Sunday, August 24, 2014

Doctor Who Returns!


Welcome to the TARDIS, Peter Capaldi

What a wonderful introduction to the latest Doctor we were presented with last night with the premiere of Doctor Who Series 8 (in England, seasons are called series ...), which had Capaldi - a lifelong fan of the show - stepping into the iconic role previously played by 11 other actors, the last being the whimsically soulful Matt Smith, whose swan song aired last Christmas.

The great thing about Doctor Who, the reason it has continued on over more than 50 years, is because the character is able to regenerate whenever he's about to die - a process that has the Doctor completely changing how he looks and acts.  In reality, this process happens when an actor chooses to move on from the role, as Smith chose to do last year.  It can often be a daunting task for the casting director, trying to find the next Doctor, but apparently they had Capaldi in mind right from the start (in addition to loving the show, he actually appeared in an episode in Series 4 and also the spinoff series Torchwood).

Capaldi is the oldest actor to take on the role since its massive resurgence in 2005 (which started with Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Smith, the latter being only 27 when he started in the role ... Capaldi is 57).  So this Doctor (who is depending on who you talk to is either the 12th or the 13th - Smith was officially considered the 11th and John Hurt was introduced in this year's 50th anniversary special as the 12th, though in the line of regenerations is actually the 9th because his Doctor regenerated into Eccleston's\, who is really considered the 9th ... have I lost you?) is going to be a far cry from Smith's man-child one.  He already seems a little darker, a little colder, but it's going to be fascinating watching where these new travels with him take us.

No doubt the Doctor's current companion Clara (Jenna Coleman) will be dealing with that right along with us (the companion is thought to be the voice of the audience, often thinking, feeling and expressing what the masses might feel).  It's bee thought that Clara had a bit of a crush on 11 (Smith), but now that same man is old enough to be her father, and the change happened in an instant, so there is clearly an adjustment period, for both her and us.

For me, I've had the chance to get used to the idea of a new Doctor, which I didn't before, as I pretty much binged watched the show from Eccleston's premiere straight through to and through Smith's.  So I went right from Eccleston, who I liked, to Tennant, who I loved (still my favorite Doctor), to Smith (that took some time).  But bidding Smith goodbye last December and now hello to Capaldi, I'm ready for the adventure to continue with this new Time Lord. 

So to Capaldi, I say Fantastic, Allons-y, Geronimo, and whatever catch word his Doctor adapts!

New Doctor Who airs Saturdays at 9pm on BBC America.  Past series are currently streaming on Netflix.

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