From the first episode it seems it will be a pretty good TV programme, even though probably 90% of it is going to be completely made up. But at least the real part (as written in the article) gives people a feeling of hope in this dire world.
I think they are trying too hard to tell us "I know the new Doctor is old but you should still watch the show". A majority of the episode is pretty much lecturing us right in the face about this, especially Vastra's speech. I mean, if you don't have confidence about this then maybe you shouldn't cast Peter Capaldi in the first place.
In fact, the audience numbers seem to be dropping consistently over the last few seasons which is of some concern. Somehow, Steven Moffat can make Sherlock 'event TV' but not this.
The episode is quite philosophical, about change. The droid, just like
the Doctor, has changed faces so many times, and there is the
question of "is it still the same broom" not just about the droid but the Doctor. When the
Doctor holds up a plate in front of the droid and suggests that he may
not even remember where he got that face from, the camera is actually showing
the Doctor's face on the reflection, which is a subtle nice way to
express the point.
As for the big debate, my opinion is that the droid jumped himself. (Not that it makes much difference - either the Doctor pushed him or talked him to death, which is pretty much the same, plus the Doctor clearly killed many people before - so I don't know what the fuss was about.) My take is that: the droid repeatedly asks "How would you kill me
", as if he has wanted to kill himself for a long time but unable to do so because of its basic programming; the Doctor then make him realize that he's changed so much that he's no longer bound by that. When the Doctor says one of them is lying about their basic programming and they know who that is, the droid's "Yes" was very emotional, signifying this.
There are more than the
usual number of Scottish independence jokes, from eyebrows
"independently cross" and "set up their independent state of eyebrows"
to "still don't think you've got a vote".