Today is Peter Capaldi’s birthday, and tomorrow is the premiere of Season 10 of Doctor Who. Back in January, Capaldi announced it will be his last season. He’ll hand over the key to the TARDIS after the Christmas Special this year. It’s always difficult to say goodbye to a Doctor, especially one who has given so much to the show and the fandom during his tenure, but there are some bright spots to Capaldi’s departure. No, really, there are. And also some crushing sad spots. Let’s start with the happy things first.
5 Reasons I’m Excited
1. He gets to do other projects
Cue hundreds of writers opening a new file and typing Untitled Peter Capaldi Project. https://t.co/r3daHVyYHf
— Simon Blackwell (@simonblackwell) January 30, 2017
One of the absolute best things about being a Whovian during Capaldi’s run is getting to know more about the actor himself. And in case you hadn’t already guessed, he’s amazing. Whatever he goes on to do next is something I can’t wait to see.
2. The return of Jenna Coleman
It has to happen. There is no reason or excuse that I will accept if she is not brought back for Capaldi’s regeneration. Yes, there’s a Victoria Christmas special to film and yes, she probably has other things on her schedule but I DON’T CARE. Clara has to return for a final goodbye with her Doctor and as bittersweet and sad as it will be I cannot WAIT to have Capaldi and Coleman on my screen together again.
3. New showrunner, new show. Mostly.
One of the reasons Doctor Who has such an enduring legacy is because it’s not afraid to change. The biggest changes usually happen when showrunner’s come and go. We already know Chris Chibnall will have a different vision than Steven Moffat, the same way Moffat had a different vision that his predecessor, Russell T. Davies. What’s great about the show and the Time Lord title changing hands at the same time is we’ll get something completely Chibnall’s, just as we did in Season 5 with Moffat and Matt Smith. And that’s always exciting to see.
4. The “New Who?” Mania
Choosing the new Doctor is probably only akin to choosing a new James Bond. It becomes an international matter of debate. Bets are placed on it. Lengthy editorials are penned about it. Doctor Who cast members both past and present weigh in or politely decline to do so. Meanwhile, the fandom and the media whip themselves into a frenzy trying to figure it out before the official announcement. This will be the first time I get to truly take in the speculation mania, and I am ready to sit back and enjoy… and ok, chime in every so often.
5. A new Coleman and Capaldi project?
I know this is kind of cheating because it’s a combination of 1 and 2 but my list, my rules. One of the best part of Capaldi’s run as the Doctor was his chemistry and friendship with Coleman. Both have expressed interest in working together again, and now he’ll at least have the time for it. She’s likely to be tied up with Victoria for a while but maybe they can find time to do a film or a play or anything?
5 Reasons I’m Sad
1. We’ll probably never have a bigger fan as the Doctor
Capaldi grew up with Doctor Who. He drew fan art (and still does), wrote letters to the fan club, and used to pretend to be the Doctor. That lifelong connection to the show has translated into a Doctor that feels both new and old, foreign and familiar, unique and a classic throwback. When he talks about the role and the show, it is with a kind of authority and love that only comes from a devoted fan. One of the great joys has been seeing someone who loves the show more than anyone else get to live out their boyhood dream every day for the past three years.
2. He’s the best ambassador ever for the show
The brand of Doctor Who has always been tied up in it’s leading actors, particularly the Time Lord, and there’s no one who has exemplified the show’s central message of hope and encouragement better than Capaldi. He’s always viewed it as his job to portray the Doctor well on and off the screen. To that end, he visited slums in Malawi, participated in Children’s Hospice Week, and went to see a fan in the hospital. He didn’t do it because he had or was told but because he honestly believes it’s his responsibility. What else can you say about that except…
3. He’s an actual cinnamon roll
Remember that time he politely asked a little girl who loved Matt Smith’s Doctor if she could find it in her heart to like him too? That was just the beginning. I think Peter Capaldi might actually be the nicest man ever. Every crew member, every star and guest star, every past co-star has raved about his authentic compassion, friendliness, and intelligence. He’s also routinely gone above and beyond to make time for fans while filming on location and at events. I can say from personal experience (#humblebrag) that even when he was overscheduled and overtired at a convention, he was gentle, genuine, and gracious. We don’t deserve him.
4. I’m not ready to see Twelve regenerate.
I always cry during regeneration scenes. Even though I got into Doctor Who late and knew Christopher Eccleston would be replaced by David Tennant and then Tennant by Matt Smith, I still cried during Nine and Ten’s final scenes. More surprisingly, I was suddenly sobbing during Eleven’s regeneration, a Doctor with whom I’d never really connected. Watching Capaldi regenerate is going to be unbearable, especially because…
5. He’s My Doctor
By the time Twelve came around, I was a Whovian more out of obligation than actual interest in the show. I hadn’t been a fan of seasons 6 or 7. But in season 8 I suddenly found myself diving into the deep end of fandom and devouring every bit of Whovian content available. The more I learned about the actor himself, the more I loved him and Twelve. My apologies to David Tennant, but Peter Capaldi is, and always will be, my Doctor.
Bonus: He’s also freaking gorgeous.
I’m going to miss his handsome face on my screen all the time.
Credits: BBC, Radio Times, tumblr