Twelve is Equal to Six?

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

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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.

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