**some spoilers ahead**
I’ll admit right up front that Peter Capaldi’s take on The Doctor is much more
to my liking than…let’s say the direction the series seemed to have been
drifting. More ‘ancient alien’, less ‘fangirl boyfriend material’ please.
No slight to Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, and Matt Smith, who all did
fine jobs in their turns, but The Doctor is *centuries old*, and he’s an
*alien*. Apologies to all the fangirls, but he’s not something that is terribly
likely to get all weak in the knees over a 20-something girl from Earth.
It’s always good to see our Victorian friends in the form of the Paternoster
Gang: Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint, and Strax, and there are also once again a
few nods to the current popularity of Steampunk. My only small regret is that
they didn’t leave much new material here for revisiting, which is a shame.
A new minor villain takes up most of the episode and gives The Doctor plenty of
room to explore how different this arc is going to be. Combine that with a new
major villain with very little screen time, but just enough menace to ensure we
keep an eye on events to come, and I think things are definitely on the
Overall, I enjoyed The Doctor’s post-regeneration disconnection this time, as
it provides a fine opportunity to deal with the rather large shift that must be
happening internally as he adjusts to a completely new cycle of regeneration.
The call from Eleven at the end signals that this shift may be (hopefully ‘is’)
something that will span at least a few episodes, if not the whole arc.
Overall, a worthy start to a new arc, and one I’m looking forward to following.