As you’ve probably noticed, today is a very big day, arguably as important to Doctor Who‘s success as The Day of the Doctor on November 23rd last year.
August 23rd 2014 marks the day in which Peter Capaldi takes the TARDIS controls. A diversion from the actors who have recently preceded him in the role, Capaldi was 55 when cast, not conventionally handsome and known as a reliable character actor before landing the role as the infamous Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It.
To younger fans who have grown up with David Tennant and Matt Smith, Capaldi is a risk; to older fans well versed in the eras of Doctor Who‘s long past, he’s a perfect choice. This is in sharp contrast with the mood four years ago when the ridiculously youthful Matt Smith was seen as a very surprising choice to older fans.
Today is the moment of truth. How long with Peter Capaldi take to convince us he is the Doctor? Ten minutes? Ten episodes? At this point, we just don’t know.
What we do know, however, is that we are excited. The following collection of thoughts come from some of Kasterborous’ most prolific contributors over the years. Even those that aren’t quite sure are excited, and you should be too. Because tonight, it begins. Again!
Alex Skerratt, News Team
I always thought Peter Capaldi would be a fantastic Doctor, and the more clips and interviews I see, the more convinced I am of his awesomeness. He has great presence on the TARDIS set, and has wonderfully fierce ‘hypnotic’ eyes… Can we have a scene where he’s pitted against Timothy Dalton’s Rassilon please, because I think my TV would explode, (as would my subwoofer!) It’s certainly going to be a rollercoaster run-up to Christmas, and I can’t wait to get started.
Mez Burdett, Audio Reviewer
I’ve been scaredexcited (It’s a new word I’ve invented) since August 2013. A new Doctor, a new era, and a new dynamic. Gone are the lighter fairytale days and in comes a darker, more detached Doctor with a far more orange TARDIS than ever before. The fierce eyes, the commanding voice and the sleek black clothes indicate tht this is a Doctor that cannot and will not be messed with.
The Eleventh Doctor is gone.
Long live the Twelfth!
Christine Grit, Magazine Contributor
The first thing I am hoping for is that Peter won’t appear to be someone’s boyfriend. The second thing is not so much that I wish for darker stories, but that there is less an atmosphere of a fantasy and more of a gritty feel to them. And please – the third- no more young children in the Tardis. So far it is looking good.
I think Peter is handling all the interviews and publicity very well. He likes his fans, he seems to have an endless well of energy and treats children very seriously and kindly. No talking down to them and that’s very positive.
He is the biggest fan of the show himself and knows all it’s history and that really feels good to this particular fan.
Scott Varnham, Reviewer
Capaldi has given me a lot of hope regarding his dedication to the role, but they’re really harping on about this ‘good man’ thing, aren’t they? I’m hoping that’s a marginal subplot at best, especially considering the first words of Day Of The Doctor were that quote from Marcus Aurelius. You know the one. ‘Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.’
I also hope we finally learn who that bloody woman in the shop was.
“I will miss the Eleventh Doctor. However, I have faith in Peter Capaldi, and I certainly have faith in Steven Moffat. They’ll do us proud. Vworp! Vworp!”
James McLean, PodKaster
Doctor Who thrives on change and contrast – a Doctor Who doesn’t care what people think, as Capaldi has alluded himself, is exciting. Same time, harking back to the Colin Baker era, a good actor can be screwed if their version of the Doctor has an abrasive contrast to the previous that isn’t handled with careful consideration. I’m sure the show has learned from that mistake, and will give Capaldi what Colin failed to get – the support of a strong script and thought-out characterisation.
Being someone who is conscious of ageism in the industry, which can stem from the audiences lack of tolerance for older actors and actresses, I’m hoping Capaldi will lead the way to a greater acceptance for mature actor; that they can be fun and cool – like me, really. He’s Capaldi, not Capoldy. See what I did there, tabloids?
Simon Mills, Reviewer
I am relieved no end that we’re not getting any more flirting (for the time being anyway) and that we’re back to the mad uncle type figure us oldies grew up with (with the exception of “the vet” incarnation). There’s no doubting Capaldi’s acting chops and the gravitas he can bring along with some whimsy. I’m just hoping it gels with the uneducated masses who are used to swooning over the pretty boy.
I think he’ll be a big hit in the long run with a shaky start, but I am excited for the future. Still not entirely convinced by the costume though…
Jonathan Appleton, News Team
Given we’ve had hardly any (authorised) footage of the new Doctor in action, it’s been left to Capaldi to carry the load with most of the coverage in the build up by being himself, and he certainly hasn’t put a foot wrong. He’s graciously acknowledged his predecessors, and indeed everyone who ever worked on or ever enjoyed the show. He’s admitted to being understandably nervous about how he’ll be received, whilst accepting he can’t please everyone. He’s well aware of his responsibility to the viewers, particularly the young ones.
And I have to raise my hat to any man in his 50′s who sticks pictures of the Doctor on his ring-binder (check out the interview in the new DWM). Generous, humble, thoughtful – never mind Doctor Who, can we make him Prime Minister? But then, as we all know, that would be a comedown after this job…
Daren Thomas Curley, Reviewer
Many years ago, this character beguiled me. He was a flawed and complicated outsider. This was a man of contradictions, who oozed charm and had a commanding presence. Yet that mad stare from beneath a mass of brown curls betrayed an underlying edge and a real sense of danger. This was Peter Capaldi in The Crow Road and he was undoubtedly the Doctor. His next performance in Neverwhere, with its alien vulnerability and otherworldliness, only cemented my feelings. So, it’s no surprise that these same qualities are being mentioned in the build up to season eight.
Whilst the rock-star adoration from fans worldwide sent exciting shivers, it was the faces of the children on Newsround that sealed the deal for me. That mixture of awe, excitement and complete terror was the same expression I had when I met Tom Baker in 1978. That’s why Peter will be an utterly unforgettable Doctor.
Philip Bates, Assistant Editor
This has all come so quickly. A whole new regenerative cycle. I’ve been lucky enough to write our preview of Series 8 – and it’s looking fantastic. But if you’re familiar with me at all, you’ll know that Matt Smith is My Doctor. Going forward without him seems… odd. I can’t escape the feeling that Matt should still be there. This is new territory for me.
Y’know, Peter’s going to be brilliant though. Absolutely brilliant. He is the Doctor, and that’s one of the highest compliments I can give. He’s going to be funny and sometimes dark, clever and definitely a hero. That’s what the Doctor has always been. I love how unpredictable the future is, perhaps because of that constant: the blue box that tells me that everything will be okay.
I will miss the Eleventh Doctor. However, I have faith in Peter Capaldi, and I certainly have faith in Steven Moffat. They’ll do us proud. Vworp! Vworp!
Becky Crockett, News Team
When the casting decision was revealed, I was among those who were unsure of Capaldi, even with all of his, credentials, you could say, that so many people were able to take one look at and almost instantly agree that he was the only one that could possibly take this role. He hasn’t really even had screen time and yet I think he already feels like the Doctor. I don’t think there has been a single thing he’s done that has been out of character for the Doctor or the men that have played him. Moffat and others have said that it takes someone with certain qualities to be able to do the character justice.
Who they cast, no matter how long they stay in the role, has to know and understand that they are the one that will make or break the show. My hope is that he lives up to all of that and more.
Capaldi will give Tom Baker a run for his money as the greatest man to play the role and that’s something I didn’t EVER think I’d be saying.
Gareth Kavanagh, Feature Writer & Fanzine Godfather
Peter Capaldi cost me £500 last year as I bet the farm on Sam Troughton (moving the betting indexes heavily in the process). As he was revealed, I couldn’t help but be disappointed but this melancholy was fleeting. I’m massively excited by this casting. Once more, we have a real heavyweight in the role. Gravitas, peril, danger. That’s what he’ll bring. Not only will he be the smartest man in the room, but he’ll be the last candle in the dark. If I’m right about him, he’ll give Tom Baker a run for his money as the greatest man to play the role and that’s something I didn’t EVER think I’d be saying.
James Lomond, News Team
I am SO excited about Capaldi’s portrayal of the Doctor. It’s clear from every interview he gives how much the part matters to him and how much he knows the Doctor matters to others. He knows what it’s like to be a fan and to get that twinge of cosmic AWESOME when you see a blue police box or see the silhouette of an unusual hair-do and cape/ brolly/ coat tails. I hope he’s going to truly bridge the gap between Classic and New Who and it’s going to feel like the same show – and that he’ll be a little bit scary. But scary in the way that Merlin or Gandalf can be scary.
I’m looking for the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up and my inner seven-year-old to punch the air. Or even my outer adult self…
Brian A. Terranova, PodKaster
The day Peter Capaldi was announced I was very excited, which I am sad to say was a feeling I had lost the last three series. I loved the direction with an older Doctor, it just felt right. I was interested again, renewed, almost like my excitement for the show itself had been regenerated as well.
My hopes for the Twelfth Doctor are simple, bring the show back to what it was, enjoyable, fun, dark at times, grand adventures and with much less focus on sexual themes and much more on the dangers they face and the friendships they make.
There have been many things leading up to his run that have inspired me but the thing that got me the most was his notebook. Filled with pictures of the show’s past, reminders of who the character was and what he loved about him, the show and his companions. Notes to himself to make this show the best it could be. This man cares about this show as much as we do.
Daniel Wealands, News Team
I was excited by Capaldi’s casting from the first lapel grabbing moment he walked through that smoke on the announcement show. It’s one of those things where you cant explain why, but it just feels right, it was the same thing with Tennant, though oddly, not with Matt Smith; I didn’t take to him as much until Series 7.
The trailers have just blown my expectations through the roof as far as his take on the Doctor goes. I love that he seems to have the wildness of Troughton, the smoothness of Pertwee and the unpredictability of Tom Baker, or at least thats what I think shines throuh from the snippets of on set footage and trailers.
My only worry is that there has been so much hype, so much fanfare, can he possibly live up to the expectation?
Then I remember The Day of the Doctor and think that it will be fine.
James Whittington, Reviewer
My hopes for the Capaldi era is that the series moves away from the “kitchen sink” family style drama that suffocated Matt Smith’s time on the show. A return to adventure and less convoluted and complicated story arcs would be most welcome. Maybe if his Doctor has the slightly agitated edge that Hartnell exuded and embraces his alien side (which by all reports seems to be the case) will freshen the format. He has already been vocal that there’ll be no hanky-panky which is a good thing, it should be more about his (and his companions or associates) relationships with others rather than with themselves. The time has come for a change and this might be the best one yet.
Christian Cawley, Editor
So, it’s my turn. On the whole, I echo the comments of my team. Peter Capaldi’s casting is incredibly exciting, and caught my imagination from the moment it was announced 12 months ago.
For me, Capaldi is as big a name with as big a reputation (if not bigger) than Christopher Eccleston when he was cast. Back in 2004, the news of the recently announced revival was met with derision in many quarters until Eccleston’s name was attached. All of a sudden, people knew the producers were serious, and I get a feeling of that here. Series 1 is also one of my favourite of the show’s 50 years, too, a run where it seems that got almost everything right.
Can that happen again in 2014? I don’t know, but I suspect not. Rather, I’m expecting a run of episodes that allow Peter Capaldi to embrace the Time Lord side of his nature that he has entertained since the 1960s. Remember, he’s one of us, more so than David Tennant.
Ultimately, this is an exciting, brave new era for Doctor Who. Capaldi will nail it.
That’s what we think – but what about you? How much are you looking forward to Doctor Who Series 8? What hopes do you have for Peter Capaldi’s interpretation of the Doctor? Let us know!