Sunday, August 04, 2013

A few thoughts on Doctor Who, and 12th Doctor Peter Capaldi

A few thoughts on Doctor Who, and 12th Doctor Peter Capaldi (Den of Geek Article)

Whilst Den of Geek has pretty much nailed it all on the head in the above article, I just wanted to add my own thoughts on the casting of Peter Capaldi in the iconic role of the Doctor.

First things first, now that the news is sinking in, I am very very pleased. Buzzing, in fact.

Peter Capaldi's name was linked with the role over the past few days and even Den of Geek dismissed the idea as a little bit of misdirection, and I was quite convinced it was. But as soon as I saw his hand on the live TV show I shouted out, "It IS Peter Capaldi!", and I found myself suitably thrilled and confused at the same time. Considering the ages of recent Doctors I just didn't expect to see a new Doctor being cast who was over 40, let alone over 50. (Mr Capaldi is 55). But I am soooo glad they did. I have thoroughly enjoyed all three of the Doctors since the show started anew in 2005, and although it was necessary to bring the whole enterprise up-to-date by  making it better, faster, shinier, I do think a certain 'something' was missing from the show because of it. I am hoping that when we get our first full run of episodes with the 12th Doctor next year (hopefully!), we will see a little more depth to some of the stories and ideas. That's not to say that Mr Capaldi won't be able to do all the running and jumping, or that the show will skew older and forget it's family audience; I am just hoping to see a tonal shift, perhaps, a change of gear that will enable us to explore some of the fantastic ideas the show's writers put forward. Maybe this might mean a slight change of format, although I would not welocme a return to the 25 minute episodes of classic Who. As much as I enjoyed the 7th series run of "45-minute weekly blockbusters", I did feel that most of the time 45 minutes was not enough. 60 minutes would have worked much better for most of the stories in this latest run. (And I don't think 13 epidsodes at 60 minutes is asking too much as we all know we only really had one series spread over two years, am I right BBC? Hmmmmm?)

The other thing that intrigues me is the change in dynamic between the Doctor and his young female companion. Since 2005, the series and its writers have explored the Doctor's relationship with his female companion in a more overt romantic way than ever before. After all, the Doctor is an alien! But he loves Earth, and he loves humans (well, the good ones, anyway). It's been nice to explore this romantic relationship, especially between the 10th Doctor and Rose, which has led to some of the modern show's most poignant moments. But I think a return to a more paternal, or even grandfatherly, relationship will do the show no harm. Links are already being drawn between Mr Capaldi's Doctor and the First Doctor, William Hartnell, as they are about the same age as actors. I think this is exactly what the show needs, and Who knows, [see what I did there?] in a way, this may even bring the entire show full circle.

Roll on the 50th Anniversary Special and, even more importantly, the Christmas Special. This is a good time to be a Doctor Who fan.