Deep Breath

This story is a sort of sequel to The Girl In The Fireplace, though the concept of robots trying to make themselves human, like Cybermen in reverse, isn’t nearly as effective. The title is complete crap, it really should have had the word “Clockwork” in there somewhere,  something like The Clockwork Man, which I like a lot better, especially since it’s an oblique nod to the difference between new Twelvy Capaldi and old Clock-y Half-Face. Or maybe, simplest of all, The Half-Face Man. The tone of the ep is a lot darker than we’ve been used to of late and I reckon that’s a good thing. Mayhaps with this The Moff is channeling his inner Hinchliffe, and it would be no bad thing for the future if he keeps that up…

I know I said Whoflix wouldn’t be back until Series Eight was over but I couldn’t stop myself from editing Deep Breath, an episode so flawed that I just couldn’t watch it without mentally noting all the bits that I would cut. So I cut them and here it is. The edit has been made from the TX version so once again the cuts are limited by Murray Gold’s music but when the DVD comes out I’ll tackle it again using the individual audio tracks. But this Edit gives you a good idea of what the story is like as a”normal” episode, and I think the show is all the better for it. See what you think. But I’m getting ahead of myself, and that’s not where we start. Let’s start at the beginning…

Monday the 7th of July 2014 will, for many of us, always be the date when the Capaldi Doctor made his debut. That, you will recall, was when the news broke that the scripts for the first five episodes of Series Eight had leaked online due to someone being a complete twat. And then, five days later, we learned that the workprint for episode one, Deep Breath, had also leaked. Nice one. Forevermore the name of Marcelo Camargo will be revered in Fandom, or at least certain sections of it. Personally, I have no problem with Spoilers at all as learning things about an episode in advance of transmission doesn’t spoil anything for me in the slightest. Being an actor and writer to trade, I suffer from an acute case of Backstage Pass Syndrome, and anything that gives you an insight into what it must be like to work on the show is fine by me, sneak peeks even more so.

doctor who complete history 03I finally managed to track down the workprint on Saturday 12th July and so my first glimpse of the Yaldi Capaldi era came at 9.45pm that day and, just over and hour and a quarter later, I was more convinced than ever that Capaldi will be a great Doctor. As for being the GOAT Doctor, time will tell but he’s probably the most skilled actor to fill the role yet, with an honourable mention to Sir John of Hurt of course. As for the episode itself, it was okay but overlong I thought and would have worked a lot better at a standard length. The extra running time didn’t give us any extra story, just extended scenes that would otherwise have been cut and within minutes my Fan Editor hindbrain was already mentally totting up all the scenes that would need to go. And there were plenty of them.

The biggest single problem with the episode though is Vastra and Jenny and Moffat’s “subtle as a brick” approach to their relationship. Okay, so Moff may be totally down with the LGBT section of the audience but for the rest of us straights, who Moffat clearly believe need our alleged prejudices confronting on a Saturday night with the all the family around us, enough already.  Yes, we get it, they’re Lesbians in a Gay Marriage and one of them is a Lizard yeah, yeah, yeah, yadda, yadda, yadda. Can you just get on with telling a decent story and leave the gender politics and social issues to Eastenders please? By all means have two characters who are lesbians, not a problem, but you don’t need to stop the story to have them remind us of the fact at every available opportunity.

The script is average but some of the dialogue is really cringeworthy and the whole thing could have done with one more draft to iron things out. But since that’s not an option, it’s down to the Fan Edit to do what it can to improve things and come up with a better, shorter, story than the full length version. Most of the cuts are prior to the restaurant scene but the biggest change is the removal of the whole “hold your breath” bit which just does not make sense.

Watching those scenes with Jenny, Vastra, Strax and Clara battling the `droids while Twelvy is busy knocking off the half-face man, you can easily work out why Moffat included the concept, and it wasn’t for narrative reasons. That’s worse than having the characters serve the story, that’s having the entire story constructed around one moment, no matter how ridiculous the central premise. It’s a pity Moffat chose to pursue his liberal agenda at the expense of narrative logic, but thankfully this Fan Edit is able to correct the worst of his mistakes and concentrate on telling the story instead.


DEEP BREATH CD REARdownloadcapaldi


20 thoughts on “Deep Breath

  1. As someone who enjoyed the original version, I think this is a great edit. Makes for a very nice tight adventure. I shall now think of the original version as the “extended” version.

    Mine came out at about a fifty minutes, but I included a recap from Time of the Doctor, and when they return to find the TARDIS gone, I decided that he had gone off to make his cameo in Day of the Doctor.

    Well done

    1. Well, I must say I enjoyed the WhoFlix edit so much better than the original. Seeing what was possible was a real revelation. All the lead was taken out so the core material could now fly along at a brisk pace, without preachy parts getting in the way. I made my own edit for myself just to put the phone call back at the end back in, and also to see whether I’d make the same choices as WhoFlix, an interesting exercise. The preachy scene really is weird because it’s basically the writer having a go at the audience through the audience’s surrogate (Clara), and it’s all a bit out of the blue. Clara’s questions were quite reasonable in the circumstances, and as a sci-fi show (well, perhaps that should be scy-fy these days), it’s quite reasonable to ask questions about the Doctor’s post-regeneration identity. Twelvey in particular was skewed noticeably towards being awkward or even indifferent to people’s feelings, quite markedly different to Eleven, Ten, … Three and Two for that matter. Is he the same person? It’s a valid question to ask, and doesn’t need Vastra having a go at the audience or Clara for asking.

      1. Glad you enjoyed the edit, and even more pleased it inspired you to have a go at your own!

        And that question – “Is he the same person?” – is more relevant than ever in the light of recent events…!

  2. Yes she’s not giving anything away, but bets are on that she’s leaving in the Christmas special.
    I think now all the who is the “impossible girl” mystery is done with,and the fancying the Dr is out of the window now

    1. Personally, I think it would be an idea for them to reset the Dr/companion dynamic and go for an older companion again. Not that there’s anything wrong with hot young babes, far from it but I think Twelvy would work best with a Ten/Donna or Tom/Lis vibe to the relationship.

  3. Is it just me or is the clara/ Danny Pink romance being laid on a bit thick?. I can see it is laying the road for Jenna Colemans (probable) exit in the X mas special. But to me it seems as subtle as a brick through a pane glass window.

    The romance feels a bit forced to me, and feels like Clara is saying she loves Danny all too soon .Are we seriously expected to believe, that in such short a time Clara falls so in love and (i am guessing) will choose to stay with Danny over travelling with the Dr as reason for leaving?.

    In many ways, it seems to be a rehash of susan suddenly leaving the first Dr, in The Dalek invasion of Earth. Because she had fallen in love ( all of a sudden) with someone she’d hardly spoken two words to.Also same excuse used again, for Leela’s strangely fast exit from the forth Dr, in The Invasion of Time again to stay with someone she’d only just met and had hardly passed the time of day with..

    I suppose falling in love is a plot device for a companion to leave, but making it happen so fast and expecting us to believe it, is to me an easy,lazy bit of writing,and an easy get out for the writers.(just like using Dr the sonic screwdriver to get out of every situation instead of using his vastly superior intelligence)

    1. Yeah, it does seem a bit quick but then I think the whole point is to emphasise Clara’s “control freak” nature, as a result of her Mum’s death. That loss of control as a young girl, that inability to do anything to prevent what happened, clearly haunts her and manifests itself as a need to stay in control. She even tries to control the Doctor, which won’t work half as well with Twelvy as it did with Smiffy.

      As for the relationship itself, my guess is that Pinky is going to die. Or maybe the fact that he’s the Soldier to Twelvy’s Officer is going to be of significance in the final battle against Missy and the Cybermen, in much the same way that Captain Jack’s military experience came in handy. But I don’t think Clara’s exit is going to be as simple as her doing a Jo or a Leela!

  4. True, is it going to be another old chestnut, the companion/s sacrificing themselves for the Dr. I guess we will have to wait and see.The build up a relationship either between the companion and someone/ or with the Dr then have it end tragically (possibly).Again a bit overdone i think

  5. i am getting the feeling a lot of the new series episodes are getting very similar to previous stories ( or at least the idea’s)

    kill the moon / The Beast Below ( living creature under the surface)
    Mummy on the Orient Express/ Voyage of the Damned (danger on a ship/ train) that the ” passengers” are being hunted/killed off

    i hope the next episodes are a bit more original

  6. I have been thinking, in my second attempt at a “Time of the Doctor” edit, to possibly include Eleven’ phone call to Clara from the end of Deep Breath as an alternative “reveal” for Capaldi. I reckon we could deal better with chips and coffe than kidney colors.

    Great trim of this episode btw. I did like how you transistioned from Twelve and Clara to Missy at the end, Also loved how you switched to the tramp scene and skirted past Strax’s physical examination of Clara (making sure we were perplexed less by the mystery of the vanishing mop bucket)

      1. Well in this case, from what I read from the thread, probably not a good thing. They were mainly picking on the bit where you removed the Eastenders politics of the LGBT thing (as would be expected of them)

        They also did’nt like that you cut out the bedroom scene and Clara chewing out Vastra, or that Clara did’nt try to avoid capture.

        My own edit of the episode got a bit of a grilling though, my begining for it apparently made “less sense”

      2. Sounds like they’re not the sort of fans who should be watching fan edits!

        Makes you wonder why they bothered downloading it, probably didn’t even read the production notes. As ever, other people’s opinions count for nothing, good or bad. We edit for ourselves, not for an audience. If our work as fan editors gains an audience and a following, that’s nice but ultimately it makes no difference because we’re not editing for anyone other than ourselves, and to inspire our fellow fans to have a go themselves.

        It’s nice that some people like my work, but I really don’t give a shit about the people who don’t. It’s easy to criticise someone who’s doing something you’ve never done!

  7. Well, I like it! I enjoy Moffat’s writing and imagination, but I think too often in series 8 Moffat channeled his inner Cartmel a bit and let too many stories get buried under unnecessary fluff. The cuts here strengthen the story and really let the actors shine. (The only other thing I would have cut is the “I’m not your boyfriend, Clara” line.) I am looking forward to seeing what Whoflix does with the rest of the rest of series 8!

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