Good morning. Or evening, or…. Well, it’s got to be morning somewhere… I mean sometime… you know, this whole time thingy is confusing so I’ll just stick to my original version. Good morning. Definitely morning. Or not.
A long time ago (or was it… alright, enough of that) I wrote a little post about our beloved doctor, in which I made known some of my favorite bits of this continuum. That was when the most recent rendition of this wonderful alien – Peter Capaldi – was just getting started.
I said that he just might catch up to my favorite, David Tennant, and after three seasons I think it’s pretty safe to say he did.
He first emerges out of the T.A.R.D.I.S in “Deep breath” and immediately launches into one of the best comic, yet human (funny huh?) performances of Doctor who’s post regeneration. It could be said that the whole first Capaldi season was designed for the doctor to come up with the answer to the question “So, who am I?” and the answer coming in the last moments of that season’s finale.
I am not a good man! And I’m not a bad man. I am not a hero. I’m definitely not a president. And no, I’m not an officer. You know what I am? I… am… an idiot. With a box and a screwdriver, passing through, helping out, learning. I don’t need an army, I never have. Because I’ve got them. Always them. Because love, it’s not an emotion. Love is a promise.
Peter Capaldi (much like Matt Smith) took a lot of “beatings” from his companions, or in other words, learned from them. But every time he’d come back as the wise old doctor who can teach us all compassion and love. One of the most remarkable performances of any Doctor comes at the end of the “Zygon Inversion”, when he delivers my all-time favorite speech:
Because it’s not a game, Kate. This is a scale model of war. Every war ever fought right there in front of you. Because it’s always the same. When you fire that first shot, no matter how right you feel, you have no idea who’s going to die. You don’t know whose children are going to scream and burn. How many hearts will be broken! How many lives shattered! How much blood will spill until everybody does what they’re always going to have to do from the very beginning — sit down and talk! Listen to me, listen. I just — I just want you to think. Do you know what thinking is? It’s just a fancy word for changing your mind.
Season 10 that just ended presented the doctor with another challenge. Or perhaps I should say, he presented this challenge to himself. The doctor always found a way to show compassion to his worst of enemies, but this time, he took another step and tried to actually teach compassion to one. Did he succeed? Luckily (or unluckily, as Missy was such a brilliant character) we were left to speculate (for what it’s worth, I – always the optimist – believe he did).
And now, all I had to ask myself, can anyone other than Mr. Capaldi deliver all of the above? This is not a knock on any of his predecessors, but Peter is the best fit for that job.
Matt Smith, David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston are wonderful actors with great ranges. But within the scripts and roles they were given in the series, they could not have done that. Not as convincingly as Capaldi, who gave us comedy as reliable as he did drama. When he was being silly, spiteful, ridiculous, he sold it. When he was tender, angry, loving, fatherly, he sold it.
I guess what I’m trying to say is he could walk that tight rope that is playing a character such as Doctor who. The perfect balance between the comic and serious.
I am so grateful to have watched him do the doctor, I actually wish they switch genders next. It might even make it easier (for me at least) to avoid the immediate judgment of whoever steps into this huge T.A.R.D.I.S and play the new doctor.
So come on already, and tell us who!
What is your opinion of Peter Capaldi’s doctor?
Who’s your favorite doctor?
Who would you like to see next?