Stacy Embry just wants her ball back...
Whilst discussing Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor, the repeated claim I hear is "he's mean." I've heard no one say "he's brilliant" or "the best." I think I like him better than all the geek and academic Whovians I know!
How that happened seems an accident, not a Moffat-inspired BBC plan, but pure respect developed for the show. Personally, I think Capaldi's a game actor and probably a delightful man. Now that I've seen a lot of his earlier work, I've seen him growing in confidence and prestige.
But still, he's a Grandpa worried about his metaphoric lawn.
Here in the US there is an archetype of the cranky older neighbor who criticizes the kids next door for knocking their baseball into his lawn. Mr. Capaldi has mostly played the Doctor as a real Crabby Appleton. It's his scowl - those legendary eyebrows look angry and he's rarely softened them with joy or obvious hope. (A lack of pessimism is not hope per say.) Moffat has been quoted saying series nine will be funnier, but that's not the issue.
When possible Twelve has been quite funny... but still we hold that picture of Grandpa on his porch screaming at us.
Ultimately, I feel bad about this image, but the thought of him being sweet on Clara, as recently suggested by Steven Moffat, creeps me out. With Eleven, or the romantic Ten, we could see it... but with someone the apparent age of his own granddaughter? I just can't get there and Mr. Capaldi is on the record agreeing.
So, is it really age? Ultimately, I put forth that it's joy. We have seen moments of it in Twelve, but not the pure joy of the previous rebooted incarnations of the Doctor. Funny isn't joyful, and ultimately the Doctor has to project hope thru the darkness. It's his blind desire to do good that has saved him over and over again---- and companions and even worlds. In series eight, Capaldi's version is critical, dismayed and often appearing almost hopeless. His flat demeanor and frankness feels anti-Doctor, and as a director myself, I would have probably cast him as the Master.
But as I said, I want him to be the Doctor. I want him to embrace the consistent child within... and driving the sleigh whilst riding off with Clara made me hopeful that we'll get the unfettered joy we need. That scene gave me a bone to throw out to the skeptics, but I'm tired of defending him. I'm tired of seeing BAFTAs and popularity contests go to the wayside marginalizing Mr. Capaldi. I'm so hopeful.. not eager, actually more afraid if I'm honest, but ready for series nine to start. I just want everyone to give the man a chance by staying OFF his lawn. If we can respect him, he might just join us in a ball game or two.
Risk-adverse, Stacy would not even enter the TARDIS in case it suddenly
set to motion. Yet, gentle reader, she feels compelled to clarify that
she writes opinion or editorial pieces. By using logic and reasoning,
she always hopes to coherently provoke honest discourse.