23 August 2014. Doctor Who. Season 8. Premiere. Deep Breath.
“Deep Breath” is a fitting title for the premiere of season 8 of Doctor Who as all Whovians worldwide take a deep breath to brace themselves for the roller-coaster-style episode. Peter Capaldi made his entrance – a triumphant entrance, mind that.
The episode focused much on easing in the new Doctor, Peter Calpaldi, as he faced the ultimate challenge all actors who portrayed the Doctor before him encountered – the high expectations of the fans and the fans’ unyielding attachments to the previous actors. Matt Smith (11th Doctor) faced this two-headed monster when he replaced David Tennant (10th Doctor) and made his debut in “The Eleventh Hour.” To ease in the audience, as well as the new actor, the episode featured the 11th Doctor’s last companion – Clara Oswin Oswald – facing a similar struggle as the fans: letting go of the previous Doctor and giving the new Doctor a chance. Clara, portrayed magnificently by Jenna Coleman, finds herself troubled by the Doctor’s regeneration. The new face of the 12th Doctor causes Clara to begin to doubt whether or not she even knows the real Doctor anymore. Being his companion in the preceding adventures, Clara and the Doctor grew close through their shared experiences – saving people, rescuing planets, mending time. Any Whovian will agree that the two protagonists even fancied each other!
This brings us to another burning question the opening episode addressed – will the romance between Clara and the Doctor continue to blossom or shrivel away? The outward answer provided for the fans of this ship was a clear “No.” (*insert Grumpy Cat pic here). But wait! Do not think that this ship sank like the Titanic. There is still hope. Although Clara’s actions hinted at the end of the romance: her surprise and sadness regarding the Doctor’s older look and her wish to leave the Doctor at the end of the episode, the Doctor himself mentioned that he believed himself to be her boyfriend; however, he followed up his statement by declaring that he no longer is.
Madam Vastra addressed Clara’s apparent change of feelings toward the Doctor openly, challenging Clara, and the Whovians who share her feelings regarding the older version of the Doctor, about our true allegiances.
To the fans’ surprise, as Clara is about to leave the new Doctor, she receives a phone call from the 11th Doctor himself. Smith pleads Clara to accept the new Doctor. Although he acquired a new face, the person behind the mask is still the old Doctor Clara traveled with. Smith spoke to not only Clara, but to his Whovian fans as well. Difficult as it is to part with Smith’s interpretation and grand play of the Doctor, Smith as the 11th Doctor asked the fans to accept Capaldi and give him a chance to present his spin on the famous Doctor.
And you know what? As a Whovian and a devoted fan of Tennant’s and Smith’s Doctors, I am going to give Capaldi a chance to show his view on the beloved time-traveler. After all, Matt did ask…