Tuesday, September 9, 2014

DVD Review - Doctor Who: Deep Breath

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% mine.

After celebrating its 50th Anniversary last year, Doctor Who has returned for an eight season (series) with Peter Capaldi taking over the title reigns from Matt Smith. The eight season (series) premiered on August 23rd on BBC One and BBC America with the 80-minute episode, titled Deep Breath. Typically a DW fan would have to wait until the full season (series) DVD or Blu-ray release to own the first episode, but BBC America will be releasing Doctor Who: Deep Breath on a single-disc DVD and Blu-ray today, September 9, 2014. Bonus Features include: a Prequel Scene, Behind the Scenes, Doctor Who Lives: The Next Doctor and The Real History of Science Fiction: Episode 4 - Time.

Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara (Jenna Coleman)
Deep Breath picks up shortly after the ending of The Time of the Doctor with newly regenerated Doctor suffering from a bit of post-regenerative trauma. The adventure beings with the TARDIS being spit out of the mouth of a Tyrannosaurus Rex that is causing chaos in Victorian London. The Doctor's latest companion, Clara Oswald (played by Jenna Coleman), is still in shock about the Doctor's new incarnation and seeks help from the Paternoster Gang - Silurian Madame Vastra (played by Neve McIntosh), her human maid/wife Jenny Flint (played by Catrin Stewart), and the Sontaran butler Strax (played by Dan Starkey).

While the Doctor tries to rest, the Paternoster Gang helps the local police deal with the Tyrannosaurus Rex problem.  Out of nowhere the Tyrannosaurus Rex spontaneously combusted into thin air.

The Doctor, along with Clara and the Paternoster Gang, investigates the strange occurrences, which leads them on the trail of human-like robots that is lead by a cyborg who wants to become human.

When I first heard that a dinosaur would appear in Deep Breath, I thought it would be as campy as the episode Dinosaurs on a Spaceship from season (series) seven, but surprisingly, the CGI effects were pretty decent. Plus, the dinosaur only made a brief appearance and it has very little to do with the plot. I was somewhat skeptical about the casting of Peter Capaldi, as he is the oldest actor to the play the part since William Hartnell, but after watching the Deep Breath, I'm now impressed by his acting abilities. He gives the Doctor multiple layers, something that has been missing from the character.

Clara (Jenna Coleman) and the Doctor (Peter Capaldi)
While visually the episode looks amazing, the plot is slightly misguided and boring at times. How many times does the Doctor have to battle a cyborg? Once again, the show-runner and executive producer Steven Moffat pens the script, but it seem he just keeps reusing the same themes from previous episodes, adding absolutely nothing to the story. The only thing that keeps the episode moving along is Peter Capaldi's take on the Doctor. The rest of the cast also does a wonderful job, though Jenna Coleman seemed to be slightly out of character. In the episode The Name of the Doctor, she traveled through time and met each incarnation of the Doctor, so I was shocked by her mixed emotions towards his new regeneration. Overall, Doctor Who: Deep Breath is an overly long episode with a cliched plot, though the episode is saved from being a complete disaster by Peter Capaldi's exceptional performance as the 12th Doctor. The DVD also features the six-minute prequel scene and the behind-the-scene featurette that was only seen in theaters, as well as the original "live" Peter Capaldi's casting announcement and the documentary focusing on the history of time travel in science fiction. 

Photo Credit: Ray Burmiston, ©BBC/BBC Worldwide 2014
Photo Credit: ©BBC/BBC Worldwide 2014

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