Monday, 5 August 2013

In another time, another place.

Doctor Who logo
New Doctor ?

So they finally announced it. The new Doctor Who is Peter Capaldi. This guy that played the angry, sweary, spin doctor, Malcolm Tucker in the series 'The Thick Of It'. He's also made an appearance as the father of a Roman family who the Doctor spares from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the David Tennant story 'The Fires Of Pompeii' (ironically also the first appearance of Karen Gillan). He also appeared in Torchwood - Children Of Earth.

With a departure from the younger Doctors, Capaldi is 55 years old. The same age as William Hartnell when he was cast as the very first Doctor way back in 1963.

With much pomp, ceremony his appointment as the next man to control the Tardis was revealed to the nation on a live show on Sunday night.

Already the buzz on the internet of 'who is it' ?, or 'who can it be..I wish it was...' the endless speculation since Matt Smith revealed in June that he would be leaving the show has been replaced by two camps of viewer.

Either those that love the idea. Or those that hate it.

The internet isn't a place where people without an extreme opinion seem to get heard much.

Personally I think it's an interesting choice. It'll be good to see how he takes over, and develops the role, how the scripts change. What sort of Doctor will he be ? Will he be more like Hartnell and Eccelston, distant and authoritarian ?

Peter Capaldi
Peter Capaldi. Older, not so sweet Doctor ? 
I'm sure that some of those saying they'll never watch the show again, may actually keep their word, and stop watching. The vast majority though will suck it up, and find themselves drawn in as the new Doctor takes his first strides about the console room in the Tardis. Soon forgotten their rejection of a man's performance without even seeing him in action.

The only slight disappointment for me was that I really wanted us to have a female doctor. It would be about bloody time. The doctors have all (so far) been a selection of white men.

In an interview in the show revealing the next doctor show head writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat went very clearly on record as saying that he felt strongly that it was about time for a female Doctor. After all, if we can have a female Prime-Minister, and the Americans can have a black president, it seems a bit unimaginative for us not to have either represented in the longest running science fiction show in the world.

There's also the whole argument about the Doctor only having 12 regenerations. Capaldi will be the 12th Doctor. Now, do you count the number of bodies as the regeneration, or do you count the number of times he's regenerated. Is it inclusive ?

I'm sure twisting our heads around one more regeneration isn't something we'll have to worry about, there'll be some clever way for the Doctor to 'refresh' the number of regenerations he has, or indeed for that limit to be explained away. It's all in the writing after all. Such is the nature of drama, let alone drama where you have the ability to break the laws of physics on a weekly basis. Other science fictions shows use reality breaking time paradoxes every now and then. Doctor Who eats, breathes and shits reality breaking time paradoxes.

Temporal schism ? Bring it the fuck on.

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