With the conclusion of the tenth series, we will also say farewell to our Twelfth Doctor: Peter Capaldi. Is he the best we’ve seen yet? He is, in the words of Professor Brian Cox, ‘…involved, menacing and vulnerable. Exactly what the Doctor should be.’
Do I agree?
The Capaldi Decision
Let’s take a look at how it all started for Capaldi. On June 1st, 2013, our Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) publicly announced that he would be leaving the show. The topic on everyone’s lips: who will replace him? Bookies were even keeping track of the race, and by the beginning of August, betting on Peter Capaldi was suspended. He was a shoe-in.
Capaldi missed the original call from his agent while shooting some film for another project in Prague. He dialed back and was welcomed with, ‘Hello, Doctor.’ A nice touch, I thought. But as an outright favourite, did he meet expectations?
Eleventh or Twelfth?
Another interesting thing. Steven Moffat (head writer and producer of the show) briefly considered Capaldi for the role of Eleventh Doctor. At the time, however, he felt he wasn’t the right fit.
Does this mean that Capaldi simply wasn’t ready for the role? Or, rather, was he supposed to be the twelfth incarnation and nothing else? This is a strange thing to consider, but I think Moffat was right. Having a 55-year-old Capaldi follow the youngest Doctor (Smith) was a brilliant move. It gave the show new breath. And the Doctor’s transformation held the room for dramatic, yet believable, changes.
If Capaldi had been our Eleventh Doctor, he would’ve followed after David Tennant… indeed, a tough act to follow.
Capaldi’s reign also saw the introduction of Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie). I have to say; she grew on me like spicy food. At first, I was a little skeptical. Indeed critical. But then, after her first few appearance, I began to get used to her, and she became suddenly much more believable. I got it. And I was glad that the show was willing (as always) to reflect contemporary times.
Modern society, as it stands. Whatever your politics are, you can’t help saying this much: I don’t see our First Doctor, William Hartnell, having a gay, black, female sidekick. The sixties were an era of change, sure, but 2017 is another thing altogether. And Doctor Who has society covered, as always.
All this said and done; I love Capaldi. He’s believable in his strangeness. In fact, if after his departure from the show there was a news report on ‘Capaldi went missing,’ I wouldn’t be surprised. I’d sit back in my chair and smile, thinking he might just have been a time-travelling alien, all along.
I mean, just take a close look at how the guy runs… we don’t love him for his fitness techniques though, we love him for being weird. Was he the best Doctor Who yet? He just might have been.