Monday, August 5, 2013

We have a new Doctor





Everybody else is talking about Doctor Who so why not me?

That's right.  After months of hyperhidrosis and hangnails, there's white smoke coming out of the BBC chimney.  That means we have a new Doctor for the legendary British science fiction series, Doctor Who.

Peter Capaldi has landed the role and becomes what is colloquially referred to as "the twelfth Doctor."  This is not the first time that Capaldi has appeared on the show, having guested in the episode, "The Fires of Pompeii."  However, it is the first time that someone with an Oscar will be playing the Doctor.   Capaldi won an Oscar for Best Short Live Action Film.

For the uninitiated...and if you are unfamiliar with Doctor Who I give you great thanks for reading even this far...the Doctor is a Time Lord.  This means that he can regenerate into an entirely new form with a different personality.  Not only do said Time Lords have a life cycle, but reactions to and feelings on new Doctors appear to go through a cycle of sorts as well.

When a new Doctor is announced, the reaction often seems to be one of dismay.  "This guy isn't right," "he's too young/old," "they should have cast a woman," and so forth.  As episodes featuring the new lead begin to air, this reaction begins to temper into one of "he's okay I guess."  A season or so goes by and the attitude becomes "he is the absolute best Doctor ever."  Finally, as the actor announces it is time for him (and hopefully one day her) to move on, fans react with outcry.  "No!  He can't go!  He's irreplaceable!"

It looks like we're back at the beginning of a new cycle.  There is a camp out there in fandom that seems to be of the opinion that Peter Capaldi is too old.  This, I suppose, is in comparison with the three "modern era/reboot" Doctors that came before him.  I'd rather we wait and see on this point.

I'm excited to see what Capaldi may bring to the role.  While I haven't seen him work as an actor before (except in this summer's World War Z where he played...ironically...a W.H.O. doctor), I get the sense of something heavy about him.  We may see a Doctor with a little less niceness this time around...and I don't think that's such a bad thing.

One other point: Capaldi is a lifelong Doctor Who fan.  Check out this letter he wrote regarding the show when he as at the tender age of 15. Also, set the TARDIS to the past and click here for more ESE articles on Doctor Who.





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