Annnnd the next Doctor is………………..(insert drum roll)……………… Peter Capaldi.
Peter Capaldi may have been destined to play the Doctor, in World War Z he plays a W.H.O. Doctor. Coincidence or destiny, who knows. Interesting, very much so.
Peter Dougan Capaldi (born 14 April 1958) is a Scottish actor and film director. He has played numerous roles in film and television, but is best known for his role as Malcolm Tucker, a spin doctor in the BBC comedy series The Thick of It and its follow-up film In the Loop. In 1995, his short film Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life won the Academy Award for Live Action Short Film. From 25 December 2013, he will portray the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who.
So now that all those rumors have been put to rest, not a woman, not a ginger, not black, not an American, and not young. The 12th Doctor, will be tied for the oldest actor to play the Doctor with William Hartnell, the 1st Doctor, at 55. So we have gone from the youngest Doctor to the oldest Doctor.
- William Hartnell January 8, 1908 55
- Patrick Troughton March 25, 1920 46
- Jon Pertwee July 7, 1919 50
- Tom Baker January 20, 1934 40
- Peter Davison April 13, 1951 29
- Colin Baker June 8, 1943 40
- Sylvester McCoy August 20, 1943 44
- Paul McGann November 14, 1959 36
- Chris Eccleston February 16, 1964 41
- David Tennant April 18, 1971 34
- Matt Smith October 28, 1982 27
- Peter Capaldi April 14, 1958 55
Now that we know who the new Doctor will be, we are left with a multitude of new questions. Who will this Doctor be? Can a new Doctor breathe new life into a series in a slump? When he regenerates in December what kind of Doctor will he be, serious, angry, grumpy, funny, all of these or none of these? We know he will be kind, compassionate, moral and brave as those are traits that all of the Doctors share. How will he shape the Doctor and make it his own and what trait will he adopt as his unique signature? Who will his companion or companions be? Is there going to be a new production team? Are we going to continue down the same path?
One thing is certain over the last 50 years we have seen Doctor Who remake itself numerous times. It can be anything in any time it wants to be. It can replace the characters at will. Even the main stay, the TARDIS, has been missing. Doctor Who is different it does not have to follow the traditional rules of television series, because it can take place anywhere at any time it can be changed at will. While it must be true to continuity when dealing with past and present characters . Nothing is out of the realm of possibilities. They can complete a story arc in one show or stretch it over several. They can travel to a distant land or a distant planet in the blink of an eye. The Doctor is for all practical purposes immortal. Time is irrelevant, after all he is a Time Lord, he appears where he is needed to fix an insurmountable crisis, with the wit and panache only the Doctor can muster.
What it cannot do, is continue with convoluted badly executed storylines. Doctor Who is currently suffering from what plagues all long running series. They fall apart. They fall apart for any number of reasons. Most cannot be fixed, they have no place to go. With Doctor Who if something isn’t working, they can write in a new enemy, a new world or a new timeline. They can kill off the main character and regenerate him. They are not stuck following a linear path. At its core Doctor Who is a science fiction super hero show. But to make a successful hero series, there has to be a balance between how important the hero is and how important the cause is. The cause has to be something that has the audience thinking “there is no way he is going to be able to fix this,” and when he does they have to believe that his solutions are realistic enough they don’t over think it. While the hero in all of this is important, the series cannot revolve completely around the hero. Doctor Who has become the show where everything revolves around the Doctor. Things happen because of the Doctor, characters exist to serve the Doctor. The more the show goes down this road the more things happen because of the Doctor, the more the Doctor changes from hero to villain. The question becomes is it the Doctors fault the problem exists? We expect the Doctor to make a difference, to fix the universe and make the guilty pay. To appear and surmount the insurmountable. Has the Doctor hit the point of no return? Has the Doctor become an egotistical manic? Not yet. The Doctor is being regenerated maybe they can pull him back from the precipice he is standing on. As Uncle Ben, by way of Voltaire, stated “with great power comes great responsibility,” seems the Doctor has forgotten that.