So it wasn’t Patterson Joseph liked I’d hoped but instead we got someone I will concede as a better choice. That’s not to say I’m doing a u-turn on my opinion because the reason Peter Capaldi is such a great choice for Doctor Who are the same reasons I would have Patterson Joseph, it’s just that he represents them so much better.
The first thing many people noticed was his age. I know of a few people who are already skeptical that he is a fair bit older than Matt Smith or even David Tennant when he first took control of the Tardis but the age is something I like. The Doctor began as a much older man and although he has slowly got younger as he got older, I always thought there should be some appearance of a man who looks like an ancient Time Lord. Capaldi looks like a man who has travelled through time and space for hundreds of years and you can believe that he holds the answers for many different, difficult questions, much more than Matt Smith’s babyface ever did.
I always thought The Doctor should have an air of superiority and never be a “kind” or “cuddly” character like the more recent versions of the Time Lord have become. I can’t see Capaldi being that sort of Doctor. He strikes me as a man who will be much more in the vein of Colin Baker, Jon Pertwee or Christopher Eccleston. I like it when The Doctor views everyone else as stupid because 99% of the time, he is the cleverest person in the room and he needs to represent that. Capaldi can give off that charming arrogance in the style of the “classic Doctors.”
You just have to look back to his most well-known role to realise he holds the key qualities for being The Doctor. At its best, the show can balance the fine line between terrifying and humorous. It can be one of the scariest tv shows but never too far away from a joke or a slight bit of absurdity. Peter Capaldi can a handle that balance with ease. He is a man who will make the scary scarier or the funny funnier. He can be the charming, smiling buffoon or the fearless man of action.
The person that represents this best is his character from The Thick of It, Malcolm Tucker. I won’t put a clip here because I wouldn’t be able to find a suitably, non-fouled mouthed one but he plays a character in that political program who can be charming and misleading when he needs to be or ferocious, scary and biting too. He is also fantastic at delivering long-winded, complicated speeches, just like The Doctor has to on a weekly basis.
Best of all, he is an established, dignified actor and above all, a Doctor Who fan. In the convoluted, far too overhyped tv show that the BBC used to announce Capaldi as The Doctor, we got a glimpse at a past letter and an idea of how much of a fan he is. Capaldi actually knows Doctor Who. Doctor Who is a character and show best played by someone who is clearly familiar with the history and legacy of the show and in the hands of Capaldi, we have that and more.
Overall, Steven Moffat has successfully cast the perfect actor for the job. Peter Capaldi is someone with the confidence, presence, attitude and ability to pull off one of the most difficult, complicated and above all, iconic characters on television. He can be funny, serious, warm and kind all in a matter of key moments. And if you’re still in doubt, just check out his first introduction as The Doctor and tell me he doesn’t already feel like the last Time Lord.