A few weeks ago I gave my thoughts on the upcoming year for Doctor Who. In my analysis I attempted to make a point about whoever the next Doctor might be he would be relatively unknown to Americans. I also said there was no way the odds-on favorite was going to be picked. I didn’t even bat 500 on that one. Even if you haven’t seen Peter Capaldi in The Thick of It or Skins, I find it safe to say you did watch Doctor Who’s “Fires Of Pompeii” and Torchwood: Children of Earth. His roles in both weren’t exactly in the background. Each role was out there for the whole Whovian public to see.
I didn’t get to see the big reveal as it happened. Imagine my surprise when I saw Peter’s name pop up on Facebook. At first I thought it was people trolling. Then more people I know who are reliable with their information posted it. Initially I was surprised. I told several friends prior to this how I felt Capaldi would make a great Doctor in the old series, but not so much today. When I finally watched the special I very quickly changed my tune. Moffat’s description of the next Doctor as “not Matt Smith” made me realize it’s good they chose someone who couldn’t be more different from Matt. The show needs someone a little older, whose humor can play understated or in your face. It took me little time to accept that Capaldi was the right actor at the right time. His performance in Children Of Earth attests to his talent as an actor. In five episodes you see the evolution then quick fall of a complicated character. I never hated yet pitied a character more in my life.
Now that we know who the new Doctor is I have a few requests. First, I ask you hold all judgement until he actually has time to play the role. Granted that seems like a no-brainer. Our tendency is to attack first and understand later as Matt Smith proves. I remember when the first pictures of Matt in his first costume came out the outcry was kind of pathetic and stupid. We are too harsh on the actors who play the parts without considering how it is a collaborative effort. We all have done it. I have done it myself with Colin Baker. I got around to re-watching his episodes recently to find that he was much better in the role than I gave him credit for. I ask you give Peter time to grow into the role. Unfortunately the internet is already rife with the bleating of jackholes who decided to write him off already.
Second, Matt Smith and David Tennant had their time, so get over it. No, they won’t take over the role again, unless it’s a special like the one coming up. Doctors and companions change. Move on and do it quickly. I don’t want to hear any whining. This is the eleventh time they’ve done this. There is a time of adjustment then we ease into the new series as if nothing happened. They could have chosen a rock and I would still watch it. Why? I love the show! I can live with not caring for a particular Doctor. Though I do still hate Rose.
At the end of the day I have to admit Moffat had us fooled again. He chose the front-runner, which no one expected. The reception to Capaldi was outstanding. Before his face was shown you could feel how nervous he was through the screen. Poor guy must have been freaking out on the inside. When his time came he handled it with grace and self-deprecation. The fact he wrote a letter to a newspaper about Doctor Who made it quite clear this man was right to take over the TARDIS. I look forward to seeing where he takes the character. If his performance in Children of Earth is any indication The Doctor is in very capable hands.