This episode took us on a roller coaster of a ride. It introduces us to the new twelfth Doctor. Characters we all know and love are back, with a few new ones. Peter Capaldi tests his new role as the new Time Lord with the seasoned experienced companion, Clara. The dynamic and turbulent relationship between the two is refreshing and frightening at the same time. Peter is fantastic playing a time traveling alien trying to adjust to his new body and new surroundings. By watching him go through the regenerating process, you can get a better understanding as to what we will be expecting to see in the new Doctor. Some of his scenes were quite comical. When he mentions about the changing of his voice, how he can’t understand why everyone is talking English and he is the only one speaking Scottish is funny. Just a little bio note, Peter and David Tennant are the only two actors who are Scottish, but Peter was the only one given the opportunity to speak in his native tongue. There was another funny scene where he mentioned his eyebrows, how they looked like attack eyebrows and could take off a bottle cap because they were so big. When you see an actor show some humility, it gives me a sigh of relief that he can be light hearted at times, and that is good.
Jenna Coleman, who plays Clara, once again is fantastic. Out of all the companions that I’ve watched, she is one of my favorite. When she came into the picture back in the episode of the Asylum of the Daleks, I was impressed with her performance. Not to mention, she wasn’t bad to look at. I immediately connected with her and wanted to see more of her. That came true when she came on board on the Christman Special, The Snowmen. She brought life back into the show. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Karen Gillam and Arthur Darvil, who played Amy Pond and Rory Williams. But Jenna held a special place in my nerd heart. In this episode, you get to see Clara witness first hand the regeneration process and it scares her. She doesn’t like it and wants the old Doctor back. For the first time, she doesn’t know what to do and the person she knows is gone. Lost and frightened, she tries to summon every bit of strength and attempts to care for the Doctor despite the fact she just wants to run away. With the aid of familiar faces, Strax, Jenny, and Madame Vastra, Clara tries to make sense of all this madness and fights through the emotions and confusion to try to reconnect with the Doctor. In this episode you get to see a side of Clara you haven’t seen before. It was amazing. There was a scene where at one point she was face to face with the villain and she was alone. Her performance was heartbreaking and it gave me goosebumps. For the first time she realizes that the safety net and the guarantee that she will always have someone to depend on is gone.
The story in this episode was not about dinosaurs and cybernetic clock people, although it was nice to see a T-Rex stroll down London. It wasn’t about the comical wit of the man-servant Strax, nor the monstrous plan of the clock people trying steal human parts to repair themselves. It wasn’t even really about the regeneration process of the new Doctor. No, it was about Clara. Her journey trying to make sense of all of this, trying to find some sort evidence that the friend she knew and cares for is still in that new body. The new Doctor is dark and more alien than ever before.
Every Doctor’s outfit is a reflection of his personality. The Twelfth Doctor’s ensemble is plain, straightforward, with no frills and whistles. Everything about his clothes sings seriousness and unknown. This is definitely not the Doctor we knew and loved when Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, and Matt Smith played the main role. But it is refreshing for a change, to shake things up. The music is somewhat different as well. The beginning of the episode there is an intro soundtrack with a new look of the winding time vortex. It is cool to see something different. The music reflects the changing of the show as well. The action sequences don’t have that familiar crescending orchestral sound to it. We don’t even have any of the soft melodic tones when we are watching the quieter, and subtle scenes. I guess I’m gonna have to get used to that. The last scene where Clara was given a choice to stay or leave was touching and sad, but what made that scene more important was the call she got from someone in her past, sort of. You get a better understanding of who this new Doctor is and why Clara should stay with him. It was a perfect ending to a perfect episode. I have just one question, who is Missy?
Out of ten, I give this episode a ten. The performances were spot on. The new Doctor is exciting and scary, both. Clara character is strengthened by this new experience. The future is now unpredictable, no more fun loving adventures. The path is shaken up and uncertain. This is one of the best science fiction shows of all time. Can’t wait to see the next episode.