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New Doctor

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Peter Capaldi Publicity Shot from USA Today

Well, after months of speculation and near hysteria have died down and we now know *SPOILER ALERT* the next Doctor will be Peter Capaldi.

I have to say, I had kind of tuned out with everyone’s speculation of who the next Doctor would be and the same names being dragged up every few years. For the longest time it was Eddie Izzard and Bill Nighy who seemed to pop up, then we got Helen Mirren and Tilda Swinton. Whilst that is all very well and good, essentially we are saying that A-List Hollywood actors would be happy to relocate to Wales to work on some very hard 14 hour shoot days for a TV show?

It’s kind of why I have always thought playing the Doctor would be a great idea for younger/less well known actors.  Modern Who really demonstrated this with the sheer amount of hysteria when David Tennant/Matt Smith Turned up at San Diego Comic-Con. Both Comic-Con and Doctor Who have spent time building up a head of steam with regards to cultural relevance. I doubt many people went to the the first few Comic-Cons but now it has morphed into a completely different beast with thousands of attendees where films are announced and fandom and cosplay is celebrated by the mainstream press in a kind of post-modern-victorian-freakshow stylee.

The same, I think, is true of how the public see a past Doctor. I am pretty certain that during the late 80s/90s that jobbing actors did a couple of Doctor Whos and treated it as just another paycheck and were usually dismissive of having worked on the show. Today we have a highly respected actor like Peter Capaldi, surely taking some kind of cut in salary to play the eponymous Time Lord, and other actors expressing an interest in just appearing in the show and respected writers like Neil Gaiman being asked to write episodes. I think that the show has re-earned its cultural cache and in the global society it means that the role is now way more high profile that it was back in the day

So ,anyway, my initial thought when Capaldi was announced was, “oh , isn’t he a bit old to play the Doctor?”.

Now hold on to your horses! Before you all fire off complainy emails – I did say initial thought – we are talking about a thought that lasted about 5 seconds after all, this is only one side of the equation. What’s important, and why I think dear Colin Baker’s reign as the Doctor receives so much negativity, is that the stories have to work with the new Doctor. Right now, we are in the same place we were 3 years ago with the announcement of Matt Smith. Lets see what the stories are like. It does provide an opportunity for a more intense doctor with more dramatic story lines with monsters that are complex, and not destroyed by the love a father has for his son.

I have to say though it’s probably good that the BBC made some kind of effort in announcing the new Doctor. I preferred to have a slightly smaller scale announcement, like Matt Smiths, but it was still fun. More importantly, it reinvigorated my interest in the show as following Comic-Con trailer-gate I was decidedly meh about the whole thing. Now I dont care that people in San Diego got to see a trailer first. I am kind of annoyed that Steven Moffat seems to think that Who fans are children, incapable of keeping secrets who are treated as guilty until proven innocent, and threatened with them taking their ball home. Despite the fact that many Who fans in America helped them out when the DVD boxset was released early.

Bottom line they where airing a trailer, you know, to get people excited about it? SDCC was nearly a month ago and still no trailer. Yes, the euphoria of a new Doctor will help things along for a bit. The fan art and speculation will maintain interest levels but if there isn’t a trailer soon I will start to lose interest in the show which is a shame considering it’s about the only thing I watch on TV these days.

 

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