Sunday 31 August 2014
And so it has begun: the reign of the twelfth Doctor. Scottish actor, Peter Capaldi, has stepped into the coveted role of the legendary Time Lord, the Doctor. At the time of writing this post, two of series eight’s episodes have been broadcast, and the Doctor is still trying to figure out exactly who he is. It’s probably safe to assume that over the course of filming series eight, Capaldi was the Doctor’s constant companion on that journey of self-discovery. His ‘carer’ (‘She cares so I don’t have to’), Clara, is in the same position as the audience of this show, wondering what sort of man he is, and how the new Doctor is going to measure up against the old Doctor.
Unlike other series premiers of Doctor Who, I did not watch the simultaneous broadcast of the first episode. I was on the road, almost home, from my five-week Grecian Odyssey, and that is a blog post or two just waiting to be written. However, a day or two later I did watch ‘Deep Breath’ courtesy of the Internet. Up to the point that I watched the episode, I’d been reading online reviews of ‘Deep Breath’, and people were singing Capaldi’s praises. I don’t recall reading a single negative review of his performance. Anyone who knows anything about acting will tell you that it is a rarity to receive 100 percent of one’s reviews in the positive. Just think about it – it’s in our nature to complain, criticise, and be negative.
So, what did I think of Capaldi’s debut Doctor Who episode? To be honest, I was a lil let down by it. Steven Moffat chose to go with a rehashing of the episode ‘The Girl In The Fireplace’ (series two, episode four) rather than an outright brand spanking new story. ‘The Girl In The Fireplace’ was a well-written, enthralling episode. ‘Deep Breath’, in my opinion, not so much. Credit where credit’s due – there were some very witty lines delivered by both the Doctor and Clara, and there was an initial moment of suspense for me before I made the connection with the series two episode. That takes care of the writing aspect, now on to the acting . . .
I was not particularly impressed when the announcement was made that Peter Capaldi had won the role of the Doctor. I’m not at all a fan of his – I didn’t like him in the second episode of Doctor Who series four, ‘The Fires Of Pompeii’, not a fan of him in Torchwood, and didn’t care for him as Malcolm Tucker. Many may consider him a talented actor and director, but he’s just not my cup of tea. I’m struggling to see and understand why everyone else finds him remarkable as the Doctor.
As I mentioned previously, the reviews for his first episode were overwhelmingly positive, with many stating how witty Capaldi portrayed the Doctor was in ‘Deep Breath’. The thing that I see, however, is that the wit comes from the writer, Steven Moffat, not the actor. Don’t misunderstand me, an actor brings life to the character that they are portraying. It’s the point of acting. However, the actor needs a base to begin with, and that base is the script.
What do I like about the new Doctor? His coat. Yep, he has a great coat.
Other than the coat, for me, the jury’s still out on Peter Capaldi as the Doctor.