8 hopes for the 12th Doctor (Part 2)
Guest contributor Mark Spurdle concludes his list of things he wants to see with Capaldi’s Doctor.
Sunday 4th August saw the announcement of Peter Capaldi as the next Doctor. Delight, shock, and excitement hit me and many others simultaneously as the 55-year-old was given the keys to the TARDIS. In this article I shall be giving my final 4 hopes for our next Doctor.
To face the Sea Devils and the Master
With the big 50th anniversary special on the way it was almost inevitable that Series 7 would be littered with teasers and recollections of the Classic era. We were graced with some of the old Daleks in Asylum of the Daleks; there was a large reference to Susan in The Rings of Akhaten; the greatly anticipated return of the Ice Warriors in Cold War; a teaser to the brain of Morbius in Hide; the return of the Great Intelligence in The Snowmen, The Bells of Saint John and the series finale, The Name of the Doctor.
Of course, none were bigger than the whole of The Name of the Doctor. The sheer amount of teasers, clips and more enabled us viewers to truly see how much was being honoured of the classic era during the build up to the grand occasion. Heck, the bus driver from Asylum of the Daleks was the the first technical villain in An Unearthly Child, although I’m sure many fans would sooner see a classic Doctor returning!
The Name of the Doctor gave us everything, the return of the a grand old enemy, clips of the 1st Doctor (modified to show him stealing his beloved TARDIS), Gallifrey a long, long time ago, and of course references to the Valeyard. All of this enabled us to see how much Steven Moffat loves the show, and how much he will go to enable us to feel the big 50th rearing its head. The 50th itself appears to be a great treat for all fans with the possible and almost inevitable return of the Time War, Daleks and the Zygons (plural).
Recent reports and interviews from the big man, Moffat himself, have shown us that the 50th anniversary will look forward to the future, which is smart, seeing as our beloved show is about change and finding new ways to reinvent it. But with this thought in mind I felt it would do good to see Capaldi’s first series involve his Doctor going against a monster from the classic era, what monsters you ask? The Sea Devils.
The Sea Devils made their first appearance against the 3rd Doctor in, well, The Sea Devils, Warriors of the Deep and Frontier in Space (although the latter was a brief cameo). I have to be honest and say I haven’t seen any of the listed serials, but a quick Youtube search allowed me to see some Sea Devil action, and they fascinate me. The design, the origin of the species, everything about them. Which is why I would love to see them return in Series 8, to face Capaldi’s Doctor and allow fans like me to see them for possibly the first time, and for those fans who adore them so much.
When a classic monster makes an appearance in the new era they will often have a rebooted look or updated look, with the exception of the brilliant Zygons. However, I and many others feel a completely new design would fail to be a beneficial move. Perhaps update the design slightly, but do not change it too far. The Silurians made a two-part appearance in Matt’s first series, so who’s to say the Sea Devils won’t follow suit with Capaldi’s first series?
Now, as you will have seen in the sub-title, I would also love to see the 12th Doctor face his greatest equal, the Master. In my opinion a great way to kick-start the Capaldi era would be introducing the Doctor’s oldest ‘friend’ and foe in the series finale. What the plot would involve I shan’t state here, as it would just turn into a long fan-fiction. However, I would take huge delight in seeing Simm’s Master regenerate into an older, more sinister and sarcastic Master, akin to the greatly admired Roger Delgado.
Just think of it… an older Master that would treat the older Doctor not like an enemy as such, but someone to simply beat. He would not really wish to kill the Doctor, just to simply unnerve and get one over him. Something greatly similar to the Pertwee era regarding the Doctor and the Master’s relationship.
It would be an even greater joy to the Doctor and the Master have to assist each other, but contradict each other and disagree on what to do. Now, I shan’t write a long list of names that could suit an older Master as that is an article for the future, perhaps. However I do believe that Anthony Head or Julian Richings would carry off that task of portraying the above.
Allow 12 to develop with two-parters, cliffhangers and no split
I won’t deny it, I do miss the days when we had two-parters: the first half ending on a large cliffhanger carrying throughout the week. Series 5 was, in my opinion, the best Moffat series so far as it carried a decent amount of two-parters allowing us to truly launch ourselves to the edge of our seats as the “Next time” trailer flashes on our televisions. Series 7 suffered due to there being no two-parters. It was less consistent, gripping and eye-catching. Despite this Series 7 still gains a good score from myself.
It seems due to recent reports that there WILL be no splits in Series 8. So, whilst it’s not confirmed, there remains a strong chance that we will get a full series at last. In my humble opinion, and many others, this will benefit Capaldi to ease his way into being our beloved Doctor.
I believe that no split will allow a full flow for his first era: full consistency and cliffhangers that allow the audience to be on the edge of their seats to see how Capaldi’s Doctor saves the day, himself or those he loves. I refer you to Matt’s first series, no splits and plenty of two-parters and cliffhangers. It appears this enabled Matt to ease his way into the show and stamp down his foot and create his own era. It also seems the full series enabled the audience to quickly get to terms with Matt and fall in love with him, due to having a full run of Matt for 13 episodes, no 4-5 episodes then waiting months to see him again. With this thought in mind I believe that a full series would be beneficial for Capaldi and would allow us to easily fall in love with him.
A new TARDIS interior for a new Doctor
Now don’t shoot me just yet. I do love Matt’s current TARDIS, I truly do. Clara’s entrance into the TARDIS from The Snowmen was one of the best ever scenes of new Who. However, I just feel a new TARDIS interior would be a better option for Capaldi’s Doctor. Matt’s Doctor was introduced with well, everything anew. I simply feel like Capaldi would be bringing in and stamping down his era by having a new TARDIS interior.
Now, if Capaldi’s Doctor IS a dark, cunning and professor-type Doctor then I would be delighted to see a TARDIS design similar to McGann’s TARDIS from the TV Movie: a dark yet light place in some respects; ancient, with large wooden bookshelves and just a whole area of old life.
Now I’m not sure if the BBC’s budget would agree with my ideas, so failing the former idea, I would love to see Capaldi’s Doctor gain a TARDIS interior similar to Tom Baker’s TARDIS from The Robots of Death: simple yet old and wise, which suited the 4th Doctor’s personality spot on.
More adventures with the modern U.N.I.T
A huge portion of the Pertwee era was the introduction and use of U.N.I.T with Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart leading the operation. This idea occurred due to budget cuts at the BBC, but it proved to be a large success and is widely loved throughout fans of the show. Watching The Three Doctors made me fall in love with U.N.I.T.
However, I was saddened by the portrayal of modern U.N.I.T throughout the RTD era. The military style just didn’t give me the magic that the classic era U.N.I.T. delivered. From The Power of Three it is told to us that U.N.I.T is finally more science based, akin to the old UN.I.T, lead by none other than the Brigadier’s daughter Kate Stewart.
U.N.I.T in The Power of Three were the highlight of the episode IMO and it is delightful to see that Kate will be in the 50th special and bringing U.N.I.T with her.
It would be a dream (in my opinion) to see the 12th Doctor have more Earth-based episodes with U.N.IT. It would really bring a Pertwee feel to his era which in my opinion isn’t a bad thing at all. It would certainly please some certain users on this site to see a Pertwee like era.