A review on season eight of Doctor Who

BRITTANY LAU

October 5, 2014

After saying goodbye to Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, we welcomed Peter Capaldi in his first season as the Twelfth Doctor, which premiered on August 23rd, 2014. Whovians last saw the Doctor regenerate and completely forget how to drive his TARDIS, leaving Clara Oswald in a complete state. Season eight picks up right from this point, as the TARDIS ends up crashing in Victorian London and Clara has trouble coming to terms with the ‘new’ Doctor. Soon after, Clara accepts the Doctor and they travel through time and space, including to the moon and the inside of a Dalek. They meet Robin Hood along the way.

One of the major changes in season eight of Doctor Who is the improved character development of Clara Oswald. In season seven, she was sometimes portrayed as a Doctor-admiring companion and was usually saved by the Doctor. Currently, Whovians have seen many other sides of Clara Oswald; she talks back to the Doctor more and is able to fight her own battles. This change really brings back the classic Doctor Who style, where the companion and the Doctor are just friends and are both equally active characters of the plotline. The companion-Doctor romantic relationship is completely absent in this season, which contributes to Clara’s character.

Following the classic Doctor Who style, the plots of each episode are intriguing and thought-provoking. The episodes are creative (such as journeying into a Dalek or breaking into a bank) and filled with action and mystery, causing Whovians to continue watching, hoping that their questions will be answered. The season is filled with new aliens and monsters, some more frightening than before, such as the monster under the bed in Listen, or the robots from Deep Breath. A mysterious new plot arc this season is the short occasional scenes of Heaven with a lady named Missy. Several of the characters who die in the episodes all end up in Heaven. This has provoked many theories online and questions left unanswered, leaving us something to wonder about.

Now that season eight is halfway through, Peter Capaldi’s portrayal of the Twelfth Doctor gives a completely different light on this 2000-year-old Time Lord. The Doctor gives a slight impression of a professor, always asking questions and replying with the correct answers. His TARDIS is even decorated with bookshelves, chairs, and chalkboards, illustrating his intelligence. Throughout season eight, he seems harsher and shows a much darker side of the Doctor. This Doctor hardly shows any affection, but defends those who he cares about. He is also more sarcastic, witty, and brutally honest. He finds humans to be slow-minded. Peter Capaldi’s portrayal is a complete 180 degree turn in the Doctor’s personality as compared to his predecessors.

Season eight of Doctor Who has been a new revival for the show and the Twelfth Doctor fits perfectly into the show, leaving us feeling as if he has been with us much longer. As the season continues, we wait for answers about Missy and Heaven. Peter Capaldi’s run as the Twelfth Doctor for the next few years is sure to be fantastic and mind-boggling.