Photo Credit, BBC & Doctor Who 24/7
This Sunday fans of the international sensation Doctor Who, the longest running science fiction show in the world, were glued to their televisions and Twitter feeds as the BBC announced who would replace Matt Smith as famed Doctor. Speculation ran rampant but no one could have suspected actor Peter Capaldi would be their choice!
A virtual unknown, Capaldi is a striking difference from many of the modern incarnations of the Doctor. While many may not fully support the choice to go with an older, lesser-known actor for the prestigious role there is some logic to it if you look at Doctor Who as a whole.
Let us not forget that it was the elderly William Hartnell that founded the role in the early 60s and for much of the show’s existence the Doctor has been much older. It was only recently, during the Stephen Moffat-era that people came to know an increasingly younger Doctor. Matt Smith, who currently holds the mantle until Capaldi takes over in November, is actually the youngest person playing the role.
In many ways choosing an older actor allows the show to get back to its roots of the eccentric Doctor with his TARDIS. What does it means for the show?
Odds are it will change the tone drastically and bring in an older demographic. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it will allow the show to spread its wings a bit more and try new approaches to stories. One of the perks of being a show that has a new actor playing the main character is the creators can essentially reboot the series whenever they like. When Matt Smith came in the show took a totally different approach and even went so far as to remodel the TARDIS to reflect his personality. I’m sure the same will be done with the new Doctor.
Those that are worried Capaldi lacks the ability to be eccentric or wild just because of his age should take a look at the Patrick Troughton and John Pertwee years. Both were past their prime when they took the role and they each made it their own. As a long-time fan of the series, I can’t wait to see what new direction the show takes in the Capaldi-era.
I can promise you one thing though. It won’t be quiet, it won’t be safe, and it won’t be calm. But I’ll tell you what it will be: The trip of a lifetime!