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Capaldi: A Mod Man In A Box?

Guest contributor Chris Morley offers some thoughts on Capaldi.

pertwee-capaldi-costume

Anyone taking a glance at the Twelfth Doctor’s choice of attire could be forgiven for thinking he’d taken a trip to the Carnaby Street of the 1960s, no doubt with a hearty thumbs up from his Third incarnation. But would it be so bad if the link between the two were to go beyond a liking for a decent shirt and a good Inverness cape?

Everybody remembers Jon Pertwee’s portrayal of the Doctor as action hero, and it could be refreshing to have Series 8 offer the chance to see more of the high-octane standalone adventures that the period between Spearhead From Space and Planet Of The Spiders brought to Doctor Who. With the possibility of Clara Oswald maturing into a steady, Sarah-Jane Smith type to bring about a change in keeping with the move from the more Patrick Troughton-ish Eleventh Doctor (a wonderful performance by Matt Smith) to what could be an older, wiser Twelve in keeping with the Third’s protective streak, with maybe a little of the First’s grumpy authoritarianism thrown in for good measure, there’s every chance that we could have our Dandy Doctor back in some sense!

Interesting, too, that Coal Hill School appears to have a part to play with the announcement that Danny Pink (Clara’s teaching colleague back at the place where it all began in An Unearthly Child) will be a recurring character, perhaps a pinch of William Hartnell will be in the mix, too. And not just the smoking jacket. Those with long enough memories will recall that the Doctor is a flinty old man when first we encounter him having parked the TARDIS in I.M Foreman’s junk-yard, but as his travels with granddaughter Susan and first companions Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright progress he reveals a kindlier side, making him a more rounded space-grandad. Expect there to be much reminiscing if and when Twelve does land his trusted old Type 40 in the school yard. Possibly some lapel-thumbing and a nostalgic ‘ hmm’ or two as well.

william-hartnell-doctor-colourWhether or not we’ll see that side of him or indeed a regression to a darker personality more in keeping with the early First, who was all for putting an injured caveman out of his misery with a well-aimed rock before Ian stopped him and arguably started his transition into a more agreeable old soul, is a potentially great matter of much conjecture. But quite possibly the new Doctor will indeed be older, wiser and possibly more visibly/actually scarred by the likes of the Time War than his previous two selves- hopefully not in the ‘ strangle the lady companion’ sense favoured by the Sixth following his regeneration in The Twin Dilemma. There could well be a darker hue to the first stories of the Capaldi Era, which nicely opens the door to returns for some great and sadly neglected enemies if the writers deem it appropriate- who wouldn’t love to see the Mod Man In A Box tangle with a long-forgotten First monster, last seen in 1963, as a nice nod to the fact that he is the ‘ first’ of a new remotely-granted cycle of regenerations, a handy present from the still-hidden Time Lords?

Or could he tangle with baddies more familiar to the original dandy? The likes of the Daemons could offer a great chance to show off director Ben Wheatley’s horror chops. There’s also the small matter of the Master. Last seen seemingly willingly sending himself and the rest of the Time Lord race back into the Time War, the door is implied to be open for him to one day return. That prospect should have you salivating if you were reared on the classic battles of wits between the Third Doctor and Roger Delgado’s Master, perhaps the best of the bunch. Any oblivious New-Whovians are advised, nay urged, to watch the likes of Terror Of The Autons, The Time Monster, The Mind Of Evil, The Claws Of Axos, The Daemons and countless others to see the sort of thing David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor and John Simm’s Master were wishing they could have pulled off in the likes of Utopia.

But who could play Gallifrey’s most dictatorial former resident in his new body? The likes of Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Andrew Scott have been mentioned mostly thanks to their connection to Steven Moffat. They or whoever gets the nod if indeed the Master returns will have quite some shoes to step into, but if they can match Capaldi’s Doctor for sheer fire in the belly it could set the scene for some titanic battles between the two old enemies. After all have they not always been analogues of each other? Both blessed with the same formidable intellect, though choosing to use it for different ends, there has always been a grudging respect between them, more evident in the Third’s dealings with his former friend and Academy classmate than anywhere else.

Perhaps his return is a mere prelude to the bigger picture of the return of the Time Lords. With Gallifrey presumed still frozen after the monumental thirteen-Doctor strong effort to save it from obliteration in the Time War, what a reveal it might be to have them come back, whether in the warlike fashion advocated by Rassilon in The End Of Time and later the General of The Day Of The Doctor or the comparatively smaller political machinations/schemes of The Deadly Assassin or The Five Doctors. Add in the chance of a brush-up for the Celestial Intervention Agency, as in Genesis Of The Daleks, in which they use the Fourth Doctor as their agent, or The Two Doctors- which sees the Second and Sixth paired- and you have quite something to ponder.

Either way, nice to see that old wounds can be healed, sort of, the regeneration of Eleven into Twelve something of a reversal of Two’s traumatic eventual change into Three following the recorder- playing Beatle cut admirer’s swansong in The War Games (another worth watching if you’re a classic series virgin, with The Tomb Of The Cybermen in particular also serving as a handy crash course in the volumes of notes Eleven clearly took from his remarkably similar predecessor). Ever wondered what its like to be wanderers in the Mod dimension?

Step back in time...

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31 comments
U_Monkey_U
U_Monkey_U

Chris Morley, why did you pick Utopia as an example of John Simm's Master when he only appeared for, what, 3 minutes in that episode?

Looks like the Doctor secretly covets Harold Saxon's red-lined coat.

Andrew Scott has already had his turn as the Master. His Moriarty was merely Simm's Master turned up to eleven with the bonus of an eardrum-fracturing falsetto.

If you're even slightly acquainted with John Simm's work, you would know that he could easily come back as a Master to match Capaldi's Doctor. I hope he gets the opportunity to do so (if he wishes).

Beasts_a_Snarling
Beasts_a_Snarling

I think it makes sense for an older Master to take on an older Doctor; though they may have the same "snarling beast" qualities, it would be interesting to see on screen what would happen if the Doctor pointed his fury against the universe. (through the Master) They would be both sides of the same coin and maybe just for one second no one would be able to distinguish between the Doctor and the Master.....

Adric the Genius
Adric the Genius

I'd quite like Capaldi to be more like the Sixth Doctor - arrogant, brash and occasionally violent.

craig33
craig33

We'll have to wait and see. In this day and age even new fans must have gone back and seen the classics.

Americanwhovian
Americanwhovian

I would like to see the time agency, its been pretty vauge. when is it, what does it do, how is jack involved and what happened to the 2 yeears of his memory they took which (correct me if im wrong) was not said in torchwood

floppy_who
floppy_who

Maybe 12 should take a leaf out of Capaldi's portrayal of Cardinal Richelieu. Imagine 12 sending the burnt remains of a Yeti back to the Great Intelligence and saying "Please let the Great Intelligence know that should any more of his yetis wish to pay me a visit they will be returned in a similar condition."

(A bit harsh for the Doctor perhaps, but Richelieu's line from The Musketeers made me chuckle..)

TheOncomingSnow
TheOncomingSnow

Do not cast Andrew Scott. He'd make a brilliant Doctor, but making him the Master would be typecasting. As for BC, we'd never get him. 




KevinBradley
KevinBradley

"Life is like a box of Doctors. Ya never know what yer gonna git."

TheDreamer
TheDreamer

I don't know... I try not to expect anything... easier to just wait and see. But from what they've been telling us so far, Twelve is supposed to be dark and difficult and more dangerous (whatever that means...) and I really don't see Pertwee's Doctor as dark, difficult or dangerous (unless by dangerous they simply mean his fighting skills, lol). Maybe because I haven't seen all of his episodes yet, dunno... I liked his calm confidence and his manners, though. Never liked his cape, however... I preferred him without it. And my fave outfit of his was the green one. I hate black and white, reminds me of funeral clothes lol. Dark blue's okay, but that red lining... bleh. Maybe because it reminds me of the cape, lol. I'll get used to it... :D

But anyway... personally I want Twelve to be his own Doctor, not a repeat of one of the others... Having said that, I don't mind if he is reminescent of another in some small way (like Matt had a bit of Troughton) but he needs to make it his own. And I have no doubt he will.

Gustaff
Gustaff

I dont mind him being part 3. As long as it isnnt 7. 7's personality should never be tried. He is perfect.

I enjoyed this article. Dont recognise the author. First article?

VortexSB
VortexSB

Yes, he should be his own man. But then again Matt Smith was his own Doctor, but had a few traits of Troughton. Capaldi can do similar with Pertwee. 

Capaldipocalypse
Capaldipocalypse

My boyfriend and I are going on a date this weekend. I am cosplaying as Twelve and he is cosplaying Three... the image for this article just makes me so happy :)

NeutronFlow
NeutronFlow

Oh, i nearly forgot to mention ... 


'Mod Man in a box' is possibly as near genius a play on words as there can be ... :D

 Notsosmartguy  the dalek of Jersey
Notsosmartguy the dalek of Jersey

Jon is a great doctor but I want capaldi to try to be his own man. If he should take one thing though it should be 3's sweet fighting moves so he won't rely on the sonic screwdriver.

PrerogativeOfATimeLord
PrerogativeOfATimeLord

I'm envisioning Peter's Doctor as a blur of all the Classics.

Or all the Doctors in general, really. Matt had an excellent way of channeling all his predecessors at once, with his own childish glee thrown in. I could very well see Peter doing the same, with his own fire and steel.

Polyphase
Polyphase

Jon was a great Doctor and it would be nice if Peter had a similar personality as long as he makes it his own. :)

BTW I've always wondered what happened to I M Foreman as we never saw this person ?

DasManiac
DasManiac

For the Master, I'd like to see Bryan Cranston. As for Clara being like Sarah Jane, I certainly hope not. I could not stand Sarah Jane at all. She should have her own personality. Capaldi should definitely be a Pertwee esque Doctor though. It's about time there was a Doctor who harkened back to Pertwee's take on the character. Since 2005, each Doctor has played the role like Tom Baker did. 

There needs to be a change. Out with the boisterous personality and the silliness and in with a much more serious personality. The show should also reflect that by completely ditching the silliness and grow up some (and please don't give me that stupid Fourth Doctor quote). It should be like The X-Files meets Buffy and the spin-off Angel (Angel in terms of content) but Doctor Who style.

NeutronFlow
NeutronFlow

Really enjoyed reading your article, some interesting ideas there. 


While i like your comparisons and loved Jon Pertwee (he was my first Doctor when i was three), i hope that Peter Capaldi's similarities with him end with the costume. 

This is because i want PC's Doctor to be unique, bringing something new to the table which we haven't seen before. It would become slightly predictable if all future Doctors reflected those past (although a spot of Venusian Akido would not go amiss!).

Ok. Benedict Cumberbatch and Andrew Scott ...NOOOOOOOO! There is a multitude of talent available for a part such as the Master. Please Steven Moffat, do not recycle the usual suspects! 


Lastly, the author wrote, 'quite possibly the new Doctor will indeed be older, wiser and possibly more visibly/actually scarred by the likes of the Time War than his previous two selves'. I don't quite understand this as it seemed to me that since 'Day of the Doctor' those events are no longer a burden to the Doctor. 

Older, wiser, yes; but not traumatised. We've had enough of that for a while.

DaireConstantineOReilly
DaireConstantineOReilly

This is interesting, i would like to see a mix of Pertwee and McCoy's/Eccellsons personality, Dark and Brooding and a man of action when the time comes.

The Finn
The Finn

@floppy_who  I seem to have missed quite a lot not watching Musketeers for the last couple of weeks...

The Mind Probe
The Mind Probe

@Polyphase  *Tom Baker voice*: Who knows, eh?! Who knows?! 



Although I will say that "I M FOREMAN" is an anagram of "MM... RANI FOE"

Planet of the Deaf
Planet of the Deaf

@NeutronFlow I agree, 12 is the first Doctor who's known from the start that he didn't kill all the people and Time Lords of Gallifrey, so he won't have the scars. Perhaps he'll be more reckless with lives, as he won't have the guilt?

PrerogativeOfATimeLord
PrerogativeOfATimeLord

@NeutronFlow I'd like to see an older gentleman in the Master's role.

Emphasis on the "gentleman". What I really love about Delgado's Master, for example, is just how absolutely evil he is, while maintaining a certain level of class and honor; not to mention charm.