Goodbye Peter Capaldi… Hello Jodie Whittaker

This’ll be a short one…

On the left... Peter Capaldi, standing in front of the TARDIS, in his original costume as the Doctor. On the right... Jodie Whittaker, in a black hoodie and charcoal gray jacket, in her first reveal photo as the Doctor...

On the left… Peter Capaldi, standing in front of the TARDIS, in his original costume as the Doctor. On the right… Jodie Whittaker, in a black hoodie and charcoal gray jacket, in her first reveal photo as the Doctor…

It’s funny… Back when I got into Doctor Who, Matt Smith was at the height of his tenure as the Doctor (or the nadir, depending on how you view it). While watching new episodes, I binged the entirety of Doctor Who from it’s return in2005 through. I watched both of Eccleston’s and Tennant’s regenerations, and they were sad, but they didn’t hit me.

Matt Smith’s regeneration into Peter Capaldi was the first regeneration I saw live. And yes, it was also sad, but, while I liked Smith (mostly), he wasn’t my Doctor.

After binging the 2005 return, and between breaks and such in the live run, I went back and started watching the classic episodes. William Hartnell actually turned out to be my favorite Doctor, so when Capaldi took over, I warmed to him immediately. Granted, he had both some of the best and some of the worst stories in NuWho, and he started out quite mean and grumpy, but he was everything I loved about Hartnell’s Doctor, even with the warming up over time to become… well… kind.

I very much hoped that Capaldi would become the new Tom Baker. Maybe not overstaying, but staying on for more than three seasons. And when Bill was introduced in Season 10, I had hoped that she’d be his companion for most of his run…

Until it was announced that Season 10 was not only going to be Capaldi’s last, but the entire team’s last. Then it was announced that Chris Chibnall was taking over. And then, it was announced that Jodie Whittaker would be the first woman in the show’s 54-year run to be the new Doctor.

Twice Upon a Time, the 2017 Christmas special, was Capaldi’s regeneration episode. And I finally understood what fans meant by “it’s both devastating and exciting”.

I was so ecstatic for Whittaker, but I didn’t want Capaldi to go, either. And I experienced that split between being devastated and being excited for Twice Upon a Time. They brought in David Bradley to play the First Doctor, and aside from an annoying amount of rather misplaced sexism (the First Doctor was simply never that sexist… racist, a few times, yes, but not that sexist), he did quite an excellent job at it. Bill was brought back, as well. And I’d say more, but… you know… spoilers…

One thing Capaldi did well was monologues. I will never understand how he didn’t win any awards for Heaven Sent. That was a brilliant piece of Doctor Who, and the vast majority of it was Capaldi literally acting against no one. So, of course, his final speech in Twice Upon a Time was great. Yes, it was a pastiche of things he’d said in the past (including bits from Heaven Sent), and on paper it looked… anti-climactic. But Capaldi, as usual, pulled it off wonderfully, making it an emotional farewell.

And I cried.

And he regenerated.

And then I didn’t know whether to keep crying or to stop crying and be excited.

Twice Upon a Time ended on a rather ridiculous (in a good way) cliffhanger, leaving me feeling like the wait for Season 11, and Whittaker’s first season, is going to be far too long.

Goodbye, Peter Capaldi. You were my Doctor. You were everything I felt the Doctor was, and then some. Your acting was brilliant. And I do hope we get to see you back for a multi-Doctor story in the near future.

And hello, Jodie Whittaker. I cannot express in words how excited I am to follow your tenure as the Doctor. I have a feeling that you really are going to be brilliant, and I cannot wait for it to start.

(Separately… I know I’ve been absent. This blog has gotten rather dusty. I obviously still have a post I’ve been promising… and no, I haven’t actually hit my personal due date, yet… but it was pushed back somewhat with the death of my grandpa. And no, it will not be as long, as well-written, or as well-researched as the time I’ve been spending on it might justify, sadly. I have no excuse for that at all.

Plus I have series I want to get back into, as well, obviously.

My absence is down to a lot. There’s been so much going on in my life. So much stress and anxiety, so much work, confusion about my future, etc. I’m going day-by-day right now, and am trying to figure out what my future holds. I may blog about a rather terrifying night I had recently, or I may not. We’ll see. Nobody was harmed [including me], and it only involved myself and no one else… but anyways…

I’ll see you all soon.



  1. starskeptic says

    Capaldi ran a very close second to Tom Baker for me. In watching a clip of an interview with Baker, I realized that more than the scarf -- it was that amazing coat of his that had everything in it you could need…
    Sent to your death by Cybermen with an explosive device strapped to your back?
    Trapped by fallen debris? Waiting for help?
    Paperback novel!
    And always a ready supply of Jelly babies!

  2. brucegee1962 says

    misplaced sexism (the First Doctor was simply never that sexist… racist, a few times, yes, but not that sexist)

    The Doctor himself wasn’t as sexist as he was on the Christmas special. But the show as a whole (like most other shows of its time) was. The female companions weren’t particularly smart, or brave, or good at inspiring the Doctor — they were there as ornamentation, to be in distress, and to scream at the monsters.

    I think the show was recognizing that. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a “how far have we come” moment — especially given the final regeneration.

  3. says

    brucegee1962 @ #3:

    Oh definitely. I agree completely that the show itself was very much sexist as the times in the way it created the men’s roles and women’s roles. In fact, that whole thing is why I hated The Aztecs serial (about the only Hartnell storyline I don’t like). I actually thought the show was pretty progressive for its time in the way it built the characters of Ian and Barbara, because Ian was often far more emotional, but rather try-hard in his attempt to avoid emotions, while Barbara was more rational more often while being emotional when it actually made sense… until the Aztecs, where it seemed like they switched Ian’s and Barbara’s personalities completely. I felt that their roles in that story should have been flipped, not least because Barbara was the historian and should have known better from the beginning, while it would have made perfect sense for Ian, not a historian, to take the role of “I want them to stop the sacrifices”.

    As for the First Doctor… Even the smacked bottom line, while it did happen, was the Doctor talking to his Granddaughter, and the context makes it not a moment of sexism, but a moment of a grandpa still seeing his granddaughter as child. Of course, it’s quite probable that the writers never would have given Hartnell’s Doctor that line had it been his grandson, and the characterization of Susan was indeed rather sexist, so that point is probably moot, anyways.

    I guess I felt like it was overdone. They were using the First Doctor as an avatar for the 60’s and the context of the show, and I felt that was unfair because the First Doctor himself wasn’t actually portrayed as sexist, and in fact seemed to be rather oblivious to gender roles (I could see Hartnell’s Doctor unironically agreeing with Capaldi’s Doctor’s line about the Time Lords being billions of years beyond humans’ petty obsession with gender and its associated stereotypes).

    One or two lines would have worked, because I do appreciate what they were doing. But it just seemed to be a bit too… I don’t know… performative?

    And then of course there’s the fact of the sexism Moffat himself wrote into the show, especially while Matt Smith played the Doctor. In fact, I’d argue that, in at least some ways, the Hartnell’s Doctor would have been appalled at the way Smith’s Doctor treated women sometimes (I think he would have outright attacked Smith’s Doctor for his kissing Jenny without her desire or permission, in fact). So perhaps I’m also stuck on “I’m not really sure that Moffat has earned the right to make that point”…

  4. blf says

    I was also bothered by what also seemed to me to be rather more sexism than William Hartnell portrayed. Fortunately, there wasn’t so much to ruin what seems to be a decent special — cheesy cliffhanger and all. I got a bit of a kick of trying to identify all the (near-)quotes of previous Doctors, including one of the favourites from my Doctor (Tom Bakker): “You may be a doctor, but I am The Doctor, the definite article [original] you might say.”

    A big welcome to Jodie Whittaker!

    And a big welcome back! I look forward to seeing / reading more posts from you. Best wishes and all that.

Leave a Reply