Deep Breath
Episode / February 11, 2016

Aired 23 August 2014 In the allotted amount of time that Peter Capaldi graces the screen in ‘Deep Breath,’ it’s apparent that he is a very different Doctor than his immediate predecessors, still just as willing to take charge and confront danger (now aided by attack eyebrows) but in a seemingly more deliberate and terse manner. As it is, though, ‘Deep Breath’ is a story about Clara rediscovering the Doctor just as much as the Doctor rediscovering himself, and both Capaldi and Jenna Coleman wonderfully deliver a sense of vulnerability and apprehension at the start. But as the Doctor is off confronting the mystery at hand, ‘Deep Breath’ becomes much more of a contemplative character piece for Clara as she tries to reconcile the transformation with the help of Madame Vastra. It is in these conversations that the heart of the episode resides, adding previously unexplored and resonating depth to the characters of Vastra and Jenny. Despite the astuteness and reason present throughout these talks, it takes a surprise cameo from Matt Smith’s pre-regeneration Eleventh Doctor to set her mind at ease in a lovingly delivered scene. Capaldi, in particular superbly sells the sense of heartache and loneliness he feels…