There’s been a lot of expectation surrounding the new Doctor ever since Peter Capaldi was announced as the next lucky actor to get to play this classic role. One of the mysteries was resolved yesterday, when DW released the first promotional photo of the Doctor wearing his new costume:
Before we venture into guessing the future, let’s look at what we’ve already seen from the 12th Doctor:
After regenerating (with the quickest regeneration we’ve ever seen), the Doctor seemed to be quite shocked, even surprised to see his companion. This is something that hadn’t happened before, but then again, every regeneration is different. Without bothering to check if he was finally ginger, the Doctor preferred to comment on the colour of his new kidneys. Lastly, he asked Clara if she happened to know “how to fly this thing”. Oh boy.
This regeneration shows us a Doctor who (hehe) is shocked, unstable and quite disoriented. However, we shouldn’t take this performance so seriously because 1) post-regeneration Doctor never tells us much about how that Doctor will eventually behave in the future, and 2) Steven Moffat has already said that Capaldi’s first episodes will be a bit different due to this same reason. In fact, Moffat told the Doctor Who Magazine that Capaldi will be “a much older, fiercer, madder, less reliable Doctor”.
So what do I expect from this new Doctor?
A classier Doctor. Maybe it’s because Capaldi is 25 years older than Smith or because his costume is so fancy, but there’s something about this Doctor that tells me he’s gonna be a more classy Doctor. Of course Doctor Who is always gonna have comedy in it. And the Doctor’s personality has always had that madness and craziness to it, but don’t expecting him to be a Matt Smith 2.0 at all. I expect a version of the Doctor that is a lot more mature and serious.
The Doctor/companion romance undertones will be gone. It’s been done over and over again. Everytime either the Doctor or the companion changes, there’s a new ship among the fans that’s often supported by romantic subtext or winks at the shipper audience. I know, stories in which the companion falls in love with the Doctor have been there from the beginning. Shippers are gonna ship (I’m a Ten/Rose shipper myself). But I don’t think the story is gonna give shippers cannon support this time. Besides, Moffat has also mentioned that “The last two Doctors have been ‘your boyfriend’ Doctors” and that “it was time for the show to flip around”. There you have it.
A new side of the Doctor. With every Doctor always comes a new side to his persona. Ten was very different from Nine, as well as Eleven was very different from Ten. We want Twelve to be different from them as well. We want to see his attitude, his view on his story, his way of dealing with things, his way of treating Clara… What he expects from himself and from the future. Is he a positive Doctor? Is he a negative one?
A more focused mentality. The Doctor has been wandering around for many years. Not wanting to repeat the story of how he destroyed his fellow Time Lords in the Time War and carrying that guilt with himself (a story that was heavily portrayed by Tennant’s Doctor). But I feel like the 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor, might have changed that in a way. Gallifrey stands, and it’s time for the Doctor to get a new Gallifrey/TimeLord arc that will be much more interesting and will bring a new dimension to the show’s mythology. So no more weird timey-wimey paranoias Moffat, let’s get some work done.