Monday, August 12, 2013

Peter Capaldi is the Twelfth Doctor

Do I like the casting choice for the Twelfth Doctor? I’ve been asked more than a couple of times this past week. Yes, of course I do.

Art by Stephen Byrne
I’m one of the many fans quietly and not-so-quietly just rejoicing in the return to ‘normality’ of having a Doctor older than me piloting the TARDIS once more. I’m also happy that Capaldi is a man with whose work I am familiar – Local Hero was one of my first DVD purchases, and remains in my top five films, and while many might naturally draw a thread between Capaldi’s latest role to his most recent TV one (I’m talking Malcolm Tucker, of course, not Cardinal Richlieu) I know from the other productions I’ve followed him in (The Cloning of Joanna May, Lair of the White Worm, Torchwood: Children of Earth et al) that he’s a man of many faces and abilities. Now time travel is to be added to these.

I’m also intrigued that Capaldi has in a way been down this road before, or nearly. Of course he had a supporting role in 2009’s The Fires of Pompeii, but before that and Torchwood he was one of many actors on a list for possible Eighth Doctors before Paul McGann got the nod. I hope Capaldi has more screen success with the role than his junior of two years does, at least. It strikes me that 55 is not a bad age to be associated with a role that some actors have rightly or wrongly viewed as a straitjacket role-wise, and perhaps this role coming after The Thick of It signals the kind of Doctor we might have with Capaldi – outwardly older, but potentially less abrasive than his Tucker character (certainly with less of the colourful language.) The other aspect which might also direct Capaldi’s characterisation is his own lifelong fandom, a confessed adulation which doesn’t appear to have hurt predecessor David Tennant in admitting. Tennant’s Doctor is/was, fittingly, Peter Davison’s Fifth, whereas Capaldi seems to have come of age somewhere around Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor era - a silver-haired younger/older statesman with a quick wit and penchant for results with little hand-wringing.

Sounds like a great place to start, for me!

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