The wait is finally over. Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor and quite frankly, I am beside myself to see what he can do to bring the Doctor back to just this side of the darkness. Plus he has FLAWLESS bitch face. Warning, spoilers!
*Placeholder exclamation of joy until Capaldi settles on his own catchphrase.
We open on a beautiful sunset. In the Cretaceous period. Wait no. That Tyrannosaurus Rex isn’t roaring its way through the jungle but through the streets of London! Big Ben bongs out a warning and, if a monument could, cringes for inevitable impact. Thankfully it never comes.
Dinosaurs are far more courteous than aliens, it seems.
And we aren’t just in any old London, but Victorian London. The denizens are shouting but not in a “oh God we’re all gonna die” way but in more of a “Hey George come look at this quick!” way. Because honestly there’s been so much nonsensical things on the streets lately that no one would be the slightest bit ruffled by a giant lizard from the dawn of time wandering through the Meatpacking District.
Speaking of lizards from the dawn of time, you can’t have a Victorian episode with Lady Vastra. Right on cue she and her wife Jenny (and manservant/potato Strax) appear. The T-Rex has something caught in its…her…throat. It’s the TARDIS isn’t it? Isn’t it, Moffat!?
While London’s finest stand about with the plebeians, goggling at something any normal person would flee from, Vastra and company head down to the beach. But not before giving the constables a containment field to place around the T-Rex. Sorts questioning Vastra’s judgment in giving such technology to a man who thinks dinosaurs puke blue eggs that say Police Box in English on them, but use what you have I guess.
I love how Vastra doesn’t want to assume the blue box is the TARDIS.
As per the rules of regeneration, the 12th Doctor doesn’t quite have a handle on his new body…or mind…yet. He confuses everyone with everyone else, seems perplexed that London has a dinosaur too, and makes us sad about Handles again before finally collapsing into the dust.
Cue the opening credits. They are brand new! So many gears and clockwork and…oh. My. God. Steampunk. It’s a steampunk opening credits! Yessssss. The spiraling Roman Numerals count from one to twelve over and over like a whirlpool. And so much blue. Blue is usually a calming color but I wonder what its significance here will be.
The Doctor awakens in Vastra and Jenny’s home and he is confused by bedrooms. And you know, he makes a good point. Why do we have an entire room just for sleeping in? I am now having an existential crisis about the amount of square footage bedrooms take up in my home.
For the first time, the Doctor realizes he’s speaking with a Scottish accent. Only in the most roundabout, Doctory way possible. He’s not speaking Scottish, everyone else is speaking weird! Luckily Vastra knows how to inflect Scottish tones and manages to calm him back down. There’s a weird bit of near-flirting on the bed, because God forbid Moffat allow a single woman in the universe to not want to bone the Doctor, and then he is out cold again. (The Doctor, not Moffat.)
Hey wait, wasn’t there a giant frickin’ DINOSAUR wandering around outside?
Oh it’s cool you guys. She’s still outside but the containment field has her and they just rerouted traffic and everything is totally normal and be put on the back burner for now…because the Doctor is sleep-talking! Clara seems to think he’s translating for the T-Rex but I’m not so sure. I guess that’s the point. The sorrowful refrain of “no one can see me, I am alone,” applies either way.
Cut to a dude and his wife meandering about London. Really happy to see everyone taking this dinosaur predicament in stride. But wait, how much did people even know about dinosaurs in the late 19th century? To the Google machine!
Huh. Turns out the Tyrannosaurus Rex wasn’t discovered until 1905. So not sure if this makes it more or less astonishing at how little these people seem to care about a displaced — and at this point — mythological creature. Urbanites are so jaded, you guys.
So jaded in fact that no one notices or cares when a cyborg harvests the eyes from a screaming gentleman in the middle of the street. No big deal.