Doctor Who Episode Review – Deep Breath

  • Series Title:  Doctor Who
  • Story Title: Deep Breath
  • Story Number: Series 8, Episode 1
  • Original Air Date: August 23, 2014
  • Cast: Peter Capaldi as The Doctor, Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald, with Neve McIntosh as Madame Vastra, Catrin Stewart as Jenny Flint, and Dan Starkey as Strax

“I am alone. The world, which shook under my feet, and the trees and the sky, have gone. And I am alone now… The world bites now, and the world is grey, and I am alone.” – The Doctor (Peter Capaldi)

“But he is the Doctor. He has walked the universe for centuries untold, he has seen the stars fall to dust.” – Madame Vastra

“I wasn’t. I didn’t need to. That was me talking. You can’t see me, Can you? You look at me and you can’t see me. Do you have any idea what that’s like? I’m not on the phone, I’m right in front of you. Please, just… just see me.” – The Doctor (Peter Capaldi)

I remember, just barely, watching “Deep Breath” in the movie theater for the premiere. And, of course, watching it and the rest of the season on BBC America and later still on DVD. See my review of Doctor Who Series 8. But I’ve decided to re-watch Peter Calpaldi’s Doctor Who from the beginning. If you have been reading my Patrick Troughton Era reviews, this means I very well may skip “The War Games” but I did review the rest of his stories that are available on DVD. Anyway, I have seen series 9 and 10 on BBC America, but not watched them on DVD so those reviews will be forthcoming eventually. What is amazing about “Deep Breath” is that although it in much more subtle than the Matt Smith era, it does set up themes that will be returned to over and over throughout the Peter Capaldi Era.

The opening of “Deep Breath” is in essence merely a McGuffin. As cool and as incongruous as a dinosaur in Victorian London in the Thames is, and as silly as said dinosaur vomiting up the TARDIS which caused it to be transported, that is merely a McGuffin – the dinosaur bursts into flames immediately upon the Doctor promising to save it. This leads the Doctor and the Paternoster Gang to investigate a series of similar murders, which leads to the Doctor discovering a restaurant of clockwork people, which is really an ancient spaceship.

This spaceship is the S.S. Marie Antoinette, sister-ship to the Madame de Pompadour, which the audience knows from the David Tennant episode, “The Girl in the Fireplace”. So the audience knows about it’s clockwork occupants who replace parts with human (and in this case, dinosaur) parts. The Doctor, however, keeps insisting that he can’t quite remember why it is so familiar.

My the themes of identity and obsessions with endings and even death link this story with the entire Peter Capaldi Era. From Clara not recognizing the Docor, not seeing him as the Doctor, and being freaked out that he regenerated, he’s “renewed”, but his “face has lines” and “he’s old”, to the “broom speech” where the Doctor is ostensibly talking about the droid leader, but he could easily be talking about himself. When he’s “translating” for the dinosaur who is so alone, the Doctor could be talking about himself as well. And in the last scene between the Doctor and Clara, he practically begs her to “see him”. Capaldi’s years as the Doctor would feature many more references to both the Doctor’s great age, and his almost being ready to give up because he’s fought for so long. This is what is very good about this episode – it introduces a theme, which will be returned too again and again, not so much in Series 8, but usually at least once a season during the Capaldi years. And even his final Christmas special is as much about whether or not he will regenerate as anything else.

However, independent of the season and the era, even though it looks very good, the plot of “Deep Breath” isn’t that impressive. The opening gambit with the dinosaur is used more as an elaborate joke and then as a McGuffin to introduce the real plot as anything else. I actually felt bad about the dinosaur exploding, but it’s a sign of bad writing as well. How do you get rid of the extraneous character who’s only purpose was to get your characters together so they can solve the mystery? Why making that character yet another victim in the series of crimes. Goodbye, dinosaur.

But worse, the central plot is lifted straight from “The Girl in the Fireplace”. Even the Doctor remarks that droids using human parts, a hidden spaceship that crashed eons ago and is looking to return home “the long way around”, and the name of the ship, S.S. Marie Antoinette, sister-ship to the Madame de Pompadour, sounds familiar. And for anyone watching, unless they never saw “The Girl in the Fireplace” – it does sound familiar – it’s the same plot. Steven Moffat is literally stealing from himself. And this isn’t the first time he does it – Amy Pond’s entire characterization and her arc plot are identical to Reinette in “The Girl in the Fireplace”, from first seeing her as a child, to Reinette/Amy’s steady belief that the Doctor will always be there for her (something Clara also does in “Deep Breath”). Moffat doesn’t so much write original stories, as re-write his most popular ones over and over again, changing only the character and maybe the setting. This something often found in genre writing such as mysteries or romantic suspense. It works for awhile, but sooner or later as a reader, one realizes it’s the same story over and over and over again.

Still, having re-watched Patrick Troughton’s Era on DVD, I’m excited about re-watching the Peter Capaldi era again.


Doctor Who Writers

I commented last week Saturday on Facebook and Twitter about Doctor Who, and Capaldi’s incredible speech and performance in “The Zygon Inversion”. One of my friends asked a very simple but important question: Who wrote it? And I realised that, although I’ve made made lists for Doctor Who, lists of all the stories, lists of the episodes on DVD and the ones missing from the BBC archives, even lists of various series of original books – with authors, I had never listed the authors of the actual episodes – so here it goes. It actually took a bit to pull together this list. For Classic Who, author names and air-dates were pulled from Doctor Who the Programme Guide by Jean-Marc Lofficier (Second Edition), for McCoy’s final season – authors and airdates were cross-checked with Doctor Who the Programme Guide by Jean-Marc Lofficier and Randy Lofficier (Fourth Edition). Pseudonyms and possible errors (such as the one episode that only listed a month and year rather than an full air date) were cross-checked with the Classic Doctor Who DVD Compendium by Paul Smith. For New Who, I consulted TARDIS wiki. Please see footnotes at bottom of spreadsheet for details.

Story # Ep. # Episode Title Episode Author Date Num. Eps. Num. Discs
William Hartnell
1 1 An Unearthly Child Anthony Coburn 11/23/1963 – 12/14/1963 4 1
2 2 The Daleks Terry Nation 12/21/1963 – 2/1/1964 7 1
3 3 The Edge of Destruction David Whitaker 2/8/1964 – 2/15/1964 2 1
4 4 Macro Polo* John Lucarotti 2/22/1964 – 3/4/1964 7 *
5 5 The Keys of Marinus Terry Nation 4/11/1964 – 5/16/1964 6 1
6 6 The Aztecs John Lucarotti 5/23/1964 – 6/13/1964 4 1
7 7 The Sensorites Peter R. Newman 6/20/1964 – 8/1/1964 6 1
8 8 The Reign of Terror Dennis Spooner 8/8/1964 – 9/12/1964 6 1
9 9 Planet of the Giants Louis Marks 10/31/1964 – 11/14/1964 3 1
10 10 The Dalek Invasion of Earth Terry Nation 11/21/1964 – 12/26/1964 6 2
11 11 The Rescue David Whitaker 1/2/1965 – 1/9/1965 2 1
12 12 The Romans Dennis Spooner 1/19/1965 – 2/6/1965 4 1
13 13 The Web Planet Bill Strutton 2/13/1965 – 3/20/1965 6 1
14 14 The Crusade* David Whitaker 3/27/1965 – 4/17/1965 4 *
15 15 The Space Museum Glyn Jones 4/24/1965 – 5/15/1965 4 1
16 16 The Chase Terry Nation 5/22/1965 – 6/26/1965 6 2
17 17 The Time Meddler Dennis Spooner 7/3/1965 – 7/24/1965 4 1
18 18 Galaxy Four* William Emms 9/11/1965 – 10/2/1965 4 *
19 19 Mission to the Unknown* Terry Nation 10/9/1965 1 *
20 20 The Myth Makers* David Cotton 10/19/1965 – 11/6/1965 4 *
21 21 The Daleks Masterplan* Terry Nation, Dennis Spooner 11/13/1965 – 1/29/1966 12 *
22 22 The Massacre* John Lucarotti 2/5/1966 – 2/26/1966 4 *
23 23 The Ark Paul Erickson, Lesley Scott 3/5/1966 – 3/26/1966 4 1
24 24 The Celestial Toymaker* Brian Hayles 4/2/1966 – 4/23/1966 4 *
25 25 The Gunfighters David Cotton 4/30/1966 – 5/21/1966 4 1
26 26 The Savages* Ian Stuart Black 5/28/1966 – 6/18/1966 4 *
27 27 The War Machines Ian Stuart Black 6/25/1966 – 7/16/1966 6 1
28 28 The Smugglers* Brian Hayles 9/10/1966 – 10/1/1966 4 *
29 29 The Tenth Planet Kit Pedler, Gerry Davis, Pat Dunlap 10/8/1966 – 10/29/1966 4 2
Patrick Troughton
30 1 Power of the Daleks* David Whitaker 11/5/1966 – 12/10/1966 6 *
31 2 The Highlanders* Gerry Davis, Elwyn Jones 12/17/1966 – 1/7/1967 4 *
32 3 The Underwater Menace* Geoffrey Orme 1/14/1967 – 2/4/1967 4 *
33 4 The Moonbase Kit Pedler 2/11/1967 – 3/4/1967 4 1
34 5 The Marca Terror* Ian Stuart Black 3/11/1967 – 4/1/1967 4 *
35 6 The Faceless Ones* David Ellis, Malcolm Hulke 4/8/1967 – 5/13/1967 6 *
36 7 The Evil of the Daleks* David Whitaker 5/20/1967 – 7/1/1967 7 *
37 8 Tomb of the Cybermen Kit Pedler, Gerry Davis 9/2/1967 – 9/23/1967 4 1
38 9 The Abominable Snowmen* Mervyn Haisman, Henry Lincoln 9/30/1967 – 11/4/1967 6 *
39 10 The Ice Warriors Brian Hayles 11/11/1967 – 12/16/1967 6 2
40 11 The Enemy of the World David Whitaker 12/23/1967 – 1/27/1968 6 1
41 12 The Web of Fear Mervyn Haisman, Henry Lincoln 2/3/1968 – 3/9/1968 6 1
42 13 Fury from the Deep* Victor Pemberton 3/16/1968 – 4/20/1968 6 *
43 14 The Wheel in Space* David Whitaker 4/27/1968 – 6/1/1968 6 *
44 15 The Dominators Norman Ashby 8/10/1968 – 9/7/1968 5 1
45 16 The Mind Robber Peter Ling, Derrick Sherwin 9/14/1968 – 10/12/1968 5 1
46 17 The Invasion Derrick Sherwin 11/2/1968 – 12/21/1968 8 2
47 18 The Krotons Robert Holmes 12/28/1968 – 1/18/1969 4 1
48 19 The Seeds of Death Brian Hayles 1/25/1969 – 3/1/1969 6 2
49 20 The Space Pirates* Robert Holmes 3/8/1969 – 4/12/1969 6 *
50 21 The War Games Malcolm Hulke, Terrance Dicks 4/19/1969 – 6/21/1969 10 3
Jon Pertwee
51 1 Spearhead from Space Robert Holmes 1/3/1970 – 1/24/1970 4 1
52 2 The Silurians Malcolm Hulke 1/31/1970 – 3/14/1970 7 2
53 3 The Ambassadors of Death David Whitaker 3/21/1970 – 5/2/1970 7 2
54 4 Inferno Don Houghton 5/9/1970 – 6/20/1970 7 2
55 5 Terror of the Autons Robert Holmes 1/2/1971 – 1/23/1971 4 1
56 6 The Mind of Evil Don Houghton 1/30/1971 – 3/6/1971 6 2
57 7 The Claws of Axos Bob Baker, Dave Martin 3/13/1971 – 4/3/1971 4 1
58 8 Colony in Space Malcolm Hulke 4/10/1971 – 5/15/1971 6 1
59 9 The Daemons Guy Leopold 5/22/1971 – 6/19/1971 5 2
60 10 Day of the Daleks Louis Marks 1/1/1972 – 1/22/1972 4 2
61 11 The Curse of Peladon Brian Hayles 1/29/1972 – 2/19/1972 4 1
62 12 The Sea Devils Malcolm Hulke 2/26/1972 – 4/1/1972 6 1
63 13 The Mutants Bob Baker, Dave Martin 4/8/1972 – 5/13/1972 6 2
64 14 The Time Monster Robert Sloman 5/20/1972 – 6/24/1972 6 1
65 15 The Three Doctors Bob Baker, Dave Martin 12/30/1972 – 4/20/1973 4 1
66 16 Carnival of Monsters Robert Holmes 1/27/1973 – 2/17/1973 4 1
67 17 Frontier in Space Malcolm Hulke 2/24/1973 – 3/31/1973 6 2
68 18 Planet of the Daleks Terry Nation 4/7/1973 – 5/12/1973 6 2
69 19 The Green Death Robert Sloman 5/19/1973 – 6/23/1973 6 1
70 20 The Time Warrior Robert Holmes 12/15/1973 – 1/5/1974 4 1
71 21 Invasion of the Dinosaurs Malcolm Hulke 1/12/1974 – 2/16/1974 6 2
72 22 Death to the Daleks Terry Nation 2/23/1974 – 3/16/1974 4 1
73 23 The Monster of Peladon Brian Hayles 3/23/1974 – 4/27/1974 6 2
74 24 Planet of the Spiders Robert Sloman 5/4/1974 – 6/8/1974 6 2
Tom Baker
75 1 Robot Terrance Dicks 12/28/1974 – 1/18/1975 4 1
76 2 The Ark in Space Robert Holmes 1/25/1975 – 2/15/1975 4 1
77 3 The Sontaran Experiment Bob Baker, Dave Martin 2/22/1975 – 3/1/1975 2 1
78 4 Genesis of the Daleks Terry Nation 3/8/1975 – 4/12/1975 6 2
79 5 Revenge of the Cybermen Gerry Davis 4/19/1975 – 5/10/1975 4 1
80 6 Terror of the Zygons Robert Banks Stewart 8/30/1975 – 9/20/1975 4 2
81 7 Planet of Evil Louis Marks 9/27/1975 – 10/18/1975 4 1
82 8 Pyramids of Mars Stephen Harris 10/25/1975 – 11/15/1975 4 1
83 9 The Android Invasion Terry Nation 11/22/1975 – 12/13/1975 4 1
84 10 The Brain of Morbuis Robin Bland 1/3/1976 – 1/24/1976 4 1
85 11 The Seeds of Doom Robert Banks Stewart 1/31/1976 – 3/6/1976 6 2
86 12 The Masque of Mandragora Louis Marks 9/4/1976 – 9/25/1976 4 1
87 13 The Hand of Fear Bob Baker, Dave Martin 10/2/1976 – 10/23/1976 4 1
88 14 The Deadly Assasin Robert Holmes 10/30/1976 – 11/20/1976 4 1
89 15 The Face of Evil Chris Boucher 1/1/1977 – 1/22/1977 4 1
90 16 The Robots of Death Chris Boucher 1/29/1977 – 2/19/1977 4 1
91 17 The Talons of Weng-Chiang Robert Holmes 2/26/1977 – 4/2/1977 6 2
92 18 The Horror of Fang Rock Terrance Dicks 9/3/1977 – 9/24/1977 4 1
93 19 The Invisible Enemy Bob Baker, Dave Martin 10/1/1977 – 10/22/1977 4 1
94 20 Image of the Fendahl Chris Boucher 10/29/1977 – 11/19/1977 4 1
95 21 The Sunmakers Robert Holmes 11/26/1977 – 12/17/1977 4 1
96 22 Underworld Bob Baker, Dave Martin 1/7/1978 – 1/28/1978 4 1
97 23 The Invasion of Time David Agnew (Graham Williams, Anthony Read)** 2/4/1978 – 3/11/1978 6 2
98 24 The Robos Operation Robert Holmes 9/2/1978 – 9/23/1978 4 1
99 25 The Pirate Planet Douglas Adams 9/30/1978 – 10/21/1978 4 1
100 26 The Stones of Blood David Fisher 10/28/1978 – 11/18/1978 4 1
101 27 The Androids of Tara David Fisher 11/25/1978 – 12/16/1978 4 1
102 28 The Power of Kroll Robert Holmes 12/23/1978 – 1/13/1979 4 1
103 29 The Armageddon Factor Bob Baker, Dave Martin 1/20/1979 – 2/24/1979 6 1
104 30 Destiny of the Daleks Terry Nation 9/1/1979 – 9/22/1979 4 1
105 31 City of Death David Agnew (Douglas Adams) 9/29/1979 – 10/20/1979 4 2
106 32 The Creature from the Pit David Fisher 10/27/1979 – 11/17/1979 4 1
107 33 Nightmare of Eden Bob Baker 11/24/1979 – 12/15/1979 4 1
108 34 The Horns of Nimon Anthony Read 12/12/1979 – 1/12/1980 4 1
109 35 Shada Douglas Adams not broadcast 6 3
110 36 The Leisure Hive David Fisher 8/30/1980 – 9/20/1980 4 1
111 37 Meglos John Flanagan 9/27/1980 – 10/18/1980 4 1
112 38 Full Circle Andrew Smith 10/25/1980 – 11/15/1980 4 1
113 39 State of Decay Terrance Dicks 11/22/1980 – 12/13/1980 4 1
114 40 Warrior’s Gate Steve Gallagher 1/3/1981 – 1/24/1981 4 1
115 41 The Keeper of Traken Johnny Byrne 1/31/1981 – 2/21/1981 4 1
116 42 Logopolis Christopher H. Bidmead 2/28/1981 – 3/21/1981 4 1
Special Special K-9 and Co. – A Girl’s Best Friend Terence Dudley 12/28/1981 1 1
Peter Davison
117 1 Castrovalva Christopher H. Bidmead 1/4/1982 – 1/12/1982 4 1
118 2 Four to Doomsday Terence Dudley 1/18/1982 – 1/26/1982 4 1
119 3 Kinda Christopher Bailey 2/1/1982 – 2/9/1982 4 1
120 4 The Visitation Eric Saward 2/15/1982 – 2/23/2015 4 1
121 5 Black Orchid Terence Dudley 3/1/1982 – 3/2/1982 2 1
122 6 Earthshock Eric Saward 3/8/1982 – 3/16/1982 4 1
123 7 Time Flight Peter Grimwade 3/22/1982 – 3/30/1982 4 1
124 8 Arc of Infinity Johnny Byrne 1/3/1983 – 1/11/1983 4 1
125 9 Snakedance Christopher Bailey 1/17/1983 – 1/25/1983 4 1
126 10 Mawdryn Undead Peter Grimwade 2/1/1983 – 2/9/1983 4 1
127 11 Terminus Steve Gallagher 2/15/1983 – 2/23/1983 4 1
128 12 Enlightenment Barbara Clegg 3/1/1983 – 3/9/1983 4 2
129 13 The King’s Demons Terence Dudley 3/15/1983 – 3/16/1983 2 1
130 14 The Five Doctors Terrance Dicks 11/25/1983 1 1
131 15 Warriors of the Deep Johnny Byrne 1/5/1984 – 1/13/1984 4 1
132 16 The Awakening Eric Pringle 1/19/1984 – 1/20/1984 2 1
133 17 Frontios Christopher H. Bidmead 1/26/1984 – 2/3/1984 4 1
134 18 Resurrection of the Daleks Eric Saward 2/8/1984 – 2/15/1984 4 1
135 19 Planet of Fire Peter Grimwade 2/23/1984 – 3/2/1984 4 2
136 20 The Caves of Androzani Robert Holmes 3/8/1984 – 3/16/1984 4 1
Colin Baker
137 1 The Twin Dilemma Anthony Steven 3/22/1984 – 3/30/1984 4 1
138 2 Attack of the Cybermen Paula Moore 1/5/1985 – 1/12/1985 2 1
139 3 Vengeance on Varos Philip Martin 1/19/1985 – 1/26/1985 2 1
140 4 The Mark of the Rani Pip & Jane Baker 2/2/1985 – 2/9/1985 2 1
141 5 The Two Doctors Robert Holmes 2/16/1985 – 3/2/1985 3 2
142 6 Timelash Glen McCoy 3/9/1985 – 3/16/1985 2 1
143 7 Revelation / Daleks Eric Saward 3/23/1985 – 3/30/1985 2 1
144 8 The Mysterious Planet Robert Holmes 9/6/1986 – 9/27/1986 4 1
145 9 Mindwarp Philip Martin 10/4/1986 – 10/25/1986 4 1
146 10 Terror of the Vervoids Pip & Jane Baker 11/1/1986 – 11/22/1986 4 1
147 11 The Ultimate Foe Robert Holmes, Pip & Jane Baker 11/29/1986 – 12/6/1986 2 1
Sylvester McCoy
148 1 Time and the Rani Pip & Jane Baker 9/7/1987 – 9/28/1987 4 1
149 2 Paradise Towers Stephen Wyatt 10/5/1987 – 10/26/1987 4 1
150 3 Delta and the Bannermen Malcolm Kohll 11/2/1987 – 11/16/1987 3 1
151 4 Dragonfire Ian Briggs 11/23/1987 – 12/7/1987 3 1
152 5 Remembrance of the Daleks Ben Aaronovitch 10/5/1988 – 10/26/1988 4 1
153 6 The Happiness Patrol Graeme Curry 11/2/1988 – 11/16/1988 3 1
154 7 Silver Nemesis Kevin Clarke 11/23/1988 – 12/7/1988 3 1
155 8 The Greatest Show in the Galaxy Stephen Wyatt 12/14/1988 – 1/4/1989 4 1
156 9 Battlefield Ben Aaronovitch 9/6/1989 – 9/27/1989 4 2
157 10 Ghost Light Marc Platt 10/4/1989 – 10/18/1989 3 1
158 11 The Curse of Fenric Ian Briggs 10/25/1989 – 11/15/1989 4 2
159 12 Survival Rona Munro 11/22/1989 – 12/6/1989 3 2
160 Paul McGann
The (FOX) TV-Movie Matthew Jacobs 5/14/1996 (US), 5/27/1996 (UK) 1
Special Special The Scream of the Shalka Paul Cornell 11/13/2003 – 12/18/2003 6 2
Special Special The Night of the Doctor Steven Moffat 11/14/2013 1 1
Story # Ep. # Episode Title Episode Author Date Num. Eps. Num. Discs
Christopher Eccleston
Series 1
1 Rose Russell T. Davies 3/26/2005 (BBC 1)
2 The End of the World Russell T. Davies 4/2/2005
3 The Unquiet Dead Mark Gatiss 4/9/2005
4 Aliens of London Russell T. Davies 4/16/2005
5 World War Three Russell T. Davies 4/23/2005
6 Dalek Robert Shearman 4/30/2005
7 The Long Game Russell T. Davies 5/7/2005
8 Father’s Day Paul Cornell 5/14/2005
9 The Empty Child Steven Moffat 5/21/2005
10 The Doctor Dances Steven Moffat 5/28/2005
11 Boom Town Russell T. Davies 6/4/2005
12 Bad Wolf Russell T. Davies 6/11/2005
13 The Parting of the Ways Russell T. Davies 6/18/2005
David Tennant
Series 2
Special The Christmas Invasion Russell T. Davies 12/25/2005
1. New Earth Russell T. Davies 4/15/2006
2. Tooth and Claw Russell T. Davies 4/22/2006
3. School Reunion Toby Whithouse 4/29/2006
4. The Girl in the Fireplace Steven Moffat 5/6/2006
5. Rise of the Cybermen Tom MacRae 5/13/2006
6. The Age of Steel Tom MacRae 5/20/2006
7. The Idiot’s Lantern Mark Gatiss 5/27/2006
8. The Impossible Planet Matt Jones 6/3/2006
9. The Satan Pit Matt Jones 6/10/2006
10. Love and Monsters Russell T. Davies 6/17/2006
11. Fear Her Matthew Graham 6/24/2006
12. Army of Ghosts Russell T. Davies 7/1/2006
13. Doomsday Russell T. Davies 7/8/2006
Series 3
Special The Runaway Bride Russell T. Davies 12/25/2006
1. Smith and Jones Russell T. Davies 3/31/2007
2. The Shakespeare Code Gareth Roberts 4/7/2007
3. Gridlock Russell T. Davies 4/14/2007
4. Daleks in Manhatten Helen Raynor 4/21/2007
5. Evolution of the Daleks Helen Raynor 4/28/2007
6. The Lazarus Experiment Stephen Greenhorn 5/5/2007
7. 42 Chris Chibnall 5/19/2007
8. Human Nature Paul Cornell 5/26/2007
9. The Family of Blood Paul Cornell 6/2/2007
10. Blink Steven Moffat 6/9/2007
11. Utopia Russell T. Davies 6/16/2007
12. The Sound of Drums Russell T. Davies 6/23/2007
13. Last of the Time Lords Russell T. Davies 6/30/2007
Special The Infinite Quest Alan Barnes 4/2/2007 – 6/29/2007
Series 4
Special Voyage of the Damned Russell T. Davies 12/25/2007
1. Partners in Crime Russell T. Davies 4/5/2008
2. Fires of Pompeii James Moran 4/12/2008
3. The Planet of the Ood Keith Temple 4/12/2008
4. The Sontaran Stratagem Helen Raynor 4/26/2008
5. The Poison Sky Helen Raynor 5/3/2008
6. The Doctor’s Daughter Stephen Greenhorn 5/10/2008
7. The Unicorn and the Wasp Gareth Roberts 5/17/2008
8. Silence in the Library Steven Moffat 5/31/2008
9. Forest of the Dead Steven Moffat 6/7/2008
10. Midnight Russell T. Davies 6/14/2008
11 Turn Left Russell T. Davies 6/21/2008
12 This Stolen Earth Russell T. Davies 6/28/2008
13. Journey’s End Russell T. Davies 7/5/2008
The Specials (Series 4.5)
Special The Next Doctor Russell T. Davies 12/25/2008
Special Planet of the Dead Russell T. Davies & Gareth Roberts 4/11/2009
Special The Waters of Mars Russell T. Davies & Phil Ford 11/15/2009
Special The End of Time, Part 1 Russell T. Davies 12/25/2009
Special The End of Time, Part 2 Russell T. Davies 1/1/2009
Special Dreamland Phil Ford 11/21/2009 – 11/21/2009
Matt Smith
Series 5
1. The Eleventh Hour Steven Moffat 4/3/2010
2. The Beast Below Steven Moffat 4/10/2010
3. Victory of the Daleks Mark Gatiss 4/17/2010
4. The Time of Angels Steven Moffat 4/24/2010
5. Flesh and Stone Steven Moffat 5/1/2010
6. The Vampires of Venice Toby Whithouse 5/8/2010
7. Amy’s Choice Simon Nye 5/15/2010
8. The Hungry Earth Chris Chibnall 5/22/2010
9. Cold Blood Chris Chibnall 5/29/2010
10. Vincent and the Doctor Richard Curtis 6/5/2010
11. The Lodger Gareth Roberts 6/12/2010
12. The Pandorica Opens Steven Moffat 6/19/2010
13. The Big Bang Steven Moffat 6/26/2010
Special A Christmas Carol Steven Moffat 12/25/2010
Series 6
1. The Impossible Astronaut Steven Moffat 4/23/2011
2. Day of the Moon Steven Moffat 4/30/2011
3. Curse of the Black Spot Steve Thompson 5/7/2011
4. The Doctor’s Wife Neil Gaiman 5/14/2011
5. The Rebel Flesh Matthew Graham 5/21/2011
6. The Almost People Matthew Graham 5/28/2011
7. A Good Man Goes to War Steven Moffat 6/4/2011
8. Let’s Kill Hitler Steven Moffat 8/27/2011
9. Night Terrors Mark Gatiss 9/3/2011
10. The Girl Who Waited Tom MacRae 9/10/2011
11. The God Complex Toby Whithouse 9/17/2011
12. Closing Time Gareth Roberts 9/24/2011
13. The Wedding of River Song Steven Moffat 10/1/2011
Special The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe Steven Moffat 12/25/2011
Series 7
1. Asylum of the Daleks Steven Moffat 9/1/2012
2. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship Chris Chibnall 9/8/2012
3. A Town Called Mercy Toby Whithouse 9/15/2012
4. The Power of Three Chris Chibnall 9/22/2012
5. The Angels Take Manhatten Steven Moffat 9/29/2012
Special The Snowmen Steven Moffat 12/25/2012
6. The Bells of St. John Steven Moffat 3/30/2013
7. The Rings of Akhaten Neil Cross 4/6/2013
8. Cold War Mark Gatiss 4/13/2013
9. Hide Neil Cross 4/20/2013
10. Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS Steve Thompson 4/27/2013
11. The Crimson Horror Mark Gatiss 5/4/2013
12. Nightmare in Silver Neil Gaiman 5/11/2013
13. The Name of the Doctor Steven Moffat 5/18/2013
Special The Day of the Doctor Steven Moffat 11/23/2013
Special The Time of the Doctor Steven Moffat 12/25/2013
Peter Capaldi
Series 8
1. Deep Breath Steven Moffat 8/23/2014
2. Into the Dalek Phil Ford & Steven Moffat 8/30/2014
3. Robot of Sherwood Mark Gatiss 9/6/2014
4. Listen Steven Moffat 9/13/2014
5. Time Heist Stephen Thompson & Steven Moffat 9/20/2014
6. The Caretaker Gareth Roberts & Steven Moffat 9/27/2014
7. Kill the Moon Peter Harness 10/4/2014
8. Mummy on the Orient Express Jamie Mathieson 10/11/2014
9. Flatline Jamie Mathieson 10/18/2014
10. In the Forest of the Night Frank Cottrell Boyce 10/25/2014
11. Dark Water Steven Moffat 11/1/2014
12. Death in Heaven Steven Moffat 11/8/2014
Special Last Christmas Steven Moffat 12/25/2014
Series 9
1. The Magician’s Apprentice Steven Moffat 9/19/2015
2. The Witch’s Familiar Steven Moffat 9/26/2015
3. Under the Lake Toby Whithouse 10/3/2015
4. Before the Flood Toby Whithouse 10/10/2015
5. The Girl Who Died Jamie Mathieson, Steven Moffat 10/17/2015
6. The Women Who Lived Catherine Tregenna 10/24/2015
7. The Zygon Invasion Peter Harness 10/31/2015
8. The Zygon Inversion Peter Harness, Steven Moffat 11/7/2015
9. Sleep No More Mark Gatiss 11/15/2015

Note: Stories marked * are missing.
Note: Classic DW Titles, Authors, Dates, and Number of Episodes info from Doctor Who The Programme Guide by Jean-Marc Lofficier.
Note: David Agnew is a BBC Pseudonym. Per Paul Smith, and Script Editor Classic Doctor Who DVD Compendium “The Invasion of Time” was written by producer Graham Williams & script editor Anthony Read. The pseudonym was used for on-air titles due to BBC policy. (see p. 166)
Likewise, it is well-known Douglas Adams wrote “City of Death” and a pseudonym was slapped on the story by the BBC. (See Smith pp. 75-76).
Doctor Who: The Programme Guide, by Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier (4th Ed.) used to check airdates for McCoy’s final season.
Airdates for the TV-Movie from Paul Smith, The Classic Doctor Who DVD Compendium, p. 204.
Authors for Season 8 from “Doctor Who Season 8: All Episode Titles, Writers & Directors Revealed” by Sandy Schaefer 8/18/2014 Screenrant.
Most New Series info (writers, dates) from the Doctor Who Wiki
Series 9 authors & airdates obtained by checking episodes, crosschecked with TARDIS wiki.

The Best Speeches from Doctor Who

Last Saturday’s episode of Doctor Who, “The Zygon Inversion”, featured an impassioned speech by the Doctor, played to perfection by Peter Capaldi. It was brilliant and had a Shakespearean quality to it. Afterwards Twitter just exploded with comments about the episode, the speech, and Capaldi – and comments about other great speeches from Doctor Who. This post is a collection of some of the best speeches from Doctor Who, roughly one per Doctor. I have no desire to do a “top ten” style list, so they are presented in reverse chronological order, newest to oldest, with youTube clips where I can find them.

12 – Peter Capaldi – Zygon Inversion,
written by Peter Harness & Steven Moffat, BBC 2015

“You just want cruelty to beget cruelty. You’re not superior to people who were cruel to you.  You’re just a whole bunch of new cruel people. A whole bunch of new cruel people being cruel to some other people who will end-up being cruel to you. The only way anyone can live in peace is if they are prepared to forgive. Why don’t you break the cycle?” – The Doctor
“Why should we?” – Bonnie
“What is it that you actually want?” – The Doctor
“War.” – Bonnie
“Ah. And when this war is over? When you have a homeland free from humans. What do you think it’s going to be like? Do you know? Have you thought about it? Have you given it any consideration? Because you’re very close to getting what you want. What’s it going to be like? Paint me a picture. Are you going to live in houses? Do you want people to go to work? Will there be holidays? Oh. Will there be music? Do you think people will be allowed to play violins? Who’s going to make the violins? Well? Oh, you don’t actually know do you? Because like every single tantruming child in history, Bonnie, you don’t actually know what you want. So let me ask you a question about this Brave New World of yours. When you’ve killed all the bad guys, and when it’s all perfect, and just, and fair, when you have finally got it exactly the way you want it. What are you going to do with the people like you? The troublemakers. How are you going to protect your Glorious Revolution from the next one?” – The Doctor
“We’ll win.” – Bonnie
“Oh, will you? Well, maybe. Maybe you will win. but nobody wins for long. The wheel just keeps turning. So, come on, break the cycle.” – The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), “The Zygon Inversion”, BBC 2015

“You set this up, why?” – Kate
“Because it’s not a game, Kate. This is a scale model of  war! Every war ever fought right there in front of you! Because its always the same, when you fire that first shot. No matter how right you feel, you have no idea who’s going to die! You don’t know who’s children are going to scream and burn! How many hearts will be broken! How many lives shattered! How much blood will spill until everybody does what they were always going to have to do from the very beginning – sit down and talk!” – the Doctor

“You’re all the same, you screaming kids, you know that? ‘Look at me, I’m unforgivable’, well, here’s the unforeseeable – I forgive you! After all you’ve done – I forgive you!” – The Doctor
“You don’t understand! You will never understand!” – Bonnie
“I don’t understand? Are you kidding? Me? Of course, I understand. I mean, you call this a war? This funny little thing? This is not a war! I fought in a bigger war than you will ever know. I did worse things than you could ever imagine! And when I close my eyes… I hear more screams than anyone would ever be able to count. And do you know what you do with all that pain? Shall I tell you where to put it? You hold it tight… until it burns your hand. And you say this! No one else will ever have to live like this. No one else will ever have to feel this pain. Not on my watch.” – The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), “The Zygon Inversion”, BBC 2015

11 – Matt Smith – Pandorica “The Pandorica Opens”,
written by Steven Moffat, BBC 2010

“Hello, Stonehedge! Who takes the Pandorica takes the universe. But bad news, everyone…Cos guess who? Ha! listen, you lot, you’re all whizzing about, it’s really very distracting. Could you all stay still a minute? Because I…am…talking! Now, the question of the hour is, Who’s got the Pandorica? Answer – I do. Next question, Who’s coming to take it from me? Come on! Look at me, no plan, no backup, no weapons worth a damn. Oh, and something else, I don’t have… anything to lose! So, if you’re sitting up there in your silly little spaceship, with all your silly little guns, and you’ve got any plans on taking the Pandorica tonight, just remember who’s standing in your way. Remember every black day I ever stopped you. And then, and then, do the smart thing. Let somebody else try first.” – the Doctor (Matt Smith)

10 – David Tennant, “Voyage of the Damned”,
written by Russell T. Davies, BBC 2007

“Wait a minute, who put you in charge?  And who the hell are you anyway?” – Pickton Slade
“I’m the Doctor.  I’m a Time Lord.  I’m from the planet Gallifrey, in the constellation of Kasterborous.  I’m 903 years old, and I’m the man who’s going to save your lives and all six billion people on the planet below.  You have a problem with that?” – The Doctor (David Tennant)
“No.” – Pickton Slade

9 – Christopher Eccleston, “Rose”,
written by Russell T. Davies, BBC 2005

“Really though Doctor,  tell me, Who are you?” – Rose
“You know like we were saying, about the Earth revolving?  It’s like when you’re a kid, the first time they tell you that the world’s turning, and you just can’t believe it, ’cause everything looks like it’s standing still.  I can feel it (takes Rose’s hand) the turn of the Earth.  The ground beneath our feet is spinnin’ at 1000 miles an hour, and the entire planet is hurling around the Sun at 67,000 miles an hour, and I can feel it.  We’re falling through space you and me – clinging to the skin of this tiny little world and if we let go… (pause) That’s who I am.  Now forget me, Rose Tyler.  Go home.” – The Doctor (Christopher Eccleston)

Comment vid – it was the best I could find.

7 – Sylvester McCoy, “Survival”,
written by Rona Munro, BBC 1989

“There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea’s asleep and the rivers dream.  People made of smoke and cities made of song.  Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice, somewhere else the tea is getting cold.  Come on, Ace, we’ve got work to do.” –the Doctor (Sylvester McCoy)

6 – Colin Baker, “The Ultimate Foe”
Written by Robert Holmes and Pip & Jane Baker, BBC 1986

“In all my travelings throughout the universe I have battled against evil, against power-mad conspirators.  I should have stayed here.  The oldest civilisation… Dedecant, degenerate, and rotten to the core… Power-mad conspirators, Daleks, Sontarans, Cybermen– they’re still in the nursery compared to us.  Ten million years of absolute power– that’s what it takes to be really corrupt!” –the Doctor (Colin Baker), “Trial of a Time Lord – The Ultimate Foe”

5 Peter Davison, “Earthshock”,
written by Eric Saward, BBC 1983

“They [emotions] also enhance life–when did you last have the pleasure of smelling a flower, watching a sunset, eating a well-prepared meal?” –The Doctor (Davison)
“These things are irrelevant.” The Cyber-leader
“For some people, small, beautiful events is what life is all about.” The Doctor in response, (Peter Davison)

4 Tom Baker, “Genesis of the Daleks”,
written by Terry Nation, BBC 1975

“Well, What are you waiting for?”  –Sarah Jane
“Just touch these two strands together and the Daleks are finished.  Have I the right?” The Doctor
“To destroy the Daleks, you can’t doubt it?” –Sarah
“But I do. You see, some things could be better with the Daleks.  Many Future Worlds will become allies just because of their fear of the Daleks.”  –The Doctor
“It isn’t like that!” –Sarah (Elisabeth Sladen)
“But the final responsibility is mine, and mine alone. Listen, if someone who knew the future, pointed out a child to you and told you that child would grow up totally evil, to be a ruthless dicator, who would destroy millions of lives. Could you then kill that child?” –The Doctor
“We’re talking about the Daleks, the most evil creatures ever invented, you must destroy them! You must complete your mission for the Time Lords!” – Sarah Jane
“Do I have the right? Simply touch one wire against the other and that’s it, the Daleks cease to exist. Hundreds of millions of people, thousands of generations can live without fear, in peace, and never even know the word ‘Dalek’.” – The Doctor
“Then why wait? If it was a disease, or some sort of bacteria you were destroying you wouldn’t hesitate.”
“But if I kill, wipe out a whole intelligent life form, then I become like them, I’d be no better than the Daleks.” The Doctor (Tom Baker)

4  Tom Baker, “The Ark in Space”,
Written by Robert Holmes, BBC 1975

“Homo Sapiens! What an inventive, invincible species.  It’s only a few millions years since they’ve crawled out of  the mud and learned to walk.  Puny, defenseless, bipeds.  They’ve survived flood, famine and plague, they’ve survived cosmic wars and holocausts, and now here they are, out among the stars, waiting to begin a new life, ready to outsit eternity.  They’re indomitable!  Indomitable!” –The Doctor (Tom Baker)

3  Jon Pertwee, Planet of the Daleks,
Written by Terry Nation, BBC 1973

“You know, what you did back there, leading the searchers away from us was very couragous.” – The Doctor
“I just didn’t give myself time to think.  If I had I certainly wouldn’t have taken the risk.” – Thal Scientist Codal
“I think your doing yourself rather an injustice there. If you hadn’t acted the way you did – we’ve all been captured. They give medals for that sort of bravery.” – The Doctor
“Bravery? I’ve been terrified ever since I landed on this planet. It’s different for Taren and Vabor – they’re professionals. They’ve seen action before.” – Thal Scientist Codal
“And do you think they’re any less brave because of that?” – The Doctor
“They know how to deal with fear. They’re used to living close to death. I’m not. I’m a scientist not an adventurer.”  – Thal Scientist Codal
“Well, forgive me if I’m wrong, but weren’t you a volunteer?” – The Doctor
“Yes.” – Thal Scientist Codal
“Well, you must have known what you were getting  into.” – The Doctor
“No. None of us did. We’re not a war-like people, Doctor. We’ve only just developed space flight. No one attempted a voyage of this length before. But every man and woman from my division volunteered. Over 600 of them, you see, I didn’t even have the courage to be the odd man out.” – Thal Scientist Codal

[The Doctor chuckles]

“What are you laughing at?” – Thal Scientist Codal
“You my friend. You may be a very brilliant scientist, but you have very little understanding of people, particularly yourself. Courage isn’t just a matter of not being frightened, you know.” – The Doctor
“What is it, then?” – Thal Scientist Codal
“It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway.” – The Doctor (Jon Pertwee)

2 Patrick Troughton – “The Moonbase”,
Written by Kit Pedler, BBC 1967

“Evil is what I meant. There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things which act against everything that we believe in. They must be fought.” – The Doctor (Patrick Troughton), “The Moonbase”, BBC 1967 (written by Kit Pedler)

2 Patrick Troughton – “The War Games”,
Written by Malcolm Hulke and Terrance Dicks, BBC 1969

“You asked me to justify my actions, I am doing so. Let me show you the Ice Warriors, cruel Martian invaders, they tried to conquer the Earth, too. So did the Cybermen, half creature, half machine. but, worst of all, were the Daleks, a pityless race of conquerers exterminating all who came up against them. All these evils I have fought, while you have done nothing but observe. True, I am guilty of interference, just as you are guilty of failing to use your great powers to help those in need!” – The Doctor (Patrick Troughton)

1 – William Hartnell, “An Unearthly Child”,
written by Anthony Coburn

“I tolerate this century but I don’t enjoy it. Have you ever thought what it’s like to be wanderers in the fourth dimension? Have you? To be exiles. Susan and I are cut off from our own planet, without friends or protection. But one day we shall go back. Yes, one day. One day.” “An Unearthly Child”, BBC 1963

And finally as an Honorable Mention, because it is a quote about the Doctor but not said by him.

The Family of Blood, Written by Paul Cornell (based on his original Doctor Who novel, Human Nature, published in the New Adventures series by Virgin Publishing), BBC 2007
“Because it [the watch] was waiting. Then because I was so scared of the Doctor.” – Timothy Latimer
“Why?” – Joan
“Because, I’ve seen him. He’s like fire and ice and rage. He’s like the night and the storm and the heart of the sun.” – Latimer
“Stop it.” – John Smith
“He’s ancient and forever. He burns at the center of time, and he can see the turn of the universe.” – Latimer
“Stop it. I said, stop it.” – John Smith (David Tennant)
“And he’s wonderful.” – Tim Latimer (Thomas Sangster)

All speeches and dialogue hand-transcribed by me. Authors and dates from Doctor Who – The Programme Guide by Jean-Marc Lofficier Second and Fourth editions for Classic Who, and from The TARDIS Wikia for New Who. Yes, I realize Paul McGann is missing – I hope to get something from one of the Big Finish audios or the BBC Books Eighth Doctor Adventures at some point. I do really like McGann’s Doctor.

This is why I love Doctor Who so much – it is so wonderfully written, and acted, and brilliant, and diverse. What are your favorite speeches from Doctor Who?

Doctor Who Series 8 Review

  • Series Title: Doctor Who
  • Season: Series 8 (New Who)
  • Episodes:  12
  • Discs:  5
  • Network: BBC
  • Cast:  Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman
  • DVD: Widescreen DVD (R1, NTSC)

Doctor Who gets a new Doctor – Peter Capaldi with Series 8, however Steven Moffat is still the show’s “showrunner”, what in the US would be termed the executive producer. I had looked forward very much to seeing a new Doctor, because I never really warmed-up to Matt Smith. And this wasn’t just not liking Smith because he wasn’t Tennant. I’ve seen all of Doctor Who, all now twelve Doctors, plus John Hurt’s The War Doctor. I have my favorites – Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy, and David Tennant, but I don’t really dislike any of the Doctors. I see each actor as emphasizing an aspect or different aspects of the Doctor’s personality.

Series 8 starts with an extended episode, “Deep Breath”, which was shown in movie theaters around the US. I saw it in the theater and on BBCAmerica. Re-watching it on DVD I was reminded just how good the script was. There were a lot of references to “The Girl in the Fireplace”, of course, because the service robots / androids were basically the same as the one’s in “Girl in the Fireplace” and the ship they originally came from was sister-ship to the Madame de Pompadour. But the episode made a point not only about the robots being, as the Doctor puts it, “a broom” (“you have a broom and you replace the handle, then later you replace the brush – is it still the same broom?”) which had obvious connections to the Doctor who’s having trouble with his regeneration. However, unlike other regeneration crisis stories (which have occurred since Pertwee), where it’s the Doctor who’s having an issue figuring out who he is – or the Doctor is actually physically sick, such as he’s half-conscious, in “Deep Breath” it’s Clara who has the problem. She literally cannot see that Capaldi is the Doctor, and her first reaction is to tell Mde. Vastra and Jenny to “change him back”.

There are some obvious issues with this. First, ever since the show came back in 2005, the show runners, both Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat have emphasized the role of the companion, and shown the companion to be a POV-character for the audience. Now, watching Doctor Who when I was young, I always wanted to be the Doctor, not his companion, (but I always wanted to be Sherlock Holmes not Watson, or Batman not Robin, too. Maybe it’s just wanting to identify with the hero not his entourage.) Though I also prefer stories that have a strong duo or ensemble cast. But that’s me.

But in “Deep Breath” with Clara saying “he’s not the Doctor, bring back the Doctor, change him back, etc” it makes her look somewhat stupid. Clara saw him regenerate – and she still doesn’t get it? There have been more than one companion on Doctor Who who didn’t actually see the regeneration – but they still get that the Doctor is still the Doctor. The Brigadier, doesn’t actually see Troughton become Pertwee, but he accepts that Pertwee is the Doctor. He then sees Pertwee become Tom Baker, and not only accepts him immediately – but from that point on, he’s able to recognize the Doctor on sight, no matter who the Doctor is. In Mawdryn Undead, that the Brigadier doesn’t not recognize Peter Davison not because he’s “not Tom Baker” but because of the Blinovitch Limitation Effect (he meets himself and it short-circuits his brain). Though Mawdryn Undead is also the story where somebody got the dating of the UNIT stories completely wrong. Sigh.

So, in “Deep Breath”, Clara can’t accept that the new Doctor is the Doctor. From a character standpoint, that makes her look dumb because she saw it happen – and she still can’t believe it. But it’s also an issue in a meta sense, and Steven Moffat is a very meta writer. That Clara, the audience POV character, cannot accept the new Doctor, is Moffat’s slap-in-the-face reaction to his prediction that fans won’t like Capaldi. Moffat makes a lot of assumptions – fans won’t like Capaldi because he’s older, they won’t like him because he’s Scottish, etc, etc. That both puts a lot of weight on Capaldi’s shoulders (In effect, setting him up to fail and then on top of it saying, “And if the show tanks it’s all your fault.”) But it really undermines the audience and fans too – suggesting that they are too dumb to understand regeneration (they even use the term “renewed” instead) or that the audience is too fickle to also like a new, and older, Doctor.

But I was extremely excited to see a new Doctor, because I never really liked Matt Smith. But what I found was that, though I do like Capaldi’s take as The Doctor – I really, really don’t like Moffat as a showrunner and I want him gone. When I see him in interviews and doing PR for his show, he always seems very smug – but at the same time, he seems to really talk down to and not appreciate the fans. And it’s the fans and the audience – even the casual viewing audience that keep the show on the air and stronger than ever in terms of popularity. There’s other things I don’t like in what I’ve seen from Moffat (both on Doctor Who and occasionally on Sherlock).

However, another interesting take – both on the robots in “Deep Breath”, that the Doctor calls “a broom” and how the Doctor views his regeneration, is that by the end of the episode we do really understand what Clara’s lack of understanding is doing to the Doctor – and how her just up and leaving him would very much hurt him. I nearly cried when the Doctor talked about Clara seeing right through him and not seeing him. And, that tied back to Vastra talking to Clara through her veil – and Clara saying, “wait, when did you stop wearing your veil?” and Vastra responding, “When you stopped seeing it.” In other words, Clara began to accept Vastra for who she was, which allowed her to really see Vastra. Clara needed to really see the Doctor and accept him as the same person he always was, though he looks different. The phone call from the Eleventh Doctor, though a bit dicey in the logic department (how could the Doctor know that he’d need to call Clara or when and where to call her?). It made sense that Capaldi’s Doctor would remember the call – he made it, but how could Smith know? All I could think was somehow Capaldi’s Doctor sent a message to Matt Smith’s Doctor – which would explain him knowing his own future. That does, however, fly in the face of all the other multi-Doctor stories (The Three Doctors, The Five Doctors, and the Two Doctors) where it’s clearly stated that the Doctor wouldn’t remember the events in his future once he “returned” to his past. But Capaldi’s reactions in that last scene just really got to me – it was brilliant!

Another aspect of “Deep Breath” was it introduced Missy. When I saw the season originally on BBCA, I really disliked Missy. I thought the interruptions with Missy made no sense whatsoever – but having seen the season finale “Dark Water” / “Death in Heaven” – “Deep Breath” made a lot more sense. The introduction of Missy really did work. Her later appearances were, “meh”, until the finale, but the introduction does actually work.

The rest of the season is very episodic and almost seems to check off a list (we have to have a Dalek one, and a scary one, and an SF/space one, etc), but having said that – I quite liked several of the individual stories. I enjoyed “Robot of Sherwood”, because, like Clara, I’m also a Robin Hood fan – I’m a fan of that legend. And I caught the reference in the title to the brilliant series, Robin of Sherwood as well as the tonal references to the classic movie The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn and Olivia deHaviland. And watching it again, I did notice that it was very sunny and warm-looking, which the Doctor states doesn’t look right for Nottingham Forest (makes perfect sense for Southern California though), so I do wonder where it was filmed, and since it was probably the UK – just how they got so lucky in the weather (or did they digitally grade the image to be brighter? Digital grading is usually used to make film darker, so I don’t even know if it can be used in reverse.) There was a lot of humor in the story, and using primitive technology to make a digital circuit was something we’d seen in “Fires of Pompeii”, but I felt the rest of the episode was so different it didn’t feel like a copy or a story stealing from a previous one. And the end was wonderful – and I don’t mean taking down a rocket ship with a bow and a golden arrow. I just loved Robin’s last conversation with the Doctor.

Robin: “Is it true? That in the future I am forgotten as a real man, I am but a legend?”

Doctor: “I’m afraid it is.”

Robin: “Hum. Good. History is a burden. Stories make us fly!”

Doctor: “I’m still having a little trouble believing yours, I’m afraid.”

Robin: “Is it so hard to credit? That a man, born into wealth and privilege can find the plight of the oppressed and weak too much to bear? Until one night he is moved to steal a TARDIS and fly among the stars, fighting the good fight. Clara told me your stories.”

Doctor: “She should not have told you any of that.”

Robin: “Well, once the stories started she could hardly stop herself. You are her hero, I think.”

Doctor: “I’m not a hero.”

Robin: “Well, neither am I. [long pause] But if we both keep pretending to be… perhaps, others will be heroes in our name. Perhaps we will both be stories. And may those stories never end.”

I really liked what that conversation had to say about stories, about heroes, and even how it showed the Doctor who had seemed almost prejudiced against Robin at the start, certainly dismissive of him, that he could finally see they had something in common.

“Listen” started as a very spooky episode, reminiscent of Classic Who, in a sense – until Clara grabs the Doctor’s ankle in the barn – and tells him it’s all just a dream. Yet again, we’re back to “Clara, Clara, Clara”, where everything is about her. Also, I didn’t understand why the Doctor would be sleeping in a barn, or why his parents’ house would even have a barn. We’ve seen Gallifrey before, and I don’t remember seeing a lot of barns.

Which is not to say I don’t like Clara or Jenna, the actress. I actually quite like Clara and I really like Jenna – she’s working with what she’s given, and Moffat has a very tight control over even his writers and directors – micro-managing them, and telling them how to do their jobs (watch the special features, it’s clear that Moffat micro-manages everyone, even Mark Gatiss, his partner on Sherlock and a long-time Doctor Who writer). The “Clara always provides the answer / Clara always saves everyone” is almost like what I’ve heard people say about Wesley on Star Trek the Next Generation, even the actor playing him – Wil Wheaton said, publically, on several occasions – “stop having Wesley save the ship every episode!”  It does a dis-service to the character of Clara to make her in charge most of the time.

“Time Heist” is clearly this season’s attempt to do a Caper Film, and it somewhat works – it even works when you know what the real goal of the heist is – and part of it sets up “In the Forest of the Night”.

“The Caretaker” was interesting in that almost the entire focus of the episode seems to be the conflict between Danny Pink and the Doctor. It’s at this point that the season does, in some ways, seem to resemble a sitcom (“This is Clara, a school teacher, and this is her boyfriend, Danny, and this is her ex-boyfriend who’s now her “crazy neighbor” the Doctor”) – that aspect of it, and of all the “Let’s base several stories on Earth, and show that Clara is continuing her normal life in between rushing off with the Doctor.” I mean, to me, that almost felt like she wasn’t a real companion then – leaving the Doctor to be very lonely.

“Kill the Moon” just made no sense – no sense at all. Even Clara’s choice of a method of communication is a bit dim – since the electric companies could over-rule what anyone decides individually. Having a Pheonix born from the moon was cool-looking, but it made no logical sense whatsoever.

“Mummy on the Orient Express” was another of my favorite episodes this season. It was really, the first time, we see the Doctor having a major role in the story. Clara gets locked in a storage closet for most of the episode, so she’s not really doing anything. And the end was a bit open-ended, which was both weird and a good way to further reflect on the Doctor’s character.

I didn’t really like “Flatline” because I felt the end was highly out of character for the Doctor. Since when does the Doctor commit genocide (other than, OK, yes, the occasional Dalek army)? I liked seeing Capaldi insist he was the protector of Earth (though again, we’ve seen that before, in “The Christmas Invasion”, Tennant’s first story) but to do that and completely destroy an entire other dimension of intelligent beings? Why?

“In the Forest of the Night” was weird the first time I saw it last year. This time around, I did still think it was more like a Torchwood story – but it was still cool to have that message of the “weird, alien trees are actually helping not invading” – which, in general, is more common on Doctor Who in some way, shape or form, than the previous story, which was “they are alien – kill them.”

“Dark Water”/”Death in Heaven” was pretty awesome. It was just awesome. Finally, everything gets wrapped up from the season (all the little Missy snippets, even the nonsensical ones now at least work in context) and it’s a complex story. Osgood’s end was frightening and upsetting – but I heard she’s coming back anyway (I’m guessing Missy’s gadget was a teleporter not a disintegrater ray). I was very glad to see Kate survive (I love Kate, I really do. She’s a great character). But Danny’s death I found very upsetting. And Missy’s treatment of the Doctor too. I found myself crying at the end of “Death in Heaven”.

I’d say that the overall theme of Series 8, wasn’t Missy – it was, “Who is the Doctor”? A concept that Moffat seems to be totally obsessed by. Remember all the “Doctor Who? Doctor Who? Doctor Who?” references throughout the Matt Smith era? But going over all the very diverse stories here, there is a common thread – and that is, who is the Doctor? Because he has a new face, does that make him someone else? (Deep Breath) Yet another Dalek telling the Doctor he’d “make a good Dalek” (Into the Dalek), cynical scientist (Robot of Sherwood), scared old man (Listen), honorable thief (Time Heist), Caretaker and Protector of Earth (The Caretaker), Disinterested bystander (Kill the Moon), Detective (Mummy on the Orient Express), the good scientist (In the Forest of the Night), stuck in his box/ Protector (Flatline), and then the season finale, which, really, brought up the Doctor’s old friendships – the Brigadier, Kate Stewart, Missy/the Master.

Doctor Who Series 8 comes with a full disc of extras, commentaries, and Disc One (“Deep Breath” only) contains several extras as well. It’s highly recommended. Do buy it and enjoy!

Doctor Who – Complete Episode List Including Missing Episodes

Doctor Who is the World’s Longest Running science fiction program. It’s also one of the longest-running scripted dramas in the world. But, at some point in the series’s history, the BBC decided to clear out space in their vaults, and many older programs, including Doctor Who were junked or destroyed.  Within a few years the BBC realized their mistake, and began a world-wide search for older, missing, stories. The recovery of “The Web of Fear” and “Enemy of the World” was well-publicized. However, some stories from the Hartnell and Troughton Eras are still missing.  This table lists all Doctor Who stories in original air order, with the missing episodes noted.  Of special note, “The Underwater Menace” was at one point scheduled for release, with the still-missing episodes to be restored using animation and the original sound track. That rumored (aided by a “coming soon” notation on Amazon dot com) release still has not appeared. Stories not marked “Missing” are available on DVD, though some may be out of print.  For more information on the efforts to restore Doctor Who, go to the Doctor Who Restoration Team website. For a fun music video of every Doctor Who Story, See Babelcolour‘s videos on youTube. Direct link to the 50th Anniversary Edition.

And for more information on Classic Doctor Who in book form, the two most useful factual books are:

The Doctor Who Programme Guide by Jean-Marc Lofficier (4th Edition also by Randy Lofficier, Mystery Writers of America Presents an imprint of iUniverse, Inc. 2003; original versions published by W.H. Allen & Co. PLC and Virgin Publishing, Ltd.)


Classic Doctor Who DVD Compendium Every Disc, Every Episode, Every Extra compiled by Paul Smith, Wonderful Books, London, 2014.

Both are extremely useful and highly recommended as reference books.

Story # Ep. # Ep. Title Num. Eps. Comment
William Hartnell
1 1 An Unearthly Child 4
2 2 The Daleks 7
3 3 The Edge of Destruction 2
4 4 Macro Polo 7 MISSING
5 5 The Keys of Marinus 6
6 6 The Aztecs 4
7 7 The Sensorites 6
8 8 The Reign of Terror 6
9 9 Planet of the Giants 3
10 10 Dalek Invasion of Earth 6
11 11 The Rescue 2
12 12 The Romans 4
13 13 The Web Planet 6
14 14 The Crusade 4 MISSING
15 15 The Space Museum 4
16 16 The Chase 6
17 17 The Time Meddler 4
18 18 Galaxy Four 4 MISSING
19 19 Mission to the Unknown 1 Missing, Prequel to #21 below
20 20 The Myth Makers 4 MISSING
21 21 The Daleks Master Plan 12 MISSING
22 22 The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve 4 MISSING
23 23 The Ark 4
24 24 The Celestial Toymaker 4 MISSING
25 25 The Gunfighters 4
26 26 The Savages 4 MISSING
27 27 The War Machines 4
28 28 The Smugglers 4 MISSING
29 29 The Tenth Planet 4
Patrick Troughton
30 1 The Power of the Daleks 6 MISSING
31 2 The Highlanders 4 MISSING
32 3 The Underwater Menace 4 MISSING
33 4 The Moonbase 4
34 5 The Macra Terror 4 MISSING
35 6 The Faceless Ones 6 MISSING
36 7 The Evil of the Daleks 7 MISSING
37 8 Tomb of the Cybermen 4
38 9 The Abominable Snowmen 6
39 10 The Ice Warriors 6
40 11 The Enemy of the World 6
41 12 The Web of Fear 6
42 13 Fury from the Deep 6 MISSING
43 14 The Wheel in Space 6 MISSING
44 15 The Dominators 5
45 16 The Mind Robber 5
46 17 The Invasion 8
47 18 The Krotons 4
48 19 The Seeds of Death 6
49 20 The Space Pirates 6 MISSING
50 21 The War Games 10
Jon Pertwee
51 1 Spearhead from Space 4
52 2 The Silurians 7
53 3 The Ambassadors of Death 7
54 4 Inferno 7
55 5 Terror of the Autons 4
56 6 The Mind of Evil 6
57 7 The Claws of Axos 4
58 8 Colony in Space 6
59 9 The Daemons 5
60 10 Day of the Daleks 4
61 11 The Curse of Peladon 4
62 12 The Sea Devils 6
63 13 The Mutants 6
64 14 The Time Monster 6
65 15 The Three Doctors 4
66 16 Carnival of Monsters 4
67 17 Frontier in Space 6
68 18 Planet of the Daleks 6
69 19 The Green Death 6
70 20 The Time Warrior 4
71 21 Invasion of the Dinosaurs 6
72 22 Death to the Daleks 4
73 23 The Monster of Peladon 6
74 24 Planet of the Spiders 6
Tom Baker
75 1 Robot 4
76 2 The Ark in Space 4
77 3 The Sontaran Experiment 2
78 4 Genesis of the Daleks 6
79 5 Revenge of the Cybermen 4
80 6 Terror of the Zygons 4
81 7 Planet of Evil 4
82 8 Pyramids of Mars 4
83 9 The Android Invasion 4
84 10 The Brain of Morbuis 4
85 11 The Seeds of Doom 6
86 12 The Masque of Mandragora 4
87 13 The Hand of Fear 4
88 14 The Deadly Assasin 4
89 15 The Face of Evil 4
90 16 The Robots of Death 4
91 17 The Talons of Weng-Chiang 6
92 18 The Horror of Fang Rock 4
93 19 The Invisible Enemy 4
94 20 Image of the Fendahl 4
95 21 The Sunmakers 4
96 22 Underworld 4
97 23 The Invasion of Time 6
98 24 The Robos Operation 4
99 25 The Pirate Planet 4
100 26 The Stones of Blood 4
101 27 The Androids of Tara 4
102 28 The Power of Kroll 4
103 29 The Armageddon Factor 6
104 30 Destiny of the Daleks 4
105 31 City of Death 4
106 32 The Creature from the Pit 4
107 33 Nightmare of Eden 4
108 34 The Horns of Nimon 4
109 35 Shada / 30 Years in the TARDIS 6
110 36 The Leisure Hive 4
111 37 Meglos 4
112 38 Full Circle 4
113 39 State of Decay 4
114 40 Warrior’s Gate 4
115 41 The Keeper of Traken 4
116 42 Logopolis 4
Special Special K-9 and Co. – A Girl’s Best Friend 1
Peter Davison
117 1 Castrovalva 4
118 2 Four to Doomsday 4
119 3 Kinda 4
120 4 The Visitation 4
121 5 Black Orchid 2
122 6 Earthshock 4
123 7 Time Flight 4
124 8 Arc of Infinity 4
125 9 Snakedance 4
126 10 Mawdryn Undead 4
127 11 Terminus 4
128 12 Enlightenment 4
129 13 The King’s Demons 2
130 14 The Five Doctors 1
131 15 Warriors of the Deep 4
132 16 The Awakening 2
133 17 Frontios 4
134 18 Resurrection of the Daleks 4
135 19 Planet of Fire 4
136 20 The Caves of Androzani 4
Colin Baker
137 1 The Twin Dilemma 4
138 2 Attack of the Cybermen 2
139 3 Vengeance on Varos 2
140 4 The Mark of the Rani 2
141 5 The Two Doctors 3
142 6 Timelash 2
143 7 Revelation of the Daleks 2
144 8 The Mysterious Planet 4
145 9 Mindwarp 4
146 10 Terror of the Vervoids 4
147 11 The Ultimate Foe 2
Sylvester McCoy
148 1 Time and the Rani 4
149 2 Paradise Towers 4
150 3 Delta and the Bannermen 3
151 4 Dragonfire 3
152 5 Remembrance of the Daleks 4
153 6 The Happiness Patrol 3
154 7 Silver Nemesis 3
155 8 The Greatest Show in the Galaxy 4
156 9 Battlefield 4
157 10 Ghost Light 3
158 11 The Curse of Fenric 4
159 12 Survival 3
Paul McGann
160 The (FOX) TV-Movie 1
Animated Special The Scream of the Shalka 6 15-min. eps.
Christopher Eccleston
Series 1
161 1 Rose
162 2 The End of the World
163 3 The Unquiet Dead
164 4 Aliens of London
165 5 World War Three
166 6 Dalek
167 7 The Long Game
168 8 Father’s Day
169 9 The Empty Child
170 10 The Doctor Dances
171 11 Boom Town
172 12 Bad Wolf
173 13 The Parting of the Ways
David Tennant
Series 2
174 Special The Christmas Invasion
175 1. New Earth
176 2. Tooth and Claw
177 3. School Reunion
178 4. The Girl in the Fireplace
179 5. Rise of the Cybermen
180 6. The Age of Steel
181 7. The Idiot’s Lantern
182 8. The Impossible Planet
183 9. The Satan Pit
184 10. Love and Monsters
185 11. Fear Her
186 12. Army of Ghosts
187 13. Doomsday
Series 3
188 Special The Runaway Bride
189 1. Smith and Jones
190 2. The Shakespeare Code
191 3. Gridlock
192 4. Daleks in Manhatten
193 5. Evolution of the Daleks
194 6. The Lazarus Experiment
195 7. 42
196 8. Human Nature
197 9. The Family of Blood
198 10. Blink
199 11. Utopia
200 12. The Sound of Drums
201 13. Last of the Time Lords
Animated Special The Infinite Quest
Series 4
202 Special Voyage of the Damned
203 1. Partners in Crime
204 2. Fires of Pompeii
205 3. The Planet of the Ood
206 4. The Sontaran Stratagem
207 5. The Poison Sky
208 6. The Doctor’s Daughter
209 7. The Unicorn and the Wasp
210 8. Silence in the Library
211 9. Forest of the Dead
212 10. Midnight
213 11 Turn Left
214 12 This Stolen Earth
215 13. Journey’s End
The Specials (Series 4.5)
216 Special The Next Doctor
217 Special Planet of the Dead
218 Special The Waters of Mars
219 Special The End of Time, Part 1
220 Special The End of Time, Part 2
Animated Special Dreamland 1
Matt Smith
Series 5
221 1. The Eleventh Hour
222 2. The Beast Below
223 3. Victory of the Daleks
224 4. The Time of Angels
225 5. Flesh and Stone
226 6. The Vampires of Venice
227 7. Amy’s Choice
228 8. The Hungry Earth
229 9. Cold Blood
230 10. Vincent and the Doctor
231 11. The Lodger
232 12. The Pandorica Opens
233 13. The Big Bang
234 Special A Christmas Carol
Series 6
235 1. The Impossible Astronaut
236 2. Day of the Moon
237 3. Curse of the Black Spot
238 4. The Doctor’s Wife
239 5. The Rebel Flesh
240 6. The Almost People
241 7. A Good Man Goes to War
242 8. Let’s Kill Hitler
243 9. Night Terrors
244 10. The Girl Who Waited
245 11. The God Complex
246 12. Closing Time
247 13. The Wedding of River Song
248 Special The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe
Series 7
249 1. Asylum of the Daleks
250 2. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
251 3. A Town Called Mercy
252 4. The Power of Three
253 5. The Angels Take Manhatten
254 Special The Snowmen
255 6. The Bells of St. John
256 7. The Rings of Akhaten
257 8. Cold War
258 9. Hide
259260 10. Journey to the Center of the TARDIS
261 11. The Crimson Horror
262 12. Nightmare in Silver
263 13. The Name of the Doctor
264 Special The Day of the Doctor 50th Anniversary Special
265 Special The Time of the Doctor
Peter Capaldi
Series 8
266 1. Deep Breath
267 2. Into the Dalek
268 3. Robot of Sherwood
269 4. Listen
270 5. Time Heist
271 6. The Caretaker
272 7. Kill the Moon
273 8. Mummy on the Orient Express
274 9. Flatline
275 10. In the Forest of the Night
276 11. Dark Water
277 12. Death in Heaven
278 Special Last Christmas