‘Doctor Who’ (Season 8): An Adventure in Time and Space

Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 1 Deep Breath (8)

Change is hard, but in the world of Doctor Who it can be nothing short of difficult.

Over the course of the shows past 50 years – albeit with a 16-year gap when the show was shelved – the series has gone through 12 different actors playing the title character (technically it should be 13 because of John Hurt playing the doctor briefly last season, but that has been debated greatly with no real resolution).

And with each new doctor, feelings among fans have varied diversely on how well each portrayer has done carrying on the mantle of the actor/doctor before him. Every fan of ‘Doctor Who’ has their favorite doctor and each has very discerning thoughts on all the others, ranging from loathing to somewhat liking or simply putting up with him until the doctor regenerates again (i.e., when the current actor moves from the role and a new doctor is cast). [If only regeneration could be used in other TV shows, as that just might add some spark to them, right?]

This season the role of The Doctor switched from new fan favorite Matt Smith, who was 27 at the time he was cast in the role, to much-older, but accomplished actor Peter Capaldi, who, at 57 years of age, is one of the oldest actors to play the beloved character. Fans, of course, have been divided as to whether they like Capaldi in the role or not, but considered that argument has been ongoing for decades there will be no easy settlement.

Rather, let’s take a look at what has been happening in the show’s eighth season as the Doctor and his current companion Clara Oswald (series lead Jenna Coleman) have traveled through time and space on their grand adventures.

After regenerating, the Doctor and Clara ended up in Victorian London in the season premiere entitled “Deep Breath”, battling a dinosaur and a rampant and crazy robot that was intent on making himself “real” alongside Madame Vastra (recurring guest star Neve McIntosh), Jenny Flint (recurring guest star Catrin Stewart) and Strax (recurring guest star Dan Starkey).

The next episode, entitled “Into the Dalek”, found the Doctor and Clara transformed into smaller versions of themselves in order to be deposited inside a supposedly good Dalek, which is truly saying something since this race of extraterrestrial mutants integrated themselves inside a tank-like, robotic, mechanical shell that have been gunning for the annihilation of every other race since the show’s debut in 1963.

Next up was the episode “Robot of Sherwood” where the Doctor allowed Clara to choose any time period for which she wanted to visit with her admitting that she had always wanted to meet Robin Hood; and meet the legendary hero of Sherwood Forest she did. Except in true ‘Doctor Who’ fashion there were evil aliens at work in the legendary time and the Doctor had to determine who was evil and who was good.

Perhaps the best episode so far this season was last week’s entitled “Listen” that found the Doctor trying to solve what hides in the dark that has stalked humankind and is responsible for a common dream among humans (and even the Doctor himself). The source of that “monster under the bed” is quite interesting to say the least.

And finally, this weekend’s episode entitled “Time Heist” found the Doctor and Clara breaking into the most secure bank in the universe on the behest of ‘The Architect’ and working alongside Psi, an augmented human and Saibra, a mutant human.

Rather than discuss your thoughts on Capaldi versus Smith versus any other actor who has played the Doctor, what are your thoughts on those five episodes? Do you have a particular favorite? Any thoughts on the guest stars so far this year or even new recurring guest actor Samuel Anderson, who was introduced as Danny Pink – Clara’s new co-worker and boyfriend – in episode two. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The next episode of the eighth season of ‘Doctor Who’ will air on BBC America this Saturday, September 27 at 9/8c.