Now that Season 8 has ended with the two-part climax of Dark Water/Death in Heaven, what were my overall impressions?
Overall, it was a pretty decent season, the best we've had for several years now, and a good start for Peter Capaldi in his role as the Doctor. And Clara was written much better for Season 8 than Season 7, as I found her role in the Impossible Girl arc to be a bit of a plot device, reducing her effectiveness in the overall series plotline, despite Jenna Coleman's obvious talent as an actress and likability as a character. Season 8 sees her character written much more strongly, as a proper companion, not a mere plot device, with a bit of a tragic love affair thing thrown in between her and Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson).
We had a fairly decent debut/regeneration story (Deep Breath), a couple of light, fluff/filler stories (Robot of Sherwood, The Caretaker), one kinda lame episode (In the Forest of the Night), three fairly good but not amazing episodes (Into the Dalek, Kill the Moon and Death in Heaven), and five very good-to-excellent episodes (Listen, Time Heist, Mummy on the Orient Express, Flatline and Dark Water).
That's a pretty fine batting average in my book. Only one dodgy episode out of twelve (and even that one wasn't exactly awful), five very good episodes, and the rest at least fairly decent, watchable stories. The final two-parter was marred slightly by the fact that the first part, Dark Water, was considerably better than the second, Death in Heaven, which let the ending of that story down a bit. But that was only by comparison, because Dark Water was so good, and Death in Heaven was still pretty decent by any reckoning.
All that I can say is that I wish every season of Doctor Who was as high in quality as Season 8. Let's see if Moffat and his crew can keep it up.