August 23rd will see the return of Doctor Who and everyone’s favourite eccentric, time travelling hero. With a new person in charge of the T.A.R.D.I.S though, will it be the same?
At Christmas, we said a teary goodbye to Matt Smith as he was spared from death by the Timelords. A charismatic and energetic variation of the Doctor, he combined the whimsicality of David Tennant and the seriousness of Christopher Eccleston. Now though, a new player has stepped up to the plate, as we welcome Peter Capaldi to our screens next week.
What kind of Doctor will he be? If the Internet is anything to go by, he will be a foul-mouthed and ranting sort of chap, a Malcolm Tucker of outer space. Whilst it’s a nice thought, it seems like he will take the Doctor in a much darker direction.
Even Capaldi’s appearance is a far cry from the fez-wearing Smith. Cloaked in a dark coat with a simple white shirt underneath, the monochrome nature of this clothing implies a binary outlook on the world – good/bad, peace/destruction. It seems a bit of a throwback to Eccleston’s ominous leather jacket, a sign of a darker character underneath.
His tone is darker still. In the BBC trailer, he asks, “Clara, tell me. Am I a good man?” When Smith regenerated, it was nigh on impossible to track his flying acrobatics around the T.A.R.D.I.S as he examined the potential of his new body. Indeed, Stephen Moffat has expounded upon Capaldi’s “unique approach” in “defying the show’s penchant for having The Doctor “dance or be running around the console” while solving problems.” Capaldi’s Doctor is more brooding and glowering, as Jenna Coleman has confirmed by stating that Capaldi’s Doctor is almost the opposite of Smith’s.
This new element of the Doctor’s character is undoubtedly going to affect the chemistry between Clara and the Doctor. In the BBC trailer, Coleman looks almost perplexed at this new personality, as if it’s difficult to overlay her built up impression of the Doctor on this new regeneration. The hints of romance between the Doctor and Clara are sure to be extinguished too, removing quite a large chunk of the comedic element of the show.
So what does the new series have to offer? It looks like we’ll see a lot of old friends and enemies, with a few new characters thrown in for good measure. Those that have seen the trailer will have found it hard to miss the gigantic T-rex stomping around next to the Houses of Parliament; perhaps it’s a reimagining of the imaginatively titled Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. Oh and of course, what would Doctor Who be without the Daleks? You know the drill by now, as soon as you see that glowing blue plunger, it’s time to take cover behind the sofa…
If that wasn’t enough, the T.A.R.D.I.S, the stalwart of Doctor Who, is quite literally on fire, close to exploding in a fiery ball. Not since Billie Piper took a tow truck to our favourite blue police box has it looked in such a dire state.
If you were hoping for something a little more eccentric than death and destruction from this series, don’t worry. Capaldi riding a horse in nothing but a flowing nightdress should tickle your fancy. Could you imagine Malcolm Tucker in that situation? The creative expletives don’t bear thinking about.
All in all then, if you were expecting a light-hearted, jovial series, you might be a little shocked. Instead, expect Capaldi to take the Doctor in a much darker direction, into an abyss of enigma and destruction.