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Twelve is Equal to Six?

Guest contributor Mike Falino ponders if we might see more similarities to the 6th Doctor in Capaldi.

cbaker-capaldi

While we really won’t know what the Twelfth Doctor’s personality will be like, all preliminary signs point to him being “darker” and “fiercer” than we’re used to seeing. I, for one, am ecstatic if this is indeed the case. While I’ve loved both David Tennant and Matt Smith, their performances bordered on “tween drama” a bit too much. It’s why as much as I loved them, Chris Eccleston will always be my NuWho Doctor.

So my hopes are high that Peter Capaldi will indeed reflect some of the darker personality traits of Doctors passed. It must always be in everyone’s mind that while the Doctor is indeed a kind, generous person, he isn’t perfect. I’ve written before on the Doctor’s ambiguous morality, so I won’t go into that here. Suffice to say, there is something extraordinary that happens when the Doctor flashes a look of anger or maliciousness. The NuWho Doctors have all exposed their darker sides on occasion, but none of them have ever made the audience “worry” about what they were going to do, especially in regard to his companions. Let’s be honest, did you really think the Doctor was going to shoot in A Town Called Mercy?

colin-baker-profileAnd that is where my focus lies. It is fairly well understood that Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor is generally the least lauded of all the Doctors. Putting matters of wardrobe aside, one of the main opinions expressed by Sixth Doctor haters is that he was too mean, too manic-depressive, and too volatile. These observations about the Sixth Doctor are completely accurate, but it was because they were designed into the character, and agreed upon in execution by Colin Baker. All it takes is to watch some interviews with Colin to understand that there was a plan for his Doctor. A plan that started with his “botched” regeneration into the unpredictable and volatile man we saw, and end with a sort of personal regeneration into the Doctor we remembered and loved.

And this is exactly how it looks like Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor is going to play out, at least so far as we can tell right now. While most companions are wary of the “new” Doctor, they are rarely afraid of him. Perry was petrified of the Sixth Doctor upon his regeneration, and for a while (if not forever) thereafter. It will be interesting to see if Moffat goes down that very same road with the Twelfth, and gives us a Doctor whom we cannot predict, and who we are occasionally afraid of.

While there will be critics of Doctor Who if the show does move in that direction, I suspect those criticisms will be from a vocal minority, rather than from the majority of fans. The Doctor changes not only his appearance, but also his personality. Who is to say he can’t get a rougher, more abrasive personality once in a while? It certainly keeps things interesting. And I think it is something the show needs, having spent nearly a decade with the always kind, always lovable Doctor’s we’ve grown accustom to. It’s time for the Doctor to show his age, get a little angry, and break out of the mould of the Doctor we thought we knew. For the sake of the show, such a change is necessary. I implore fans that are on the fence about this to reserve your judgements for down the road, when Peter Capaldi’s journey is a little farther along than just rumor and speculation. Remember, you don’t know the Doctor. Nobody really does.

Step back in time...

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232 comments
EricFiskCGD
EricFiskCGD

I hate to say it, but Colin Baker's era would have been remembered better if it wasn't for his outfit.


PrerogativeOfATimeLord
PrerogativeOfATimeLord

I love Six because of his unpredictability, really. You can never tell what he's going to do; or who he's going to be, given his intensely mercurial nature. He'll never do what you expect; but he'll always do good.

He's somewhat like Four in that regard -  except Four spent a lot more time on his sillier qualities, while Six shifted the focus to the Doctor's alien mind.


Besides, I just love how boisterous and bombastic he is; he's like Falstaff, but he can actually back up his claims.

I'd like to see Twelve like that, perhaps; but I think he won't be. I'd peg him closer to Four. This is based solely on Capaldi's past roles, really, but I think Twelve will be cold, distant, dispassionate - the exact opposite of Six. I want him to be, in fact.

LeightonWestwoo
LeightonWestwoo

I did think the doctor was going to shoot in a town called mercy because a week before he destroyed Solomon without showing any guilt. To be honest I never thought he would destroy Solomon but I did think he would do something similar in a town called mercy. Witch i was wrong and went back to the light hearten good doctor.  

OldMaidWhovian
OldMaidWhovian

What bothers me is so many fan jumping to conclusions and assuming that this Doctor's version of Dark, will be anything like the estimable Colin Baker's dark. You've got two completely different actors, with two different points of view (of how they interpret the character), and two completely different producers, besides. It's a far different world today than it was in the 80's. I don't like too much dark stories/Doctors overmuch myself (a little is OK though, for balance). That rejection though, is based solely on my personal life and preferences. I love the Doctor best when he's being funny and heroic and suspenseful. But that doesn't mean a dark Doctor  can't be well done, or I won't like it.  I am always willing to give the 'new guy' a decent chance before I ever yell running and screaming that this is a disaster, the worst Doctor, ever etc. (which I only ever did during the first year of Colin Baker's tenure--and it was as much over a whinging Peri, as the violent & rude Doctor). Capaldi proved to me long ago that he can handle dark stuff with the Children of the Earth series. And though I feel as a fan that Steven Moffet tends to lean too much towards hard-core sci-fi & abstract story lines, I still like his work. I'm looking forward to seeing Capaldi run with the role. We might hate it. Or we might well cheer and punch the air. Let's all wait and see before we pronounce judgement, yeah? 

Mattdream
Mattdream

I like the idea of a more rough and tough Doctor but I just don't likethe Baker era because of the storylines and Peri is either dead or gallavanting off somewhere.

pinkjaguar12
pinkjaguar12

I really am looking forward to seeing Peter and his role - I feel like he'll offer a really dark persona, much like the VERY underrated Sixth Doctor

fox123
fox123

Very underrated doctor. Everything was against Colin Baker , costume, stories, behind the scenes trouble but he is a genuine nice guy and could have done so much more given the chance.

LeightonWestwoo
LeightonWestwoo

 the only story i actually like from the sixth doctor's era that i actual like is the two doctors and thats because Patrick Throughton in it. it was just his costume that I didn't like. you get use to him after a few episodes.  If must me hard for fans. to like him after peter Davison doctor.


Venawesomeo
Venawesomeo

I reckon he'll be more like the First - kind but fierce and rather alien. 

Interesting article, though I wouldn't say Matt Smith played it like pre-teen drama. I think he was delightfully insane but cos he was an attractive chap, fan girls were attracted to him and tarnished his reputation a bit. Ten was more pre-teen drama, IMHO.

WhoPotterVian
WhoPotterVian

A 6th-style Doctor would never work now. It didn't work before so it almost certainly won't in the 21st century. And I very,very much doubt Moffat would take that risk anyway.  The only reason why I enjoy watching the 6th Doctor in classic series serials is Colin Baker's brilliant acting. Without that, his Doctor would have been a lot worse. And it would be the same with Peter Capaldi(should this come true). Brilliant actor,rubbish Doctor.



JamesCresswell
JamesCresswell

Well, I for one do hope that the twelfth Doctor is similar to the sixth. While I did find some aspects of Colin Bakers portryel of the Doctor over the top. I would prefer it to the clownish behaviour of recent years.

Don't get me wrong, I think Matt Smith was excellent as The Doctor and am already missing him. But I did find many of his wacky moments irritating. I do think he was much better when he was serious and/or angry. 


gunslinger19
gunslinger19

definitely agree! I don't think that Smith was too immature I will always see that as a form of compensation for the darker doctor beneath. I wouldn't mind seeing a more foolish, brash doctor as well, but also a more hopeful doctor. there can still be elements of childishness but they should be in attitude rather than Smith's Christmas list and toy making. I love Baker's doctor and would love to see a similar twelfth doctor :D

TonySimmons
TonySimmons

Totally agree with this. There was too much skipping around the Tardis and jolly japes in the last few series. Lets see a bit of danger back, situations that are life threatening and not easy to resolve, and at the centre of it, a darker Doc. I loved Colin Bakers Doctor, it was a crime that his tenure was ended far too early without his character developing. And being an older Doc, I now hope that we wont have the companions falling in love with him. Its a sign of much stronger writing when the companion can be a best friend, such as Tom Baker's Doc was with Sarah, without all the silly love heart stuff

VictorWong1
VictorWong1

You might say "darker, fierce."

I think there's a better descriptor for what we've seen from Capaldi so far:

"Intense."

Put another way: if you have somebody starting at you in an intense manner -- not blinking, wide eyed, almost boring into you -- wouldn't you find that off-putting?

That's what we've seen from Capaldi. His staring into Clara's face, and Clara's look of fear isn't because she thinks he's going to do something weird to her, it's because the intensity is throwing her into confusion.

"Intense" is good. It's workable because it doesn't rely "dark" or "light" attitudes to be frightening. If the Doctor decides to use a horse to rescue someone, the "intense" attitude works because it's essentially focused enthusiasm; you can actually *see* that he might not have thought this through and that the odds of him falling off in mid leap are actually pretty high.

ilyootha
ilyootha

Yes!! From what we know about Twelve so far ("he is mad and dangerous and difficult", and his costume is exactly what Colin Baker wanted for his Doctor), I'm getting a feeling that Twelve will be a bit like "Sixth Doctor done properly" kind of Doctor, which, being a big fan of Six, I'm really looking forward to. If they take that concept, but with a far more serious-looking costume, better scripts, and a warmer Doctor-companion relationship, then we're in for a treat :)


One thing though... Who is "Perry"?

The 14th Doctor
The 14th Doctor

"Did you really think that was going to shoot in 'A Town Called Mercy'"

True. I did however truly think he was going to shoot in The Doctor's Daughter.

As for everything else, I completely agree.

GoodYear92
GoodYear92

I'm looking forward to what will hopefully be a more overtly mature take on the Doctor from Capaldi (I stress "overtly", because Eleven's often childish flamboyance, which I personally enjoyed for the most part, always seemed like a conscious effort he made to conceal that 'old beast' harbouring within, which will presumably be a more patent aspect of the Twelfth Doctor's characterisation, but did filter through on occasion with Eleven). Hopefully, his incarnation will be akin to the likes of the First, and Ninth Doctors (my two personal favourites, it must be said), as well as the intent for the Sixth, so long as it's not too imitative. The Doctor is always a blank canvas whenever someone new steps into the role, so there's little point in painting him as we've near enough already seen him before. I trust that both Moffat and Capaldi will be creating an incarnation that's as differentiated from prior incarnations as we've come to expect, whilst still bearing the requisite, identifiable similarities to his predecessors; he is still the Doctor, after all. 

Anyway, well done on a great, succinct article, Mike. Very enjoyable read!

MJJ
MJJ

I don't want The Doctor to be an asshole. That was the problem I had with Colin's Doctor, which is why he was my least favorite Doctor. Have an edge, yes. Remind the audience that he can stomp a Big Bad's butt, call Big Bad back to fuss at them, then chase them away with two words - "Basically. Run." - But don't be an asshole.

AztecsDaleksAndCavemen
AztecsDaleksAndCavemen

It would add an edge to the role. There's something quite disturbing about a man who can be frivolous and fanciful for a good section of his life and be volatile and egotistic for another.

Blubskunker
Blubskunker

I hope Capaldi plays his doctor, well, like capaldi! He's a great actor with great writers and directors pushing his performance so although it's fun to speculate, lets just see what he gives us and enjoy it!

ClassicWhovian
ClassicWhovian

The ideas behind Colin Baker's Doctor where actually very strong - a long plan, to slowly peel back the layers and reveal the true Sixth Doctor. Such a shame that the show was not in a strong enough place to support this bold idea - I for one would welcome another shot at it!


damienpatel3
damienpatel3

I don't want it too similar because then its not original and is just repeats with different cast

Kylephantom4
Kylephantom4

Nah, he needs to be his own doctor, plus if he is getting darker, then the valeyard storyline might not be far off

Plus i never blame colin for getting the show canceled, nor do i blame mccoy, it was just really bad writers, they didnt give the doctors good enough episodes, colin and mccoy were marvelous doctors, and they had some great moments, but some episodes could have been better

50doctorwho
50doctorwho

I hope he ends up like Colin he is my favourite doctor 

WiblyWoblyTimyWimyMOFFAT
WiblyWoblyTimyWimyMOFFAT

He SHOULD be dark but please mot like six! Sorry colin bit your doctor wasnt good,but it wasnt you, it was the writing!

JustinDale
JustinDale

I'm ready to see a unpredictable, darker, doctor; and I honestly think the world is as well. The fans are worried because they don't want to see 12 choke Clara, al la 6 and Peri. They also dont want to see 12 inadvertently or purposely enda companions life. I'm ready for Capauldis doctor, hell, maybe we will see a little bit of the vulgar Malcolm Tucker.

The8thDoctor
The8thDoctor

@gwylock1  The article is about the characters of the 6th and 12th Doctor  not a comparison between Colin Baker and Peter Capaldi.



Pipnant
Pipnant

@ilyootha  Perry is Five's last companion who was in the TARDIS whilst he regenerated into Six. She stayed with Six for a while I think, though I'm not sure how long for.

ilyootha
ilyootha

As long as "ending up like Colin" means "recording plenty of audios" and not "being fired from job" XD

Polyphase
Polyphase

@JustinDale I think the last 2 Doctors have been very dark, I'm hoping for someone with a bit more humour :)

gwylock1
gwylock1

@The8thDoctor @gwylock1  YOU KNOW WHAT?! I NEVER NOTICED. Sarcasm aside, I was responding to the negative comments down here... the article speaks very well for itself! ;)

Special Weapons Dalek
Special Weapons Dalek

@WhoPotterVian @JamesCresswell  Not all Doctors are eccentric.. 1st, 5th(arguable) 7th, War, 9th were more serious then the others so no it's not a defining characteristic I am not saying it is a bad thing but it will tend to be over used.



Kylephantom4
Kylephantom4

You sir, are ham. Theres no bad doctor, like i said, bad writing, just listen to their audio stories then come back

ilyootha
ilyootha

There were no terrible Doctors, only terrible stories for some Doctors, and the actors are not the ones who should be blamed for that!


The8thDoctor
The8thDoctor

@gwylock1  I forgot my point,  I think it is unfair for this article  to compare the instability of the 6th with the reported "darker fiercer"  character of the 12th as we never got to see what the 6th could have evolved into and we have yet to see what the 12th is like

The8thDoctor
The8thDoctor

@gwylock1 @The8thDoctor  regarding Colin Baker,  he is a warmhearted man,  I met him at a Charity fundraiser and he is a real raconteur,  I do wish that he had had a longer crack at the role especially as he had a story arc for his character to eventually become the benevolent  Doctor instead of a madman who tried to strangle his companion.  Unfortunately the BBC saw different.


troughton who?
troughton who?

@ilyootha  All you've got to do is stick on a Big Finish audio featuring 6 or 7 to prove that neither Baker nor McCoy were bad Doctors, and they were just victims of bad writing (though I don't mind McCoy's last two series).