Less the heroes of our stories than the villains of some other bastard’s

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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Anton B
    June 28, 2014 @ 12:30 am

    The majority of it will be about establishing Capaldi, demonstrating whatever quirks and tics he will be bringing to the role. My guess is that he'll be throwing a bunch of shit against the wall to see what sticks. By including Strax, Vastra and Jenny plus of course Clara (my guess is that'll hold back on the new guy companion for a while a la Rory) the show can ease the new Doctor in surrounded by familiarity without scaring the horses. (I hope Moffat includes a scared horse joke) No Eleventh Hour completely wiped slate this time.

    As to the title. Hmmm. Deep Breath? Well, it's got to be one of Moffat' s trademark 'take a familiar thing and make it scary' riffs so it's 'fear of talking?' 'Fear of starting'? 'Fear of swimming'? A (Hitchikers Guide style)Victorian supercomputer to discover the meaning of life the universe and everything? A Victorian (Watergate style ) informant giving info about corruption in high places? A Victorian (Linda Lovelace style )exploitation porn racket? Not Victorian at all? (the Paternosters are a bluff and get killed in the pre credits?) The familiar thing made scary is the Doctor himself? So – the Doctor regenerates into a fast talking irascible old Scot with a wicked turn of phrase and a twinkle in his eye who must battle to re-win old friends while proving his mettle against an underwater Victorian super porn computer. With horses.


  2. Nick Smale
    June 28, 2014 @ 12:38 am

    I'm fascinated by the echoes of the Third Doctor we're seeing in all of Capaldi's publicity photos (the most recent image mirroring this famous shot, for instance.)

    Matt Smith has talked about how Troughton influenced his performance; could Capaldi be the first new-series Doctor to draw on Pertwee's influence?


  3. David Anderson
    June 28, 2014 @ 1:35 am

    Capaldi did turn 12 during Pertwee's first season.
    Tennant turned 12 during Davison's tenure; Davison himself has spoken of Hartnell as his Doctor. Davison's the only classic series Doctor young enough to do that.
    I don't know whether one can see Pertwee in McGann's interpretation or Tom Baker in Eccleston's.


  4. jane
    June 28, 2014 @ 3:06 am

    I'm reminded of the deep breaths Amy and Rory took upon emerging from their body bags at the beginning of Day of the Moon — the "deep breath" being the breath of life after returning from death. Or, taking a deep breath suggesting a prelude to running, or even making a leap of faith.


  5. jane
    June 28, 2014 @ 3:08 am

    I'm very pleased to see that, at least in the trailer, we're still getting the same iconography of the Moffat era. That shot of Clara's reflection in the Doctor's eye mirrors so many of the era's images, from the Angel in Amy's eye at the Byzantium all the way to the "retinal retention" of The Crimson Horror.


  6. Scott
    June 28, 2014 @ 3:59 am

    Interesting that even Clara's dress looks kind of like the dress Jo is wearing in the Season 8 shot as well.

    (And also, just realised; Capaldi's first season is also Season 8. I doubt that particular parallel was intended, but I'm certainly not going to stop feeling clever over spotting it.)


  7. Alex
    June 28, 2014 @ 4:01 am

    I'm loving how his costume is basically a working-class twist on Pertwee's – switching the cape for a crombie, chelsea boots to bovver boots and losing the neckwear for a buttoned up shirt (which is a look I've seen a lot of young lads rocking over the past couple of years). A bit of Pertwee's decisive attitude would be more than welcome, as well as a bit of Venusian Aikido, please!


  8. The61scissors
    June 28, 2014 @ 4:34 am

    Hm… Pertwee inspired costume, a return of the Myrka. Obviously this can only mean that 12 will demonstrate how one is supposed to kung-fu hostile sealife.


  9. Bennett
    June 28, 2014 @ 4:44 am

    One additional little tidbit not mentioned above is that the BBC have described Deep Breath as "feature length". Whether its closer to sixty or ninety minutes remains to be seen, but as a fan of long form New Who this makes me mightily pleased.

    Deep breath indeed…


  10. Bennett
    June 28, 2014 @ 4:46 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  11. Anglocat
    June 28, 2014 @ 4:48 am

    Hai! (As long as we don't get the Venusian lullabye…too often.)


  12. Froborr
    June 28, 2014 @ 6:14 am

    I'm guessing something more along the lines of "deep breath before the plunge." Which is sort of an inversion of the leap of faith–not jumping because you believe you'll be okay, but jumping knowing you won't be okay, and hoping you'll survive.


  13. Alex
    June 28, 2014 @ 7:00 am

    Unless Aggador makes a glorious return…!


  14. BerserkRL
    June 28, 2014 @ 8:38 am

    Does the Third Doctor not know the Master is right behind him?


  15. elvwood
    June 28, 2014 @ 10:59 am

    My first thought was, "Victorian London…breathing…something about the fog? Suffocating, or a gaseous creature that you breathe in?" – but the former's a bit too grim, and the latter is too reminiscent of The Unquiet Dead. So I guess I'll just wait and see.

    Backup thought: perhaps Vastra wants to take an early submarine to investigate reports of her cousin Sea Devils…


  16. Ben
    June 28, 2014 @ 11:58 am

    What strikes me about "deep breath" is that it's something a GP will tell you when he's testing your lungs. And there's another (mild spoiler here) episode with the working title "Flatline." The latter is a more dire medical term, of course. Now I don't really think every episode of the series is going to have a medical-themed title. Even "Flatline" might have changed by the time it airs. But if I had to guess I'd say there will be an extended metaphor throughout with the Doctor as both small-d doctor and patient.


  17. Matthew Blanchette
    June 28, 2014 @ 2:03 pm

    If I may slip an off-topic comment in here… when the time comes, is it possible for you, Phil, to take a look at Orphan Black during the Series 7b coverage? It was pretty heavily linked to Doctor Who upon first airing, even being showed right after it on Saturday nights, and it'd be interesting not only for its content but also for its insights into a shared fan culture.


  18. Elizabeth Sandifer
    June 28, 2014 @ 2:04 pm

    I've already picked the remaining Pop Between Realities entries.

    Which is pointedly not quite an answer to your question. 🙂


  19. Matthew Blanchette
    June 28, 2014 @ 6:22 pm

    Darn. Perhaps I should've contributed to your funds, then. Drat. 🙁


  20. Ben
    June 28, 2014 @ 8:51 pm

    Mmm, not sure on this but I think Phil may have given you some good news between the lines.


  21. timber-munki
    June 29, 2014 @ 12:23 am

    I've managed to remain spoiler-free so far, and the last thing I remember about series 8 was that they planned to open with a 2 parter directed by Ben Wheatley so calling the opener 'feature length' sounds like they could be putting them together for a 90 minute episode, rather than 'extra length' which sounds to me more like Eleventh Hour 60 minute territory. 90 minutes would also allow foreign broadcasters to use a 2 hour slot with ad breaks.

    As for the content, haven't a Scoobie. My own (very weak, may actually just be paradolia) theory of the new series seasons corresponding with themes/monster/villians associated with the corresponding Doctor – Works fine with 1-4 – Daleks, Cybermen, the Master & Davros. With Moffat taking over it's a bit of a stretch, New Beginnings for 5 and then season 6 is more suited to the Machiavelian plotting of McCoy and I'm at a loss trying to sum up Colin Baker's tenure beyond 'hot mess with flashes of brilliance' (which may be some peoples reading of series 7 but falls below mine). Given that McCann is the Doctor I'm most unfamiliar with I have no idea what to expect from series 8

    Of course with this theory it means the 9th will be the greatest hits done with a northern accent, 10 shouty triumphialism and 11 filmed completley in America 🙂


  22. Spacewarp
    June 29, 2014 @ 1:47 am

    Mmmm…Jo-Granty-goodness!! I was 9 when Season 8 aired. 'Nuff said.


  23. UrsulaL
    June 29, 2014 @ 3:55 am

    Scott, I'm not sure how you're seeing Clara and Jo's outfits as similar. They're very different.

    Clara is wearing a short, short sleeve dress with a V-neck collar and button down front, in a light weight fabric.

    Jo is wearing a long sleeved, high collared green blouse, and a long purple jumper dress in a heavy fabric.

    The feel of the outfits is very different. The cut and light fabric of Clara's dress emphasizes how petite she is, while the bulk of Jo's outfit makes her look bigger than she is.


  24. jane
    June 29, 2014 @ 9:42 am

    I'd be okay with 11 being filmed completely in America, as long as it was understood that it was actually Hawaii. So, you know, Doctor Who could really take a crack at LOST.


  25. David Anderson
    June 29, 2014 @ 10:50 am

    On the subject of Orphan Black, I've been wondering what Phil thinks of Tony.


  26. Matthew Blanchette
    June 30, 2014 @ 3:37 pm

    Should be interesting. I'd also like some acknowledgment that there is, after all, a reason that fan circles are seriously hoping Tatiana Maslany will be the next Doctor when the time comes…


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