Written by John Hussey
My worst fears have materialised. Peter Capaldi will be stepping down as The Twelfth Doctor in the 2017 Christmas Special, making Series 10 his last run. This comes only after we as fans got him back on our screens, after 2016 brought us no new content other than a small cameo within new spin-off Class (which wasn’t a huge success in my eyes due to its inconsistency and tonal issues) and his return in the 2016 Christmas Special, “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”.
Capaldi first debuted in Doctor Who back in 2008 as a supporting cast member alongside David Tennant‘s Tenth Doctor in “The Fires of Pompeii”. He later returned to the Whoniverse in 2009 for Torchwood: Children of Earth playing another supporting role. In 2013 it was announced during Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor that Capaldi would succeed Matt Smith as the latest incarnation.
He made his debut officially at the end of the 2013 Christmas Special, “The Time of the Doctor”, whilst also making a cameo in the 50th Anniversary Special, “The Day of the Doctor”. Capaldi then went on to do two series before the show went on hiatus during 2016, with Capaldi only appearing twice as The Twelfth Doctor throughout the year, the first as a cameo in Class and the second during the 2016 Christmas Special, “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”. Series 10, which is due to start on Easter Saturday (April 15th), will mark the start of his end.
Capaldi had this to say about his decision to leave, “One of the greatest privileges of being Doctor Who is to see the world at its best. From our brilliant crew and creative team working for the best broadcaster on the planet, to the viewers and fans whose endless creativity, generosity and inclusiveness points to a brighter future ahead. I can’t thank everyone enough. It’s been cosmic.”
Steven Moffat, Head-Writer and Executive Producer, added, “For years before I ever imagined being involved in Doctor Who, or had ever met the man, I wanted to work with Peter Capaldi. I could not have imagined that one day we’d be standing on the TARDIS together. Like Peter, I’m facing up to leaving the best job I’ll ever have, but knowing I do so in the company of the best, and kindest and cleverest of men, makes the saddest of endings a little sweeter. But hey, it’s a long way from over. Peters’ amazing, fiery, turbulent Doctor is still fighting the good fight, and his greatest adventures are yet to come. Monsters of the universe, be on your guard – Capaldi’s not done with you yet!”
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, continued, “Peter Capaldi will always be a very special Doctor to me; his adventures through time and space started just as I arrived on BBC One. He has been a tremendous Doctor who has brought his own unique wisdom and charisma to the role. But, it’s not over yet – I know the next series is going to be spectacular. He’s a fine actor who I hope we work with again when he leaves the TARDIS”.
And finally Brian Minchin, Executive Producer, finished off with, “Peter Capaldi is an extraordinary Doctor and has taken the show to amazing places. Although I’m sad he has decided to move on in 2018 I’m delighted that we have one final series with Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat. I know what they’re planning and it’s going to be incredible.”
For me this is a rather annoying announcement. I don’t begrudge Capaldi for wanting to leave, it’s his decision at the end of the day and we all must respect him for that. But the person I am angry at is Moffat. This is the man that I used to respect and look up to for inspiration as a writer. But once Capaldi joined the show his writing started to deteriorate and gradually got worse and worse. His ideas grew stale and this affected the overall quality and consistency of Doctor Who.
Since this started happening we have had The Master turned into a woman, had Clara Oswald divide the fandom due to her nearly turning the show into Clara Who, had Davros return for one of the most pointless appearances of all time, had the show retcon an important piece of Doctor Who law, had the idea of the Time Lords being gender-fluid forced down our throats, and “Hell Bent” demonstrated you can go from a cult classic to the biggest pile of nonsense in the history of television.
Because of this it’s fair to say that Capaldi hasn’t had a good run. It’s upsetting to know that Capaldi may end up with the most inconsistent and badly written era in the history of Doctor Who, which is a massive shame since taking on the role was a life-long ambition and he’s such a terrific actor. In short, Capaldi deserved a lot more than what he got and so I say shame on you Moffat for ruining his tenure with your selfish additions and lack-luster ideas.
Now I’m just praying for Series 10 to pull off something amazing for Capaldi’s sake. I can’t bare to see him receive another train-wreck series, not when it’s his last. He deserves to go out with a bang (or better still, his entire era should’ve been a bang and not a shameful display of poorly executed ideas).