A new Doctor has been found and, now, has finally been revealed. After much speculation as to who would replace Matt Smith in the iconic role, famed Scottish actor Peter Capaldi was revealed on Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor as the next actor to become the Doctor. Should fans be excited to have an older Doctor?
Capaldi, who starred in the spin-off series’ Torchwood: Children of Earth, was actually on the short list of actors many thought might fill the role. In the UK, he’s most famously known as the star of the long-running comedy series The Thick of It, which is in the vein of HBO’s Veep. Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurtiwtz was at one time enlisted to create an American adaptation.
Of course, fans aren’t likely going to have issue with a well-known comedic actor stepping in to the legendary role; it’ll likely be his age. Capaldi, who is 55, isn’t the oldest actor the play the Doctor but… not by much. William Hartnell, who played the First Doctor at age 55, is still the oldest actor to play the character, besting Capaldi by just a few months. But will the switch from Matt Smith, the youngest actor to play the role, to Capaldi appease the series’ ever growing fanbase?
Although a few might think it’s odd to have an older actor step in to the role of the Doctor – especially with its young audience – there are more than enough reasons to be excited about what’s to come, and what Capaldi can bring to the role. With the younger Smith, grand adventures of exploration is what best fits the character. Sure, Smith can deliver a dramatic monologue like the best of them, but the overall series was at its best when he was able to take advantage of his youthful exuberance.
With Capaldi stepping in to the role, Moffat will be able to make the Doctor more introspective, more aware of his actions. And since age equals experience, audiences are more likely to believe it, thus allowing Moffat to more earnestly explore the weighted past of everyone’s favorite Time Lord without having to worry about writing “run, you clever boy” all too often. And after this season, perhaps a change will be good for the series overall.
In Doctor Who season 7, though it had quite a few fantastic, standalone episodes, the overall story-arc was weak, and the use of editing tricked audiences into believing that answers to long-standing questions were going to come in the next episode (and they never did). So while some may not yet be on board with Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, everyone should be excited about the fact that Moffat and Co. have a new muse, allowing them to take the character in many new directions that they previously couldn’t.
Still, fans of Smith have the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary and the Doctor Who Christmas Special left, allowing everyone some time to get used to the fact that he will no longer be on the series. And though no one really knows what to expect from the upcoming, final adventures with the Doctor, Moffat surely won’t disappoint.
Doctor Who returns for its 50th Anniversary Special on November 23