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Time can be rewritten!


Series 8, Episode 1

Past, Present and Future collide in the Series 8 opener when the newly regenerated 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) arrive in Victorian England courtesy of a TARDIS-infused Tyrannosaurous Rex. With help from the Paternoster Gang, a distraught Clara must help The Doctor find himself while peeling back the mystery of a murderous villain who is stealing body parts. The question is: Who is Missy?


Snappy dialogue, throwbacks to previous episodes and a brilliant lead are not quite enough to help this series opener to the finish line on four legs. Clever scenes thrown together with the hope of some semblance of a story have become somewhat the norm under showrunner Steven Moffat, and it looks like Series 8 bears the same fate.

The Good Things

Don't Always Soften The Bad Things...

  • Capaldi: From moment one he is engaging, entertaining and a hot mess. It's a terrific post regeneration performance.

  • Brian Miller: A wonderful scene with Capaldi by the husband of the late Elisabeth Sladen.

  • Parallels: The Half-face man and The Doctor are both seeking the same thing. And its some interesting story telling. Too bad it's just this episode.

...But Vice-Versa, The Bad Things

Don't Necessarily Spoil The Good Things...

  • Clara: What is her problem exactly? She has seen all of his previous faces, and is supposed to know everything about him. Why all the drama? This series should be about The Doctor coming to terms with no Survivors Guilt – not Clara the pouty-faced ex-squeeze.

  • Paternoster Gang: I just don't get the appeal. Strax is funny, in small doses, and their arrival in “A Good Man Goes to War” was a nice touch – friends of the Doctors from adventures we have not seen. But shoving them down our throats does not carry plot.

  • Forgetful Doctor: First in “The Snowmen”, the GI “rang a bell”. Now, the SS Madam De Pompadour is “familiar”. I call shenanigans. The Doctor would remember Yetis in the London Underground, and he sure as heckfire would remember Rinette.

...And Make Them Unimportant.
  • Who is Missy, and what is her connection to the Doctor?

  • Call of the Eleventh: Show don't tell. First rule of writing. Smith was needed to help Clara to find her way at the end of a story that should not have unfolded the way it did.

  • Nobody considered that the Half-face Man asked the Doctor to push him.....

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