Credit: BBC/Steve Brown
In Handing Over the Sonic Screwdriver I wrote:
Nine-hundred odd years of knocking around the universe, you’ve got to see in the Doctor’s eyes when it’s just not funny any more.
In Stephen Armstrong’s article for Radio Times 17-23 May, he reports Steven Moffatt as saying of Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor:
He’s not a human being, however much he larks around pretending to be … He’s not apologising, he’s not flirting with you – that’s over.
Now, I’ve not been lurking in Steven Moffatt’s brain, or indeed Peter Capaldi’s; the closest I’ve got is sitting on a sofa, drooling with admiration at the results of their work six feet away on a television screen. But we have
We have a match, which comes down to No More Puppying Around in Who. Steven Moffatt explains it as pre- and post-Day of the Doctors and who are we to argue with the screenwriter who has satisfied thousands of fans (and non-fans) with an anniversary episode that could have played safe but really, really didn’t.
Steven Moffatt says the two Doctors who met up with John Hurt’s brutal old warrior from the Time War were “puppying around the place” trying to prove there’s too much light in them to do anything very dark. Now that whole doing-a-dreadful-thing has been reversed, the Doctor:
… goes back to being the trickier version of the Doctor, the fiercer alien wanderer.
Cor, bring it on.
This has nothing to do with the place of sci-fi on the “small” screen (have you noticed they qualify as an entire wall now?) shifts in storyline in the Doctor Who seasons, or even how Malcolm Tucker is going to turn into the next Doctor, let alone Matt Smith into Peter Capaldi.
I sat down to watch the announcement of the Next Doctor in the same spirit as the Cup Final, Wimbledon and the last eppy of Broadchurch. Caught the vibe and punched the air when they announced Peter Capaldi. He’s just right for me, after the romantic Doctor of David Tennant and the physical, alien presence of Matt Smith. The 12th Doctor will no doubt be funny, but he’ll also be scary. Nine-hundred odd years of knocking around the universe, you’ve got to see in the Doctor’s eyes when it’s just not funny any more. I don’t expect Peter Capaldi to use either the sonic screwdriver or the word “fuck” much, he’ll just look at things and they’ll nod and sidle away. I would, to be honest.
I’m waiting for a Doctor who has been bending time and the universe for ever to keep it safe for us little, mainly stupid, people to mess around in, occasionally learning stuff. Watching the Doctor fall in love was like watching two people cuddling on a sofa. Who for me is about recapturing the moment where I hid behind the sofa. I think he’ll deliver.
I don’t analyse Doctor Who, it’s just something running alongside my life on an increasingly large screen. Yesterday was important for that reason, just a punch the air moment.
Peter Capaldi, you’ll rock.