Peter Capaldi has revealed he was asked to stay on Doctor Who past season 10. Doctor Who season 10 will make its debut this coming weekend, and will be the last season with Capaldi starring as the Doctor. It will also be the last season with Steven Moffat as showrunner. Much has been made of who Capaldi's successor could be, and whether the next Doctor will be a male or female, but the BBC and incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall insist no decision has been made yet.
Many predicted Capaldi's leaving before it happened; after all, at the end of season 10 he will have been the Doctor for three seasons, on a level with Matt Smith and David Tennant before him. Not only that, but it seemed logical that the main star and the showrunner depart the show together, thus paving the way for Chibnall to start completely fresh.
Speaking to the NY Times, Capaldi revealed that instead of that being the intention, he was actually asked to stay on past season 11, but he made the decision to quit while he's ahead, as it were:
"Oh, no, they asked me to stay on. And I love this show. But I began to get worried about my capacity to deliver my best work. The schedule is very intense, and I began to wonder, how many different ways can I find to say, “The time vortex is going to open up and destroy the entire universe as we know it, unless we blow up that model spaceship over there”? It concerned me that if I did more, yes, I’d be able to do it, but I’d just be phoning it in. And I didn’t ever want to be in that situation."
It's a bold and noble decision for Capaldi to make, and no doubt stems from having been a fan of the show for so long, meaning he's able to put it before his own desire to stay on as the Doctor. If he had decided to stay in place, then Capaldi would have become the longest serving Doctor.
As it is, he will now regenerate at some point, either the end of this season or during the 2017 Christmas special; Capaldi doesn't officially depart the TARDIS until then, but the season 10 trailer showed the beginnings of the regeneration taking place. It is also rumored that season 10 will be Pearl Mackie's first and only season as the Doctor's companion, Bill Potts. Again, Chibnall is quick to stress that no decision regarding any casting for season 11 has taken place yet, but it would seem logical for a completely new Doctor and companion to join a completely new showrunner in the next Doctor Who adventure.
Doctor Who season 10 begins with 'The Pilot' on BBC1 and BBC America on Saturday, April 15th.
Source: NY Times