‘Doctor Who’: Peter Capaldi’s Doctor Revealed – What Do You Think? [Video]

Published 8 months ago by

NOTE: The following post contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the Doctor Who 2013 Christmas Special. If you do not want to be spoiled, run you clever boy (or girl), and return with your TARDIS after you have viewed “The Time of the Doctor.

Silence has fallen and Doctor Who fans have officially said their goodbye to the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith in the 2013 Christmas Special, “The Time of the Doctor” (read our review) – which, once again, scored big ratings for the BBC and BBC America. For weeks viewers have been debating whether or not the inclusion of John Hurt’s War Doctor and acknowledgment of David Tennant’s second regeneration would mean a re-ordering of the Time Lord’s numbering, but showrunner and writer Steven Moffat made it clear with one simple poetic verse that Smith will always be Eleven and that Capaldi is Twelve: “And now it’s time for one last now, like all your other selves. Eleven’s hour is over now, the clock is striking Twelve’s.

To get around the twelve regeneration limit, Moffat re-introduced the Gallifreyans, who after the events of “The Day of the Doctor,” are trapped in a pocket universe – safe but calling out through a crack in time. Just as the Doctor is about to die (with no regenerations left), Clara pleads with the Time Lords to help the Doctor change his future – and fresh regeneration energy comes pouring through another time crack, allowing the Doctor to fend-off a Dalek invasion and, after a lengthy goodbye between Clara (as well as a vision of Amy Pond), regenerate into the Twelfth Doctor. In case you missed the full episode, BBC has released a clip of the Matt Smith/Peter Capaldi regeneration (which you can check out for yourself above).

Peter Capaldi Doctor Who Time of the Doctor Doctor Who: Peter Capaldis Doctor Revealed   What Do You Think? [Video]

After the drawn-out regenerations of Eccleston and Tennant, the quick blink and you’ll miss it transformation from Smith to Capaldi might have been a shock to some viewers – and was a source of debate among commenters in our review. As with anything Doctor Who, viewers will likely form their own explanation for why Smith wasn’t treated to the usual transitioning face effect (he’d already started regenerating on the roof of the bell tower, it was the start of a new regeneration cycle, etc). Yet, regardless of the official explanation, not every Doctor was given a lengthy transition – a few classic series regenerations (especially John Pertwee to Tom Baker) were nearly as quick.

Watch (almost) every Doctor Who regeneration in the compilation below:

Whether or not the Doctor was gifted a single regeneration or an entire regeneration cycle will also be a source of contention among fans – since some viewers might have different interpretations for Smith’s line: “I’m getting used to my new regeneration cycle.” 

Matt Smith Doctor Who Time of the Doctor Regeneration Doctor Who: Peter Capaldis Doctor Revealed   What Do You Think? [Video]

If you hated, loved, or are indifferent to the logistics of this regeneration, one thing is still certain: Peter Capaldi is the new Doctor – now that fans have been treated to an official (albeit short) interaction between Clara and Twelve. In the pre-season 8 teaser, Capaldi’s Doctor appears to Clara, comments on his new kidneys, and then asks whether she knows how to fly the TARDIS, before the 2013 Christmas Special credits roll.

Here’s the full transcript from the exchange:

  • The Doctor: “Kidneys! I’ve got new kidneys. I don’t like the color.”
  • Clara: “Of your kidneys? What’s happening?”
  • The Doctor: “We’re probably crashing! Oh!”
  • Clara: “Into what?”
  • The Doctor: “Stay calm. Just one question. Do you happen to know how to fly this thing?”

As usual (with any regeneration), it was a hasty glimpse at how a new actor intends to put his mark on the iconic role. Obviously, we don’t have much to go by yet but Capaldi appears to be just about what we expected when his casting was first announced: a more severe but still quirky version of the Doctor – one that, as Moffat suggests, can take the character in a fresh direction.

Peter Capaldi Doctor Who Time of the Doctor Clara Twelve Doctor Who: Peter Capaldis Doctor Revealed   What Do You Think? [Video]

After Smith’s impassioned speech about remembering every detail in his many lives, Capaldi’s post-regeneration memory troubles might have left some viewers wondering if the Twelfth Doctor was going to suffer from a tragic case of amnesia (possibly as a result of his new regeneration cycle). Nevertheless, longtime viewers will recall that the Doctor is always disoriented following a regeneration – which, at least in the modern series, usually results in a chaotic episode cliff-hanger (Tennant’s crash landing in London and Smith’s crash landing at Amy Pond’s home). Considering Smith’s Doctor was “The One Who Forgets” (paired with Tennant as “The One Who Regrets”), fans should expect Capaldi’s memory to be fully operational by the end of the season 8 premiere.

Of course, season 8 of Doctor Who isn’t expected until Fall of 2014 – though you can pick up “The Time of the Doctor” Blu-ray on March 4, 2014. In the meantime, let us know what you thought of “The Time of the Doctor” as well as Capaldi’s brief appearance. If you’ve yet to get into Doctor Who, check out our Doctor Who Viewing Guide: Tips, Suggestions & Complete Episode List.

[poll id="740"]

____

Peter Capaldi will return as Doctor Who in Autumn 2014.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates on Doctor Who as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:
TAGS: doctor who

63 Comments

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.


If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it.

  1. I was pleased overall, I do think it could have done with being longer, perhaps a two parter in the same way Tennant’s was, certain aspects felt a bit rushed. But the last ten minutes for me were fantastic! I love the look of Capaldi, I’ve always admired him as an actor and that bird like stare was brilliant. I’ll miss Smith of course, but I am looking forward to the change.

    • I thought the regeneration was perfect, like he accepted there was no stopping it so it just happened instantly :) I disagree that it should’ve been in two, one was enough. I always thought The End Of Time was a little stretched out

    • Yeah,that look was FANTASTIC !!!
      The new Doctor reminds me of Doc Brown from back to the feature !
      God..Marty !!!

      • I completely agree…I immediately thought Doc Brown!

  2. Smith’s regeneration began at the bell tower. I don’t understand why people say it was too fast. He got a MASSIVE light show AND a extra scene plus a moving monologue that INCLUDED Amy! It was a magnificent send off!

    • I think people are just upset he didn’t get the usual face-meld – even if they accept that the regeneration started at the bell tower.

      • I think what’s more important is who the doctor was before and who he is after, not what it looks like inbetween.

  3. Smith was the 13th Doctor, this is explicitly explained in the episode; the new regeneration cycle means Capaldi is the 1st of a new 13.

    • But Smith specifically said he didn’t call himself “The Doctor” as Hurt’s War Doctor. Therefore Capaldi is the Twelfth “Doctor” even though he’s actually the thirteenth face of the Time Lord – as well as the thirteenth regeneration (since Tennant counted as two).

      If Capaldi was The Thirteenth Doctor, according to Moffat’s writing, the entire line “And now it’s time for one last now, like all your other selves. Eleven’s hour is over now, the clock is striking Twelve’s” would make no sense.

      • Twelve Doctors. One ‘War Doctor’. Fourteen regenerations. So far…

        • the first doctor was not a regeneration smith was the 13th doctor but the 12th regeneration tension had a hand regenerate into a whole body as a separate line
          of himself not a complete regeneration of himself… same as when his hand grew back not a complete regeneration when smith regenerated it was understood he got a fresh 12 regenerations or unlimited regenerations time will tell…after all he is a timelord.

          • What?

            Moffat’s official stance is that 10 (Tennant) did regenerate then, without any previous depiction of having the ability to do so anywhere in Who history, siphoned off the extra regeneration energy onto the hand in order to keep the same appearance.

            Handy is not a regeneration, the siphoned off energy caused the new body to grow from the hand -not 10 pushing a regeneration off onto the hand. Effectively Tennant’s appearance occupies two full incarnations.

      • One last ‘bow’… Everyone’s getting this wrong :)

      • That was simply a line from a poem in relation to Matt being generally considered the 11th Doctor, but in reality he was the 13th.

        Please watch the episode again, Smith’s Doctor explains he is the 13th – it’s simple really – otherwise he would have regenerated earlier rather than suffering through old age. I don’t know what the confusion is.

        • I’ve been watching DW long enough to know where in the chain he is. Smith was the eleventh Doctor, but had the thirteenth regeneration. The ‘Ear Doctor’ counts as one (so that’s twelve), while Tennant had an additional regeneration (that’s thirteen). With the arrival of Capaldi, that is fourteen regenerations.

          • The “Ear Doctor”….is that episode on Netflix?

        • Actually, Smith is the Eleventh Doctor, but he has the thirteenth regeneration. The ‘War Doctor’ had one (so that’s 12 regens) while Tennant took an additional regeneration (so that’s 13). As such, Capaldi is the Twelfth Doctor, but has had 14 regenerations.

  4. Most EFFECTIVE regeneration to date. Clara must have been up for a huge shock… she was known to that handsome strapping young feller and even his predecessor resembled him much… and then there is that weird, old, boney bloke you wouldn’t look after your children…wham! And the first thing he talks about is the colour of his kidneys! Off you go, Clara Oswin Oswald…

    I reckon this entire Peter Capaldi business is one hell of an experiment. For the first time, we get a “classic” Doctor on the new show, as old as the first one and weird-looking as the fourth one (who used to be the best of the old ones)… I guess they will turn Capaldi into some sort of 21st century Tom Baker, only with a Scottish accent. I hope his outfit will ressemble Tom’s to some degree…raggady looks, weird stuff (can we have a SCARF back???) and those eyes, those eyes…

    Maybe in a way, given it’s a new cycle of regenerations, this is some sort of “revisitation” to the grand old days…they stuff The Curator talked about in the 50th special…

    • Well, technically Capaldi now is the First Doctor all over again, since this is a new cycle of regenerations. Obviously it won’t be addressed that way, but in terms of age and looks it makes sense from that point of view.

      And naturally this new cycle will have slightly different rules. After all, Moffat said that there will be an explanation for why he ended up with a face he had previously run into (Capaldi’s role in “The Fires of Pompeii”), so it may have to do with how he can go back to earlier appearances.

      • It’ll be interesting to see the explanation of that. Capaldi played two different roles in the Doctor Who universe, one is in the Fire of Pompeii and one in Torchwood: Children of Earth.

        • There are interviews in which Moffat mentions that Davies had a theory in mind that tied all of that together, and that he asked him to explain to him when Capaldi was cast into the show once again so he could make use of it. So we’ll find out what that original theory was.

        • I don’t think they have to explain it, although I read somewhere that they will. I think it will over complicate things. It’s always been common in DW, and many other shows for actors to be called back to play different roles. Usually this happens when they have a small one-off part. They impress so much that they get re-used for a greater recurring part later on. Some people don’t notice and most others that do don’t really mind.

          I just don’t want them to go down the “Star Wars” prequel route and feel they have to explain everything.

          • off the top of my head i can think of them doing it once in the new doctor who where an actor was recalled for something, that being freema agyeman, but i dont think they can get away with saying they were related this time lol, it will probably be something like he remembered the face and thought it would be good or something like that. or they might not explain it because it wont matter that much

            • My point wasn’t that I think they should explain it: my point was that Moffat has explicitly stated he will.

              • Yes, I know. I just don’t think Moffat has to do any explaining. I’d rather he’d just get on with it and not make everything so complicated.

                • Well, the way he put it is that Davies originally had this idea. So for Moffat to ask him if he can use it, ideally it should be a pretty good idea. Hopefully we can look forward to a really nifty explanation; not that I expect it’ll play much of a part in the grand scheme, it’ll probably be a funny passing bit.

                  • Maybe it’ll just be that it was a face from his past that he liked and sort of stored in his memory, instead of making it into a complex saga. However, if they include why his new face was in “Torchwood” too, then it might start getting complicated.

            • “i can think of them doing it once in the new doctor who where an actor was recalled for something, that being freema agyeman”

              I can think of three with Capaldi, the other two being Freema (as you mentioned) and Karen Gillian having played one of the soothsayers in the same Pompeii episode Capaldi was in.

              It’s four if you count Eve Myles who appeared in The Unquiet Dead then went on to play Gwen Cooper in Torchwood before appearing as Cooper in The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End. Rose made mention of it because she had met both. It was explained away as Timey-Wimey.

              • Collin Baker was cast as the Gallifreyan Captain of the Guard in a Davidson episode. He was then was cast as the Doctor.

                Romana renerated “into” Princess Astra not two episodes after Astra was on screen, because she thought the Princess was pretty.

                • Thank’s Rob… did you happen to see the statement I was responding to; the one I quoted first thing in my response? Is states: “i can think of them doing it once in the *NEW* doctor who”.

                  I’m well aware of the other instances but none of them are *new* Who, they are all *classic* Who, which is outside the context of the statement and its response.

          • Agree on this. Leave it well enough alone.

            I do recall Colin Baker in a soldier’s uniform before he took over the main role of the Doctor from Davidson.

        • everyone forgets the other time lord the doctor traveled with look up romana and her regeneration she copied astra who turned out to be a segment of the key to time used by the guardins.

    • Glad to see I’m not the only one noticing something Tom Baker-like in Peter Capaldi’s eyes!

  5. Fall 2014! That completely unacceptable. Stop the fiddle Fadle and get on with it there are galaxies to save, children to rescue. Cancel the holidays and get to work.

  6. Capauldi will be great. I just hope too many of the fangirls don’t get turned off by him, and I hpoe the kiddies take to him like a wise granpa.

    I found this on youtube, it’s about scottish portrait painters, but it is hosted by Peter Capauldi. It really is worth watching if you want to get a feel for who Peter Capauldi is and possibly how he will play the Doctor.

    • It’s Capaldi with an A. As to what fangirls might think of him, honestly I’ve had enough of the Doctor being involved in romance for the time being. I’ll be glad if they let him be an adventurer without having to hook up with every single new companion for a while.

      • I totally agree. I only mention it because I wouldn’t want something like his age or looks to affect the ratings and merchandise etc… “Doctor Who” is finally a real money-making machine, and the more successful it is the more who we get. New Who has created a large romantic attatchment..especially with Tennant and Smith. I suppose, like someone else said, it would weed out the true fans, but I don’t want to see people losing interest because the new Doctor actor is 55 and not another 24 year old.

    • Oops. *hope* *grandpa*

      • Oops. Minus the “U” on Capaldi.

  7. I don’t think his age will matter to the fangirls if does an amazing job as the doctor. I mean, look at Hugh Laurie as Dr. House. He was in his 50′s when his show ended and I know alot of girls in high school who still have a big crush on him.
    Age is just a number and Peter’s energy and quick-witted banter on BBC’s The Thick of it proves that he has what it takes to be one hellava doctor.
    This doctor will have plenty of fangirls, don’t you worry.

  8. Yeah, I guess that’s right. I only mention it because it’s what I pick up from what I see and read online. The impression that the fans leave, especially now that DW has so many female fans nowadays compared to the old days.

    On a different note: I’ve just learned that Peter Capaldi is not only a BAFTA winner, but an Oscar winning Director!!! He directed a short film called “Franz Kafka’s it’s a wonderful life” that won the 1995 oscar that year.

  9. I can’t believe we have to wait until the fall to get a proper look at Twelve! Man, why couldn’t Sherlock have more episodes to help hold me over…

  10. even though after the day of the doctor smith referred to himself as the eleventh doctor. i personally still count john hurts ‘war doctor’ as an incarnation of the character. as stated in his very episode, he was the doctor more than anybody else, he was the doctor on the day it was impossible to get it right. as far as i’m concerned, matt was the twelfth doctor and capaldi is number thirteen.

    • Matt Smith’s is actually the thirteenth incarnation. Count (1)William Hartnell, (2)Patrick Troughton, (3)Jon Pertwee, (4)Tom Baker, (5)Peter Davison, (6)Colin Baker, (7)Sylvester McCoy, (8)Paul McGann, (9)John Hurt, (10)Christopher Eccleston, (11)David Tennant, (12)David Tennant, (13)Matt Smith, (14)Peter Capaldi.

      ********** SPOILERS **********

      Recall that the Doctor explains to Clara that Time Lords have twelve regenerations and thirteen incarnations total. He tells her that becoming the War Doctor used up one regeneration and then as the “tenth” he used up another regeneration just enough to heal himself but NOT change and then he poured the remainder of the energy from that into his “handy hand.” Thus allowing for the Meta Crisis that resulted in the amazing (albeit temporary) DoctorDonna.

  11. If they needed to hear the Doctor’s name before coming through the crack, why would they trust it to be him to send a regeneration?

    If they were sure it was the Doctor they would have come through to fight the time war, not send a regeneration to a complete stranger.

    • The theory is that the Doctor would say his name to confirm it was safe to come through the crack. They know its him, they just don’t know if it is safe to come through.

      • So he couldn’t just say ‘It’s safe to come through fellas?’

        He had to expose his name for absolutely no reason whatsoever given that they new it was him?

        LOL, it gets worse.

        • Yeah, it does seem crazy. How are they to know what he sounds like after several regenerations? What if an enemy somehow found out his name and said it to bring them directly into a massacre? They cast him out before they all died so how do they know to trust him never to tell anyone his name?

          • That’s why there is a ‘truth field’ coming from the crack; it stops anyone else from claiming to be the Doctor (on the off chance they learned his birth name).

            Clara’s intervention later on lets the Time Lords know that, whilst the Doctor is actually present and accountable, he is in danger. The Doctor in danger =/= it being safe for the Time Lords to come through.

  12. If you remember the doctor stayed in the town called Christmas for however man hundreds of years without the TARDIS. That’s why he doesn’t know how to fly it

    • Good point. Though I’m worried that they may have The Doctor lose his memory due the new regeneration cycle. I wouldn’t mind if he lost it temporary and gains it back some time in season 8. But I’ll stick to what you’ve said.

  13. too damn short!! it’s like moffat is showing the next doc piece by piece

  14. Absolutely loved the new doctor. Matt Smith is still my favorite though. Here is a collection of best Dr Who moments so far

    http://bit.ly/DrWhoMoments

  15. At the start i really thought that Peter Capaldi said Guinness. No. just new Kidneys. for a moment i thought we would have a pub crawling doctor on our hands. I’m not too sure what to make of him as of yet. did anyone else feel he mumbled his lines.

    the bow tie hitting the floor. it got to me.

    • I’m not gonna lie, I am a bit disappointed that he didn’t keep the tie on so that Capaldi’s first line could be “A bow tie? Who the hell wears a bow tie?”.

  16. -> Nevertheless, longtime viewers will recall that the Doctor is always disoriented following a regeneration…

    Colin Baker and Peter Davidson’s Doctors were really messed up emotionally upon regeneration.

    • Wasn’t the second regeneration a bit dippy, too, and they weren’t too certain about him until he began to prove his mettle. So, it’s nice precedent.

  17. I think the key to Capaldi’s future in the role will be connecting with fans during promotion of the show at events like Comic-Con. Smith had been a tremendous ambassador in that regard which paid off hugely for the show. Capaldi will need to continue that.

  18. The following article perfectly lays out every thought and sentiment I’ve had about the show, Matt Smith and Stephen Moffat. Definitely worth a read for every Whovian.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/12/the-captain-kirk-problem-how-em-doctor-who-em-betrayed-matt-smith/282690/

  19. Fall 2014 ! Settle in for more reruns, DW fans. Why are they making us wait to see a complete episode with ” The Kidney Doctor ” ?? :)
    I think Peter Capaldi will be a fascinating Doctor. A 55 year old actor won’t scare the fans away, even though they’re used to Eccleston, Tennant, & Smith & their comparatively young ages ( ” The Kidney Doctor ” is as old as I am ).
    I can wait, but Fall of this year tests my patience greatly.

  20. Look guys,

    Times have changed…And man am i gonna get hate for this…

    I get it, your all fans of classic who and that’s awesome. But this isn’t classic who and very much should not be, this should have been something new and we are turning it into common gibberish. I get you guys want it to all be “action” and “exciting” and “Boom!” and forget love interests/romance we want it to be all action cuz avengers and did we mention “boom” but that isn’t how shows keep going… You need something to keep your audience and for me (which means a certain part of the audience) i am waiting for the doctor to finally become happy (which he has mentioned in many episodes he is not), and the reasons for the companions are to find someone he can be happy and adventure with, hopefully one he does not have to loose…

    Which was initially the point of rose…Someone he could be happy with, adventure with, and eventually (as it happens, realistically) fell in love with and thought he could be happy with.

    We all have to admit at some point the show cant go on forever which (unlike what many previous entries here have stated) was the purpose behind River, she was not a plot device to make things “important” she was a plot device created (like many other things in the show) as foreshadowing (heavily, and not well) the end of the show, when the doctor has grown old, and who he will settle down with and marry (i realize she has died both in the show and extended universe)

    Now let me explain to you what ive been waiting for, representing a portion of the audience that is not a fanboy of classic, and has not even seen it.

    I loved rose, to the point i honestly believed up until Amy she would be coming back into the show.

    I liked martha alright, actually hoped it would work out but of course…micky?

    Donna i hated but thought she was semi interesting as a character but her memories were erased.

    And i LOVED amy as a character, until it was revealed that unlike micky, rory was going to stick around…even though a love interest was teased throughout the time she and the doctor were together, rory at the time being portrayed as someone who cant do anything without the doctor…

    i almost gave up on the show after that until i found river song (i dont like the casting choice they made, dont need a talking mop on the show) and realized who she was, and stuck around for that.

    They ended that, and are now turning sir who into an old man (as what i assume is his final regeneration after reading comments here, but who knows really he might pull it off, spoilers right?) That said, they are turning him into an old man, which is who river (the self destruct button on dr who as previously mentioned) said she met initially. She said she met a much more mature dr. when they first met. Which can only leave me to believe he is going to die unhappy, or with river, who i strongly detest as a character in the first place. Which eliminates me as an audience, it eliminates a section of people watching unless they are watching for “ooooo dat lenz flahr” which i get was the point of the original show but…

    like star wars, things like that dont work anymore. You need a show with a good story, not CSI in SPAAAACE or Psych….IN SPACCCEE or Law and order but guess what, IN/ TIIIMEEEE or basically (lets drag the show out until it looses meaning to everyone we have taken all the money out of it, it becomes something to laugh at and watch the dr die alone or with a mop (rivers casting choice) while he himself is, a mop.

    I dont want the dr to be an old man, at least not forever, because that signals the shows dramatic decrease (to me) in what makes it interesting (sub plots matter people) it signals the death of the show and one last attempt to make money, and leaves me unsatisfied, which is what you all want…

    Please dont ruin this show because you believe in some twisted idea of what the show should be if it remained stagnant, and grew old and boring and annoying. The people who do that are what is wrong with entertainment today.

    • Actually, dude, you’re not hated (at least not by me). I agree with you (unless with the overall idea, that I don’t want an old Doctor).
      I also agree when you said this isn’t the old show. It’s the new one, and let’s face it, it if they made the show like the old classical one, most people from today wouldn’t stick arround to watch it. What is a show without an audience? I hope they change what they’re doing, because I really don’t think it will go well if they keep with this…

  21. In my opinion the new Doctor felt wrong. And to add a little thing, Mofatt said they wanted to change the doctor style to avoid having more of the same, but you know what? They’re focusing on a darker aproach and if we look at most shows (that are not sitcoms) of today, they’re almost all dark. For me, that’s what’s more of the same. It was great, having an uplifting show (that wasn’t just a stupid comedy), because dark stuff, I think the TV is already full.
    Don’t ger me wrong, I am givind the new Doctor a chance, I will watch the next episodes to see how things turn out. But I must say I’m not enjoying where things are going to.
    About Mofatt, I also agree with what you said. Sometimes he puts the Doctor in positions just to make him feel bad afterwards (and we, with him :P) and also tries to make the Doctor too complicated. Anyway, let’s see how things work out
    for the Doctor and for the series too.

Be Social, Follow Us!!