At 55, Capaldi is joint first with debut Doc and Carry On veteran William Hartnell as the oldest man to take on the role – quite a shift from Matt Smith, who at 26 in 2009 was the youngest. Hopefully this means a paradigm shift in new Who’s established Doctor/Companion relationship away from the brother/boyfriend thing that has seen an alarming number of companions launch themselves at the Time Lord face-first.
Obviously, Capaldi isn’t going to be Malcolming Daleks into submission, but there’s no getting away from his flinty stare. Remember the Seventh Doctor duelling with an ancient evil in ‘The Curse Of Fenric’, or even the Tenth punishing the alien interlopers in ‘The Family Of Blood’? Capaldi is definitely a Doctor we could imagine taking on cosmic beings with nothing but sheer force of will.
If the 11th Doctor was the Doctor so gleefully, exuberantly open that all of his secrets just tumbled out, than perhaps the 12th is the Doctor who closes the doors – the one with his own agenda and long-game. This as much as his age might make for the greatest shift in focus for new Who, firmly returning the role of audience identification to the companion and not the Doctor for the first time since Christopher Eccleston departed.
It’s worth noting a slight resemblance between Capaldi and the sinister Valeyard (Michael Jayston) in 1986’s epic ‘The Trial Of A Time Lord’ – “an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your 12th and final incarnation.” The Master said that though, and the Master lies, but it’s not difficult to imagine this darker side beginning to emerge over Capaldi’s tenure, is it?
Everyone involved in Doctor Who claims to be a fan of Doctor Who, but with the exception of David Tennant, who happily propped up Big Finish audios before the TARDIS came calling, few can generally back up their proclaimed fandom with anything other than the vaguest reference to Daleks or hiding behind the sofa (mine didn’t have very much space behind it, how about yours?).
Peter Capaldi has a proven track record, writing fanzine articles and lovely letters to the Radio Times as a wee bairn.
5. A SHARP SUIT
Obviously it’s very difficult to make a decision about how the 12th Doctor is going to look based on what he’s wearing in his first photo – remember the fan-storm that Matt Smith got for his ’emo hair’?
It’s very difficult to imagine Capaldi wearing Converse All-Stars or a fez, so we could definitely be looking at something dark and sharp – period dress can’t be ruled out, but given the actor’s age it may be something the BBC want to de-emphasise for a while at least.
The Doctor Who 50th anniversary special will air on 23 November 2013, while Peter Capaldi will debut as the 12th Doctor in the 2013 Christmas Special. Pick up the Doctor Who Regeneration box set on DVD for £43.84 from Amazon.co.uk.