On Sunday, August 4, 2013, the actor playing the 12th Doctor in Doctor Who was announced simultaneously around the world.
Stop here if you don’t want to know who it is, though if you manage to avoid that information until it’s revealed on the show, please come back and tell me how you did it!
And the fandom went a little crazy. For every person thrilled and excited by the casting decision, there were very loud and very vocal complaints. Complaints ranging from his having appeared previously on Doctor Who and Torchwood to his age to not casting a woman. And every complaint is valid, but not a reason to immediately dislike the newest member of the Doctor Who family or threaten to stop watching the show.
“But he was already on the show.”
Yes, but so were other people. Karen Gillan was in the series 4 episode “The Fires of Pompeii” before getting the part of Amy Pond. Freema Agyeman was in the second series episode “Army of Ghosts” before she was Martha Jones. Eve Myles showed up in “The Unquiet Dead” before becoming Gwen Cooper in Torchwood. And even Colin Baker, the sixth Doctor himself, was in “The Arc of Infinity” during the Fifth Doctor’s era.
“But he’s too old.”
Frankly, this is the complaint I take the least seriously. The Doctor is over 1000 years old, so how can the actor who portrays him be “too old”? In addition, the past eleven actors have ranged from 27-55 years old, so while Peter Capaldi is on the upper end of that range, he certainly isn’t “too old” for the part.
“But I wanted the Doctor to be something other than a white male.”
This one is a bit harder to argue. I’m happy for the Doctor to continue to be male, but I can understand why people want something else. People want to be able to see themselves in the character, whether that is a female Doctor or a non-white Doctor or any other so far unseen trait. I’ll stick with believing that as long as the role is done right, I don’t really have a preference for what type of person is doing the portraying.
“But he’s not sexy.”
Um… right. One, sexy is in the eye of the beholder. You might not find him attractive, but many other people might. Two, should visual attractiveness dictate your enjoyment of the show? Three, is there a requirement that the Doctor be sexy? I thought it was the TARDIS who was “Sexy.”
But enough with the negatives. We have a new Doctor! And I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what Peter Capaldi will do to make the twelfth incarnation his own. New stories, new dynamic, new adventures.
And I truly believe that it’s going to amazing.