How Can Capaldi Win Over Previous Fans?
Guest Contributor Brayde Wikaira investigates.
It’s the ultimate question. And as if people didn’t care for such things, yes Doctor Who community, there are still those that still don’t think they have a chance with Peter Capaldi. Whether it’s because he’s “too old”, or just “not hot” (“Hey, you didn’t say I was hot”- Let’s Kill Hitler), we don’t know. But before you rampage about how they aren’t really fans, they are. They were just fans of a particular era. And it’s not like it hasn’t happened before, David Tennant’s fans were all struck with horror, some still now. So by taking a lesson from yesteryear, I’m going to list some ways how the new Doctor can win the plight of fans of the previous. But first, let’s have a quick look at who those fans are in particular.
Fans of Matt Smith
Who are they? Thanks to the dynamic swift of acting, the Eleventh Doctor was able to appeal to most types of people. An older man stuck inside a young man’s body. He was able to run about, smile, have fun exploring the universe while at the same time, acting as if he was the oldest actor to play the Doctor. He was interested in the tiniest of things, he would just throw himself into action and wear unusual clothes while looking cool. Apart from the wide range of fans, if you were to chose a specific audience, it would definitely be the children’s category. Raise your hands if you’re in that category. No you don’t really need to, unless you don’t want a Sea Devil running about, then your fine. Back to the point, Matt Smith’s fans are colossal. All around the world, they love him and the show. So how is Mr Capaldi going to do it? How can he win these fans? Steer forward.
What’s this mean, personality climax? For that, I tell you to watch or revise The Eleventh Hour. Perhaps the most common way of reintroducing the new Doctor is having the personality of the new one shine out at its highest point. After David left, fans were gutted. How did they fix this problem? Fish Fingers and Custard. After Chris left, a man in his jim-jams saved the world. Personality climax is when you show immediately who the next Doctor is, and what’s he going to be like for the rest of the series. For example, Colin Baker was going to be the madder and darker Doctor (though his clothes told a different story). They introduced this factor by making the Doctor somewhat freaky as he begins to strangle poor old Peri. Peter Capaldi could shine out his new personality on his opener episode. We don’t know what type of Time Lord this Doctor’s going to be, but guessing from the reports, a spike-punk rebel Lord of Time thing. The sort of old man that doesn’t want to be interrupted and is in no way going to be a sweet cheery man. But maybe we’re wrong, maybe he is the sweet loving grandfather we once dreamed about (Patrick Troughton-like?) We don’t know.
One Step at a Time
We have a few classic examples of this. Now and then, as the episodes go by, that personality changes. Matt Smith did gradually change: from Series 5’s quirky and brilliant (The Lodger), Series 6’s darker and moodier (A Good Man Goes to War), to Series 7’s old aged grandfatherly figure (The Bells of Saint John). One step at a time could help bring out the new Doctor without really causing any pain. I can’t say Matt Smith’s era did this, out went David, in went a whole new programme change. With a new Doctor, new suit, new sonic, new companion, new TARDIS, new style, new theme, new writers, new directors; basically, a new show. But now it looks like Steven Moffat is being a bit more careful with this one, he’s slowly introduced the new TARDIS, carefully laid out the new companion, and introduced the new title sequence. This helps the fanbase get acquainted with the new Doctor in a nice comfortable environment. And having the effect of saving Clara for this Doctor, we now get to go on this journey not alone. We get to experience with Clara Oswald just how painful this procedure fits in. We see examples like Castrovalva and Robot, they slowly introduce the new Doctor. Maybe we get to see the 12th Doctor begin to set out on a journey to find who he is, what he is. David Tennant did this on his opener episode (“Am I coward? A liar? Sexy?”- Christmas Invasion)
Be The Doctor We Once Knew
Maybe he won’t do any of that. This is perhaps the most unrealistic option, but may, to our fears, end up happening. And to our fears, may even work. But being the Doctor we once knew would tear the fandom into gangs. Big, scary gangs. If the BBC aren’t careful, and try something like turn Capaldi into Smith, there are going to be consequences. And if it works, possibilities. Sometimes, writers get fearful of change, or disappointment to fans, and start dishing out what the public want. If people cry too much about Matt Smith, if children start getting upset, what is that going to do to the writers? Turn him into Matt Smith? On the positive side, this did kinda happened before. Not largely, but just a small nod.
Can you tell the difference between the 10th Doctor and the 11th Doctor? They are quite similar. Well yes and no. Not comparable to Russell T Davies’ version of the 10th Doctor, but Steven Moffat’s version of the 10th Doctor. Say, The Girl in the Fireplace 10th Doctor. There seems to be a sort of comparable state of words and dialogue, and problems. But the great thing about it is that it’s all about how the actor delivers the line. Think about the audition scripts for the 12th Doctor, they were easily said in Matt Smith’s voice. Imagine hearing that from Peter Capaldi’s voice. Even if Peter Capaldi took on Matt Smith, I guess there is a huge 50/50 chance. He either gets it, or he doesn’t. It’s like recasting James Bond. Since the new actors have to be the previous Bond. Even with The Hulk, Superman, and Spiderman. Some actors can replace and reunite the spark.
And here we are, as always. The happy ending. The thing about change is that something good always comes out of it. With every choice, there are advantages. No matter which way they go, no matter which option they take, it’s still the same show we came to love. One thing is this: I, if not already, encourage all fans of Doctor Who – whether they are fans of Matt Smith, David Tennant, or Jon Pertwee – to give Peter Capaldi a chance. Watch the first episode, laugh at Strax’s jokes, and show emotion to Clara as she embarks on this journey. As for all die hard Matt Smith’s fans out there, there is a special moment for you. Because this new Doctor is going to need all the help he can get, don’t get angry at him. Taking on this role is huge, it has a 50 year heritage. Peter Capaldi would be more than pressured, so make him feel comfortable. He is a fan of the show, just like how we are. So we should all feel proud to see one of our own take on the Daleks, swift his gleaming red Crombie coat, kick a Cyberman on the head, pick up a baseball bat and swing it into the air. This is the year of the Capaldi. The 50th may be gone, but something about this year makes me look forward even more to this new Doctor. Oh, sorry, Doctor Who?
So what are your thoughts? Agree or disagree? Or agree to disagree? What ways do you think he can? Flick your comments down below!