Doctor Who News Peter Capaldi - Pompeii

Published on February 24th, 2014 | by Philip Bates

Speculation on ‘One-Season’ Capaldi

Yes, this beast has raised its ugly head again. Could Peter Capaldi leave after just one series of Doctor Who? Well, of course he could. Is it likely? Well… Not as far as I’m concerned.

The Mirror‘s Richard Beech has seen fit to fill this slow news day with speculation based on rumours from unknown sources that Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, could do ‘A Christopher Eccleston.’ That is to say, stay for only one 13-episode run. Beech says:

But recent rumours and gossip suggest that Peter Capaldi was selected as a ‘single season Doctor’ in order to steer the show in a new direction and pave the way for an even more radical (and possibly more controversial) choice for the role.”

I don’t really think Capaldi was a “radical” choice for the part. At all. And why would we need a ‘transitional’ Doctor just to steer the Beeb’s big hit series into a new direction? It sounds stupid to take someone on to usher in a new tone for Doctor Who, and then go, “right, off you go – back to The Musketeers with you.” (Who says ‘season’ for the new show these days anyway?) Beech goes on to ask:

So let’s imagine that Doctor Who is due a major new direction, who could take on the role, make it different, and take it forward?

Or is ‘new direction’ actually a secret code for something much bigger, for the end of Steven Moffat’s stewardship? This would be a circumstance which would also certainly almost involve a new Doctor and a new companion – as with the transition from Russell T Davies to Steven Moffat.

Finally, he notes how much work goes into casting new leads to pilot the TARDIS. Surely the BBC wouldn’t want all that circus so soon after the last performance. Mind you, Beech does go on to praise Steven Moffat:

Doctor Who is bigger than ever, the brand has expanded unthinkably and you have to give him credit for almost all of it. He will go down in history as one of the most important and influential people ever involved in the show.

If he steps down at the end of the next season, he will have lasted around the same amount of time as Russell T Davies.

Who knows – maybe a new head writer may have already been chosen, and they may have already chosen a new Doctor and a new companion with which to announce a new era of Doctor Who.

Nice to hear some credit where it’s due!

Anything is possible. It’s Doctor Who. But let’s not forget that Capaldi is a huge fan of the show; if you were given your dream role, would you only sign up for one year? Matt Smith was supposedly contracted for three years initially, with the option for more, so has Capaldi been offered just one year as the good Doc…? Over to you, folks.


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About the Author


When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything.

53 Responses to Speculation on ‘One-Season’ Capaldi

  1. avatar frozenoak says:

    Unless theres been a massive falling out, I can’t see it myself.All that was put together to announce Capaldi, and the fact its been his dream for years,puts me firmly in the no chance camp!.

  2. avatar Chris Eccleston says:

    the only reason that make sense this way: They want to set a female doctor….. Think about it….

    • avatar Turlough says:

      The Doctor IS a male. I don’t know how people don’t understand this. He doesn’t become a different person, he is the same man with a different face. This isn’t Quantum Leap.

  3. avatar Jason says:

    If they get rid of Clara, I’ll cry, I don’t think anyone could replace her, unless they come up with a group like Amy and Rory.

    • avatar Jason says:

      And even that would be a poor substitute, now that I think about it.

  4. I think Peter Capaldi is going to be brilliant as The Doctor and I can’t wait to see him in action. My daughter is looking forward to seeing him, too. We would be sad if he only had one season.

  5. avatar lozpot says:

    I did think this initially when he was cast. I really hope it’s not true and I actually doubt it is. The reason I don’t think it’s true is because it wouldn’t be good for the show. I think it would damage the show internationally. If anything, after three years of never knowing when the show is on and split seasons, this show needs a few years of stability. Plus, we really don’t need all that media ‘he/she’ crap again just yet.

  6. There are several reasons why this is almost certainly bobbins:

    1. I find it hard to believe a fan as fannish as Capaldi will get his dream role and just say, “Right, yeah, a year’s enough.”
    2. Although Eccleston was only around for a year, it could be construed that the Ninth Doctor was around for some time beforehand. I doubt the Twelfth will be so careless as to only last a year. (Unless he trips over a brick.)
    3. I’ve read interviews with Moffat where he decribes series 8 as Capaldi’s “first season”. So far, it’s not included the words “and only”.
    4. Remember: “sources close to the production” = “the writer of the article”
    5. And: “Newspaper X has been right 50% of the time” = “Newspaper X has been WRONG 50% of the time.” Remember the misses as well as the hits.

  7. avatar Page says:

    can we not call the BBC the “Beebs” because unfortunately it’s what Bieber fans call him.

  8. avatar Hillary says:

    I think Capaldi will be back if the ratings are good. Since he’s more mature, some female fans may not like him. We don’t know the first thing about the sort of Dr. he will be. I would think that they would be cautious with the length of his contract because of concers regarding his age, and how young fans will react to him. As an old fan, I grew up with Drs who weren’t sexy at all, and we were ok with that, but times are different. I like Capaldi, but I am not a young fan girl, and that dynamic is a huge part of the success of the show. I suspect that the ratings will dictate the length of his stay. Only time and ratings will tell.

  9. avatar kaia69 says:

    Last thing I knew is that 12 was the doctors last regen because there can only be 13 and 10 regenerated back into him self (Vanity issues) so 12 is really 13 AND therefor the last regen, they kill him off that will be it.

    Or am i wrong? o.0

    • avatar Ashley says:

      Kaia, you’re wrong. Did you watch the Christmas special?

    • You’ve not seen the last two episodes then?

    • avatar ephes415 says:

      You’re wrong….In the last episode, the Doctor got 12 new regen cycles…..he basically is starting all over again.

      • avatar TonyS says:

        He got a new regeneration cycle. We do not know how many regenerations that is. Mr Moff sensibly didn’t mention a number.

    • avatar Jim says:

      Did you watch the Christmas special? I’m not being sarcastic or anything, I just don’t want to give you any spoilers.

      • avatar chorenn says:

        She has to have seen the Christmas special. The quote “vanity issues” comes directly from it.

  10. Why would Capaldi staying for only one season in any way pave the way for a female Doctor? If you want to cast a female Doctor, why not do it now? In fact why would Capaldi staying for only one season pave the way for any “big new direction”? One might have thought that, if there was any writing device needed to excuse a sex change, they’d have the first Doctor of the new regeneration cycle be a woman. That would at least mean that the swell of popularity built up by the anniversary could overcome any problems arising from the sex change. It is, after all, not a widely popular proposal.

    Weren’t we also told that the 50th anniversary was to be used to pave the way for a big new direction for Doctor Who? In fact, when was the last time that the slightest change in the show was NOT heralded somewhere as intended to signal a “big new direction” for the show.

    If Capaldi is staying for only one season, it’s more likely to be because he has plenty of other projects on offer. Being an uner-geek about Doctor Who doesn’t mean you’d be prepared to dedicate your career to it.

  11. …or even an ube-geek if you prefer. I’m not prescriptive in these matters.

  12. Option 3 is an uber-geek.

    • avatar TonyS says:

      Alternatively, he could be all three of those things. Your point would be valid either way.

  13. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    This type of speculation usually leads nowhere but as I’ve said before, he’s such a huge fan, I say he’ll definitely be at the helm for a minimum of three seasons. The real question is: how long PAST the three years will he stay? 4? 5? Not out of the realm of possibility. This is the part he’s dreamed of on the near back end of a nice, long career.

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      I’ve read that while visiting the set of “Adventure in Space and Time” he told Mark Gatiss that he had always wanted to play the Doctor and believed the chance had passed him by. Then he gets that chance – hardly likely he’d turn round and only do it for a year after that.

      Anything is possible – but as they’ve already announced there will be a series 9 in 2015 (10th anniversary year of the new series) I doubt very much that they will have anyone in the role but Capaldi for it.

  14. And also, regarding his age: 55 is really not that old these days. If he stays for 4 or 5 seasons, he’d still only be 60 when he regenerates. His age only really becomes an issue if they want to do a multi-Doctor story 20 years down the line.

    On a semi-related note – has anyone Capaldi in Musketeers? Damn, if he brings even half that performance to the Doctor, we’re in for something very special.

    • avatar TonyS says:

      I have watched the first few episodes of The Musketeers and find myself not caring about them. So I have given up.

      • avatar mrjohnm says:

        TonyS – if you gave up after the first two episodes, you’ve robbed yourself of some great entertainment. By the end of the final episode, I was literally cheering for the heroes. Something I don’t usually do for television shows (except Dr. Who that is!).

    • avatar DonnaM says:

      I’m enjoying The Musketeers – it’s lightweight stuff that doesn’t take itself too seriously, just what I need on a Sunday night. It’s a pity the Cardinal isn’t in it more, though – Capaldi’s doing his professional scene-stealer thing even with a few minutes’ per episode.

      Back on topic; I’m hoping the whole “single series” stuff is total guff; I can’t imagine why anyone would think bringing in such a fantastic actor for such a short run would be a good idea, or how it would “pave the way” for some kind of radical change. Maybe it’s a smokescreen to hide a different change?

  15. avatar Simon Magellan says:

    Total and utter tripe, I think you’ll find.

  16. avatar Adam Morgan says:

    I’m just not buyin’ this one. It just feels off. To say nothing of all the excellent reasons already brought up here.

  17. I think he will be great, and hope he stays a long while.

    A female Dr WILL kill the show though.

  18. avatar TonyS says:

    The Fourth Doctor had a useful word for situations such as this. That word is “flapdoodle”.

  19. avatar It is the end..... says:

    There is no logic to this story at all. It has basically got rid of the entire production team and cast in one fell swoop! As someone has written above, in what way does casting Capaldi ‘pave the way’ for anything? If we step outside the Doctor Who bubble for a second, most actors do more than one series of any major drama. Capaldi took the unusual step of not doing a second series of Musketeers so that he could do his dream job of Doctor Who. It would be rather odd for him to just do one series of Who.

    But what this story also misses is the logistics of casting a new Doctor. The production team would be mad to deliberately cast for one season only given the effort it takes to get this decision right. And the time it takes for a new actor to bed-in. And the writers to adapt to the new man. And convincing the public to take the new man to their hearts. And everything else.

    But the News loves to ruin our lives with stories of misery and it can’t even stop doing so when it involves something as joyous as Dr Who. Let’s say nay to media-induced neurosis about Capaldi and be excited for Series 8!

    • avatar mrjohnm says:

      “Capaldi took the unusual step of not doing a second series of Musketeers so that he could do his dream job of Doctor Who.” Where have you heard this? I haven’t found any news to say Capaldi is not returning to Musketeers. Based on the last episode, I would say he has to return for the second series. And since both series are fairly short on episodes, and as he’s not in every scene of Musketeers, is it not feasible that Capaldi could be in both series?

      • avatar simon magellan says:

        “It was a gradual realisation that he wouldn’t be able to do the second series and people are now very excited about who the next villain will be so that’s going to bring a new energy. Hopefully he’ll be as good as Peter was,” confirmed Tom Burke, who plays Athos in the show.

      • avatar DonnaM says:

        I believe the Musketeers series 2 has started shooting this week; presumably it’ll take six or seven months to do another 10 episodes. Doctor Who is due to wrap around August, if I remember correctly. There’s a possibility Capaldi could appear in the final episode oat least based on that kind of scheduling, I’d think?

        I’d certainly hope so! He was sensational as the Cardinal, and there are definitely loose ends that could be tied up at a later date.

  20. avatar calliarcale says:

    Capaldi is a long-time Whovian, just like Tennant. I suspect the only way he’d only do one season is if he were hit by a bus or something. :-P

  21. avatar Tony Sobol says:

    I think it’s more likely that Capaldi has a top-notch agent who’s negotiated a one-year contract so that he can get a bigger pay packet for future series.

    • Every Doctor has had a one year contract since 2005, with options to extend by a year if mutually agreed.

      Seems unlikely that Capaldi would have anything different, regardless of what The Mirror claims.

  22. avatar Spider-pope says:

    “pave the way for an even more radical (and possibly more controversial) choice for the role.”

    He’s talking about all the female Doctor crap isn’t he? Fortunately ‘The Mirror’ is only slightly ahead of ‘The Sun’ in terms of journalism.

    One series or ten, Capaldi will be great.

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      If the BBC wanted a female Doctor, they would have had a female Doctor – the end of the Smith era and the 50th anniversary, the new regen cycle, it would have been a perfect opportunity for it. If they wanted a “radical” new direction then there was nothing stopping them – but they didn’t. They wanted Capaldi, they got Capaldi. Not very likely they only wanted him for a year.

      This is just crap from tabloid trash wanting to stir things up and cause controversy. They want to provide names for their sources, back up their story? Otherwise it’s no different from the man at the bus stop mouthing off an opinion.

  23. avatar Ian says:

    Don’t believe a word of it.

  24. avatar Damahepa says:

    Not a chance. Capaldi’s already dropped out of filming for the second series of the Musketeers because of his Doctor Who commitments- if that was just the back end of one season I’m fairly sure they could postpone until he’d finished on Doctor Who. The fact his commitments take him out of another leading role suggests he’s in it for the long run.

    Clara or Moffat on the other hand, are far more likely to leave, although I doubt it’ll be done quietly- we know how Moffat likes to create hype about everything connected with the show…

  25. avatar Geoff says:

    Interesting to see someone outside this Doctor Who bubble we inhabit comment on something that is blindingly obvious to the man or woman in the street but often overlooked or downright denied here: that Steven Moffat has presided over an era where the show has grown to previously unimaginable levels of popularity and exposure.

  26. avatar Geoff says:

    Btw I can’t see Peter Capaldi only doing one year, I know he could, I know Christopher Ecclston did but times are different now, for one thing I doubt an actor like CE would even take a role in such an established programme. Remember when he did it Doctor Who needed a weighty star name to establish its credentials and CE needed a popular family vehicle to reach an audience he hadn’t done before: The perfect marriage but never one that would last a long time. PC is a different type of actor, at a different point in his career and Doctor Who is also in a very different place to where it was in 2005. I think he will give it 3 to 4years which does seem to have become something of the 21st century norm. That said only 2 classic Doctors did 4 years or more and cruel people might pass the comment that if Tom Baker hadn’t bothered at all with 3 of his years the over all canon of Doctor Who wouldn’t be much worse off, not that I’m expressing that opinion personally but it is sometimes said.

  27. avatar TonyS says:

    Even crueller people might comment that Tom Baker DIDN’T bother for at least two of his seasons…

    • avatar TonyS says:

      Oh come on. Season 17 (apart from City of Death) was just embarrassing!

  28. avatar Geoff says:

    I’m with you Tony, although despite the sensible part of my brain telling me it’s all crap I do still enjoy settling down in front of Horns of Nimon or The Armaggedon Factor every once in a while: the mark of a true fan I guess, it is rubbish, your brain and everyone around you tells you it’s rubbish, you still like it!

  29. avatar TonyS says:

    Yes I agree, Geoff. When I am in the right frame of mind I enjoy a Nimon or two. The problem I have is with the revisionists who try to tell us that season 17 was in fact great and classic and post modern and all that.

    • I’ve always liked Nightmare of Eden. Not a perfect DW, but has a pair of intriguing sci-fi concepts.

      • avatar TonyS says:

        Nightmare of Eden is saved by Tom Baker’s line “Go away, Tryst. Just go away!”

    • I have something of a blindspot when it comes to S17. I’m certainly not going to claim anything in that season is a classic (aside from the aformentioned City of Death), but… dammit… I love it all. I have sporadic memories of several Tom Baker stories, going back to Robots Of Death, but S17 is the first season I remember being hooked and watching all the way through. The whole year is just pitched perfectly at the mind of a 7-year old (which I was).

      Now I’m in my 40s I watch those stories with a different set of eyes. I can understand a lot of the deeper ideas and concepts, while laughing at the utter pantomime ridiculousness of it all. Logically, I can accept that S12 is pure gold, and S18 is more cerebral and mature. But when it comes to seasons 16 and 17, all logic goes out of the window for me. I watch Creature From The Pit and the world outside just turns into a hazy, late-70s summer, my Raleigh Grifter is parked outside and my brain goes a bit wibbly…

  30. avatar ACyamancanandwill says:

    So, IF it’s true, it can only mean there is some serious shiz going to occur this upcoming season. IF it’s true, the doctor is going to play and fight really hard, fast and dangerous. More-so than he has before. I can only imagine it having to do with Gallifrey, some really dangerous baddies and the will to make something huge happen. Maybe the ‘Last of the Time-Lords’ will be a thing of the past…

  31. avatar ACyamancanandwill says:

    I think it’d be nice to change the tone of the show too, at least experiment with it, anyway. From 2005 on it’s always had this jovial overtone mixed with patches of seriousness and laughable moments all mixed together. I like that about this show. It’s fun and dangerous. But it’s always been so. What if it became a little less funny and a little more dark, gritty, noir-ish. Even if it only lasted as long as that incarnation. Say, Capaldi M.d. is no ones to be messed with. Say he doesn’t mess around, because he’s focused on changing the face of things. Now take that attitude and transpose it onto the show, and “Doctor Who” becomes this epic no-holds-barred space tale, matching the Doctor’s own disposition. I picture him and Jack Harkness (because he can make tough decisions and has no trouble fighting back) battling through a hail of enemy fire, real close third person facial shots, taking every ounce of willpower to overcome this brand new enemy intent on exploiting the reincarnation of the Timelord race. My imagination at work, but it would be completely epic. Of course it’s flavored with humor. I realize it cannot be something it isn’t. He isn’t completely without humor, but maybe that’s why his companions are there; to balance him out. He’s aged at this point, wiser than ever, so he’s bound for change. It can become this chronicle of possibility.

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