Okay this needs to be said.
Thank fuck the Doctor is dead,
Long live the Doctor.
This guy, Peter Capaldi, is right for the part, even in look. The younger, and ever younger Doctors were so fucking annoying; seriously, it was rapidly reaching the stage where he was gonna have to be a fetus to be any younger. And that was beyond jarring when I personally grew up with old Doctors, the youngest in looks from my childhood was Peter Davison, and even he had an indefinable feeling of age to him. (Video has some serious swearing, but gives a good sense of why this guy may have the right stuff to fill the enormous boots that so many actors have left behind them in this part.)
Matt Smith, to me, never had the feeling of a depth of antiquity to him, a feeling which the Doctor needs to be pulled off as a character. He never felt like a lonely god, or an eternal warrior. He never felt like someone whose whole past was drenched in the blood of the innocent, and guilty alike. He never felt like a man on the run from himself.
Admittedly Matt Smith did have an impossible task presented to him as he struggled to fill the shoes vacated by David Tennent. Tennent had made the character so completely his own that even old timer Whovians, like myself, adored him. He had found a way, to somehow, convey extreme age, sorrow, and barely controlled self loathing in to every glance at the camera, every word from his lips. He was The Doctor, in a way that no-one since, perhaps, Tom Baker had been; and I say that as a hardcore fan of the Sylvester McCoy years.
So perhaps I am, somewhat, unfair to Matt; but I did stop watching his seasons after the episode “Demons Run.” I simply couldn’t stand watching the show any more.
Now though, with an older actor, a seasoned actor, an absolutely brilliant actor taking over the TARDIS, perhaps we have a chance for Doctor Who to become more of what it used to be. Less of the warrior, more of the horrified whimsy. More desperate escapes, less blowing up entire Cyber-fleets just to send a message. More running. Much more running.
I want to see a villain tripped in to a bottomless chasm again, using nothing more than a scarf pulled tight across the mouth of a tunnel. (The Hand of Doom)
I want to see the Doctor locked in a desperate game of mental chess again, with whole worlds as the prize. (The Curse of Fenric)
I want to see him have a relationship with his daughter, let her be a companion, and the genesis of a new, better race of TimeLords. (The Doctor’s Daughter)
I truly hope that this time we have a Doctor that can be the flawed hero of the past. Not a mass murderer who can barely live with himself, and is only a hero despite himself. A real hero,
give us a dash of John Pertwee’s eccentricity and dash,
a few ounces of Tom Baker’s fear-filled courage,
a cup of Patrick Troughton’s whimsy,
a smidgen of Colin Bakers weirdness,
a good pinch of Peter Davison’s Englishness,
a random dash of Christopher Eccelston’s anger,
Sylvester McCoy’s scathing humour,
David Tennent’s feeling of endless sorrow,
Matt Smith’s…odd fashion sense,
but most of all William Hartnell’s sense of deep age, otherworldliness and above all, mystery.
Give us the Doctor who can make us frightened of the night, the distant, the old, the new, of the whole universe again. Give us the Doctor who makes us feel unsettled, disquieted, unsure of ourselves. Make us wonder whose side he’s really on. Make us wonder if we should be glad, or sorry that he doesn’t really exist.
But most of all stop making him a FUCKING ADULT SCHOOLBOY! It’s getting old.