News Categories
Archives

How Could Capaldi’s Doctor Develop?

Guest contributor Dan Steadman explores some scenarios.

peter-capaldi-leonardo-2013

As the year goes on we are getting ever closer to Peter Capaldi’s debut as the Doctor, and, as I’m sure many fans are, I’m dead excited for it. Why wouldn’t I be? Things such as a new recurring character in Danny Pink, the return of the Paternoster Gang, some tantalizing filming pictures and castings, announcements of some great writers and directors and, of course, a new Doctor all make the wait until Series 8 unbearable. But the thing that I am most excited for is the promise of a darker Doctor, or a “snarling beast” as Steven Moffat put it.

Now, every Doctor has had their darker side and moments -- take for example Eleven’s way of punishing Solomon, Ten’s all-powerful Time Lord Victorious, or Seven’s manipulation of Ace in “The Curse of Fenric”. However, in my opinion, we haven’t really had a properly dark Doctor for a while. “What about Christopher Eccleston?” I hear you say. Well, yes and no. Eccleston’s Doctor was a battle-scarred warrior at first, but his dark side was never properly explored in depth other than in “Dalek”. And the trouble was, Rose caused his Doctor to mellow quite considerably. So if we’re due to get a darker Doctor, I would like to see the opposite of what happened with the Ninth Doctor. I would like to see Capaldi’s incarnation become darker over time.

time-of-the-doctor-tv-trailer-(7) smithLet’s say Capaldi remains in the role for three series, just like Matt Smith and David Tennant. Over the course of the three series I would like to see the Doctor’s character really develop, so that there’s a definite difference between series. This sort of development can also be seen in Smith’s Doctor, in a way. When he ate fish fingers and custard with Amelia just over 4 years ago now, he was like an out-of-control puppy, walking into trees and flirting with vampires. He remained like this for the remainder of the series, until, in Series 6, we saw the ancient hero start to emerge (“A Good Man Goes to War” is a fine example of this). Then, in Series 7, we got to see the mysterious traveller and the ancient hero once again, although he was slightly more mature. Take his swansong, “The Time of the Doctor”, for instance. Remaining on Trenzalore for so long just shows how far he’s come, finally settling down. That’s what I mean by “develop”. So what should happen with Capaldi’s Doctor? I have two suggestions:

A Dark Beginning

capaldi-jenna-colemanThis suggestion is that Series 8 sees the Doctor as a darker version of Matt Smith, almost. By this I mean that he is still a mad adventurer, but his darker side is a bit more prominent. I would like to see this side of him more frequently throughout Series 8, building to a very dark Doctor during Series 9. By that I mean a manipulative, almost out-of-control Doctor. Ideally, as much as I love Clara, she would leave at the end of Series 8 so the Doctor has no one to keep him under control. Hey, why not even kill Clara off (yes, I know Moffat actually killing someone permanently is a big ask) and then have the Doctor struggling to cope with it. That would be an interesting situation, in my opinion. Then, in the latter half of the series and in Series 10 I would like to see Capaldi mellow out again, until his regeneration.

A Dark End

My second suggestion is that Twelve follows slightly in Ten’s footsteps, and becomes darker towards the end of his tenure (I am of course referring to the Time Lord Victorious in “The Waters of Mars”). Perhaps an act by the Doctor could inadvertently result in his demise, or the Doctor could do something so drastic that in his final episode he seeks redemption and welcomes regeneration. Of course, neither of these things will probably happen because… Well, I’m not the Moff. In this idea he would be mellow in Series 8 (as in the idea above), and his darker side could start to surface during Series 9. This would also allow for Clara to stay for two more series, meaning that she would then probably become “the companion” of Capaldi’s era in the same way that Jamie McCrimmon is “the companion” of Troughton’s. I wouldn’t mind this actually, although I know that it wouldn’t be popular with everyone!

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would like to see Capaldi’s “snarling beast” develop into something more, into something unique, unpredictable and dangerous. It’s something we’ve only seen briefly in the past, but seeing the Doctor go through a dark or even traumatic phase would be an interesting move. The show needs shaking up a bit and needs to be slightly more adventurous as it heads into its next 50 years, in my opinion, and I believe that Capaldi has the potential to do something groundbreaking with the character. But, of course, these are all just my own ideas. Thank you for reading my mad ramblings, and I look forward to seeing your own opinions. How do you think Twelve will/should develop? Do you think the Doctor should be darker? And how so?

Step back in time...

COMMENT GUIDELINES

Please be civil and keep article comments relevant and on topic. Flag and report any offensive/trolling behavior, or contact us with details.
Please do not post SPOILERS including anything from leaked episodes! Your account could be banned. For complete details on our comment policy please read.
76 comments
kainanite
kainanite

I am fine with a snarling beast, as long as he is MY snarling beast. By that I mean I have to agree with the Doctor, and see that his anger is justified. He still needs to be a Doctor that I would want to run away with in the Tardis. If I ever feel like, "Nope. Not going to take a ride in the Tardis with THAT guy." Then it will be time for Peter Capaldi to go. So far there hasn't been a doctor I wouldn't want to join in the Tardis. Beastly some have been, but so far, they have always been MY beast.

CaseyMichelle
CaseyMichelle

We havent had a proper "dark Doctor" since Tom Baker. So , like you, I am in stitches waiting painfully for the Capaldi Doctor to tantalize our darkside. 

TimCerchia
TimCerchia

I'd like to see a bit of Zagreus come out.   If you don't know who that is, listen to the 8th Doctor's audio dramas from Big Finish titled, "Neverland" and "Zagreus."  Though I'm not sure if the ramifications of those stories ever got readdressed as I have not listened to more past those in the days with Charley.  if they never really revisit it, I think now would be a great time.   That made the doctor truly scary because it was a mythical entity that took form and the doctor took into himself, sort of becoming the terror of legend.  could be worth exploring with 12.

Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

Snarling beast is very, very good. I love dark and I wanna see more of it XD but I do hope Capaldi still his his silly flirting with vampires, crashing into trees, fish custard, bananas are good moments. C'mon even the grumping king William Hartnell had them XD

VortexDan
VortexDan

As long as we get good plotting and a decent arc and better writing and actual female characters, i don't care how Capaldi will develop

Tweliver Shipper
Tweliver Shipper

For argument's sake, shall we just say that there'll be a whole other mood we see from 12, like nothing we've ever seen before? Just stepping away from Doctor Who, I really believe in staying positive all the time in life, and I felt like the Doctor's symbolised that naturally, the whole spirit of adventure, grabbing life by the horns and just enjoying it as much as you can (while battling evil and other stuff)! I don't want to be depressed by someone who's all moody all the time, I want adventure! Chaos! Fun! ;) I think 12 can be like any other human, just bonkers but loud! I don't think we can really ever pin it all down to one word, I think that's what makes it so exciting! :D I don't know, what do you think? :)

LarryDemars
LarryDemars

A really clever idea might be that the Peter Capaldi is the "Valeyard" and a "good" Doctor warring inside one person for control.  Until finally somehow they physically separate.  This would allow Capaldi to keep Clara and the evil version to pick up an evil companion.  Moffat has suggested that he would tie in Capaldi's other roles in Doctor Who and Torchwood.  The evil version of Capaldi could find a way to travel down the good Doctor's timestream, tempting to give into his darker side wholly sooner.  Then Capaldi's role in the Pompeii episode is the "Valeyard" tempting Tennant to harden his heart and save nobody, which Donna foils.  Realizing that companions soften the Doctor, he travels further back to try to alienate 7 and Ace, then further still appearing as the Valeyard and separating the Doctor from Peri before going after him.  The Master sees the Valeyard as competition and a bigger threat than the Doctor, so he brings in Mel and Glitz.  The Valeyard/evil Doctor determines that companions will always help and finally goes after Clara in the current timeline.

LarryDemars
LarryDemars

Problem is it is impossible to kill Clara off permanently, as she is now scattered all over the Doctor's timeline, most likely both forwards as well as back.

teddybowties
teddybowties

Dude. I bet we get the Valeyard and Clara is meant to.. uh.. TAME him. LOL. It better be good.I say, less taming more appropriate cold icy anger. He ahs every right to be stark raving TEED at practiclaly everyone- especially the MOMENt/the TARDIS/BAd Wolf/Rose etc.. Clara is his nanny, after all. read: MAMLAUREA. mark my words.and what's up with the TARDis suddenly being this spiteful witch? meh. I never saw her as that in the classic series... what is up wiht her? supposedly she made up wiht Clara, but... i dunno. She's been a bit off for a while now.









teddybowties
teddybowties

Yes. The Doctor needs to exhibit his REAL emotions in a specific way on the subject. Which means, for the health of the character's psychology in the long term, more GlaDOS less Wheatley. ;) but he is STILL the Doctor, so...keep the compassion core.

Timhogan
Timhogan

It would be interesting to see the Doctor get a bit out of control.  I mean living the past 3 regenerations in remorse about having killed your entire race only to learn that in fact you actually saved your race might make him feel a bit over-confident.   I personally think it's getting to the time where one of his closer companions needs to actually lose their life (Amy and Rory don't count since they didn't really die, they got sent back in time to live their lives happily ever after they just happened to not see the Doctor during that life.)  But I'd like to see him get way ahead of himself, thinking he can do no wrong and not have a worry or care and then see someone like Danny Pink go the way of Adric. I mean hero's need flaws, and one of the Doctor's biggest "flaws" was the whole having destroyed his people in the Time War and live in remorse.  But since that is gone, it could be replaced by thinking he is perfect and everything he does will work out only to have reality smack him in the face.

HisNameIsTheDoctor
HisNameIsTheDoctor

Wonderful article. I don't think Clara should die, but perhaps some other way that would be meaningful too. It would be repetitive and unmeaningful if Clara died, where she is the Woman Twice Dead. But I do want her as a long term companion!!!! (but I still like the 1st choice better)

Liana21
Liana21

12 will be more mature than 11 and 10 for sure, and maybe darker, but not dark, dark, as i've said plenty of times, I see him Gibbs-ish: dark, badass, and very "my ship, my rules" but not creepy and scary dark, with a hint of niceness and good mood-ness reserved for the happy moments on the TARDIS with Clara.

Time_And_Space_Pirate
Time_And_Space_Pirate

I'm in the minority on this one, but I really don't buy into this whole "we need a darker Doctor" hype. Seeing the Doctor in dark moments is interesting, don't get me wrong, but we don't need Doctor Who to follow in the trend of having dark, broody heroes. He doesn't need to be any darker than 7 or 9.

TheOncomingFish
TheOncomingFish

I would like 12 to be darker, but not as dark as what you're suggesting. I think making him out of control would be going a bit over the top. Nice article though. 

featuredreamer
featuredreamer

The exciting thing is that we just don't know yet. Capaldi is another in a line of exceptional actors. Eccleston nailed the role and kept us guessing about the Doctor's complexity, from his first to final episode, following the comeback; Hurt made us believe, in just one episode; and Mcgann is completely integrated into the franchise despite not having a TV run, through

his film, the radio and his cameo appearances.

I'm sure that Capaldi will also breathe interesting life into the curious Doctor through these continually fantastic stories and scripts, (though like another commentator, I wish we, the audience weren't blessed with marvellous story archs that seem suddenly to collapse).

As has been the case since the 1960s, we will continue happily to suspend our disbelief; and for the duration of the saga, truly buy into Peter Capaldi's developing interpretation of this wonderous wonderful character. As has been the case from Bill Hartnell to Mat Smith, Peter Capaldi will be different, but the same, and like all the others, wondrous and wonderful.

tealeaves
tealeaves

I must admit I think a 'dark' character is what everyone thinks they want but in practice dark can get very boring. What is fun about the doctor is the different layers of his personality. The most exciting thing for me in the video with Capaldi reassuring the young doctor who fan was JLC declaring "he'll make you laugh!"

DamianChristie
DamianChristie

While I would like to see a more edgier, uneasier Doctor, I think the past holds plenty of lessons to show why a "dark Doctor" doesn't necessarily gel with audiences. Attempts to make the Sixth Doctor a much more aggressive Doctor backfired on the program in the 1980s and it was many years before people were able to reassess Colin Baker's Doctor in a whole new light courtesy of the Big Finish audios. The Scream of the Shalka also sought to introduce a "darker" Doctor who had experienced significant trauma, including the death of a companion. Most fans hated Richard E Grant's portrayal of the Time Lord largely because he completely lacked humour. Therefore, make Capaldi's new Doctor edgy and uneasy by all means, but not too dark. History shows that the show rarely profits from making its hero far too dark. I can see Capaldi being very similar to Tennant's Doctor - he will give his adversaries one chance to withdraw from their nefarious schemes and then act accordingly when they do not.


shyx111
shyx111

As I said some time ago, the War Doctor asked why 10 and 11 were so childish, and that was probably because they were trying to cope with what they thought to have done during the Time War. We saw that 11 after the 50th changed a lot, he matured even more, so I think that 12 won't be dark, or not that much more than all the others, he will just grow up and act more as an adult all the time.

Very nice article!

lukashcartoon
lukashcartoon

The darkest Doctor Who should get is when he's very mad at a very evil person. And I mean UNQUESTIONABLY evil. 


I wouldn't mind if Capaldri was a bit more grumpier and not as eccentric as Four or Eleven. I think a mix between 1 and 3 would be good.


Bert_Macklin
Bert_Macklin

Eh, I don't really want a dark end and another Time Lord Victorious (even though it was dropped suddenly next episode). I want Capaldi to be more like the elderly folks I worked with at the Pioneer Home -- crabby and disarming at first, but as you get to know them they become more delightful and you see how caring they really are.

YgorVale
YgorVale

Funny thing is, the Doctor still is Time Lord Victorious, he has never stopped being Time Lord Victorious, recent events support this, such as his death (which was a fixed point in time) he just (In Eric Roberts Master voice) dressed for the occasion (as a robot), thus preventing his death, saving his home planet, which was wrong, just wrong. The Doctor claimed at the end of the Time War the Time Lords became as corrupt as the Daleks, they wanted to rip the Time Vortex apart, originally the Doctor chose the Universe over Gallifrey, but now he's has been selfish and changed history, and not for the better, there's a reason Gallifrey had to burn, as the Eleventh and Tenth Doctors said to the War Doctor, "you were the Doctor more than anybody else".


Time Lord Victorious is wrong!

microbat98
microbat98

Nah, I'm betting that he'll end up like Three. Gradually becoming nicer and more loving until he is everybody's best friend.

Polyphase
Polyphase

 It’s something we’ve only seen briefly in the past, but seeing the Doctor go through a dark or even traumatic phase would be an interesting move

Hang on a minute, Hasn't he been doing that since the shows revival?

I for one am totally confident that Peter will bring something to the show that hasn't been seen for decades and we are in for a hell of a lot of fun :)

Ninjauthor
Ninjauthor

all great suggestions, though I think all darkness needs to be tinged with some light, we can't have capaldi being a snarling beast all the time, just every other episode being darker and general reminders in his conduct that he is darker than before (IE more contempt for monsters and enforcement of the no 2nd chances rule)

TheNightmareChild sees into your soul!
TheNightmareChild sees into your soul!

I like the first suggestion just slightly better than the second only because I have an easier time picturing how that could develop than the second suggestion.  But I'm up for anything really, as long as they do something different this time around. 

Unibot
Unibot

Great article, but I have to admit I find the common "Dark/Not-Dark" distinction to be really uni-dimensional. You see it a lot not just in Doctor Who, but in everything these days: "Gritty" "Dark" or "Not Gritty" and "Not Dark". I think Moffat is at the end of the day, an optimist -- he sees the Doctor as having a promise to himself and unlikely to stray from that. In those respects, I think we're unlikely to get a "dark" Doctor because that would be inconsistent with his lifelong promise to be neither cruel or cowardly. What we could see is a more authoritative Doctor, perhaps a more unreliable one, perhaps a bit more kooky or unpredictable, temperamental or determined. Nine's Doctor died in love and the consequence was Ten was a romantic. Ten died alone and thus Eleven was attached and very clingy to those who he loved (he was utterly useless in Angels take Manhattan -- River had to hold him back the entire time). In this sense of need, Eleven sought home and found one in Trenzalore. Each regeneration seems to be somewhat traumatic and helps project their development. "The Time of The Doctor" was however a different kind of ending (it resolved more) - RTD took the romantic doctor and let him die alone, Moffat took the nostalgic doctor and gave him his Amelia back for his final moments. I suspect you'll get from that a Doctor who is a bit more secure with himself. He's wearing an older face and a plainer (although fun) outfit, no longer trying to pretend he isn't an older man. With his war guilt resolved, his issues with neediness resolved and his lack of regenerations resolved (which must of also been very stressful), I think you will see a Doctor who is liberated, like a weight has been taken off his shoulders -- a bit wilder, a bit more devil may care; older in his face, but more free in spirit. There's no reason for him to start off "dark", he's a new man who has been given an unexpected fresh slate. 



Badwolf2
Badwolf2

I don't think he will be too dark a little bit snarly and a bit erratic to make him different from 11

Planet of the Deaf
Planet of the Deaf

While Doctor personalities can be random, at the start of S8 there's no reason for 12 to be dark at all.


He no longer has The Time War guilt (that 9 had)

Gallifrey is saved

He has a full cycle of regenerations to come

He didn't sacrifice himself to save his Companion (like many Doctors have done). Indeed it was Clara who helped to save him

He hasn't recently lost a companion (like 11's dark period post Ponds)


I'm sure he'll be more snarly and less tactile than 11, but the early filming shots seem to suggest Clara is still getting on very well with him. Of course, if Clara was killed, then that might bring out a terrifying side of him...

LarryDemars
LarryDemars

@teddybowties
The Valeyard comes into being between the Doctor's 11th and 12th regenerations.  Since Hurt was 9, Eccleson 10, Tennant 11, and Smith 12, Smith's regeneration into Capaldi is regeneration #12.  So the Valeyard could have still formed right before or during that regeneration and still count.  Or the Master simply could have lied.  We only have his word.

teddybowties
teddybowties

@Timhogan  the Doctor was more effective BEFORE the war. Remember that. He was healthier in some ways then. He might become that way now, with Capaldi. WE need to see him that way again, only less callous and more wolfishly wise about it due to his wider array of experiences- and the War. It makes sense for the character development, and sense for hte psychology they seem to be trying to convey. basically we need to see him work through his anger by dwelling with it for a wihle, and showing it, and realizing he has every RIGHt to show his anger, for his own health, and I don't mean in a five second throwaway comment, or worse, off-screen. we need to see this. now. 

Liana21
Liana21

@TheOncomingFish I think the same, Capaldi will be a grumpy Doctor, because he's older than Matt and David and thegrumpy image fits better on him, but not so dark at all because that could make him unpopular.

Gustaff
Gustaff

@shyx111 Actually, the War incarnation was a spoof between new Who and Classic Who, often lampshading problems old fans have with new doctors. The War incarnation was the Old Fan and the others were the New ones. It was meant to be a joke.

Liana21
Liana21

@YgorVale I think that if The Doctor finds Gallifrey one day, he won't bring back to this Universe at least he knows that it's going to be in a good mood and that it's in good hands ( a great time for a Romana's reappearance).

DamianChristie
DamianChristie

@YgorVale  Perhaps it's a matter of interpretation but I disagree. Not all the Time Lords were corrupt - it was the High Council of Gallifrey, led by the resurrected Rassilon, that attempted to implement the final sanction in the final days of the war. As we saw in The Day of the Doctor, there were factions of the Time Lords, such as the one led by the General, which clearly did not approve of what the High Council was doing and were not beyond redemption - and certainly the citizens of Arcadia and their children were innocent and collateral victims of war. Perhaps some Time Lord factions have since deposed Rassilon and his supporters - which would explain why Gallifrey is seeking to return to the universe in The Time of the Doctor. It's also debatable whether the Doctor actually changed history and the outcome of the Time War - he believed he had destroyed Gallifrey (courtesy of his crossing the time stream to meet his other selves, all the Doctors bar the 11th and 12th incarnations presumably have no recollection of how the war was resolved) - but as The Day of the Doctor established, he did much better than that - the combined intelligence of his other selves was enough to save Gallifrey. Therefore, you're wrong - the Doctor isn't quite the Time Lord Victorious you make him out to be! The 10th Doctor learnt that lesson well in The Waters of Mars.




Baker Street is excited for Series 8!
Baker Street is excited for Series 8!

In a way, yes, but he hasn't really gone through a notably "dark" period. As I said, Nine was a warrior but Rose caused him to mellow, and we have seen the dark sides of all three revival Doctors, albeit briefly. I just think that Capaldi has the potential to show us a side to the Doctor that we haven't seen before; not for his whole tenure, but for a series (or half of one). But I get where you're coming from.

featuredreamer
featuredreamer

Unibot, your interpretation is utterly consistent.I found it compelling and very entertaining. Thanks

Jakob Boyd
Jakob Boyd

@Unibot Yes! Brilliant! It's a new life for the Doctor, he hasn't seen Earth in centuries, he'll be unfamiliar, rough around the edges, and purpose driven in his resolve. No more self hatred, bo more nostalgia, no more over cautiousness, no more longing. He's in charge. Total faith in himself as not a man hiding behind the name 'Doctor' but a man who is The Doctor, through and through.

DW2014
DW2014

@LarryDemars @teddybowties  You do know The order of the Doctor's go like this... The First Doctor, The Second Doctor, The Third Doctor, The Fourth Doctor, The Fifth Doctor, The Sixth Doctor, The Seventh Doctor, The Eighth Doctor, The Ninth Doctor, The Tenth Doctor, The Tenth Doctor again! (because he regenerated in the stolen earth) and The Eleventh Doctor and the The 12th Doctor so basicly that makes Capaldi The 12th Doctor in his 14th Body aka the 14th Doctor so there was no Valeyard and anyway I think it been revealed  that The Valeyard wasn't the evil doctor in Trial of the Valeyard so basically yep I guess that's it



Timhogan
Timhogan

@teddybowties @Timhogan  But what anger?  I mean think about recent events.  He just found out that instead of destroying his entire race and ending Gallifrey he actually saved it.  Then, on the eve of his final regenerations limit, the Doctor's at the end of his ropes and clearly didn't want to die but just gave in at the end of Time of the Doctor only to be awarded with a completely fresh set of regenerations.  I mean what is he angry about?  Yeah the stuff he went through may of been tough over the past series or two, but they all lead to some pretty great things for him that should give him a lot of relief not anger.  If anything he should be -less- angry and in my opinion more arrogant.  I mean the major consequence that had been weighing him down for 400 years was suddenly lifted, and then he spent the 300 years on Trenzalore facing his death only to be given more life.  I fail to see the anger.

shyx111
shyx111

Yep, I know that too, in particular the sonic part, but I like to think his remarks also meant something similar to what I've said, I think it fits pretty nicely. Then again, all is in the Moff's hands XD

tealeaves
tealeaves

Actually I think both your opinions are right. Moffat said in the build up to the 50th that if you were going to do a multi doctor story you would want the First Doctor in it because it's that kind of 'what have I be become?' thing. The war doctor took the place of the first in this and this was played for laughs (though I'm not sure you could quite call it spoof) eg. Mocking the screwdrivers, mocking the catchphrases, the youthfulness etc. but also asking why the doctor has become this man which I think comes down to what shyx111 said.

legionofthebeast
legionofthebeast

@DamianChristie What if if was the Master who deposed Rassilon and became Lord President. After all, he told the Doctor something like "kill him and Gallifrey could be yours". The Master knows what the Doctor is capable of, therefore is seeking him out for help (and/or some hidden agenda)

featuredreamer
featuredreamer

I meant, Unibot, your interpretation is completely consistent. I found it utterly compelling and very entertaining. Thanks.