Doctor Who John Hurrt War Doctor

Published on February 13th, 2014 | by James Lomond

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Moffat: Kids Love John Hurt’s Doctor

How old should the Doctor be? Doctor Who chief Steven Moffat claims children have no problem with older actors in the role.

We beg to differ:

OK that’s not fair – these two young ladies probably misunderstood and thought their beloved Eleventh Doctor was about to be replaced. More concerning is the mother’s comment – what do you mean, “it’s only Doctor Who”?!

Moffat has a window into the response of younger viewers given that he has two sons in their teens to offer an immediate critique of his work. And he seems to be of the opinion that younger viewers very much took to the War Doctor.

In an interview with entertainment magazine site, IGN, he has talked about casting older men as the Doctor with both Peter Capaldi as the next incarnation and John Hurt as a missing incarnation in Day of the Doctor. And the jammy so-and-so has (obviously) had the privilege of seeing the rushes for Capaldi’s first few stories…

I was watching it this morning, and it’s all the difference in the world, because suddenly he’s a man in his 50s with gray hair — and it’s no difference at all. It’s weird. Never mind that, John Hurt’s 73, and how great was he? And kids love the John Hurt Doctor.

He might be right. But that didn’t stop a wave of uncertainty and downright objection to the announcement of Peter Capaldi in the role. But could this be because of the modern phenomenon of the *shexy* Doctor and the slightly different fan-base that has sprung up since the revival?

Personally I’m very excited about Capaldi’s casting and feel that an older Doctor makes more sense. While Matt Smith did wonders with the role, it was the first time that I was older than the actor in the role (horrors!) and I’m a fan of the more avuncular, less boyfriendy version of our hero.

What do you think Kasterborites – older, younger or anything goes? Tell us below…

(Via IGN.)

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14 Responses to Moffat: Kids Love John Hurt’s Doctor

  1. avatar Christine says:

    Anything goes really, but I am very pleased that we’re now getting a somewhat older one. I enjoyed having younger Doctors, but it’s good that both young and mature actors can be the Doctor. And now it is time for a more mature one! I really am looking forward to it.

    • avatar Al says:

      What I find weird are the people moaning about Capaldi’s age yet in the same breath saying they wish Helen Mirren had been cast – yet she’s only a couple tears younger than John Hurt! Or my favorite – those who whine about Capaldi’s age, yet they want McGann back, and he’s a whole year younger than Capaldi.

  2. avatar lee moone says:

    Yeah I think any Dr goes, and that’s the beauty of the show. I prefer older Docs and as a kid watching Troughton – Baker it never occurred to me that this man was old. I mean of course he was, but he was young at heart(s) for me, and millions like me, to connect with him. I’m sure the ‘sexy’ Drs of the revival has helped catapult the new series to heights that it’s never seen before and made it accessible to more girls, but the Dr is still the Dr no matter what face he wears. It is time for a fresh look at the Dr and I certainly think it won’t hurt having an older man as a role model, it’s a rare thing these days!

  3. avatar Spider-pope says:

    My kids enjoyed Hurt’s older, gruffer Doctor. And so did i. I’d love it if we saw Hurt again or if Big Finish could talk him into doing some Time War audios.

  4. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    I haven’t heard one single complaint about Capaldi coming in but I’m sure someone’s unhappy because there are always complainers about anyone and anything.

    Little kids are fine with Capaldi or any other older Doctors. I think the main problem would probably be the “fans” who only liked the previous Doctors because they were “hot” and thus, I don’t really regard them as fans at all and we’d be better off without them anyway. Produce quality shows and the age of the Doctor is pretty much irrelevant.


    • I wanted Ben Daniels as The Doctor. Not everyone who didn’t want Capaldi is a “complainer”. As for little kids, I hardly see why they matter. They make up a very (and by very I mean very) small portion of the audience. The last time Worldwide released audience figures in 2011, people under 16 made about 19% of the audience so they don’t really count.

      • avatar Geoff says:

        I wouldn’t say a fifth of the audience don’t count personally.

  5. avatar Roger says:

    I’m looking forward to Capaldi as the doctor! And I loved Hurt’s Doctor as well. I don’t get why so many people believe that the Doctor should progressively get younger.

  6. avatar jams says:

    john hurt should be Doctor

  7. avatar Al says:

    In December Capaldi attended a stage play Tom Hiddleston was appearing in. The two came out the stage door together. They were mobbed by young women who wanted photographs and autographs from — Capaldi (it was reported in the UK media). There are reaction videos online of young women crying as Smith regenerated, but immediately perking up and smiling as Capaldi appears. I’ve seen him referred to as sexy in the photos of his new costume. I’m not worried.

    • avatar James Lomond says:

      Do you mean like this young lady? Good lord. I wish I had such a visceral reaction to watching Doctor Who! Am I missing something?? She’s literally shaking with emotion – Ima re-watch Web of Fear and this time I’ll leave the tea-bag in… (watch from 6min in where the Doctor is saying goodbye to his Am hallucination) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1stEwsLc9nM&t=6m0s

  8. avatar Geoff says:

    I think it’s good to change and shake it up a bit. In terms of age and general accessibility to a young audience Matt and David were similar. We all know SM intended to cast an older Doctor that time but then Matt stumbled through the door all mad hair and lunacy and changed his mind. This time he seems more determined to stick to his guns on it. I suppose it’s the opposite of when Peter Davison was cast after Tom Baker.
    On the War Doctor, my son is 5 and really likes him because he tells the other Doctors off when they are silly! I think kids lik grumpy old wizards so we shoukd be ok there.

  9. avatar Jamie-42 says:

    Let’s be honest, the kids won’t care. In their eyes all the Doctors have been old.

    As far as my kids are concerned I am ancient because I remember B&W TV and a time before the internet…and I’m only 40!!!!!

  10. avatar R.J. says:

    I don’t think kids are bothered how old the Doctor is. They’ll probably think of him as some nicely bonkers uncle who shows them all this cool stuff. I’m pleased we’re getting an older Doctor following two pretty young things ;) – not that they weren’t great!
    By the way, I have a massive crush on Peter Capaldi and I’m only in my 30s – I reckon the mourning fan-girls will get over it!

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