Published on April 28th, 2014 | by Jonathan Appleton

Tom Riley: Capaldi Will “Completely Revitalise” Doctor Who

Series 8 guest star Tom Riley thinks new Doctor Peter Capaldi will “completely revitalise” Doctor Who when the show returns later this year.

Speaking to Flicks and the City at the BAFTA Craft Awards, Riley said we can expect a “change of tone” in the next run of episodes.

Riley, strongly fancied to be playing Robin Hood in a Mark Gatiss penned story, reckons Capaldi will “smash it” when he takes over the role. Although understandably secretive about what we can expect from the story, the Da Vinci’s Demons star promises a “really fun episode”.

He’s careful to stress that he doesn’t feel the programme needed revitalising, but it’s an interesting thought. Following the roaring success of the programme’s 50th anniversary celebrations it could hardly be said to be in need of a lift. But comments by Steven Moffat and other members of the production team in recent interviews have hinted at a new direction in the next series, indicating they felt the need to shake things up.

What do you think? Was Doctor Who getting a bit comfortable? Has change come not a moment too soon?


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About the Author


has watched Doctor Who since those great big spiders did for Jon Pertwee, and it's way too late to stop now. When he's not at his job working for a charity he spends his time following Hull City's fortunes, listening to Bruce Springsteen and wondering why it took thirty years too long for Doctor Who action figures to come along. Currently reading: Frank Skinner interview in DWM. That guy seriously loves this show...

12 Responses to Tom Riley: Capaldi Will “Completely Revitalise” Doctor Who

  1. avatar lozzer says:

    I really hope it feels different. Different in a good way of course… I’ve been struggling to find the love for the show for a little while now. I know when we approach the new series it will return in abundance, but I kind of feel like a kid who ate all the sweets – I’ve maybe had too much of a good thing. A change of direction and a different kind of Doctor to the ones we’ve know of late is exactly what we need.

  2. avatar Rupert says:

    I think that the show’s become too comfortable with tongue-in-cheek, fast-paced goofiness. An increase in the amount of serious dramatic content would be nice. Maybe that’s something that Capaldi and the “new direction” will be able to bring…

  3. avatar Geoff says:

    I’ve enjoyed the last few years a lot (barring the extremities of the River Song plot line) and I put a lot of my enjoyment down to the performances of Matt Smith who in my view was never less than brilliant even when the stories weren’t always that great (I mean they can’t all be classics can they?).

    That said I’m really happy to hear talk of changes of tone because it’s what keeps Doctor Who alive. For example I loved Tom Baker, the Doctor I grew up with and I won’t say a word against him but despite all that when Peter Davison took over the whole feel and tone of the show changed, which was the right thing at that time and gave us three more years of a very different version of the show.

    So roll on the changes, it doesn’t have to be taken as a reflection of the quality of the previous version of the show or it’s stars.

  4. avatar Harry M VanHoudnos says:

    While I feel that bringing in Capaldi will definitely bring life back into the show, its not enough. In my opinion, the only way to truly get the show going full time, is get rid of Moffat. His idea of following through on what RTD started with a theme for each season, his use of crazy stuff that makes no sense, to me, means that Mr. Moffat has gotten so in love with what he is seeing that he does not see that, in my opinion, the need for him to leave. Other producers have left after bringing in a new Doctor, why not now?

  5. avatar Barb says:

    I hope things change for the better as well. The episodes especially during Smith’s time just moved too quickly instead of easing things along. That’s why I prefer the classic shows now as well as Big Finish ranges for Doctor Who to the current show.

  6. avatar Ian says:

    I too have serious doubts that the lead actor can really change anything given it’s the same showrunner and writers. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  7. avatar DonnaM says:

    A change in tone will suit me perfectly and to be honest after the last two much too emotionally human Doctors I really want a more alien, more unpredictable one. I haven’t always engaged with the recent series, probably because Matt for all his talents was never really my kind of Doctor. If Peter Capaldi continues as he’s started(see costume choice and Youtube footage) that problem will be solved for me at least!

  8. avatar Ranger says:

    Yes, I too hope for a change in direction to a more alien, serious, darker Doctor. I certainly think Capaldi can bring that about, but it’s to be seen whether Moffatt can. I am hopeful.

  9. I think the love affair with Douglas Adams’ undergraduate humour and Season 17 style storytelling needs to go for any change to work (I love both, by the way, but they shouldn’t be the basis for nearly ten years’ worth of Doctor Who!). I hope the new tone is more reminiscent of Hinchcliffe-Holmes.

    • avatar Harry M VanHoudnos says:

      The Holmes-HInchcliffe era was indeed one of the greatest eras in the Classic Era run. I would love to see someone take that tone and do it for the Nu Who era.

    • avatar Ian says:

      I really don’t see the slightest connection. Season 17 is genuinely funny and brilliant storytelling. The current style is unfunny smuggery and lazy writing.

  10. avatar Matthew Riet says:

    Wasn’t much of a fan of the Smith era. Am of the opinion that there has been too much “Disney-family-movie-of-the-week” sentimentality and glib attempts at humour in the show for the past few years. THE DOCTOR,THE WIDOW & THE WARDROBE anyone? Or how about NIGHTMARE IN SILVER, THE RINGS OF AKHATEN, DINOSAURS ON A SPACESHIP or HIDE? For me these were the worst offenders, but other episodes were also gujilty to a lesser degree. Feel that a change in tone is sorely needed but also the courage to go darker and stranger. Love Peter Capaldi as a performer, but his Doctor will need to have scripts that dare to be a bit more adult.

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