Forget The Critics: What The Fans Thought Of Deep Breath

So, you’ve seen what the papers thought of Deep Breath, Doctor Who Series 8’s first episode and the full debut for Peter Capaldi – but what did you, the fans think?

While six people complained about the lesbian lizard kiss (lizbian?), we’ll quickly move on and get the stats out of the way.

Audience figures in the UK reveal that an average 6.79 million viewers tuned in to watch in the United Kingdom, peaking at 6.96 million. Sound low? Well, don’t forget  that it is an overnight figure, and represents an immense 32.5% audience share. iPlayer and delayed viewing figures are still to be added. In the USA, BBC America have been pleased to announce that Deep Breath pulled in delivering 2.58 million total viewers, and that from 8:00-10:00pm, Doctor Who ranked as the #1 program in all of cable among total viewers and A25-54, making it the highest rated season premiere ever on BBC America. In Australia, Capaldi’s debut was seen by a total of 858,000 viewers, 140,000 of which got up at or stayed up until 4.30am to watch the live simulcast!

Meanwhile, the Audience Appreciation Index score for Deep Breath was 82, slightly down on The Time of the Doctor‘s 83, and one of the lowest since the series returned in 2005 (Rose (81), The End of the World (79), The Unquiet Dead (80), Aliens of London (81), World War Three (82) and Boom Town (82) all scored quite poorly during Series 1).

The Kasterborous Poll

On Saturday evening following Deep Breath we ran a poll, with 1,148 respondents. What were the results?

Well, an immensely positive group of fans (64.02%) voted that it was a “Superb debut from Peter Capaldi”, while a further 23.69% considered it “A good tale, could have been better”. The remaining 10% or so felt: Not good enough (7.14%), When is Matt Smith/David Tennant/Tom Baker coming back? (2.7%), Too long! (2.44%). So overall, this is a good reaction!

What did Kasterborous readers think?


I hardly dared think it was possible, but Mr Capaldi was every bit as wonderful as I hoped he would be, and I haven’t laughed so much, or shuddered as much at the implications of a villain’ s plan (honestly, who needs blood and gore, suggestion and a vivid imagination are so much more horrific) during an episode in ages. Simply glorious, and if the rest of the series is of the same standard I am going to be the happiest of bunnies.

Hopefully it’ll be up on iPlayer in the morning so I can watch it again!


I liked it. Some lovely dialogue with the grumpy scots thing and some creepy clockwork aliens from Girl in the Fireplace. My biggest issue was the contrast between Matt Smith’s arrival and Capaldi’s:

As Matt stepped through the video of previous Doctors to announce “I’m the Doctor” as if to say ‘yes I know I look young but up yours’, this episode seemed to be written as an apology. ‘I know Peter Capaldi is older, but it’s still the Doctor, really!

No need to apologise Mr Moffat. Now get on with proving you’re the Doctor Mr Capaldi if the writing lets you. A consummate first performance, I thought he was excellent.

Lord Darth Tyeler:

The plot wasn’t up to much, but for me that doesn’t matter on a Doctor debut day, any more than belching wheelie-bins, people walking to the top of buildings, cat nurses or fish fingers and custard. All I was interested in was what the new geezer was going to be like. He didn’t disappoint. I kind of liked the way he poured himself a whisky before deciding whether he was going to kill the other guy or not. Looks like he’s going to be darker and considerably less human than his recent predecessors, and I think that’s a good thing.
It’s shaping up nicely.

Andrew G. Dick:

Watched it again yesterday and I’m envisaging a 3rd viewing within the next 48 hours. I love it. Flawed yes, but the positives vastly outweigh the negatives.

It’s so refreshing to have a debut story set in a historical setting, the first one since An Unearthly Child!

I take back what I said about the final scene, that was cleaver and very moving.

Capaldi is simply amazing, might be too early to say this, but he’s my favourite. If he’s not at 100% there with his Doctor, then when he does, god we’re in for something!

I’m starting to like the theme tune more, got it on my iPhone and it’s stuck in my head all day at work today!

I’ll easily revise my original score and give it 9/10.

On the wider web, reaction to the new Doctor seems to have manifested largely positively, with this being one of the more amusing examples:

Perhaps, though, we’ll finish on this note…


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