'Doctor Who' Season 8 Premiere Spoilers: 'Deep Breath' Review, Impressions From US Premiere

'Doctor Who' Season 8
The 'Doctor Who' Season 8 U.S. premiere took place in New York City on Thursday. As part of the "Doctor Who" world tour, Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat attended the screening and answered fan questions.

The "Doctor Who" Season 8 premiere made quite the impression on fans in New York, nine days before its debut on television. Sonic screwdrivers, cosplays and cheers of delight greeted Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat during the "Doctor Who" NYC world tour stop that also served as the U.S. premiere of "Deep Breath."

The scene around the Ziegfeld Theater hours before the screening epitomized the massive popularity "Doctor Who" has garnered over the past few years. Fezzes, Daleks, Cybermen, Eleventh Doctors, Tenth Doctors, TARDIS' and long scarves could be seen throughout the long line that snaked around the block for the U.S. premiere of the first episode of "Doctor Who" Season 8 that also served as the first introduction to Capaldi as the new Doctor, replacing Matt Smith.

 

 

Some fans arrived as early as midnight on Thursday and the Ziegfeld Theater, which holds more than 1,000 people, was the perfect place to hold the U.S. premiere of "Doctor Who" Season 8.

There will be only minor "Doctor Who" Season 8 spoilers, respecting the wishes of showrunner Steven Moffat, for the "Deep Breath" review. Per the BBC synopsis, "When the Doctor arrives in Victorian London he finds a dinosaur rampant in the Thames and a spate of deadly spontaneous combustions. Who is the new Doctor and will Clara’s friendship survive as they embark on a terrifying mission into the heart of an alien conspiracy? The Doctor has changed. It’s time you knew him."

 

 

To start, Capaldi will be a fan favorite from early on. There are no immediate histrionics or quirks that may have come to define recent Doctors, although there are plenty of references to eyebrows and being Scottish, and Capaldi finds a nice groove as the Doctor as he struggles through an identity crisis following the regeneration.

While fans get to know the Doctor through the "Deep Breath," the episode is all about Clara. She's unsure of who this Doctor is and whether or not she wants to continue the incredible journey through space and time. She's in the same place as the audience, asking questions and a bit unsure of who the Doctor is as person. 

'Doctor Who' World Tour The "Doctor Who" World Tour arrived in NYC on Thursday.

The focus on darkness, or perhaps a more serious "Doctor Who," may play out over the season but "Deep Breath" is quick, punchy and filled with action. The 87-minute runtime goes by quickly although there may be some complaints about Moffat's callback to previous episode. New fans may not lose much without having this context but it leaves a thematic layer available only to veteran "Doctor Who" fans. It's a minor complaint, along with a non-threatening villain, in an otherwise great episode. 

With Clara doing much of the heavy lifting, the Paternoster Gang shine as the comedic element in "Deep Breath." Jenny and Vastra's relationship gets to shine and Strax drew plenty of laughs from the NYC audience.

 

 

Following the end of the episode, Capaldi, Coleman and Moffat were greeted to a standing ovation from the NYC fans.

Host Chris Hardwick deftly handled the fan conversations and despite the hectic travel schedule, Capaldi and Coleman were energetic and enjoyed the fan response to "Deep Breath" and answered questions with charm and humor.

Very minor "Doctor Who" Season 8 premiere spoiler ahead. If you don't want to know any aspect of the upcoming season, do not read.

In New York, Moffat discussed the online reaction to "Doctor Who." Rather than focus on some of the negative aspects, Moffat admired the creativity of fans, from costumes to video mashups, and the vibrant "Doctor Who" community. As he was looking around the Internet, Moffat found a fan-created title sequence that he loved. He contacted the user who uploaded it to YouTube and it's now featured, with minor changes, as the new "Doctor Who" Season 8 sequence.

The "Doctor Who" Season 8 premiere airs on Aug. 23 at 8 p.m. EDT on BBC America. BBC will celebrate the new season and Doctor with several specials as well as midnight screenings in select cities. The "Doctor Who" Season 8 premiere trailer can be viewed below.

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