Deep Breath was the first episode of series 8 of Doctor Who. After a surprise cameo in The Day of the Doctor and a short appearance at the end of The Time of the Doctor, this episode marked the first full appearance of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. Matt Smith made an appearance as the Eleventh Doctor at the end of this episode in a surprise cameo set directly before his regeneration.
Following the success of the theatrical simulcast of The Day of the Doctor, this premiere episode also received a release in cinemas across the world. It had an extended runtime of seventy-six minutes.
Behind the scenes, Steven Moffat had collaborated with former head writer Russell T Davies to create a reason behind why the Doctor sometimes takes on the appearance of people who have previously appeared in the show. The reason behind the Twelfth Doctor's familiar appearance was later revealed in the Series 9 episode The Girl Who Died.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Plot
- 3 Cast
- 4 Crew
- 5 References
- 6 Story notes
- 7 Continuity
- 8 Home video releases
- 9 External links
- 10 Footnotes
Shortly after his regeneration, the Twelfth Doctor arrives in Victorian London, and Clara Oswald struggles to embrace the new man the Doctor has become. All the while, they reunite with the Paternoster Gang to investigate a series of combustions that have been occurring all around the city.
In late Victorian London, a Dinosaur is rampaging in the River Thames, much to the shock of onlookers. When the Paternoster Gang arrive, the inspector is sure Madame Vastra hasn't seen anything like this; however, she comments "not since I was a little girl." Jenny comments the dinosaur is awfully big, with Vastra correcting her on the common size for dinosaurs and its gender; the Tyrannosaurus is a female. The inspector wonders how the dinosaur ended up in the Thames, with Vastra explaining it time travelled, much to the disbelief of the inspector.
Seeing the dinosaur coughing, Jenny uses a wrist-worn device to examine it; there is something lodged in its throat. It coughs up the TARDIS, which lands upright on the banks of the river. When the inspector says the dinosaur laid an egg, Vastra rather incredulously, responds by stating, "It dropped a blue box marked "police" from its mouth...your grasp of biology troubles me". She then gives him a bagful of sonic lanterns, explaining to put them in 20-foot intervals; the devices will emit a signal that will convince the Tyrannosaurus to remain in place. With the dinosaur confined to the Thames, London will be safe from any casualties from the dinosaur trying to hunt the locals for food; it will also prevent any property damage aside from the bridges.
The group descends to the bank, with Jenny curious as to if the Doctor is trouble. Vastra nods to Strax to investigate the TARDIS. Strax knocks on the TARDIS door, demanding that the occupants come out and surrender to the glory of the Sontaran Empire. The freshly regenerated Doctor opens the door, shushing Strax and shutting the door. Confused, Strax asks for the Doctor. The Doctor opens the door again, letting smoke out; he begins questioning if Strax is one of the seven dwarfs, much to Strax's own confusion. The Doctor appears to be suffering from post-regeneration confusion.
The Doctor and a dishevelled frizzy-haired Clara leave the TARDIS, and the Doctor explains a dinosaur was chasing him, but he thinks he escaped. Seeing Vastra and Jenny, the Doctor calls them "The Green One and the Not Green One" before stating he mustn't prejudge as he could be wrong. Clara tries calming the Doctor, who mistakes her for Handles; he wonders if she regenerated from that robot head before stating Clara's let herself go. Hearing the dinosaur roar, the Doctor yells for it to shut up; he yells in shock at them having a dinosaur as well. Listening to it, the Doctor tells Vastra to turn down the sonic lanterns, as they are giving the dinosaur a headache.
Strax questions how the Doctor knew, to which the Doctor calls him Clara and announces his ability to talk to dinosaurs. Clara points out the Doctor's mistake; he defends it by stating they are similar in height, making Strax and Clara share a look. The Doctor says everything is going dark and wobbly, asking them to stop. Clara tells him that it's not them doing that; it's him, meaning he's about to pass out. The Doctor decides to pay no mind to his condition, telling everyone to "take five". He collapses, unconscious, with Jenny asking who he is and where the Doctor is. Clara identifies the new Doctor as the same man. Vastra comments, "Here we go again..."
Back at Vastra's house, the Doctor is conscious again and dressed in a Victorian nightshirt, but hyperactive; he demands to know "who invented this room", since he's never used a bedroom before, and having an entire room to be unconscious in seems pointless as you're missing the room. After claiming that a nearby mirror is "absolutely furious", he becomes annoyed about the accent Jenny and Clara speak with, as his accent is now Scottish; he thinks they've developed faults. Vastra, however, talks "properly" by adopting a Scottish accent which pleases the Doctor. She asks him to project the image of perfect sleep into her mind, though he warns psychic-linking with a Time Lord would be like dropping a piano on her; however, thanks to the Doctor being weakened from his recent regeneration, Vastra is able to bounce the image back into his mind, putting the Doctor back to sleep to recover.
Putting the Doctor back to bed, Clara wonders how to change him back; Vastra leaves the room, asking Jenny to fetch her veil. Clara explains to Jenny how confused she is about the Doctor's new incarnation: he's old and grey, even through it's a new body. When questioned how she'd react if Vastra was different, Jenny points out that Vastra isn't even human and that she loves her anyway before leaving. Watching over the Doctor, Clara hears the dinosaur wailing. The Doctor mumbles in his sleep, seemingly translating its roars into a lament for its lost world, ending with, "Can't see me. Doesn't see me," which Clara believes refers to the dinosaur (which she thinks is odd given the size of it). Strax comes in and escorts Clara to Madame Vastra, who asked to have a word with her.
Outside on the street, people are still looking at the giant dinosaur. A man called Alf guesses the Tyrannosaurus is part of a government plan, in conversation with his wife. Alf then says to a mysterious man there is something wrong with the dinosaur's neck, that makes it look unreal. The man replies that Alf has good eyes, and he needs them as a gift to replace his bad eyes. He reveals the other side of his face — it looks like a clockwork robot — and then proceeds to remove Alf's eyes.
In Vastra's study, she questions Clara about how she and the Doctor came to be in Victorian London after Trenzalore. When Clara says that the Doctor is gone, Vastra corrects her by stating he renewed himself; this amuses Clara, who finds it ironic as the Doctor's new form is aged. Vastra goes on to state that the Doctor wears a face as she wears a veil, and that is to be accepted; she wears a veil to hide her face as a judgement on the hearts of others. The conversation escalates as Clara thinks Vastra is judging her, but Vastra retorts by implying that Clara is judging the Doctor because he is no longer the handsome young man she met. Clara explodes, insisting that she is not so shallow that the previous Doctor's looks are what made her travel with him, even insisting that if there were someone who could "flirt with a mountain range", it was her. Jenny applauds, surprising Vastra; Vastra laughs that she wondered what Clara would be like when angered. Vastra explains that the Doctor needs all of them — especially Clara — as anchors to find himself again. When Clara realises that Vastra has removed her veil, she wonders when that happened; "When you stopped seeing it".
Upstairs, the Doctor wakes up smelling something. After sniffing about on the floor, he finds a piece of chalk. He writes Gallifreyan calculations with the chalk around the whole room, including on the walls and floor. Hearing the dinosaur roar, the Doctor heads to the door; however, he finds it "boring; not me". He then proceeds to climb out of the window and on to the roof; he shouts across London at the dinosaur, apologising for getting his time machine stuck in its throat. However, just as he vows to get it home safely, the dinosaur spontaneously bursts into flames and collapses, to his horror.
Inside the house, Vastra and the others hear the dinosaur wail in agony and call for Strax to prepare the carriage. Outside, the Doctor jumps off the roof and lands in a tree. Falling from the tree and getting stuck on a branch, he stops a horse and carriage and asks that he will need to relieve him of his "pet", much to the driver's confusion. The Doctor replies that he was talking to the horse. Jumping onto the horse, he uses the sonic screwdriver to cut the ropes linking the horse to the carriage. As the Doctor struggles to properly control the horse and also fails to tell his "new hands" apart, the Paternoster Gang and Clara unknowingly follow him.
The Doctor arrives at the bridge and quietly observes as the dinosaur burns in the flames; he is horrified by its death as he dragged it here to this time. The Paternoster Gang arrives, with Clara questioning the Doctor's sudden appearance here; Vastra explains the Doctor goes wherever there is trouble. They continue to watch the flames wonder who would do such a thing. The Doctor says that's not the real question, nor is "how". The question is: "Have there been any similar murders?" Vastra admits there have been similar ones. The Doctor then asks if humans are watching the dinosaur's corpse burn, then who would be calmly walking by; he points to the mechanical man who stole Alf's eyes, who is ignoring these strange events completely. The Doctor jumps into the Thames. Clara worries that he'll drown, but Vastra explains that the Doctor has taken up the case — the only way to find him again is to do the same.
Clara washes up the next morning, taking notice of Strax's voice out the window; he is threatening workmen to be careful with unloading the TARDIS. Greeting Clara, Strax explains the Doctor will always come looking for his time machine, and "By bringing it here, he will be lured from the dangers of London to this place of safety, and we will melt him with acid." Clara retorts "OK, that last part?" Strax apologises for his verbal fumble, citing it's an old habit. Clara asks for "The Times" to be sent up to her; Strax promptly throws the paper up to Clara, striking her in the face and knocking her down.
Now in a Victorian dress, Clara makes her way downstairs and meets Jenny, who warns her not to disturb Vastra as she is busy with other cases - including having the Camberwell child poisoner for dinner. Met with a confused look, Jenny explains that Vastra will interrogate him first; she warns Clara to stay out of the larder, as it will get noisy later (from the poisoner's screams). Knowing that Clara is still worried about the Doctor, Jenny explains that they have the Paternoster Irregulars out in force to track him down.
Clara encounters Strax once again, who offers her water. Clara at first accepts but then declines when Strax gives her the bucket of water he has been using to mop the floor and had previously bathed in; Strax takes no offence, still not used to human customs. Strax then gives Clara a medical examination, finding her spleen to be in enviable great condition. He moves on to her head, stating she's 27 years old and is silenced about her life expectancy, though not before indicating her prognosis for a long life is excellent and tries figuring out the image he's seeing in her subconscious. Strax explains Clara may end up serving with him, as London has many dangerous thugs who could kill the Doctor in his current state.
In a dirty alley somewhere, the Doctor examines his new face in a small mirror and rummages through debris. As an old man stumbles by, the Doctor is confused over why he now has this face. Ranting and belligerent, he asks the man's input on why he gave himself this face, noting it's familiar to him; it's like his subconscious is trying to tell him something, but the Doctor can't figure it out. The Doctor asks the frightened man if he has seen his face before. Intimidated by it, he says he doesn't like the Doctor's face—the Doctor's not too fond of it either, due to a new, potent set of "attack eyebrows" that seem like they want to cede from the rest of his face and "set up their own independent state of eyebrows". Playing along with the Doctor's madness, the old man agrees he has mighty eyebrows. The Doctor then notes that he has a Scottish accent, which the man confirms; he is delighted by this and excitedly rants on that he can now complain about things, before demanding the man's coat. The man whimpers in fear, until the Doctor brings up a newspaper, showing the article "Fourth Case of Spontaneous Combustion". The man wonders what "devilment" it is; the Doctor doesn't know but says he'd probably blame the English.
In Vastra's study, she is busy in front of a board, with Jenny posing for her in her underthings. Vastra goes on to explain about spontaneous combustion, confirming Jenny's question if it's similar to "love at first sight". Jenny tells Vastra she doesn't need to flirt with her; they're already married. Vastra turns the board, revealing a map and the locations of the incidents; Jenny is not too amused that her wife had her posing for no good reason. Vastra tries passing it off as just a whim. Clara barges in, which Vastra mistakes as Clara wanting to take Jenny's place posing.
However, Clara shows her the adverts; there's a notice in the paper addressed to the "Impossible Girl" — the Doctor's nickname for her - saying to meet "on the other side". Vastra calls for Strax to bring tea, as this is going to take some time to figure out. The four of them examine the entire paper, finding nothing else of importance except the message. They begin guessing what the message means: the other side of London or the other side of regeneration after he's recovered? However, Clara states that the Doctor isn't complicated, and "frankly doesn't have the attention span" for puzzles. Deciding to keep the meaning of the phrase dead simple, Clara checks the other side of the same page, finding Mancini's Family Restaurant is the meeting place the Doctor has chosen.
Clara arrives at the restaurant and notices an unpleasant smell. She is soon joined by the Doctor, now wearing the tramp's coat; he traded his favourite watch for it. She is horrified to hear that as it was a beautiful watch. The Doctor tries to laugh to lighten the mood, but Clara is angry with him; she asks what kind of person would put a cryptic message in the paper instead of sending a note to someone they've known a long time. The Doctor says it would be an egomaniac needy-game player, to which Clara says is something that hasn't changed; however, the Doctor says he doesn't want her to change and doesn't mind playing her games, having figured out the puzzle. They argue over if the message is "for" or "from" the Impossible Girl, before realising neither of them placed the ad; however, Clara then realises the Doctor insulted her.
While Clara is upset, the Doctor is more interested in their surroundings. He makes Clara look at the diners and notice how they are mechanically cutting food and bringing silverware to their mouths — but not actually eating anything. The Doctor then uses a hair from his head, prompting her to laugh that if he's having a cull, it's not the only grey hair he has. He then pulls out Clara's hair, telling her that she would have wanted it killed anyway for being out of place. He drops it, deducing that the air flow in the restaurant is only coming from them because the other diners are not breathing. The two stand up to leave, only for every diner in unison to rise and block them off, forcing them to sit again.
A waiter comes over, and the Doctor asks for a children's menu. Instead, the waiter scans the Doctor with an advanced gadget and recites various body parts such as spleen, liver and kidneys. Clara wonders why such things would be on the menu, but the Doctor informs her they are the menu. He reaches up to remove the waiter's face, revealing a mechanical form underneath. He presses the face to Clara's own to show her — to her horror — it's an actual human face. The robot tells them that the restaurant does have a children's menu before locking them into their chairs as the booth lowers itself into a tunnel. The Doctor tells Clara the efficiency is admirable; Clara disagrees.
Finding themselves in a chamber below the restaurant, the Doctor says it functions as a larder; it's cheaper to keep them alive until they're needed for parts. The Doctor plans to drop the sonic screwdriver onto the floor and have Clara pick it up with her feet, then toss it to him. As Clara tries reaching the sonic, the Doctor mutters he misses Amy. Clara grabs the sonic, tossing a bit too low; however, it does land in the Doctor's lap. Sore in more than one sense, the Doctor frees them, with Clara asking why the sonic screwdriver wasn't voice-activated before realising he forgot it was.
They make their way to a chamber and find the Half-Faced Man from before sitting in a chair. Around him are pods containing other droids, all dressed and resembling real Londoners. Examining the Half-Faced Man, the Doctor realises it's recharging and this is not a typical cyborg — but a robot who adds human flesh to himself. The restaurant is their way of capturing random humans to harvest their flesh and organs for themselves since they require a constant supply of spares to replace their rotting organic parts. The cases of "spontaneous combustion" are their way of killing the victims quickly to hide the evidence of mutilation, including the dinosaur.
The Droid begins to awaken and the Doctor and Clara start to run. A door slides closed between them, Clara begging the Doctor to let her in but the Doctor shocks her by saying it's better they're not both captured and leaves her behind. Clara remembers the Doctor saying that the robots don't breathe and holds her breath as she tries to walk to the exit. She nearly makes it but eventually is forced to take a breath and passes out, remembering taunts from her unruly pupils in the past. She had made the mistake of using the biggest threat she could make (expelling them) first, leaving nothing else to scare the children with. The students proceeded to laugh at her.
Waking up, Clara is confronted by the Half-Faced Man, who demands to know where the Doctor is. Knowing it's logical, Clara states she will not talk and killing her will have the same result — loss of information. Clara offers it a deal: a question for a question. She asks why it killed the dinosaur and is told it was to harvest its optic nerve. Clara realises the Half-Faced Man was specific, knowing exactly what a dinosaur's organs were like, and asks how old it is. The Half-Faced Man states they have been working for millions of years to rebuild themselves over and over, all in search of the "Promised Land." It threatens to kill Clara but she remains strong and defiant despite her obvious fear; it then decides torture would be an effective way of getting information from her.
When it asks once more where the Doctor is, Clara replies that if the Doctor is still the Doctor, he will be right behind her and extends her hand behind her. She whispers for him to be there and suddenly, one of the robots grabs her hand. He pulls her back before peeling off his mask to reveal himself as the Doctor in a new suit who thanks the "Rubbish robots from the dawn of time" for "all the gratuitous information." He places his sonic screwdriver into the charger, warning the Half-Faced Man he will blow the entire room if he sees one thing he doesn't like "and that includes karaoke and mimes, so take no chances." Clara is still upset over being left behind as the Doctor states he's not really sorry about that. The Half-Faced Man asks why they are there and the Doctor replies because of the ad in the paper. The cyborg's confusion makes the Doctor and Clara realise he didn't place the ad, with the Doctor hugely embarrassed at his blunder and asking that nobody ever mention that again.
The Doctor tells Clara to "say the word" and with reluctance, she touches her brooch, which lights up as they both intone "Geronimo." From a hole in the ceiling, Vastra and Jenny twirl down attached to curtains; Strax falls after them. Vastra reports the restaurant has been "disabled with maximum prejudice" and the police summoned. The Half-Faced Man calls in more robots as the Doctor states killing isn't their way. Clara protests the restaurant is a slaughterhouse and the Doctor shrugs it's no different than any other restaurant. The Half-Faced Man declares again that they are in search of the Promised Land, but the Doctor snaps that after millions of years, he should know it doesn't exist. The Half-Faced Man makes his way to the booth elevator and rises up with the Doctor hanging on to its bottom while Vastra, Jenny and Strax are left to fight the other robots.
The police are in the restaurant, stunned at its mess when the Half-Faced Man arrives and informs them it is closed, showing off his flame-thrower arm as a hint. The police leave, the head detective declaring the restaurant off-limits to anyone before ordering one of the constables to get reinforcements. Back inside, the Doctor is sitting at a table, pouring a drink into a glass, telling the Half-Faced Man he is afraid he is going to have to kill him and offers it a drink first. The Half-Faced Man moves to a control panel with the Doctor following and observing the controls. The Doctor states there is no way to escape, but the Half-Faced Man stating that the escape pod is there. The Doctor insists the pod cannot have enough power but the restaurant shakes. As the police outside stare in shock, the restaurant rises up, lifted by a hot air balloon made of human skin.
Below, the rest of the group continues to fight the robots, who keep rising up after stabs and laser blasts. Vastra notes that unlike the robots in the faux restaurant, these were designed for combat, and thus have weapons. Strax is enraged that these cowards cannot accept death.
The Doctor examines a control button that fell off; this pod belonged to the SS Marie Antoinette, sister ship to the SS Madame de Pompadour, but despite how familiar it all is, he cannot place it. The Doctor realises the ship fell through time, crashing in England millions of years earlier. The only survivors were the service robots, who began their cycle of repairing themselves over and over again. He tells the Half-Faced Man to look out the window at London, asking his opinion. The Half-Faced man says it is beautiful. The Doctor disagrees, saying it looks tiny and far away from up here. He prefers it down there, where all the lives are big and important. The humans are never small to him, and he will fight for them.
The Half-Faced Man continues to talk of the need to find "the Promised Land" as the Doctor rails on him for the fact that he's rebuilt himself so many times that all trace of his original self has been lost, comparing him to a broom that is broken and rebuilt but still not the same broom. This search was a myth the Half-Faced Man picked up from all the humanity it stuffed inside itself. The Doctor holds up a silver plate to say the Droid does not even know where he got that face from. As the Half-Faced Man stares at his reflection, the Doctor does the same.
Opening the doors, the Doctor tells the Half-Faced Man that it has to end, and gestures for him to commit suicide. Angered, the Half-Faced Man attacks the Doctor, but is pinned; the Doctor tells him that murder is against his basic programming, much like self-destruction is against the robot's. The Doctor is not wishing to find a Promised Land and will go as far as he needs to protect the people of Earth. Seeing it can't win, the Half-Faced Man admits that one of them has lied about their basic programming.
Below, Clara suggests they hold their breaths, the robots freezing as they do. It's too much for Jenny, but Vastra gives her a kiss to share oxygen. Just as Strax is about to take his own life, all the robots collapse. Above, the Half-Faced Man is shown impaled on the spire of Big Ben as the Doctor looks out, his expression grim.
The Gang return to Vastra's home to find that the Doctor and the TARDIS have both vanished. Later, Clara asks Vastra if she's got a vacancy since it looks like she's stuck in Victorian times, but Vastra assures her he'll be back; she even further points out that Clara has changed in preparation for returning home. She's proven true as the TARDIS returns, telling Clara "Give him hell; he'll always need it" as she happily runs off.
Clara finds the interior changed, the time rotor now a shade of orange and some furniture about, with the Doctor seated in a chair. The Doctor admits he's not sure about the new look himself after Clara says she doesn't like it, muttering that he used to have more round things, wondering where they went. The Doctor tells Clara "I've lived for over two thousand years and not all of them were good. I've made many mistakes, and it's about time I did something about it." He tells her that he is not her boyfriend, which she interprets as her being at fault until the Doctor addresses that it wasn't her mistake.
The Doctor puts the TARDIS in flight, takes a step back, and partially unbuttons his new suit jacket, exposing a flashy red lining inside to show off his new look to Clara. She grins in approval, and then the Doctor gets right to business, wondering how she got the TARDIS telephone number. Clara asks who put the ad in the paper and the Doctor reminds her of the woman in the shop long ago who gave her the number of a computer help line that instead connected her to the TARDIS. It seems someone wants the two together, and maybe they should find out who.
The TARDIS lands and the Doctor wonders how Clara feels about staying on as that mystery woman seems to want. Clara, still having mixed feelings at this new incarnation of the Doctor, is unsure if she wants to stay his companion, saying that she doesn't think she knows him anymore. Her phone begins to ring. The Doctor teasingly suggests she should get that call because it might be her boyfriend. Staring away from the Doctor, she tells him to shut up because she doesn't have a boyfriend.
Clara walks out of the TARDIS in modern times to answer the call and is shocked to hear the voice of the Eleventh Doctor. He explains he's calling through time from Trenzalore just minutes before he changed. Clara, remembering how she found the TARDIS telephone dangling off the hook from the call box, begins to tear up from hearing from him again. He says that the man before her is still him — just changed. Holding back her tears, Clara asks him why he would do this. The Eleventh Doctor explains that he's phoning her because he thinks this regeneration "is gonna be a whopper", and that she may be afraid. The new Doctor will be, he says, even more so and needs her help to handle all this. She should not be afraid, for his sake. The Twelfth Doctor, now outside the TARDIS also, asks her who is on the phone. The Eleventh hears and asks her if that's the Doctor. The Twelfth Doctor then asks her the same question — "Is that the Doctor?" When he hears the voice of his future self, the previous Doctor groans over "turning old", which makes Clara laugh, as she also confirms his hair will be grey as well. He's not at all impressed at the discovery that he'll have grey hair, noting how young he was in his soon-to-change appearance. The Eleventh Doctor says a final goodbye to Clara before he hangs up.
The new Doctor asks Clara if she will do as she was asked on the call, and help him. She says he shouldn't have been listening, but he replies that he wasn't — that was him on the call. He then bemoans that Clara still can't see him, despite still being the same man yet changed. Hurt and upset that she's looking right through him but doesn't view him as the same person, the Doctor, almost on the verge of tears, begs, "Just see me." Clara walks up to the Doctor and gives him a good look over, and concentrates on his eyes. She beams, thanking him for phoning from the past.
Clara hugs him, to which the Doctor looks a bit confused and wonders where he should put his hands. He says that in his current incarnation, he doesn't think hugging is his thing. She's unsure he's entitled to a vote. Clara offhandedly says they're not at her home, and the Doctor apologises. He reveals they're in Glasgow, Clara pointing out he'll fit in with the accent. They go off in search of chips and coffee... with the Doctor revealing Clara will have to pay for them as he has no money. However, she thinks he's the fetching sort. Although the Doctor is willing to debate this, Clara still isn't sure he should get a vote. They stroll off together in search of coffee, the Doctor still hesitant.
Elsewhere, the Half-Faced Man awakens in a beautiful garden and replaces his top hat on his head. A mysterious woman calls out to him, introducing herself as Missy; she inquires if the cyborg killed himself or if the Doctor pushed him since she couldn't tell. Missy goes on to claim that the Doctor is her boyfriend and that she likes his new accent. Over his initial discombobulation, the Half-Faced Man then asks where he is. Missy laughs, asking him where he thinks he is; she goes on to explain he has finally reached the "Promised Land", and that it is a paradise. The woman grandly introduces his new home, "Welcome... to Heaven". She chomps her teeth fatuously, then begins prancing and twirling around an ornate fountain with an umbrella in hand...
- The Doctor - Peter Capaldi
- Clara - Jenna Coleman
- Madame Vastra - Neve McIntosh
- Strax - Dan Starkey
- Jenny - Catrin Stewart
- Half-Face Man - Peter Ferdinando
- Inspector Gregson - Paul Hickey
- Alf - Tony Way
- Elsie - Maggie Service
- Cabbie - Mark Kempner
- Barney - Brian Miller
- Waiter - Graham Duff
- Courtney - Ellis George
- Policeman - Peter Hannah
- Footman - Paul Kasey
- Missy - Michelle Gomez
- The Doctor - Matt Smith
|Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin|
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
- The Doctor accidentally brings Clara to Glasgow.
- In his confusion, the Doctor thinks Clara is a regenerated Handles.
- Vastra claims she hasn't seen dinosaurs since she was a little girl.
- Clara had a difficult time controlling her pupils in her first days as a teacher in Coal Hill School.
- Madame Vastra uses a Scottish accent.
- As Clara is struggling to reach for the Doctor's sonic screwdriver with her legs, the Doctor remarks that he misses the long-legged Amy.
- According to Vastra, the Doctor founded a musical band with Marcus Aurelius as bass guitar player.
- The Doctor comments on the cold, saying he should get a big, long scarf, but that it looked stupid.
- The Doctor has recently regenerated from his eleventh incarnation.
- The Doctor enhances the TARDIS control room with furnishings such as a chalkboard, bookshelves, and a recliner. He also changes the cold blue neon piping in the time rotor to a warmer amber.
- The Doctor declares he doesn't like karaoke or mime.
- The Doctor describes his and Clara's situation in the restaurant as "Sweeney Todd without the pies".
- Clara likens the body-part harvesting to an alien version of Burke and Hare.
- The Times Reprint is offering copies of the Encyclopaedia Britannica to subscribers. Orders received during the current week will be accepted for delivery on or before 20 August.
- An advert calls out to the Impossible Girl for "lunch on the other side?".
- Messrs Thorn have a quantity of second-hand carriages for sale for shippers and merchants. They include: Landaus, Broughams (single and double seated), Sociables, Victorias, and Phaetons.
- An advert regarding the "China Wreck" proposes combined action by passengers to recover losses from the company. Passengers prepared to join are asked to send their names to Mr F. R. Crossley at the Strand Hotel, Strand, London.
- Madame Patti's last concert of the season is on at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington on the afternoon of Saturday 16 July.
- Gloucester Musical Festival is on 11, 13, 14, 15, and 18 September 1898.
- Dr Joachim and Mr Leonard Borwick's chamber concert is on the evening of Friday 1 July at 8.30. Sonatas for piano and violin include:
- At Queen's Hall on the afternoon of Thursday 30 June at 3.00, Miss Hope Squire and Mr John Coates will give a pianoforte and vocal recital under the direction of Mr W. Adlington.
- Peters' Edition advertises "complete catalogues" of Sinding, Moszkowski and Halvorsen.
Art and literature
- Arthur Tooth and Sons' Galleries are displaying etchings and engravings. They are located at 5 and 6 Haymarket.
- The Fine Art Society is located at 148 New Bond Street. They have been displaying drawings of Sheringham and the Norfolk coast, as well "French illustrated 18th century books and engravings".
- London's Goupil Gallery is holding a Grand Summer Exhibition at 5 Regent Street, Waterloo Place, SW, for a few weeks only.
- Ecce Homo, Munkacsy's sacred masterpiece is open until August.
- Literature entitled Present Day Metallurgical Engineering on the Rand, written by John Yates, has been recently published. It has an appendix on the economics of the Transvaal gold mining industry.
Hotels and restaurants
- Walsingham House Hotel and Restaurant has recently opened in Piccadilly. It boasts a "charming terrace and garden".
- Mancini's Family Restaurant is offering "the best dinner in London".
- An advert for Hotel Victoria appears.
- Aimée S. Lloyd's Euxesis is advertised. It is a shaving cream without the need for use of soap, water or a brush. The address for Aimée Lloyd and Co. is 3, Spur Street, Leicester Square, London.
- Genuine Chlorodyne is advertised as a well known remedy for diarrhoea, dysentery, coughs, colds, asthma, bronchitis. It was invented by Dr J. Collis Browne and is sold by all chemists. The advert asks the reader to see the paper from 13 July 1884.
- The River Belle is a "magnificent saloon steamer" which travels every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday between Southend and Margate. While in Southend, visitors are offered free admission to Kursaal.
- The Palace Steamer "River & Docks Cruise" travelling from the Tower Pier in the Port of London along the River Thames. It is advertised for it's "speed, comfort and safety".
- There is an advert for a trip to New Zealand and Australia, via Canada and Honolulu by Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian-Australian Steamers. It sails from Vancouver on 20 July.
- Another advert is for a trip to New Zealand, Australia, Cape Town and Madeira by the New Zealand Shipping Company's Royal Mail Steamers. Offer monthly sailings from London and Plymouth two days later.
- Another is for New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia with the Shaw, Savill and Albion Company.
- One trip offers cheap fares to Cape Town, South Africa, leaving London's Royal Albert Dock on 7 July and stopping off at Plymouth on 8 July, again with the Shaw, Savill and Albion Company.
- Readers are given the chance to travel with Allan Line to Canada and the States, stopping off at locations including Quebec and Montreal.
- Another trip is offered by American Line from Southampton to New York.
- A final trip is again offered to New York, this time by the French Transatlantic Company's Express Mail Steamers, sailing every Saturday.
- Though only briefly seen in a flashback, this was the debut performance for Ellis George as Courtney Woods. Her first line in the role was: "Go on, then. Do it."
- Although considered invalid by this wiki, real-world information coupled with the adverts in the The Times can be used place this story in late 1898. The paper announces the recent publication of Present Day Metallurgical Engineering on the Rand, which in the real world took place in January 1898. The paper then lists dates for the upcoming Gloucester Musical Festival, taking place between the 11 and 18 September 1898. This is backed up by an article in the paper reporting on the inauguration of the Swiss National Museum, which - in the real world - took place in June 1898.
- In the special Doctor Who, After Who Live, a fan using Twitter to tweet the show actually correctly guessed Missy's identity as the Master regenerated into a female form.
- There are several references and allusions to Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, which were previously suggested to be based on Madame Vastra's exploits (TV: The Snowmen):
- In this episode, Inspector Gregson helps the Paternoster Gang.
- The Paternoster Gang uses "Paternoster Irregulars" to find the Doctor.
- After discovering the advertisement, Madame Vastra exclaims, "The game is afoot!", a line originally from William Shakespeare's play Henry V, but more commonly associated with the Holmes stories.
- At one point, Jenny mentions "the Conk-Singleton forgery case" and "the Camberwell poisoning case". Both cases are referred to in the Canon.
- At another point, Vastra is shown reading the agony column, a frequent habit of Sherlock Holmes.
- This is the only post-regeneration story with a pseudo-historical setting.
- As of 2021, this is the most recent televised appearance of the Paternoster Gang.
Common among all versions
- The story's premiere broadcast date, 23 August, is the same date as the in-universe setting of The Fires of Pompeii, in which Peter Capaldi made his first appearance in Doctor Who, as Lobus Caecilius. Additionally, during a scene where the Doctor sees his new face he remarks that he'd seen it before.
- Matt Smith's cameo was recorded during the filming of The Time of the Doctor, as confirmed by Steven Moffat in several interviews following the preview screenings. Moffat joked that Matt's return was the fastest return ever, considering the fact that he last appeared in the previous episode. Indeed, disregarding recaps, the Second Doctor momentarily seeing an image of the First Doctor in The Power of the Daleks, and the special case of the 1996 TV movie, this marks the first time a former Doctor has made a substantial appearance in the very first episode of his successor's era.
- This episode and its script was leaked online when stored on a publically-accessible server, with incomplete CGI, watermarks and time codes in black-and-white, prompting a plea from BBC Worldwide not to watch it. The rough cut held the nomenclature, "Prepared for Marcelo Camargo at Drei Marc".
- The BBC gave this episode a world tour in seven countries over twelve days.
- No shots of the TARDIS interior are shown before the reveal of its redesign, due to the permanent remodelling of certain parts in the control room for Peter Capaldi's Doctor, which would make the replication of the pre-redecorated console highly taxing.
- Near the day of filming where Capaldi's official costume would be seen in public for the first time, the BBC released an official publicity shot to deter a press leak.
- When the Doctor wears a human face as a disguise in the Clockwork Droids' lair, the face is actually that of the Eleventh Doctor. The mask depicting the waiter the Doctor was posing as tore on the first take, forcing the production team to hastily grab a spare mask which happened to be cast from Matt Smith's face. The unintentional symbolism of the Doctor ripping off his previous face later in the scene was noted by Nikki Wilson in a behind-the-scenes video for BBC America.
- Digital raindrop removal was used in the scene where Clara and the Doctor emerged in Glasgow (actually Cardiff) since it was a brisk, overcast day that saw a small downpour during filming. Jenna and Peter used insulated coats to stay warm when they were not in the middle of filming.
- The role of Barney the tramp was played by Brian Miller, the husband of the late Elisabeth Sladen, who had previously appeared in TV: Snakedance and TV: The Mad Woman in the Attic.
- This is the first TV story to be sandwiched between two Dalek stories since The Myth Makers in 1965, which aired between Mission to the Unknown and The Daleks' Master Plan. While those two stories were intertwined, however, The Time of the Doctor and Into the Dalek, which aired either side of Deep Breath, are separate stories.
- Rachel Talalay directed Missy's scene because Ben Wheatley was unavailable.
- The format of the closing credits changes beginning with this episode. Whereas up to TV: The Time of the Doctor (but not including the 50th anniversary special), the closing credits scrolled across the screen, with this episode the credits are shown in groups, returning to the closing credits format last used in Season 26 in 1989.
The Hanshaw Title Sequence
- This episode saw the debut of a new title sequence designed by Billy Hanshaw after executive producer Steven Moffat saw a video of his conceptual Doctor Who titles sequence on YouTube and decided to draft him aboard to do a professional version of his sequence. The new titles features a vast expanse of golden-bronze clock gears whizzing by in empty space, and then the TARDIS flying through a tunnel of Roman numeral clock face numbers spiralling into a literal depiction of a time vortex with glowing engravings of circular Gallifreyan. The TARDIS passes across the screen in a way very similar to the Series 1 title sequence as the TARDIS jumped from the blue to red time vortex and then launches past a group of planets. Peter Capaldi's piercing eyes are shown, rather than a full insert of the actor's face.
- Moffat explained in an interview, "I happened across it [the title sequence], and it was the only new title idea I'd seen since 1963. We got in touch with him, and said, 'OK, we're going to do that one.'" Billy Hanshaw responded, "I had to pinch myself because I didn't know if it was really happening. It's one of those stories about people putting something on YouTube — it's usually a musician this happens to. They put a performance on there and they get picked up by a label. It's a similar kind of story. I thought these things don't generally happen."
Specific to theatrical presentation
- A five-minute "prequel" was shown before this episode, consisting of a specially recorded scene similar to the Strax Field Reports, featuring the Paternoster Gang: Vastra, Jenny Flint, and Strax. The scene primarily focused on Strax humorously describing the first twelve incarnations of the Doctor, making note of the War Doctor as well as the Tenth Doctor's aborted regeneration, to his people, before alerting them to the appearance of the latest Doctor. He also made fun of the Ninth Doctor's ears and the Eleventh Doctor's chin, expressed his disgust with the Eighth and Tenth Doctors' romantic habits, and described the First and Tenth Doctors as women.
- The first instalment of Doctor Who Extra, a new documentary series conceived as a smaller scale replacement for the former Doctor Who Confidential, which was cancelled by BBC Three, ending with Series 6. Otherwise exclusive to BBC iPlayer, this initial instalment was screened to participating cinemas following the showing of Deep Breath and focused on both the production of this episode and Peter Capaldi's inauguration as the Twelfth Doctor. It was subsequently also made available on YouTube.
- Doctor Who Extra was in turn followed by a live Q & A in London, hosted by Zoe Ball with Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, and Steven Moffat. Reportedly due to transmission problems a number of cinemas were unable to screen this. This feature was only shown at screenings that occurred in the UK on 23rd August 2014. Later theatrical screenings of the episode in Canada, the US and elsewhere only featured the prequel and Extra.
Myths and Rumours
- Missy was speculated to be a female incarnation of the Master. This was proven true in TV: Dark Water.
- The Maltings, Pontprennau
- Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff
- Queen Street, Cardiff
- The end of Vastra's mask is visible during the opening scenes.
- When the Doctor is in bed, Jenny walks to the window and looks up to see the dinosaur. But in the next shot, the Dinosaur is clearly at eye-level.
- When the Half-Face Man wakes up in "Heaven", he clearly has a left brow, despite him only having a right half of a face.
- The dinosaur slime that covers the TARDIS appears to disappear from the door when the scene shifts to show Strax knocking.
- The fictional "Fourth Case of Spontaneous Combustion" article is in a different and anachronistically modern typeface to the rest of the real newspaper.
- The Doctor often reflects that he finds the current situation of robots harvesting human organs to repair a ship to be naggingly familiar, but his regeneration-addled brain is unable to remember. (TV: The Girl in the Fireplace)
- While performing a physical examination of Clara, Strax makes an observation on her thorax, as did Linx with Sarah Jane Smith (TV: The Time Warrior) and Commander Skorr with Martha Jones. (TV: The Sontaran Stratagem)
- The Doctor wonders who gave Clara the phone number of the TARDIS. (TV: The Bells of Saint John)
- The Doctor is sure he has already seen his new face before and comments that it has frown lines that he didn't frown. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii)
- Clara learns why the TARDIS telephone was hanging off the hook when she returned to the TARDIS after the Eleventh Doctor began regenerating. Because he did not patch it back to the console unit, the Eleventh Doctor dragged the phone by its cord into the entrance of his console to make a private, final phone call to Clara in the near future. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)
- Clara asks how to change the Doctor back to his previous body. Rose once asked the same question to the Tenth Doctor in his first moments, in which he confirmed he cannot. (TV: Children in Need Special)
- During his phone call to Clara, the Eleventh Doctor says that his regeneration is "gonna be a whopper." When describing his imminent regeneration to the Daleks on Trenzalore, he said exactly the same thing. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)
- The Twelfth Doctor's claim to speak "Dinosaur" echoes the Eleventh Doctor's claims to speak the languages of horses and babies. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War, A Town Called Mercy)
- Jenny snaps at Vastra for calling humans monkeys, or apes, as Silurians often have. (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians, A Good Man Goes to War)
- Strax again mentions using deadly acid as a weapon. (TV: The Crimson Horror)
- When Clara sees the improved console room, she says, "You've redecorated... I don't like it." This was said by both the Second and Tenth Doctors at the sight of new TARDIS console designs. (TV: The Three Doctors, The Day of the Doctor) The Second and Eleventh Doctors have also said this about other rooms. (TV: The Five Doctors, Closing Time)
- The Doctor wishes he had more "round things" in his updated control room. (TV: The Day of the Doctor) He remembers he "had many round things once" and wonders where he put them. (TV: An Unearthly Child) He would later add some to the lower section of the control room. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice)
- Clara's last interaction with the Eleventh Doctor takes place on the phone, mirroring the first interaction she had with him as an adult. (TV: The Bells of Saint John)
- The Doctor states that he is now over 2,000 years old. (TV: The Time of the Doctor, PROSE: Tales of Trenzalore: The Eleventh Doctor's Last Stand)
- The Doctor once again confirms that he does not see the human race as "small". (TV: The End of Time, Hide)
- The Doctor remembers that he wore a scarf once. He dismisses the idea to have one as it will look stupid. (TV: Robot)
- After the Doctor collapses, Jenny asks Clara who he is and Clara replies that he is the Doctor, mirroring a conversation Rose and Jackie Tyler had after the Ninth Doctor's regeneration. (TV: The Christmas Invasion)
- After seeing the new Doctor, Madame Vastra says "Well then, here we go again.", just as the Brigadier did after the Third Doctor's regeneration. (TV: Planet of the Spiders)
- Strax continues to call Clara "boy", as he still has trouble telling male and female genders apart. (TV: The Snowmen, The Crimson Horror)
- Clara reveals she had a poster of the philosopher Marcus Aurelius in her room when she was 15. She previously quoted him in her classroom. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
- A dinosaur whom the Doctor befriends is brutally killed, as happened when "Tricey" was shot by Solomon's robots. (TV: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship)
- The Doctor previously took a companion to Scotland accidentally when trying to take her home. (TV: School Reunion) Unlike Sarah Jane Smith, Clara will only wait three weeks for the Doctor to return. (TV: Into the Dalek)
- The Doctor had previously encountered beings who were continuously "repaired" for so long that he presumed that there were likely nothing of the original person left. (TV: The Doctor's Wife)
- When Clara agreed to some coffee in Glasgow she told the Doctor to pay and he said he didn't have any money. The Ninth Doctor previously said the same to Rose Tyler when she wanted some chips and told him to pay. (The End of the World) The Third Doctor also needed to borrow some change from Liz Shaw to call UNIT to ask for a waxworks exhibition to be raided. (TV: Spearhead from Space)
- While trying to persuade Clara to stay with his next incarnation, the Eleventh Doctor asks her to "Help him." Unknown to him, it was through those same words that Clara persuaded the Time Lords to grant him a new cycle of regenerations. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)
- Vastra claims that Clara knows the Doctor better than anyone. This is not an exaggeration, as she is the only known person to have witnessed his entire life. (TV: The Name of the Doctor)
- In the alley scene, the Doctor suddenly exclaims, "Shut up! I missed something. I saw...what did I see?" This is nearly identical to what the Eleventh Doctor said when he noticed Rory Williams taking a picture of Prisoner Zero instead of looking up at the sky going dark like everyone else. (TV: The Eleventh Hour)
- Clara gets upset when the Doctor calls her a control freak and emphatically denies it, even though she admitted to being one while under the influence of the Truth Field on Trenzalore. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)
- The Doctor comments that the SS Marie Antoinette had to take the long way around to try to return to its home. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
- The Doctor claims he is not Clara's boyfriend, but clarifies the assumption is not her fault. Before the Siege of Trenzalore, the Eleventh Doctor had been eager to be her boyfriend, (TV: The Time of the Doctor) with Angie and Artie Maitland openly referring to him as Clara's boyfriend. (TV: The Crimson Horror, Nightmare in Silver)
Home video releases
- Doctor Who: Deep Breath. The release included the cinema prequel, Doctor Who Extra and Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor. The Region A release also featured The Real History of Science Fiction.
- Doctor Who: Series 8 Boxset
- Doctor Who: Deep Breath Blu-Ray
- Doctor Who: Series 8 Blu-ray Boxset
- The episode was released on Google Play, iTunes and Amazon Instant Video in HD or SD, also available as part of the Series 8 digital boxset. The digital boxset contains various features: trailer, interviews, The Ultimate Companion, The Ultimate Time Lord, Inside the World Tour and Doctor Who Extra episodes for each episode.
- In the US, the series was released through digital streaming services Hulu and Netflix with a subscription.
- Clem So - Timeline Photos | Facebook. Facebook (24 August, 2014). Retrieved on 13 October, 2014.
- Edwards, Graham (14 October 2014). Doctor Who – Timely Effects. Cinefex Blog. Retrieved on 16 October 2018.
- Doctor Who Series 8 Episode 1: Deep Breath. Milk VFX. Retrieved on 16 October 2018.
- Doctor Who ratings