The Twelfth Doctor

Peter-Capaldi-2117005On Sunday 4th August, at around 7:30pm GMT, the internet exploded.

The reason for this was the announcement, on a rather lame excuse for a show, that Peter Capaldi was to take over the iconic role of Doctor Who as his twelfth incarnation.

I have to say, when I heard his name pop up last week amongst all the other dozens rumoured, I immediately thought YES! He would be perfect. Which of course meant it was never going to happen. I can’t say how pleased I am that I was wrong.

I first saw Capaldi as Islington in the TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, and in the TV adaptation of the late Iain Bank’s The Crow Road, in which his character sadly dies in the first scene but pops up again as a vision. The last thing I saw Capaldi in was In The Thick Of It, which is a very funny political satire where Capaldi’s character says FUCK a lot. And I mean A LOT. It’s probably too mature for most of the Doctor’s younger audience so I guess they can be forgiven for not knowing this guys acting chops.

I would say that the news has largely been well received, or it certainly has amongst most of my acquaintances.There has of course, been a small backlash, because … you know, it’s the internet.

Who is he? He isn’t well known!

Just because YOU don’t know him, doesn’t mean he’s not well known. It just means that you have not been watching the right programs. Admittedly, while Capaldi has a very respectable back catalogue, a lot of it perhaps is not known outside the UK and as we know, for most Americans, the world does not exist outside their shores. Who can honestly say they knew who the hell Matt Smith was four years ago? And unless you had watched Casanova, most people probably had no idea who Tennant was either when he first appeared as the Doctor.

But he’s old!

Actually, he is 55. It’s middle aged maybe, but it’s not old. This particular grievance is largely uttered by tweens that have only been watching Doctor Who since Eccleston or Tennant.  The Doctor started off as an elder gentleman. The young, awkward Doctor is a fairly new concept. The man is meant to be over 900 years old, and I think the gravitas that such an old soul requires cannot be fully realised by a young actor. The first Doctor William Hartnell, who when he took on the role in 1963, was also 55. Patrick Troughton was 46. Pertwee was 51.

You know what, if Doctor Who is not going to be watched by under 25’s any longer, I am actually quite glad. Maybe the story lines will improve, and quit with the incessant ‘companion/love interest’ rubbish. Its ridiculous and offensive to assume that a woman would want to travel with a Time Lord only because she wants to get in his pants. If they give Capaldi’s Doctor a male companion, how long do you think before that cess pool known as Tumblr will be full of slash?

According to Doctor Who canon, he only has 13 regenerations. This is his penultimate incarnation (until of course Moffat comes up with some magical macguffin to get around this). I can imagine that someone who has lived such a long life would be feeling quite  perturbed by his impending mortality. There are plenty of opportunities to visit some rather dark themes on this show, as I have found that the darker story lines have always been the best.

I guess the next big mystery is going to be what will he look like. Each Doctor has had his very own distinctive look. If anyone from the BBC is reading this, can I suggest something along the lines of the pic above.

It would be nice to have a Doctor with some facial hair, and also can we please PLEASE keep his Scottish accent.

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