Sunday, August 4, 2013

Who Are You?

Born 1958
(before Doctor Who premiered)

Well, at long last we have the 12th Doctor: Peter Capaldi.  Curiously, he is referred to as the 12th Doctor, which makes for a strange turn given that in The Name of the Doctor, we had "John Hurt As The Doctor".  Therefore, if you count him, we already have TWELVE Doctors, making Capaldi perhaps technically the Thirteenth Doctor. 

If this is the case, then we have a problem.  The Fourth Doctor story The Deadly Assassin established that a Time Lord can regenerate only twelve times.  The whole story hinged on the idea because the Master, on his final regeneration, was determined to live on.  The Sixth Doctor's season-long Trial of a Time Lord established the Valeyard, the villain of the piece, was himself a dark version of the Doctor between his twelfth and final (ie. his thirteenth) regeneration. 

Again and again we have the series pre-Rose establish that there can be only twelve regenerations.  Still, since when have such matters as continuity and logic ever stopped NuWho? 

As I understand it from NuWho fans, "You don't apply logic to Doctor Who."  I think you don't apply logic to NuWho fans, but I digress.

Sadly for the Master, that Legendary Legend of Legendness River Song wasn't around to bail his butt out of this particular situation (or ALL situations if we judge by the Smith Era).  I can make a strong argument that River Song cannot regenerate because she is human and the idea that a non-Time Lord regenerating is an impossibility.  I know the story is that because her parents Amy & Rory WILLIAMS (not Pond, sorry NuWhovians) schtupped in the TARDIS their sperm and egg were exposed to the Time Vortex and thus their child, conceived by the Power of the Holy TARDIS, was able to regenerate.  It also gives an out for more Doctors as River "gave up her remaining regenerations to The Doctor" (again, an impossibility).

It was pointed out to me that in The Five Doctors, the High Council offered the Master a new regeneration cycle, so transference is possible.  However, it was the High Council who made the offer, not some psychopathic slut. 

In any case, let us turn not to the 12th (for now) Doctor, but to the Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor special.  Has there ever been such a grandiose entrance to a fictional character? 

Yes, I watched it, but I found it all rather tawdry.  It was once a very simple thing: an actor announced he was leaving, there was a search, then a press announcement and conference for the newest Time Lord.

Oh, but we couldn't have THAT for today, now could we?  We turned this into an EVENT, a spectacle, something tantamount to the Second Coming. 

Tease, tease, tease... 

Finally, when the announcement was made, as could be expected, fools made their views known.
Wrote someone on Capaldi's Wikipedia entry:

"He is to be the Twelfth Doctor in Doctor Who. Bummer."

So much for Wikipedia being the fount of all knowledge.  It was quickly edited out to a more professional tone, but still amusing.

It's a curious thing that at 55, Capaldi ties the First Doctor (William Hartnell) for being the oldest actor to play the Doctor.  This time, the oldest actor to play the Doctor follows the youngest actor to play the Doctor (11the Doctor Matt Smith being 27 when his tenure began). 

I have no idea who Peter Capaldi is, which is both good and bad.  I said the same thing about Matt Smith, and ended up HATING his take on the Doctor (goofy, grinning idiot who did nothing but whip out his handy-dandy sonic screwdriver to solve anything...or turn to River to fix it for him). 

I learned he is no stranger to Doctor Who.  He had already appeared in The Fires of Pompeii, but this is not a hindrance.  Colin Baker appeared in the Fifth Doctor story Arc of Infinity in a prominent role only to go on to be the Sixth Doctor, so anything can happen.  Curiously, the show never addressed his similarity to the character of Maxil in that story...

In any case it is too soon to speculate how good or bad he will be.  I like the idea that they went older and for a relative unknown rather than say a Rupert Grint or Skyfall's Ben Whishaw.  Maybe if one gets an older actor the character can be serious again. 

Dear God I hope the character is serious again...

Well, nothing to be said about Peter Capaldi as the 12th (or 13th) Doctor until the Christmas Special.

I wish him well, and pray he doesn't screw it up like Matt Smith did. 

Let Us Pray...


  1. Capaldi's casting is a solid choice I believe, he is a relative unknown so there are almost no preconceived notices about his how he will play the character. In general, I am an optimistic person when it comes to things like this, but I will hold my judgment until first appearance. I am curious though, if Clara will continue to be his companion.


  2. I think there have been only 3 times when the Doctor didn't 'inherit' the Companion: Doctors 3, 8, and 11. W/'The Impossible Girl' storyline finished, I think Clara's character can move on. Also, it would be strange if Coleman left since she would have been there for half a season. Minus a truly shocking event on Nov. 23, I think Clara will still be around for at least part of Capaldi's tenure.

    In regards to any romance, I think it would be a plus to NOT have that w/in the story. There's a 28-year-gap, that's true, but one thing I disliked about NuWho was the idea that almost EVERY Companion was in love/lust w/the Doctor; w/the exception of Donna & Rory I think every Companion was hampered by their desire for the Doctor. Pertwee always said that the Doctor was fond of his Companions, but fondness was quite different from desire, adding there was never a hint of romance between them.

    Given some of his previous Companions (Leela, Jo Grant, Sarah Jane Smith, both Romanas), it's amazing the Doctor never noticed how gorgeous they were.

    Besides, why should a 28-year-gap bother anyone? There's a 20-year-gap between Alex Kingston & Matt Smith, so what's the difference?

    Ultimately, I too am hoping for the best and hope Clara & Capaldi adopt a 'father/daughter' type relationship.


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