Whenever I start a new show I like to watch at least 3 episodes before making any decision on whether or not I like it. With a new person as the Doctor, I thought I would give Peter Capaldi the benefit of at least 3 episodes before making a decision on whether or not I enjoyed him as the Doctor and whether or not I thought the new season was any good. I don’t plan on doing episode reviews of Doctor Who this season, but I have been joining in the discussions over at Those Who Geek. You can start with Season 8, Episode 1 (Deep Breath), and join the conversation there if you want! As of last night I am caught up on season 8 and here are my general thoughts after watching 6 episodes. *MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD*
Peter Capaldi as the Doctor: I was really really hoping to just fall in love with Capaldi’s version of the Doctor, but I cannot. He always looks angry, he is almost always angry, confused, or in denial, and he’s mean much of the time. Every episode jokes about his angry eyebrows, but all I can think is ‘THAT IS WHAT THREADING IS FOR!’ He’s dismissive of Clara’s well being at times, but needs her to function. His relationship with Clara is extremely unhealthy for her in a similar but not exactly Martha/Doctor relationship way. I’m just not impressed at all. I think Capaldi is a great actor and perhaps we are all supposed to hate him just a little, but every time he is on the screen playing his angry version of the Doctor I want to make angry age appropriate (for me) finger gestures at the television. I’ll be the first to admit my absolute admiration and adoration for Matt Smith may be clouding my judgement at bit, so sure, I’m biased, but I have tried very hard to be open to his interpretation of the Doctor and where Moffat is taking him this season. But I’m not liking it one bit. Now, I’ll also freely admit that this may all be Moffat’s fault, but the Doctor has lost a huge portion of his charm in this version of him, and I can only hope as he grows as a new person he will gain some of it back.
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald: I’m absolutely in love with Clara Oswald. Jenna Coleman has really begun to shine in the latest season of Doctor Who. She was fine opposite Matt, but in season 8, she keeps blowing my mind with each new episode. I have the hugest girl crush on her. She is gorgeous, smart, clever, and however awkwardly expresses genuine emotions other than anger. I may be a bit hateful where Moffat is taking the Doctor’s character, but his development of Clara Oswald’s character is brilliant. Which is the hard thing about Moffat shows, there is usually one part that I absolute am in love with and another part that I hate. Usually it’s the camp, the really nonscary Daleks, but having it be the Doctor this season is stirring up so many emotions, it’s a bit hard to handle. Clara is my saving grace and the sole reason I continue to watch Doctor Who this season. I could care less if the Doctor appears, I just want to learn more about her and see more of her life. Jenna Coleman shines in her role and I keep hoping Clara realizes she needs to do what is best for her and not necessarily for the Doctor. I slightly hesitant to declare it, but she has become my favorite companion, even out shining Donna to me, and that is saying something.
Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink: OMG what a beautiful man. I love his eyes! His eyes are amazing! Pink’s initial awkwardness around Clara is adorable, and as his character comes into his own through the first of the season, the transformation is just wonderful. Anderson is a great actor and quickly becoming one of my favorite characters on the show. I love finding out more and more about his past and future as the season progresses and I’m far more interested in what he and Clara mean to each other than I am whether or not the Doctor is clever enough to figure out if there are people in the shadows. His confrontation to Clara of who he sees the Doctor as was amazing, and I had to agree wholeheartedly. Which makes me mad at Moffat, I just know that man is playing with my emotions- on purpose!!! Ugh. But if it means more Danny Pink… than I’m all in. Oh so pretty. Such pretty people this season!!!
Michelle Gomez as Missy (The Doctor’s Girlfriend?): We know so little about her, but I find that one of the most intriguing things about this season. We see little snippets of her, she seems to be in charge of some version of the afterlife, or an alternate dimension she is pretending is the afterlife. She seems knows so much and yet reveals very little. She claims to be the Doctor’s girlfriend, yet is too busy to greet some of the people that make their way to her dimension after a bout as episodic companions of the Doctor. Who is she really? What is her true connection with the Doctor? So many questions and yet another draw to this season.
The story telling in season 8 has been a big draw, little pieces of a larger puzzle are falling into place and I’m anxious to find out what it all means. Even if Capaldi’s Doctor is a tad callous for my taste, I respect his acting chomps. I look forward to every scene that has Clara or Pink in it and I eagerly anticipate every new episode. Even knowing that the episode is probably going to elicit explosive comments not to be repeated in front of polite company.