As I mentioned earlier this summer, Matt Smith, the current star of Doctor Who, has decided that this is his final season with the show. I’ve still not really dealt with that disappointment, and it’s entirely possible that there will be tears when it comes regeneration time, but it’s time to start moving on. To almost-quote Four, the end is near, but the moment has been prepared for.
This past weekend, with much fanfare, the BBC announced their selection for Twelve: Peter Capaldi. I don’t know the guy, so I can’t really form much of an opinion, though I suppose he’s got a decent look for the Doctor. On the other hand, I was really getting used to a younger incarnation. Eleven may be the youngest, but his two immediate predecessors were also both youngish (comparatively speaking), and I’ve found that I sort of like that. It seems to make the character more relatable somehow, though I suppose viewers older than I might think of them as children, and younger viewers still might think of them as old, so maybe relatable is all relative. But Christopher Eccleston (Nine) is practically my same age and David Tennant (Ten) is only seven or eight years younger, so they’re very contemporary for me. (They also are not much older than Tom Baker was when he played Four, my favorite incarnation). And I guess because I still like to think of myself as young, I like to pretend that Smith is my contemporary, too. Though, in truth, Capaldi isn’t that much older than Eccleston (or me), it’s just a pretty big change from Smith, so it’ll be a bit jarring for a while.
And, I suppose there are some who would believe I should have my Whovian card revoked because even though Capaldi guested in an earlier episode (one with Tennant), I don’t really remember him. Some folks are saying it’s going to be hard to accept him as the Doctor since they already think of him as a different character within the Who-verse, but I won’t have that problem. They’re also saying similar things because he had a recurring role in Torchwood, a spin-off of Doctor Who, but I’ve never seen it, so I’m still problem free.
So what it boils down to is this: I’ve been a Doctor Who fan a long time; I’ve watched ten of the incarnations (somehow I completely missed out on Eight) and mostly enjoyed them all (I found Seven pretty iffy, likely the reason for missing his successor), so I’m certainly going to give Twelve a chance. And, really, the current show runners seem to have a good grip on the character, so I’m going to trust that they’ve seen something positive in Capaldi and that he really is the best choice. And most important, I want to like him, even though change is hard. But I’m still going to mourn the passing of Eleven, and know that Twelve has a lot to live up to.