Three episodes into the new season of Doctor Who I find myself being able to answer the question “is Peter Capaldi The Doctor?”
I will admit that when they announced P-Caps as the new Doctor I was a little apprehensive. David Tennant left a gaping hole in my heart when he left with the final words “but I don’t want to go” and I was only just starting to feel comfortable with Matt Smith when the new Doctor was revealed. I had gotten so used to The Doctor being a younger, kind of childish and quirky gentleman so my first reaction was “who is this older, grumpier guy?”
After watching the first episode of the season, I still wasn’t sold. He didn’t look like The Doctor, he didn’t act like The Doctor and I really wasn’t liking the story that was being told behind the whole regeneration. The Clara side of the story arc of the first episode was probably the best part and followed what I think a lot of fans were probably feeling. Clara is confused and a little bit scared. Where is The Doctor she knows and loves? That’s exactly how I felt, but I also felt it was a smooth transition having Clara say the things that I was thinking and having the other characters reassure her to ease the transition.
When the episode finished I was still on the fence. I couldn’t decided whether I liked the new Doctor or not. He was older, angrier, sadder, less quirky and I felt like something was missing. I loved that when the previous Doctors were working things out, they rattled off this crazy monologue that was near impossible to keep up with and finished it off by explaining it in one coherent sentence. The new Doctor just seemed to dwell on the one issue and say the same thing repeatedly, then when he looked like he was about to make sense of it all and explain it, he’d go somewhere completely different. With all that said I was enjoying the fresh take and was paying attention which I hadn’t done in a while as I had found the previous season to be quite bland.
When the second episode aired in Australia I decided to give P-Caps another chance. This episode was a little more enjoyable on the story side and showed a little more of The Doctors’ personality. But not enough to convince me that he IS The Doctor. I still felt like he was just an actor playing a part, quite well I might add but I just wasn’t invested the way I had been with previous portrayals.
However, after all my dilly-dallying and nit-picking, I have finally made my decision thanks to episode 3. P-Caps is, without a doubt The Doctor. In episode 3 Clara asks to meet Robin Hood, but The Doctor is adamant that Mr. Hood is fictitious. Surprisingly it seems that The Prince of Thieves is in fact real. A few minutes into the episode The Doctor casually puts a half-licked spoonful of ice cream in his jacket pocket and upon arriving, Robin fires an arrow into the TARDIS then challenges The Doctor to a sword fight.
This is when The Doctor pulls out his spoon from his jacket and what follows is what made me love Peter Capaldi and also made me believe that he is The Doctor. I’m sure there are scenes that I have enjoyed more but I just can’t remember them at this point. Watching The Doctor fight Robin Hood with a spoon (sounds like some weird fan fiction right?) was the most enjoyment I have gotten out of an episode in a long time.
Without going into too much detail and spoiling it, this is an amazing episode and easily one of my new favourites. While David Tennant will always be my first and favourite Doctor, Peter Capaldi is definitely climbing the ranks and I look forward to what the show comes up with.
To answer the question “is Peter Capaldi The Doctor?”…
Whether you like it or not, he definitely is. I for one, am completely ok with that.