Countdown to new Who: Doctor Who Series 8

“You are the chief executive officer of the human race”

It was quite interesting to rewatch Series 8 of Doctor Who, one which I hadn’t revisited at all since it originally aired, as my memories thereof were not at all positive. And whilst disappointments remained – Robin Hood, 2D cartoons, the treeees! – there was also much to enjoy that I’d forgotten about. The smash-and-grab of Time Heist, the simplicity of ghost story Listen, and the ominous darkness of the finale.

I’m still in two minds about Peter Capaldi’s Twelve though, I want to like him so much more than I do, and I think you do get the sense of him feeling his way into his irascible take on the role. Jenna Coleman’s Clara benefits from being released from the yoke of impossibility to move to the forefront of several episodes and if she’s still a little hard to warm to, that finale really is superbly done. And then there’s Michelle Gomez, stealing the whole damn thing magnificently!

Episodes, in order of preference

Dark Water
Death in Heaven
Time Heist
Kill the Moon
Deep Breath
Mummy on the Orient Express
Into the Dalek
The Caretaker
In the Forest of the Night
Robot of Sherwood

Top 5 guest spots

1 Michelle Gomez’s genuinely psychopathic reinterpretation of one of the show’s key villains has to be one of the boldest and most brilliant moves in new Who
2 and 3 Jonathan Bailey’s cyberhacker Psi and Pippa Bennett-Warner’s shape-shifting Saibra both made pleasingly fleshed-out impressions as supporting characters-of-the-week
4 David Bamber’s quiet dignity as Captain Quell
5 Tom Riley, just because!

Saddest death

A few too many fakeouts here – the brutal suicides of Flatline, Missy’s slaughtering in Death in Heaven, all undone, so it is probably Danny Pink’s demise that proves most affecting in the end.

Most wasted guest actor

All too briefly used in Mummy on the Orient Express is the glorious Janet Henfrey.

Most important thing that is never mentioned again

When the TARDIS is under attack, it can go into self-protective Siege Mode. It has done this on-screen… exactly once.

Gay agenda rating

C – now we’re blase about lesbian lizard/woman pairings, there’s not a huge amount more of fun to be had on the LGBT side

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