Confession #109: I'm Bummed Capaldi's Leaving

About a week ago, the news officially broke that Series Ten will be Peter Capaldi's last as the Doctor. Although I'm terribly disappointed, I cannot honestly say that the news surprises me. After all, three seasons is pretty much the standard tenure for a Doctor, and there will often be a casting change with the changing of the production team guard.

While I have enjoyed the vast majority of Capaldi's adventures—almost entirely due to the man himself, in some cases—I must also admit that there were scripts that left him high and dry. I suspect much of what I didn't care for boiled down to having Moffat's hand on the tiller (except for that one episode that was just plain dreadful IMO—now let us never speak of it again). After all, the things that troubled me most about Matt Smith's tenure as the Doctor were certain characterizations from Moffat's pen; I'd really hoped that Capaldi would escape his influence for at least a single series. Alas.

In contrast, some will be happy to see him go. Many of the objections to Capaldi's Doctor that I've seen over the last couple of years have centered on his prickly personality. I suppose I can see why some fans would find that archetype alienating. Perhaps that reaction to Capaldi is as natural for those who most adored Smith's Eleventh Doctor as the immediate, opposing reaction was for me. As my fandom was formed upon the fairly dour Ninth Doctor, I have found a somewhat more staid (though never completely sane) incarnation comfortable and refreshing.

So where will Chibnall take the character? It's traditional for each incarnation to be in some notable aspect quite different from the immediate predecessor. I don't have a reliable enough feel for the new showrunner's style to make a sensible prediction of the axis or axes along which he is likely to aim for change, but I'm willing to wait and see how it goes, regardless.

Hot takes about who should (or shouldn't) be the next Doctor are already flying around, as they always do, and some of my readers might wonder whom I would cast next, were I in Chibnall's shoes. The truth of the matter is that I know so little about British film and television that I can't possibly form a well-reasoned opinion. At best, I can read British fans' suggestions and look up the artists in question to get an idea whether or not I'd like any given pick.

I'll go so far as to say that I'd be personally delighted to see a Doctor who was not an able-bodied, white, cishet man and leave it at that.

"The Regeneration Cycle" by @willbrooks1989

It's important to remember, though, that even though the wheel is turning again (note that we're now in that upper righthand area), we still have a third of the Twelfth Doctor's tenure in front of us. With the completion of Clara's narrative thread, I'm really hoping for a bit of a shift back toward focus on the Doctor. (I know, I know... It's still Moffat: He-who-believes-the-show's-main-character-is-actually-the-current-Companion.)

One way or another, I'm determined to make the most of this series. Even with the pall of a pending regeneration hanging over it, there is the promise of newness as well. Having conveniently forgotten Clara (I'm sorry for those who love her, but it makes me happy—I was getting really tired of her!), the Doctor is now free to share adventures with a new friend, unfettered by the angst of his lost bestie. (Because we all know how well that went in Series Three...)

So while I brace myself to say farewell to my favorite modern Doctor, I look to the future with hope. Change isn't always good, but the one thing we can always count on is change. I'm eager to see where it takes us this time.






I'm going to miss Capaldi. I think he is a fine Doctor and I don't feel we've seen enough of him. I can't imagine that another 13 episodes will make me tire of him.

I felt that most of his first season was so poorly written that he really didn't get a chance to show what he could do.

By Kara S (not verified)
mrfranklin's picture

I don't think I'd *ever* get tired of Capaldi. :) I'm super bummed he's going.

By mrfranklin

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