Sunday, August 4, 2013

Doctor Who: The new Doctor is in

I started watching "Doctor Who" with Matt Smith's first episode, so the changing of the guard is a new experience for me. Now it's official that Peter Capaldi will succeed Matt Smith. The announcement -- which was made in a broadcast that aired live in Britain, the U.S., Australia and probably elsewhere, too -- was not unexpected. The British bookies had stopped taking bets a few days ago, so sure they were that Capaldi had landed the role.

I'm not really familiar with Capaldi's work. I know from online reports that he guest-starred on the Pompeii episode of "Doctor Who" and had a role in "Torchwood: Children of Earth." I haven't re-watched either of those in years but probably will do so now. He's most well-known for his role as a foul-mouthed spin doctor on "The Thick of It."

He made a good first impression on me in his short interview during the big announcement, and most of the social media reaction has been positive. He looks like the Doctor to me. I've read comments comparing his appearance to an older David Tennant, and also someone who said he looked like he could be Rory's uncle. I've also read comments complaining that Capaldi is too old for the part (he's 55), but I think that casting an older actor is a brilliant move by Steven Moffat. I'm hoping Capaldi brings more maturity to the Doctor. I've enjoyed the bonkers energy that Matt Smith has brought to the show, but I'm excited by the possibility that Number 12 might be more intellectual and perhaps a little darker.

Check out Capaldi in his short BBC video introduction. I love mischief in his expression, the slightly evil grin. There's a hint of danger there. As I read on one blog earlier, there's potential to worry about this Doctor. The writers might not go that route, but they could, and that's cool.

The more I think about it, the more I like this casting. Of course we won't know how well it works until next year, but I'm optimistic that the role of the Doctor is in good hands.

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