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Doctor Who: Deep Breath Blu-ray Review

Doctor Who- Deep Breath Blu-ray

“Deep Breath” is an uneven premiere episode.

Since season 8 of “Doctor Who” is only 4 episodes in, I understand there may be a lot of viewers out there who have yet to see “Deep Breath.” For the spoiler sensitive fans out there, I’ll be brief in my plot description.

In this extra long season premiere episode, the 12th Doctor and Clara once again arrive in Victorian London where they meet back up with Jenny, Strax, and Madame Vastra (AKA The Paternoster Gang). While there, the group must get to the bottom of a puzzling mystery involving a giant Dinosaur and suspicious looking people who may not be human.

As most Whovians know, the first episode for a new Doctor is always tricky business. Not only does the writer (in this case Steven Moffat) have to deal with the Doctor’s regeneration issues, but they also have to hook viewers into falling for a new Doctor all over again. Following in the footsteps of the ultra popular Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) is not an easy task for any actor, and yet, Peter Capaldi knocks it out of the park by bringing a darker edge to the iconic character. As we’ve seen in the first 4 episodes now, this Doctor does not suffer fools. He’s rude, he’s arrogant, but he still manages to be humorous and endlessly fascinating as per usual. To be sure, he is the best part of this episode which doesn’t offer up the best showcase for the 12th Doctor.

While others may disagree, the first 34 minutes are downright tough to get through (aside from some classic Strax moments). Granted, the Doctor’s mind isn’t right initially, but the plot takes some time to get going as it fumbles through some jarring character moments from Clara. Without going into too much spoiler territory here, let’s just say Clara has an odd reaction to an older Doctor. I’m sure this plot point was more of a reassurance to the audience that Peter Capaldi IS The Doctor now, but it’s a little bit insulting to both fans and Capaldi. We all know that Matt Smith is no longer playing The Doctor, but more than that, Clara knows The Doctor can regenerate as she has seen other incarnations before! It made little to no sense.

Thankfully, once the restaurant scene comes around, the episode stabilizes a bit as Capaldi is able to do what he was born to do- play the Doctor! On top of seeing Capaldi in action, longtime fans get to see a touching cameo from a certain someone (you’ll know it when you see it), the return of an old foe, and the introduction of a mysterious new character named Missy. While all of these elements don’t make up for all the episode’s flaws, they do give fans something to be happy about.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Widescreen 1080p. How does it look? “Deep Breath” looks virtually flawless in hi-def. It’s amazing how far the picture quality of “Doctor Who” has come over the years.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD. How does it sound? A lot of TV series do not use sound to the utmost effect. “Doctor Who” does. Between the exciting music and the iconic sound f/x to the dialogue and clockwork droid mechanics, this track is “Brilliant” as the 10th Doctor would say.

Extras:
* Trailers for “Sherlock,” “The Intruders,” and “Merlin.”
* “Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor”- The 2013 half-hour special in which Peter Capaldi was announced as The Doctor.
* The 11 ½ minute behind the scenes featurette contains set footage, archival footage, rehearsal footage, cast and crew interviews, a look at the f/x, etc.
* “The Real History of Science Fiction: Time Travel”- The 45 minute of Time Travel episode of the BBC America series that features a huge host of interviews, film and TV series clips, as well as an examination of the subgenre.
* A hilarious prequel minisode with Strax talking about The Doctor’s regenerations.

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September 15, 2014 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , ,

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