So unless you were hiding under a rock, or do not pay attention to media the way that I do, you could not have missed the fact that we got introduced to Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor. Now whenever a new Doctor gets introduced there is always a question of who are they going to be. They are still the Doctor and have all the memories of the Doctor, but there are some personality quirks that have changed. The first episode of a new Doctor always holds some trepidation because we don’t know what is going to happen and how things are going to work out.
Now first off this was not the best first episode for a new Doctor, but at the same time I did like the story they seemed to tell about the Doctor. The thing I think is important to remember is that this new Doctor was not supposed to exist. He was on his last regeneration and it took an act by the Time Lords to let him continue on and have another regeneration. I cannot even imagine what that would do to you, but I think could be part of the reason that a Doctor that looks older is a good decision. (Spoilers for the latest episode of Doctor Who after the jump)
One of the things that I noticed about Peter Capaldi as the Doctor was there was definitely a seriousness to him. When he was examining himself in the mirror even he just had a sternness to what he was discussing. The other piece was that he seemed to get upset when Clara and the others did not seem to be asking the right questions. Then the way he left Clara behind and did not even act like he was going to rescue her. In many ways his assessment of the situation was absolutely right, but it still had a severity to it. No you will be okay, or I will not let you get destroyed. It very much felt as though the Doctor would be willing to leave someone behind that he has more of a cold logic about his actions, then the fiery emotions of before.
This is not to say that the silliness that has always been the Doctor does not exist it just takes a much more subtle tone. Things like asking for the Children’s menu at the restaurant or the goofiness of him trying to talk to a Tyrannosaurus Rex. These are all moments that we could see the child that is hiding behind the older face. I had heard someone describe the difference as Eleven being a child with an old soul and Twelve being an old man with a young soul. I definitely think you see moments of this through the episode. There seems to be a child within the Doctor that lends itself to some of his goofy comments and actions.
The moral ambiguity that we see from the new Doctor was definitely an interesting twist. Normally we have always understood and seen where the Doctor stands, but in this episode we come out of it not being absolutely sure. We first see this when Clara asks the Doctor about the coat he is wearing which he either traded a wristwatch for it or he stole it from a homeless guy. The other part is that at the very end of the episode we are not sure if he pushed the villain or if the villain chose to jump. Leaving these questions open make us wonder what the moral compass of the new Doctor is and how it will play out in the rest of the season.
More To Come
Now this is just the first episode so we will not really be able to tell what Peter Capaldi as the Doctor is really like just yet. At the same time I am hopeful for what is to come. I really liked Christopher Eccelston, David Tennant, and Matt Smith, but in some ways we were getting younger and goofier versions of the Doctor as time went on. It will be interesting to see a slightly more serious and less goofy Doctor take the reigns for a while. Are you looking forward to the new season of Doctor Who?
(I am excited for Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, but am a little sad that he will no longer be Cardinal Richelieu on the Musketeers.)