Welcome to the latest installment of Exploring Doctor Who, where I will take a few minutes to talk about the latest incarnation of the Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi.
For those of you who have been following me for a while, I started this series last year after meeting Sylvester McCoy at Space City Con in August of 2013. While briefly talking with the Seventh Doctor, I realized that I had never watched the television series. (A few years before, a friend of mine tried to break me into Doctor Who with Blink, which was a TERRIBLE idea). So, last September, I started watching the show via Netflix to share my impressions of the show with my readers.
As I write this, only four episodes of Capaldi’s Doctor have aired: Deep Breath, Into the Dalek, Robot of Sherwood, and Listen. Be warned that if you have not caught up on the episodes, there is a risk that I will spoil them in this post. I’m not doing a play-by-play in this blog, but some of my impressions might spoil people who aren’t caught up.
Catch up to me and return.
Seriously, go watch it then come back.
Now don’t complain if I spoil the show for you.
Now, my 5 Early Impressions of Capaldi’s Doctor
1. The new titles:
The title sequence is fan-made, or at least fan-inspired. I don’t really like how the music has changed, but I dig the clock thing. Many of my friends disagree with me, but I think this is a great chance to look back to the previous doctors (with the cheesy clock theme) while looking forward to the doctor’s latest adventures.
It’s been around for a long time that Capaldi planned on keeping his beautiful natural accent in his role as the Doctor. And he’s proud of his new identity: seemingly hating the ‘weird English accents’ of his friends, discussing his angry Scottish eyebrows plan to rule an independent state (and so on).
I think the Scottish-ness of the doctor comes from his relationship with Amy.
If you have time, look at this interesting blog written by Emily Asher-Perrin at Tor.com, “Not some New Man: The Hidden Pattern behind the Doctor’s Regenerations.” She theorizes that the appearance, demeanor, and personality of each incarnation of the Doctor are heavily influenced by their state of mind prior to the regeneration. (For example, #10 is ‘Rose’s Doctah’ because as #9 he felt like he needed to become the perfect guy for her.
My theory here builds and extrapolates from Asher-Perrin’s. By the time 11 regenerated, he’d lived a long, long time. He started out looking youthful, surrounded by a family, and traveling the galaxy with his Scottish mother-in-law, but by the time he was ready to die, he’d lived a long time as a “crotchety old man” on a planet where he was the warrior, the protector, the rebel against an overwhelming force. He had fond memories of his Scottish mother-in-law (even hallucinating her in his last moments).
But by the time he ‘sneezed and turned into Peter Capaldi,’ he’d become used to being the rebellious old man, cantankerous, and independent. New doctor doesn’t like hugging (Let’s face it, #11 loved physical contact) perhaps because he is afraid (as the Doctor always is) of losing his loved ones, again.
3. Danny Pink:
I think Danny is an interesting guy: a soldier, someone to attract Clara’s interest, maybe even someone who really needs help from the Doctor. Because no matter how many people Pink may (or may not have) killed in the War, The Doctor has killed more. I know Danny is supposed to take a bigger part in the series in weeks to come, and that the Doctor has proclaimed “no soldiers,” so I’m wondering what will happen. Will Danny join the TARDIS? I hope so.
And apparently, he’s going to be in a ‘relationship’ with Clara.
4. Missy/The Garden/Paradise:
She calls herself the Doctor’s girlfriend, talks like she has an existing relationship with the Doctor and has known him for years, much like our earliest impressions of River Song. But “who is she?”
There are some thoughts that she might be The Rani. Or River in a different regeneration. Or Clara.
I think the lady is just SOMEONE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. I hope she is. I’ll feel robbed if she’s River, or Clara, or the Rani, or any other character we’ve already met.
Not that I’ll quit watching if she is one of the above.
5. Looking backwards and forwards:
Deep Breath was one long, wonderful episode pointing towards Tennant’s reign as the Doctor, with the Clockwork people, “I know this face,” and to 11’s (Dinosaur? Come on!). There was even mention of him ‘selling his pocket watch’ to buy clothes.
Clara’s visit to the Barn in Listen: She knew the Barn from the 50th anniversary special, she knew who she was talking to. It was Clara who told the Doctor “Fear makes Companions of us all,” a quote the Doctor himself used in his early televised adventures.
I think this relates well with the new titles, and I’m curious as to how the running stories of season 8 are going to play out.
For those who want to read my impressions of the earlier Doctors:
The First Three Doctors: (Interesting introduction).
Doctors 4-6 The Fifth doctor was the first I actually cared about. He’s still my favorite classic doctor.
Doctor #7: Bird poop is good for the complexion.
Doctor 9: I wonder if the war on terror was a heavy influence on the portrayal of the Time War.
Doctor 10 : I maintain that it needed to be said.
Doctor 11: The doctor who tried to be too human.
The 2013 Christmas Special: I wanna see Jack Harkness go to Church! ^^
Then, there’s 10 Things I hate about Who where I discussed things that I really do not like about Doctor Who.