The Stress of Getting a New Doctor
August 26, 2013
Every few years, I get a new Doctor. This is always a difficult transition for me. I like my current Doctor. I am attached to my Doctor. Why do I have to get a new one? Wait, I bet you’re thinking this has something to do with an HMO or PPO. No, this has to do with the BBC and the long-running, sci-fi series, Doctor Who. The time has come for the 11th Doctor to regenerate and pass the controls of the TARDIS to the incoming 12th Doctor. For Whovians like me, the selection of a new actor to play this iconic role is a matter of EXTREME IMPORTANCE.
The regeneration process of a Time Lord brings a new personality in addition to a new appearance. I’d argue this is exactly why Doctor Who is the longest running sci-fi television program of all time. By reinventing the main character every few years, the show can avoid falling into stagnation. But despite the obvious advantages, the process can be painful to fans. When Matt Smith first took over the role of the Doctor from the much-beloved David Tennant, it took me a few episodes to fully appreciate his new take on the Doctor. Now, Peter Capaldi will be taking over the role, and we will all miss Matt Smith for a few episodes. And then… we will slowly find ourselves growing fond of the new Doctor. Before too long, we will think he’s the BEST.DOCTOR.EVER.
So who is Peter Capaldi, anyway? First, he’s still not a ginger. But he is a lifelong Doctor Who superfan, so that bodes very well for the franchise. Second, he’s a Scottish ex-punk-rocker who was once in a band with his friend, Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson. Oh, and he’s also an Academy Award-winning short film director. Finally, he’s a versatile actor with roles that range from In the Thick of It's and In the Loop's tyrannical master of profanity Malcolm Tucker, to Prime Suspect's timid transvestite Vera Reynolds. He’s already appeared in the Whoniverse twice before, once as Caecilius in “The Fires of Pompeii” and as John Frobisher in Torchwood’s “Children of Men” series.
For now, all we Whovians can do is wait. UNTIL CHRISTMAS DAY! The torture! Wait to find out the new Doctor’s wardrobe choices, his new personality, his new catchphrases and new mannerisms, and his new relationship style with his Companion(s). And of course, we will say our teary goodbyes to Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor (and his bow ties, hat fixation, and of course, fish fingers and custard) as well. And there’s still the mystery of John Hurt’s Doctor(?) to deal with as well. In the meantime, I will be going back and watching past episodes of Doctor Who to remind myself that the Doctor has already been 11 different people and hopefully he (or she?) will be many more.