While I’m not planning to go into a lot of plot details, it’s likely that the random mutterings that follow will reveal some things you might prefer not to know if you haven’t seen the episode yet, so in my usual way, I’ll include this warning:
So. New series, new Doctor. And unlike the last two new Doctors, who were relatively unknown at the time (David Tennant had been in a few things, but wasn’t a name as such, and Matt Smith was even less known), Peter Capaldi came along with a whole history of being a proper actual well-known actor. And a known Doctor Who fan as well.
A post-regeneration story is inevitably going to be more about the Doctor finding himself than the actual plot, and this was no exception. Not that there wasn’t a lot of story to enjoy – any episode that starts with a giant dinosaur appearing in Victorian London and in which the dinosaur isn’t the threat, or an agent of whoever’s up to no good, but ends up being a crime victim, clearly has a lot going on.
The Doctor spends much of the story being slightly confused about his new self, wondering why everyone has developed silly accents and wondering why he thinks he’s seen his face before, which of course he did in The Fires of Pompeii. He also spends a fair amount of time trying to remember what’s familiar about the ancient menace that’s been lurking under London. He’s sure he’s seen something very similar before, and he’s quite right.
There’s the usual fun and games with the Paternoster Gang – Madame Vastra is delightful, Jenny is perky and Strax is, well, Strax. Clara isn’t quite sure about the new Doctor – despite having the unusual advantage of having seen all his previous selves, it takes her a while to adjust to the latest one.
There are some lovely little nods to the past – Clara gets the “you’ve redecorated…. I don’t like it” line first uttered by the Second Doctor in The Three Doctors, and reused a few times since. And there’s a moderately surprising appearance from someone I wasn’t expecting to see any time soon.
Add to that a nicely ambiguous removal of the main antagonist (did he jump or was he given some assistance?) and the first appearance of what looks like being the new Big Bad, who we’ll be seeing again, and it did its job well. New Doctor introduced. Fun had by all.
Next week we’ll have that essential thing: the new Doctor’s first encounter with the Daleks. Because you can’t be a proper Doctor until you’ve met them, can you?
 They all sound so English
 With some speculation about why he’s got this face now – is he trying to tell himself something?
 Vague comment to keep the spoiler level low