Just this once, I’ve got to say this: Poor Clara.
She saw the Doctor at his worst when he was on Trenzalore getting older and older while fighting off Cybermen and Daleks on his own. Then when she came back to see him, he regenerated in front of her, saying goodbye the only way he could. And when he entered his new body, old enough to be her father or grandfather, he asks her to drive the Tardis and instead gets his blue box stuck in a dinosaur’s throat.
That’s where “Deep Breath” begins. There’s a T-Rex in the Thames River in Victorian London—a DINOSAUR in the THAMES! Bravo writing, Steven—and the Paternoster Gang, Jenny, Vastra, and Strax, are back to investigate. Then the dinosaur spits out the Doctor’s blue box and he comes out of it a little confused and disoriented, while Clara Oswald is completely disheveled and tired from getting swallowed by a T-Rex. Poor baby.
Meanwhile, as I’m watching this episode for the however many times I’ve seen it (because I love it so much), I can’t help but think, is there going to be a relation between Caecilius from “Fires of Pompeii” and this new guy as the Twelfth Doctor?
I remember vividly when Peter Capaldi stepped on the Doctor Who screen when he was casted for a slightly minor role in an earlier David Tennant episode, where Ten was traveling with Donna Noble. (Alas, poor Donna. She was funny.) I also remembered seeing him in a British family comedy featuring a little Peruvian bear with a blue coat and galoshes. If you remember Paddington, Peter Capaldi was the next door neighbor Mr. Curry.
And he once wore a bow tie and called Nicole Kidman “Honeypot”.
And he called out Nicole Kidman in a telephone box…
This makes me wonder if the crew of Paddington knew that Peter was next in line to be the Doctor… Hmmm…
But in all seriousness, I re-watched the entire one hour episode “Deep Breath”, which actually goes a little over an hour with all the action and drama happening everywhere. But it still comes to this; the Twelfth Doctor is a crazed insomniac. Even in a later episode, he says to Clara that he sleeps only when she’s not looking. How is that possible?
In every regeneration before him, from Christopher Eccleston to Matt Smith, the Doctor needs rest or food to help the regeneration process while he’s bursting with gold dust of regeneration energy. This time, when Matt Smith turns into Peter Capaldi, there is no energy dust and he just keeps passing out everywhere, starting with when he sees the female T-Rex in the Thames. He starts talking nonsense, calling Vastra and Jenny “the green one and the not green one”, and mistaking Strax for Clara.
So eventually when the Doctor wakes up in Madame Vastra’s home, he’s still complaining that he doesn’t need sleep and he doesn’t understand the meaning of a bedroom. “You have a whole room for not being awake in? But what’s the point? You’re just missing the room! And don’t look in that mirror, it’s absolutely furious!”
And at long last, after the Doctor complains about Clara’s English accent, that she’s “developed a fault”, Vastra starts speaking in a Scottish accent similar to his, and gets him to fall asleep. There are a few jokes in there too: “…I just do standy-up catnaps” and “I do love monkeys, they’re so funny.” “Oh I see! So people are monkeys now, are they?” “No dear, people are apes… Men are monkeys.”
But his long snooze doesn’t last long. Eventually, he gets up out of bed, and starts calculating things with a piece of chalk all over the floor, which reminds me of my favorite season seven episode “Hide”.
And then he’s on the roof, talking to a dinosaur.
Insomniacs generally have trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep for periods of time. That’s why they need sleep aids so they can get their eight to nine hours. It’s because their body radiates with so much energy and the brain is still in wake mode, disturbing sleep patterns. It’s almost as bad as having jet lag, but it lasts throughout the whole night, leaving you tired in the morning and resulting in a whole lot of headaches and coffee. (Good thing I don’t drink coffee!)
The Doctor, however, is a Time Lord, and probably doesn’t get as much sleep as a human being. Plus, he’s a madman.
Did I mention that the Twelfth Doctor is Scottish now?
But at the end of the episode, there’s a beautiful send off from the Eleventh Doctor himself, because after Peter Capaldi joined the cast, Matt Smith just wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet:
Eleven: It’s me… It’s me, Clara, the Doctor… I’m phoning you from Trenzalore from before I changed. I mean it’s all still to happen for me. It’s coming, ohhh, it’s a-coming… not long now. I can feel it.
Clara: Why, why would you do this?
Eleven: …Because I think it’s going to be a whopper, and I think you might be scared. And however scared you are, Clara, the man you are with right now, the man I hope you are with… believe me, he is more scared than anything you can imagine right now. And he… he needs you.
Twelve: So who is it?
Eleven (over phone): Is that the Doctor?
Twelve: Is that the Doctor?
Eleven: He sounds old. Please tell me I didn’t get old, anything but old! I was young! Ohh… Is he gray?
Eleven: Clara, please, hey, for me? Help him… go on… and don’t be afraid… Goodbye, Clara… Miss ya’…
Maybe at long last, the Eleventh Doctor can rest a little easier, knowing that Clara and all of time and space are in good hands now.
Just do me a favor, Twelve, go back to bed and get some sleep. You need it.