Steven Moffat | When the newly regenerated doctor arrives in Victorian London, he finds a dinosaur rampant in the Thames and a spate of deadly spontaneous combustions.

Story – I have to say, this wasn’t really a good introductory episode for Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. I found the story nice, but it all felt slow at the beginning and then very fast near the end. I did like the reference to an older episode written by Steven Moffat (The Girl in the Fireplace), and I liked the villains, but yeah, honestly I would have preferred the second episode to be Capaldi’s first adventure as Doctor.

Characters – As for the characters, there are the Doctor of course who is just seeing himself for the first time; though he’s seen this face before. (Capaldi played a character on Doctor Who before, in the Fires of Pompeii). We’ll probably find out more about why he ‘choose’ this particular face, or at least – I hope so. Clara was brilliant as usual, she’s not my favourite companion (that one still goes to Rose), but she’s definitely an amazing one! And in this episode we also see Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint and Strax again. I love them. A lizard lady, her human wife and their Sontaran ‘butler’  fighting crime in Victorian London. I would love to get a spin-off series of them. Strax brought the humour to this episode like only a Sontaran can do. Like I said before, I liked the villain though I also thought they were a bit gross (harvesting human body parts and making a balloon out of skin?! G R O S S).

Overall – There was a dinosaur in this episode, and though I liked it, it felt to me like they only added it to show off their awesome CGI skills. I mean, the dino wasn’t even needed for the story, it was just there because the TARDIS got stuck in its throat and it travelled along with the time machine to Victorian London. Anyway, I liked this episode, but like I said before it wasn’t a good introduction to Twelve.

Into the Dalek

First aired on 30 August 2014 | Written by Steven Moffat and Phil Ford | The Doctor and Clara find themselves inside of a supposedly good Dalek.

Story – A friendly Dalek?! Yes, I’ve heard this storyline before, in The Dalek Generation and The Ripple Effect, and like with those two stories I was very reluctant to believe there actually was a good Dalek. But I also wanted this episode to prove me wrong. This episode actually reminded me a bit of Dalek, the first episode in New Who where we see a Dalek; and I liked it. We actually got to see the inside of a Dalek, how cool is that?!

Characters – There are The Doctor and Clara of course, and some soldiers on the spaceship they are holding the ‘faulty’ Dalek on, including a girl named Journey Blue and, I assume, her uncle Morgan Blue. This is also the episode we’re introduced to a new character (aka possible companion) called Danny Pink. A lot of people have been comparing him to Mickey Smith already, and I have the feeling that’s only because he’s black. But Danny and Mickey are not at all alike. Danny is an ex-soldier who becomes a Math teacher at the school Clara works at (Coal Hill School). I immediately liked Danny from the first moment I saw him in this episode, and I hope we’ll see lots more of him!

Overall – I really liked this episode, like I said at Deep Breath, I would have liked this one better as the first episode of the season instead of DB. The Dalek’s friendliness turned out to be a fault, but in the end everything worked out and the Doctor and Clara (mostly Clara actually – she crawled into the Dalek’s memories and activated the nice-making memories) saved the day once again!

Robot of Sherwood

First aired on 6 September 2014 | Written by Mark Gatiss | In Sherwood forest, the Doctor finds an evil plan from outer space and makes an alliance with Robin Hood. With Nottingham at stake, the Doctor must decide who is real and who is fake.

Story – Robin. Hood. and robots. I got so excited when I saw this trailer, because I really like Robin Hood. In this story, Clara is asked where she wants to go, and she says she’s always wanted to meet Robin Hood. The Doctor is convinced he doesn’t exist but takes her to the right place and the right time, where they indeed meet someone who tells them he’s Robin Hood. I loved this episode, it made me extremely happy and giddy and yeah I just loved it.

Characters – Of course there is Robin Hood, and his merry men – I really liked all of them a lot! There was also the Sheriff of Nottingham, who was a bit of a creep; there were the robots whose name slipped my mind (did they even get a name? I don’t remember). But they actually reminded me of the Cybermen a bit, only well – different. Their ship was stranded in Nottingham and they needed gold, lots of gold, to get it working again (slow down there, Thorin). We also meet a mysterious girl whose name isn’t revealed until the end of the episode, but she helps the Doctor when he’s captured by the robots and together they defeat them with golden plates (seriously that scene was AWESOME).

Overall – I really enjoyed this episode, and I hope we’ll have more episodes like these in this season (though of course I like the spooky action-filled episode as well).

Listen

First aired on 13 September 2014 | Written by Steven Moffat | When ghosts of past and future crowd into their lives, the Doctor and Clara are thrown into an adventure that takes them to the very end of the universe.

Story – This was a ‘classic’ scary story, like Blink, and I loved it! When watching the trailer for this one, I ‘noped’ a lot and I was like ‘I am not watching this episode on my own’. Eventually, I did watch it on my own – because my cat started meowing at nothing right before the ep started and I kicked her out of my room because she scared me. But wow, this was an epic one. We travel to the past where we meet Rupert Pink; then to the future where we meet Orson Pink (yes family of Danny). Though the episode moved a bit fast in my opinion, it had some classic horror stuff in it and it made me scared to get off my bed after the episode ended. In the end though, we find out what the creature underneath the bed actually is, and that made me a bit less scared.

Characters – We meet Danny again, who Clara was going on a date with – but it didn’t really go that well. Then, we travel back in time and meet little Rupert Pink, who turns out to be Danny before he changed his name (because he didn’t like the name ‘Rupert’). We also meet the ‘villain’ of this story, which is something we don’t really see (apart from the bright red blanket covering it); and we travel to the future, to the end of the universe (or the earth, I don’t remember) and there we meet Orson Pink, Danny’s grandson (I guess? or great grandson?). And the last person we meet is a younger Doctor. A child Doctor. This made me really excited!

Overall – I loved this episode, I really loved it!

Time Heist

First aired on 20 September 2014 | Written by Steven Moffat and Steve Thompson | The Doctor and Clara must break into the most secure bank in the universe.

Story – The Doctor and Clara… Rob a bank?! The first time I saw the trailer for this ep, I was a bit confused, because why would they rob a bank? But then, as I was watching the ep, it started to make sense. I have to admit, I found this one a bit predictable, because I knew who the Architect was before it was revealed in the episode, but other than that I found it very amusing.

Characters – We meet Psi and Saibra, the other half of ‘Team Not-Dead’, who are helping the Doctor and Clara rob the bank of Karabraxos, the most secure bank in the universe. I liked them, I really did, and I am kind of hoping we’ll see more of them in this season (but I am guessing not, *sad sigh*). We also meet Mrs. Delphox who is the head of security of the bank, and Mrs. Karabraxos herself (and they have more in common than you’d expect). And then there’s the creature, named the Teller, who can read people’s minds and even wipe them. This creature reminded me of another creature whose name I don’t remember, or that might just be me – anyway, I thought it was a scary thing.

Overall – I really liked this episode, apart from the predictable-ness, but hey that happens in a lot of things!

The Caretaker

First aired on 27 September 2014 | Written by Steven Moffat and Gareth Roberts | The terrifying Skovox Blitzer is ready to destroy all humanity – but worse, and any second now, Danny Pink and the Doctor are going to meet.

Story – The Doctor is undercover at Coal Hill School, trying to catch an alien that could wipe out the entire planet. Clara is trying to find out what he’s doing, but she’s also trying to maintain her relationship with Danny, which isn’t easy when you’re a time traveller. I found this episode very simple, a bit like School Reunion from Series 2. I don’t really have much to say about this episode, apart from the fact that I liked it. Yeah.

Characters – There’s Danny of course, who meets the Doctor for the first time in this episode; and it doesn’t really go according to plan. We also meet one of their students, called Courtney, who is very curious and even gets a trip in the TARDIS. I liked Courtney, especially because she wasn’t really that impressed by the trip (but that may also be because she got sick). And there is the Skovox Blitzer, a terrifying creature who could wipe out the entire planet by just blowing himself up. Danny does a nice trick to save Clara and give the Doctor more time to defeat the creature, and yeah, I liked it.

Overall – Like I said before, I liked this episode, and that’s actually all I’ve got to say!

Kill the Moon

First aired on 4 October 2014 | Written by Peter Harness | In the near future, the Doctor and Clara find themselves on a space shuttle making a suicide mission to the Moon. Crash-landing on the lunar surface they find the most terrible things.

Story – Spiders. Freaking SPIDERS. ON THE FREAKING MOON. Yeah, if you’re afraid of spiders, like me, it’s probably better to NOT watch this episode. I had itches all over my body after watching this, and I am still not over it. The episode felt quite short in my opinion, mainly because there wasn’t really a lot of action (the spiders kept mostly to themselves during the majority of the story). But there was a choice to be made, kill the moon, or quite possibly kill everyone on earth. The Doctor left to give the humans of Earth time to make a choice, and I thought that was a bit awful. In the end, they made the right choice, of course.

Characters – We meet three astronauts, or well, the last three astronauts of Earth who borrowed (or stole) a spaceship to get to the moon. Courtney also comes along on this adventure, and she becomes the first woman to set foot on the moon, which I liked a lot. She also posts pictures on Tumblr, which made me even happier. And the spiders. Yeah. They were scary. That’s all I’m going to say. Gross.

Overall – I liked this episode, though I still can’t stop thinking about those spiders, damnit. I shouldn’t have watched it. I SHOULD NOT HAVE WATCHED IT.

So far, I am really enjoying this season. I really like Twelve, I like Clara even more than I liked her in the previous season and Danny is already one of my favourite characters. I really hope the rest of the season will be as awesome as these seven episodes. Doctor Who will continue next Saturday on BBC1 at 21:30 with the episode Mummy on the Orient Express.

My opinion in one gif: