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Doctor Who (2000s), 801 - Peter Capaldi
Doctor Who (2000s), 801 "Deep Breath" - The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) ©2014 BBC Wordlwide

Peter Capaldi made his debut as the Doctor in Doctor Who 801 “Deep Breath” last night and been greeted with much praise for his acting, the story however had mixed comments.

We had a graphic designer fan inspired new title sequence, a new Doctor and reboot of style.

This was a a special extended episode which also had an airing in selected cinemas. Those I watched it with generally thought it was a good start. I found the direction excellent and change of pace made a much welcome change.

Sunday Telegraph (UK) Doctor Who 801 “Deep Breath” review by Michael Hogan

Peter Capaldi is a veritable elder statesman and a throwback to Doctor Who’s roots.

Capaldi signals a conscious break from the Doctor’s boyish recent incarnations. David Tennant and Matt Smith were 34 and 27 respectively when they landed the part. Capaldi is a veritable elder statesman at 56 and a throwback to the show’s roots, when craggy character actors William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee made the role so iconic…

In some ways, this episode resembled [Steven] Moffat’s other show, Sherlock, with its twisting plot, cryptic newspaper ads and London landmarks. Although the pace sagged in places, as a debut for a new Doctor it worked well with some old-style behind-the-sofa scares and sly humour…

Rating: StarStarStarStarNo Star Rating (4 out of 5 stars)

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The Guardian (UK) Doctor Who 801 “Deep Breath” review by Euan Ferguson

In this opener, the actor absolutely failed to nail the character completely, which bodes well for the rest of the series.

This was a wise and thoughtful opening gambit from Moffat, and from the wonderful Capaldi – if you can utterly disregard the demented plot.

It’s in this mix between adult sensibilities and the simple joyous fear-clenches of those young enough to understand the damned plots that these firmer legacies of Doctor Who (and Capaldi, and Moffat) have triumphed, and deserve to continue doing so, far beyond the micro-longevity of BBC Worldwide Marketing.

Rating: StarStarStarStar-halfNo Star Rating (3.5 out of 5 stars, from our reading of the review)

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Variety Doctor Who 801 “Deep Breath” review by Geoff Berkshire

What Capaldi lacks in youthful energy, he more than makes up for in gravitas and wry eccentricity, whether marveling at his “independently cross” eyebrows or gleefully embracing his Scottish accent as a license to complain.

The plot runs secondary to the emotional throughline here, but its melange of robots, spontaneous combustion and a dinosaur in Victorian London provides ample opportunity for meta references to transformation and evolution.

Feature helmer Ben Wheatley (Kill List) establishes an eerily menacing atmosphere for the robo-adversaries.

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar (5 out of 5, from our reading of the review)

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Entertainment Weekly Doctor Who 801 “Deep Breath” review by Geoff Berkshire

The Doctor revealed himself to be a compelling creation worth following into the future. Capaldi’s incarnation of the sci-fi icon is a more mature, no-nonsense expression of Who-ishness, lacking the rubbery physicality of Smith but remaining as quick-witted and free spirited as ever…

The final scenes included Smith’s Old-Who called Clara from the past to exhort her to not quit on Capaldi’s New-Who… I resented the manipulative ways in which the premiere demanded we roll with things. The new era of Doctor Who should do the hard work of earning our affection and loyalty—not vice versa.

Rating: StarStarStarStarNo Star Rating (B = 4 out of 5 stars)

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