8.1. Deep Breath

Series 8 - 2014

Writer: Steven Moffat
Produced by: Nikki Wilson
Director: Ben Wheatley
Music: Murray Gold


In Victorian London a crowd of people gather besides the Thames to witness a large dinosaur wading through the Thames. Police, led by Inspector Gregson, try to keep people calm as the Paternoster Gag (Madame Vastra, Strax and Jenny) arrive. The dinosaur appears to be choking - and moments later it coughs up a blue box onto the beach. Vastra hands Gregson some sonic emitters that, when placed around the dinosaur, would keep it in place, whilst she, Jenny and Strax take care of the blue box.

Strax orders the occupants of the box to leave and surrender to the Sontaran Empire. Eventually a strange, confused, man appears followed by Clara. The man soon collapses on the beach. Jenny was expecting the Doctor, and Clara tells her that the strange man is the Doctor.

The Doctor is taken back to Vastra's house where is confused by a room that only has a bed in it, and doesn't understand the point of the room. He also has trouble with Clara and Jenny's English accents, and Vastra, with her Scottish accent is able to calm the Doctor down, and using a psychic link is able to render the Doctor unconscious.

Vastra and Jenny leave Clara alone with the Doctor. As he sleeps he starts to talk. Clara assumes he is translating what the dinosaur is saying (he speaks dinosaur), but the words could equally apply to the Doctor.

Outside a man, Alf, meets a stranger who compliments him on his good eyesight, before attacking him.

In Vastra's drawing room Vastra and takes the opportunity to talk to Clara about the regenerated Doctor. Clara has a problem when Vastra refers to the Doctor as renewed. He looks much older, so how is that renewed? Vastra tells Clara that the Doctor is as old as a mountain range, and that secretly the young looking Doctor appeared in a young body to inwardly flirt with everyone. Now the Doctor does not feel he has to appear young.

Inside the bedroom the Doctor awakes. He finds some chalk and starts to write mathematical formulae over the walls and floor. As he does he hears the dinosaur, and escapes through a window and over rooftops to go to its aid. He tries to explain to it that its being in London was an accident when he sees it burst into flames. The Doctor manages to free a horse from a can driver and races to the dinosaur.

Vastra, Jenny, Clara and Strax hear the roar of the dinosaur and Strax drives them there in Vastra's own transport. They arrive on a bridge to see the Doctor already watching the flames. The Doctor asks an unexpected question: Have the been any other similar murders? Vastra confirms that there have been four recent spontaneous combustions in recent days. The Doctor also notices that whilst everyone else is gawking at the fire one man is simply standing and watching. The Doctor then leaps off the bridge into the Thames.

The next day, with the Doctor still missing, Strax arranges for the TARDIS to be brought to Vastra's house. They may not know where the Doctor is, but he will always return to the TARDIS. As Clara watches Strax he throws hew a newspaper - a direct hit.

Lost in the streets of London the Doctor comes across a homeless person. The Doctor, still dressed in bed clothes, is feeling cold. The homeless man has clothes but is also feeling cold. The Doctor suggests that it is silly both of them feeling cold...

In her house Jenny is posing for Vastra whilst Vastra appears to be painting her. In reality Vastra had been plotting cases of spontaneous combustion in London and realising that it burning the victim is a good way to hide what is missing. They are interuppted by Clara who has spotted an advert in the Times for the Impossible Girl, something the Doctor often called Clara. On the reverse side is an advertisement for Mancini's restaurant.

Clara goes to the restaurant for lunch, and is met by a very smelly Doctor wearing a coat from a homeless person that he swapped for his favourite watch. Clara asks the Doctor about the advert, and the Doctor says he was happy to respond. So if neither had placed the advert, who had? With the aid or hairs from himself and Clara the Doctor tests the air circulation in the room and finds that in a room of people there is none. When Clara looks closely at the other diners she can see they are not really eating, just pretending. The Doctor also notes they are not breathing. As they stand up to leave so do all the other people and start to move towards them.

A waiter comes over to them and starts to scan the Doctor and Clara. The Doctor reaches up and pulls on the waiters nose, pulling off his face. He hands it to Clara telling her it's not just a mask - it's actually a face. Moments later clamps hold the Doctor and Clara in their chair as it descends into a spaceship. Dropping the sonic screwdriver for Clara to toss back up into his lap the Doctor is able to unfasten the clamps.

In the room there appear to be other people, standing dormant. The Doctor realises they are in a form or organ harvesting facility where droids are harvesting human parts. This seems familiar to the Doctor, but he can't quite remember from where.

In the centre of the room is a clockwork droid with a human appearance although one half of the skin and hair on his head is missing, revealing the mechanism underneath. It is dormant and recharging. The Doctor notices that it has two human hands, but they are from different people. When it starts to wake the Doctor and Clara decide it is a good time to leave. The Doctor hesitates and Clara goes to speed him up. The Doctor makes it out when a door closes in front of Clara. Instead of opening the door the Doctor leaves Clara, saying there is no point in both of them getting caught.

The droid, now awake, can sense Clara's breathing, until she holds her breath and stands motionless. When other droids awaken she mimics their movements and walks out of a door that the first droid had opened. She soon collapses after holding her breath too long and is re-captured. When she recovers she finds herself in front of the droid in the chair.

The droid asks her where the Doctor is, and threatens to kill her if she does not say. Remembering what one of the children she taught at school said, she realises the droid thinks logically and cannot kill her as it would never find out where the Doctor is. She tells the droid to go ahead an do it. The droid then changes one of it's hands to a flame thrower and threatens Clara with pain.

Clara starts to talk to the droid to stall for time. It tells her it burnt up a whole dinosaur just for a small part optic nerve. Realising the droids knew what the dinosaur was meant they had been on Earth a long time, rebuilding themselves. The droid then mentions the promised land which it is attempting to reach.

When the droid asks again where the Doctor is Clara says she doesn't know, but if he really is still the Doctor he will have her back. After a pause a man grabs her hand. It then pulls off its face to reveal the Doctor. Now he has learnt about the droids the Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to interfere with the power source, saying he can destroy their whole room.

As droids close in on the Doctor and Clara the Paternoster Gang appear with swords and a gun. The droid escapes up the lift shaft, with the Doctor hanging on underneath, as a fight breaks out between the droids and the Clara and the Paternoster Gang.

In the restaurant the droid thinks it has escaped, but finds the Doctor offering him a drink. Operating hidden controls the droid starts the escape capsule. The Doctor recognises it as 51st century technology. In the London street Inspector Gregson watches as a hot air balloon, with a balloon made of skin, takes off from where Mancini's restaurant used to be. The Doctor, examining the technology, finds a fuse that says the ship used by be the SS Marie Antoinette, sister ship of the Madame De Pompadour.

The Doctor realises the droid is the control node, and destroying it would also deactivate all the remaining droids. The droid and the Doctor start to fight. The droid tells the Doctor that killing itself is against its primary programming, and the Doctor tells the droid killing is against his; one of them is lying.

Underground Clara, Vastra, Jenny and Strax are still fighting the droids. Clara tells them to hold their breaths, and immediately the droids stop. Even with the sonic screwdriver Clara cannot open the doors. After holding their breaths for too long they start to breathe. As the droids advance they suddenly all deactivate.

Outside the control droid is impaled on a building's tower. When the Paternoster Gang and Clara return to Vastra's house they find the TARDIS has gone. Clara thinks she is stuck back in Victorian times, but a the next day the TARDIS returns.

The Doctor, now dressed in a dark outfit, takes the chance to talk to Clara. Clara asks the Doctor who really put the advertisement in the paper, and the Doctor asks who, a long time ago, gave her the Doctor's number. The Doctor says there is a woman out the who really wants the Doctor and Clara to stay together.

When the TARDIS lands on Earth Clara says she doesn't really know who the Doctor is when she receives a phone call. On the other end is the Eleventh Doctor, calling from Trenzalore. He tells Clara that the new Doctor is more scared now than she is, and that she should help him.

The control droid wakes up in a strange place where a woman called Missy greets him, and asks is her *boyfriend* was mean to him. The droid asks where he is, and Missy tells him it's the Promised Land, Paradise, Heaven.

Regular Cast

  • Clara Oswald: Jenna Coleman

Guest Cast

  • Madame Vastra: Neve McIntosh
  • Strax: Dan Starkey
  • Jenny: Catrin Stewart
  • Half-Face Man: Peter Ferdinando
  • Inspector Gregson: Paul Hickey
  • Alf: Tony Way
  • Elsie: Maggie Service
  • Cabbie: Mark Kempner
  • Barney: Brian Miller
  • Waiter: Graham Duff
  • Courtney: Ellis George
  • Policeman: Peter Hannah
  • Footman: Paul Kasey
  • Missy: Michelle Gomez
  • The Doctor: Matt Smith

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 (HD) 1. Deep Breath Saturday, August 23, 2014 7:50 PM - 9:05 PM 9.17M 82

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