September 01, 2014
If you’re totally new to Who, a regular viewer who wants to learn more about episode one, or just In Case You Missed It, read on for some trivia about Deep Breath…
Grumpy, the Green One and the Not Green One
The Paternoster Gang are a crime-fighting organisation, headed up by a lizard-like Silurian called Madame Vastra, her human wife Jenny Flint, and their Sontaran butler, Strax (who, because all Sontarans are clones, doesn’t really understand gender).
Initially called together by the Doctor to fight for him at the Battle of Demons Run, the gang settled in Victorian London and have aided the Doctor on numerous occasions, including fighting the Great Intelligence twice, and entering the Doctor’s tomb on Trenzalore. See one of the many Claras scattered through the Doctor’s time-stream being interrogated by Vastra in The Snowmen - a scene echoed in Deep Breath:
The violent poor
The tramp encountered in an alley by the newly-regenerated Doctor is played by Brian Miller, husband to the late Elisabeth Sladen (who played Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who and her own spin-off series).
Deep Breath isn’t Miller’s first role in Doctor Who. In 1983 he appeared as the impresario Dugdale in Fifth Doctor story Snakedance, and can be seen in this clip being terrified by a Mara-possessed Tegan:
He also provided Dalek voices twice, and appeared alongside Sladen in an episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures.
Who frowned me this face?
It’s Volcano Day in Pompeii and the TARDIS has been sold by an enterprising trader to upwardly-mobile Caecilius and his family. A familiar face makes an appearance in The Fires of Pompeii:
Droids harvesting spare parts
In a post-regenerative haze, the Doctor can’t recall where he’s met droids who “patch up a spaceship using human remains” before. Even when he sees that their original ship - the SS Marie Antoinette - was sister to the SS Madame de Pompadour. In case you missed it, here’s his first meeting with clockwork droids, in the Tenth Doctor story The Girl in the Fireplace:
In this 2006 adventure, droids from the SS Madame de Pompadour, damaged and confused by an ion storm, believe that the woman after whom their ship is named will help provide them with spare parts to fix the vessel. In Deep Breath, the stricken droids have spent millions of years patching themselves with human parts in an effort to reach “the Promised Land”...
“You’ve redecorated. I don’t like it”.
So says Clara, when she enters the TARDIS at the end of the episode. But this is actually the sixth time that the phrase (or something approaching it) has been said in the series. It’s coined by the Second Doctor in both 1972’s The Three Doctors (where he says he doesn’t like the Third’s changes to the TARDIS) and The Five Doctors (1983), in reference to the paint job in the Brigadier’s old office.
Sarah rather likes the new-look TARDIS in School Reunion (2006), but the Eleventh Doctor doesn’t like the changes to Craig Owens’ house in 2011’s Closing Time (however, as Craig points out, it’s a totally different house). Most recently, it was uttered by the Tenth Doctor, entering the Eleventh’s TARDIS for the first time in The Day of the Doctor.
Landing the TARDIS in modern day Glasgow (as it later transpires), the Doctor offers to take Clara for chips. Or “chips and coffee”. It’s a scene very reminiscent of when the Ninth Doctor took a shell-shocked Rose Tyler back to London after she saw the death of the Earth, and all she wanted was chips. And no, the Doctor still has no money...
Welcome to Heaven!
Who expected the Half-Face Man to arrive in Paradise? And to be greeted by such a strange figure? Meet Missy - played by Michelle Gomez, and already announced to press as the “Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere”. If Steven Moffat’s description of Gomez as “brilliant, Scottish and a tiny bit satanic” is anything to go by, Heaven may well not be all it seems...