Later this year we will say goodbye to the twelfth Doctor. Sometime around Christmas, in a blinding golden flash the combat eyebrows and Scottish brogue will be gone and replaced with someone new. Our guitar wielding punk rock alien savior dressed as a rock and roll magician will move on to his next regeneration (possibly ginger we don’t know yet, but I mean he could be ginger next, right?) But let’s not focus on that just yet because with series 10 really just begining we have a lot of Peter Capaldi‘s tenure as Doctor Who to enjoy.
This weekend, the good Doctor is visiting the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo and if I do say so myself he’s in fine form and shows no signs of slowing down just yet. However, as the hundreds that attended his panel made clear, we are already starting to prepare for his 4 years of saving the universe to draw to a close. Here’s a few highlights.
I think the most poignant part in the above clip was the simple statement that each an every actor that has played the Doctor, and in that, each an every manifestation of the man from Gallifrey, never really truly goes away. A statement he solidified later when he was asked what he’d say to William Hartnell, the first Doctor, if he could. A simple thank you that travels through time with a legacy spanning more than 5 decades for what began back in 1963 and continues to this day. When asked about how he felt about his time in the TARDIS drawing to an end Capaldi simply called it sad, but as any long standing or even newly minted Whovian can attest it is always a little bitter sweet to see one Doctor make way to the next. If there was one thing clear from the crowd in attendance, Capaldi’s legacy is very secure. And from the man himself, let’s not worry too much about his leaving just yet since clearly he is going to fill the next eleven episodes with as much number 12 as he can.
Of course the 45 minutes wasn’t all focused on his leaving the franchise, there was a tonne of great moments had between fans and the Doctor. Like, did you know he almost wasn’t 12 but 8? Yes, back in 1996 Capaldi was invited to audition for the 8th Doctor (who ended up being Paul McGann who Capaldi complimented greatly.) In his own words he skipped the audition because he was such a huge Doctor Who fan growing up that he didn’t think he’d end up getting the role, it was just too “big.” With a little irony later, he was asked how he manages to fill such a huge role as playing the Doctor he cited that long standing love of the character as the source of the energy he pours into it.
As for how he approaches the character, his main goal has been to make the Doctor a little more alien, a little more mysterious and intriguing for the viewer, which I guess explains the sunglasses. Does he have a favorite Doctor Who adversary? That seemed like a bit of a tougher question to pin down for Capaldi as he listed off his favorites from Cybermen to Ice Warriors and more before settling on the clear choice of the venerable and eternal Dalek as his baddie of choice. Does he have a favorite companion? Of course, it’s K-9! Who doesn’t want and cyberpooch as a best friend. Honestly, I am starting to doubt his success at making the Doctor feel distant since all his answers at the panel were very relatable.
Lastly, and before you ask, yes. He was asked who he’d like to see take over as the thirteenth Doctor. Capaldi went at length to describe an actor he knows that is charming and talented. A great thespian that is handsome and mysterious and… well, it turns out he was just describing himself. Will we see Peter Capaldi’s Doctor regenerate back into himself this Christmas? Probably not, but I am sure many of us agree we wouldn’t mind if he did.