Overview: The Peter Capaldi Era (2013-2016)

CapaldiSteven Moffatt’s first Doctor, Matt Smith, became a fan favorite, and in some cases eclipsed his predecessor, David Tennant. It seemed as though he mostly proved he was a worthy successor to Russell T. Davies. But could the trend continue with Peter Capaldi?

“I do what I do because it’s right! Because it’s decent! And above all, it’s kind!”

About Peter Capaldi

At 59 years old, Peter Capaldi is the oldest actor to play the Doctor.  He follows the tradition of Colin Baker in that he actually appeared in an episode of a previous Doctor’s run, “The Fires of Pompeii” as Lobus Caecillius (which became a plot point of the era). he’s also the second Doctor to have appeared in a spin-off prior to becoming the Doctor, playing Dr. Frobisher in the Torchwood mini-series “Children of Earth”. (David Tennant was the first, appearing in one of Big Finish’s UNIT audio dramas. He was a longtime fan of the show, much like Peter Davison, Colin Baker, and David Tennant before him. Prior to Doctor Who, his most famous role was Malcolm Tucker in the BBC TV sitcom The Thick of It. He played a “WHO Doctor” in World War Z and plays Mr. Curry in both Paddington movies.

In a Nutshell:

  • Catch Phrases: “Pudding brain” and “Shut up!”
  • Series 8’s premiere “Deep Breath” was an extended episode, which continued to be a fixture for all three series.
  •  The Master returned in “Deep Breath”, having changed genders and referring to herself as “Missy.” She was played by Michelle Gomez.
  • Series 9 consisted mostly of 2-part episodes, with “Sleep No More” being the only stand-alone episode.
  • Series 10 was postponed one year, making the third time Doctor Who was put on hiatus during its history.
  • A new spin-off, Class, aired both online and on TV, but wasn’t nearly as successful as Torchwood or The Sarah Jane Adventures, only lasting one series.

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Overview: The Matt Smith Era (2010-2013)

eleventh

In 2010, Russell T. Davies stepped down as show-runner, but not before handing the reins to his protégé Steven Moffatt. Moffatt had already proven his worth with stories like “The Empty Child”, “The Girl in The Fireplace”, and “Blink”, all of which were award-winners and fan-favorites. But could Moffatt do just as good as Davies, along with his new Doctor, Matt Smith?

About Matt Smith

Matt Smith is the youngest actor to ever portray the Doctor. He initially wanted to play pro football, but a diagnosis of spondololysis forced him to change his mind. He began his career with several stage plays in 2003. His first TV role was in 2007 on the TV series Party Animals.

“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa the bad things don’t always spoil the good things or make them unimportant. And we definitely added to his pile of good things”–“Vincent and the Doctor”

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Twelfth: Hell Bent (Part 2)

Writer: Steven Moffatt

Director: Rachel Talalay

Producer: Peter Bennett

Companion: Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman)

Series: 9, episode 13

Summary: The Doctor arrives on Gallifrey and attempts to extract Clara from her death. Thanks to Time Lord technology, she is now still conscious and affected by the world around her, but she no longer ages, breathes, or anything else one does in life.

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Twelfth: Face the Raven

face the ravenWriter: Sarah Dollard

Director: Justin Mololnikov

Producer: Nikki Wilson

Series: 9, episode 10

Companion: Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman)

Summary: Clara is called by Rigsy, who helped her when the Boneless attacked. He has a tattoo on the back of his neck that is counting down to his death.  They discover that he has killed an alien and has been marked for death by Ashieldr, who is now the “mayor” of a “trap street”, a place where aliens live. Clara sacrifices herself by taking his place.

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Twelfth: Sleep No More

sleep no moreWriter: Mark Gatiss

Director: Justin Molotnikov

Producer: Nikki Wilson

Companion: Clara Oswald

Series: 9, episode 9

Summary: This episode is told in “found-footage” style, similar to movies like Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project. A space station has been invaded by strange monsters made of “sleep dust”, the dust left in your eyes when you wake up. These monsters absorb crew members into themselves. The crewmembers don’t sleep, and instead use “Morpheus Pods” to renew themselves, subjecting themselves to a state similar to sleep.

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Twelfth: The Zygon Invasion (Part 1)

zygon invasionWriter: Peter Harness

Director: Daniel Nettheim

Producer: Peter Bennett

Companions: Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave)

Series: 9, ep. 7

Summary: The Nightmare Scenario has occurred. The Zygons have learned that Osgood, one of the humans who negotiated with the Zygons in “Day of the Doctor”, has died. This has caused Zygons to fear their lives are being threatened. Zygon terrorists are wreaking havoc. Can the Doctor and Clara stop the Nightmare Scenario, when they aren’t even sure who is friend or foe?

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Twelfth: The Woman Who Lived (Part 2)

ashildr

Writer: Jamie Mathieson & Steven Moffatt

Director: Ed Bazelgette

Producer: Derek Ritchie

Companions: Ashildr (Maisie Williams), Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman)

Series: 9, episode 6

Summary: Several centuries later, the Doctor meets Ashildr again, who now calls herself Me. She’s now a robber baron called the Knightmare and has fallen in love with a fire-breathing creature. When the Doctor learns that an innocent man may die in her place, he has to intervene.

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Twelfth: Under the Lake/Before the Flood(dual review)

under the lakeWriter: Toby Whithouse

Director: Daniel O’Hara

Producer: Derek Ritchie

Companion: Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman)

Series: (9, ep. 3&4)

Summary: The Doctor and Clara arrive on an underwater base, haunted by ghosts. The ghosts appear to be silent, but only because they can’t be heard.  They meet a crewmember named Cass, who is deaf. The Doctor takes two people to discover why the base was flooded. They meet an alien named the Fisher King, who is invading the base in different times.

Review: Toby Whithouse is in my opinion, one of Doctor Who‘s most underrated writers. I didn’t realize until I rewatched this episode and “Vampires in Venice” just how good he is. He can take a standard formula such as the “base under siege” model and put a nice twist on it. In fact, this story could be considered a “double BUS” story, as the base is being attacked in different times. I thought Cass being the key to the mystery because she can read lips was a great idea, and kudos to the casting of an actual deaf actress (Sophie Stone) to play her! I hope that when Chris Chibnall takes over, he keeps Toby Whithouse on, because he’ll need someone who can apply the standard formula in unique ways.

Overall Review: 8/10

Continuity: The Doctor uses his sonic sunglasses, which was introduced in “The Witch’s Familiar”. The Cloister Bell rings again to alert the Doctor to destruction to time. The Doctor’s amplifier has the logo for Magpie Electricals. Clara tells the Doctor that she isn’t ready to lose another person she cares about.

Note: This is my last dual review. The rest of series 9’s episodes are reviewed better separately than as one complete story for both parts of each episode.

 

 

Twelfth: Dark Water/Death in Heaven (dual review)

dark waterWriter: Steven Moffatt

Director: Rachel Talalay

Producer: Peter Bennett

Companions: Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave)

Summary: Clara receives a phone call telling her that Danny Pink has died. She then receives another phone call from a mysterious woman named Missy,  who wishes to contact the Doctor. Missy is actually a new regeneration of The Master, who is turning the dead into her army of Cybermen.

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Eleventh: Nightmare in Silver

nightmare in silver

Writer: Neil Gaiman

Director: Stephen Wolfenden

Producers: Marcuse Wilson and Denise Paul

Companion: Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman)

Series: 7, episode 12

Summary: When Clara is discovered by the children she’s babysitting, the Docto takes them to Webley’s World of Wonders, an outer space amusement park The owner has remains of the Cybermen and a midget named Porridge. But they discover the Cybermen are not scrapped remains. They are very much alive and have taken the children hostage. They infect the Doctor with Cyber-mites, nanites that threaten to turn him over to their side.

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