“Destroy us if you will, they’re still going to close your restaurant”
I don’t know about you lot, but in the long gaps between seasons of Masterchef I don’t mind watching a bit of Doctor Who. So what a relief that this one was based around a restaurant. The villain of the piece was a steely-eyed meatsmith, reminiscent in his dogmatic hostility of Marcus Wareing, and the showpiece finale where the establishment was floated past St Paul’s from a balloon made of human skin would do for any desperate semi-finalist. And with “airs” replacing sauces, gravies and even the recent innovation of “foams” these days, it was good to see Clara standing up for tradition by refusing to release her own.
“Jenny and I are married, yet for appearances’ sake…”
I see a fair bit of cynicism around the internet whenever Doctor Who has a Big Gay Moment, mostly from people who think society’s so advanced in its acceptance these days that we don’t need to make a song and dance about being queer. Well I think we do, and I applaud seeing a bit of inter-species Beth-and-Margareting in close-up on a primetime family show. This excellent article about Sam Smith and the gay phenomenon of “covering” has been on my mind this week and I recommend it if this turn of thought interests you.
I was excited when I heard Michelle Gomez was going to be in Doctor Who but I need scraping off the walls now it looks like she’s going to be this year’s Big Thing. I never got into Green Wing, which I know a lot of people know her from; it’s her majestically funny and complex performance as proud, demented Janice in The Book Group that I worship. From one brief scene it looks like she’s going for stylised camp glory in her Doctor Who appearances and I’m fully on board.
“Don’t look in that mirror, it’s absolutely furious”
Since Doctor Who came back nine years ago series openers have tended to be big, brash and emotionally exciting. Deep Breath was all of that of course, but over and above it it was quiet and thoughtful. The Doctor’s new face and his and Clara’s concerns about it worked its way through the whole episode, with everyone adopting a succession of veils, masks and identities, the intensely-charged scene between Vastra and Clara being especially good in this regard. Capaldi even held forth on the classic philosophers’ dilemma regarding replacing parts of a broom (the Sugababes dilemma as I tend to think of it these days). Thematic resonance in the slot between Tumble and Casualty? Only Doctor Who could carry this off in a shower of spontaneously combusting dinosaurs, and that’s why it’s the most magical tv programme in the world.