They say the only things certain in life are death and taxes. I would add to that by saying the only other certainty in life is that Doctor Who will regenerate. And it always seems to happen just when you got used to a new Doctor and still want to see more of him. I understand you should leave them wanting more, but it would be nice for a Doctor to overstay his welcome one of these days.
If you hadn’t heard, Peter Capaldi is calling it quits after next year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special. We’ll have another season and special from him, but I still don’t feel that will be enough. It took this Doctor a little while to find his stride, but he kicked off last season with a bang (that was well over a year ago, they opted to take a year off). But still, I don’t feel this Doctor has yet to have his most memorable episode. Let’s hope it’s waiting for us in the new batch.
When Peter Capaldi was cast, some feared the new generation of Whovians would not be able to get into an older Doctor. His first episode was spent convincing Clara that he’s still the same guy, in turn trying to convince the audience. I never had a problem with Capaldi. I though he did a great job giving a more curmudgeon take on the character. I never felt the writing of his first season really gave him a chance to make Who his own.
I will do my best not to complain (too much) about Clara. She is probably my least favorite companion of all-time. Her sense of entitlement with The Doctor has always bugged me. So maybe my opinion was biased because of that, but I didn’t feel she complimented Capaldi very well. Though I’d have to say the “Under The Lake” and “Before the Flood” two-parter were probably their best. A pretty close second is “The Magician’s Apprentice” and “The Witch’s Familiar”.
In “The Magician’s Apprentice,” we see the Doctor for the first time that season as he’s blasting out tunes on an electric guitar. He’s come a long way from the Second Doctor’s flute. Suddenly Capaldi was a little more cool and a little less “Get off my lawn!” But he’s still not that warm and fuzz, he hates to hug and his tag line is “Shut Up!”
Next season looks like they’re taking it back to classic Doctor and companion storytelling. The Doctor’s new companion is a girl named Bill, played by Pearl Mackie. From the previews it looks like she’s the classic companion who is questioning everything they encounter. It will be fun to see how Capaldi’s Doctor deals with that.
I will have to say, when the time comes to say good-bye to the Twelfth Doctor, I’m going to feel a little sad. But something tells me that he’ll go out with the hard edge that he’s known for. And if we do start to cry at his departure, I’m sure he’ll tell us to “Shut Up!”
Doctors may regenerate, but they never go away. They stick around in comics and some in Big Finish audios. And, of course, t-shirts. So let’s celebrate Capaldi’s last year by wearing some shirts in his honor.