Peter Capaldi as a True “Renaissance” Doctor Who

I’ve been planning for my 200th post to be something special.  I think it’s only fitting to discuss my opinion of Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor during this special occasion.

I adore Peter Capaldi’s Doctor.  This is the first regeneration I’ve experienced as a Doctor Who fan.  I started watching the show during Matt Smith’s first season, and I was too distracted by Amy Pond’s story to really appreciate him.  (In the interests of full disclosure, I am not a fan of Amy Pond.  I don’t like that Stephen Moffat essentially hijacked the show and made it into the Amy Pond Show.  It’s nothing against the character or Karen Gillan; my frustration lies with the writing and the decision-making)

When I heard that Matt Smith was leaving, I was very interested to see who would take his place.  The BBC had a huge task to find someone who would not only appeal to the British masses, but who would be able to perform on a global stage, given the show’s surge in popularity around the world.

Peter Capaldi is a lifelong Doctor Who fan, just like David Tennant.  He is well aware of what happens after taking on such an iconic role, and he was ready to embrace it.  The interesting thing is that Capaldi, like Tennant, is Scottish, but unlike Tennant, Peter Capaldi’s Doctor was allowed to keep his Scottish brogue and his Scottish demeanor.  This is interesting given that the good people of Scotland are currently awaiting a vote that could lead to their separation from the UK.  Could it be that the decision for Capaldi to retain his accent was also a nod to Scotland?  Perhaps, and perhaps not.  It is just interesting to think about.

I see Peter Capaldi’s Doctor as a Renaissance Man.  He is the sum of the eleven men who came before him.  Periodically you can hear Ten’s boisterous exclamations of “Oh!!”, and we frequently see Nine’s darkness in his eyes.  And I believe that Twelve is constantly trying to find Eleven’s innocence and inherent goodness: “Am I a good man?” he asks Clara.  (He also displays a great deal of Ten and Eleven’s goofiness, as seen in “Robot of Sherwood” when he exclaims “I’m already free!” and waves his hands maniacally)  Even the TARDIS reflects this, with it’s modern gears and antique books.  Both the TARDIS and the opening credits have a Steampunk flair to them.  Peter Capaldi is a Renaissance Doctor.

I appreciate the storytelling we have seen in Series 8.  I think it will allow Peter Capaldi to shine as the Twelfth Doctor.  He faces a huge challenge, however, in that many of the young American fans fell in love with Matt Smith’s Doctor, and they won’t understand the nuances of the *character*, because true Doctor Who fans know that the Doctor makes the actor, and not the other way around.  The Doctor is the sum of the men who portrayed him.

I am thoroughly enjoying this season and I can’t wait to see what’s next.  Thank you so much, Peter Capaldi, for being my “first” Doctor.  I’m excited to go on this journey with you, and thank you for sharing my 200th post with me!

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