How Far Into Darkness will the 12th Doctor Take Us?

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Guest contributor Matthew Rube wonders just how dark Capaldi will be after the latest trailer.

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In just over a month we will be graced with the presence of a new Doctor. Will he be dark? Will he be cruel? Kind? Funny? We have yet to find out. So far we have been given two real glimpses at the Doctor and what is to come. The First (which was really the second trailer), only gave us a voice and the Doctor asking Clara “Am I a good man?” The latest trailer  added snippets of the upcoming episodes and monsters, but again included the Doctor asking Clara “Am I a good man?” in addition to Clara stating “I don’t think I know who the Doctor is anymore.” These two trailers, and, more specifically, the question and statement above, give us a hint at how the 12th Doctor may be characterized in the upcoming season.

With Peter Capaldi being the first older Doctor since the reboot, many have speculated that he would be portrayed as a character more in tune with the classic Doctors: mainly in that he would be darker, more manipulative, more calculating, and less young-spirited than the past three Doctors have been. What these trailers tell us, is that these guesses may not be far off. Every glimpse of the Doctor we have seen has been filled with intensity, and we have had no glimpse so far of a merry side to this new Doctor.

Now that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have a merry side; on the contrary, he would not be the Doctor without one. But in every Doctor that merry side comes in degrees, and we may be looking at a Doctor more serious than ever. There may also be darker plots in this upcoming season, as we see when the Doctor says to Clara that they are venturing “into darkness.”

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The relationship with Clara might be darker as well. Both trailers have Clara saying that she doesn’t know who the Doctor is anymore. That means two things. One, that she does not trust the new Doctor, which makes sense as no companion who has seen the transition of a Doctor has trusted the new one at first. However, one thing to note is that Clara is more acquainted with the regeneration process than any companion in New Who. She knew about it from being in his time stream and knows how vastly different he can be each time he regenerates. Yet, she still is saying that she doesn’t know who he is anymore…

We can expect many of the first few episodes to include elements of the two getting to know each other and re-establishing their relationship. But back to the point, Clara and the Doctor will not have the same relationship as they once did, and based exclusively on the trailers, it seems that the mentor-student relationship between the Doctor and Clara that people were speculating about may have been correct after all. At the very least, not the best friends they used to be.

In the end though what we can say for certain is that the Doctor has changed. The bow-tie loving, childish, energetic and passionate man is gone. Who has replaced him is yet to be fully revealed, but we should perhaps be prepared for the more serious side of the Doctor to be shown more than ever before. They have chosen a man more than capable of playing a dark character, and right now it seems as though we are indeed headed “into darkness”.

Are you concerned about this potential darker direction, or is it just what the Doctor ordered? State in the comments…

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