Today is the day!
Leave or remain?
That is to say, should Peter Capaldi leave Doctor Who or remain in the TARDIS for Series Eleven and beyond?
Let's take a look at the facts and the pros & cons of Capaldi leaving or remaining.
If Peter Capaldi should leave Doctor Who at the end of series ten/2017 Christmas Special he will be bowing out at the same time as showrunner Steven Moffat, in much the same way that David Tennant did when Russell T Davies left the series, leaving incumbent executive producer Chris Chibnall a clean slate with which to work with.
Capaldi will have also have made three full seasons by then, the same as both Tennant and Matt Smith, and the same as several of his Classic Who predecessors. Three and out does seem to be a handy measuring stick for the majority of Doctors. So there are a lot of signs pointing towards him potentially handing in his TARDIS key at the end of series ten. Capaldi even said this a few months back,
"This could be my final year – it’s terrifying. I love Doctor Who but it can be quite an insular world and I do want to do other things. There will come a time when this is over. But I knew that when I started. I was thinking about my regeneration scene from the outset. That’s my terrible melancholic nature. When you accept the job you know there’ll come a day, inevitably, when you’ll be saying goodbye."So let's say he does vote to leave. After announcing his intended departure we enter that golden period of time when as a Doctor Who fan it feels as if anything is possible. I love this time because we know there will be a new Doctor coming, we don't know who it will be but, due to the nature of the series, it quite literally could be anyone.
Forums alight with speculation, everybody knows who would make a brilliant Doctor, fans champion favourites, the press tout completely ridiculous people as they always do, and eventually we get an announcement and have to wait months, a year even in Matt Smith's case, before we actually get to see the new Doctor in action.
But, again, what a time! How will they play their Doctor? What will they wear? Will there be a new sonic? New TARDIS interior? New titles? Ooh, so much newness to look forward to in a series that thrives on reinvention.
A new Doctor and a new showrunner is also the perfect jumping on point for new fans. RTD had made in-roads into the USA market, with Doctor Who finally making the jump from nerdy PBS broadcasts to more mainstream acceptance, but look how the series went stratospheric from almost the moment Smith/Moffat took over and the soft-reboot style of The Eleventh Hour.
So, even if you don't want to see him go, there is a lot of potentially great things to look forward to if Capaldi should vote to leave the series and move on.
I don't know about you but this 'three and out' rule seems a bit of a rubbish one to me. Three years feels as if they are just getting going, just getting to truly know their Doctor. I know the series is built on change but it's also not going anywhere in the foreseeable future so why change so soon and so often? If Capaldi votes to remain for series eleven then he will be signing up for a fourth season, more than any other New-Who Doctor. In fact you have to go all the way back to Tom Baker's era to find a Doctor that stayed with the series for more than three years (discounting specials).
With the greatest respect to every other Classic Doctor, I think it's fair to say that Tom Baker is the poster-Doctor for the classic series, with his era looked upon by many as a golden age for Doctor Who. And it's not just because of his longevity on the show but also thanks to a multitude of fan-favourite adventures racked up across his seven years, especially in his earlier seasons.
In the last eleven years New-Who has already seen some immensely popular Doctors take the show to levels of fandom that would've been unimaginable twenty years earlier, but I wouldn't bet against future generations looking back on Capaldi's tenure as another golden age for the show. Stories like Listen, The Zygon Invasion/Inversion, and Hell Bent capitalise on Capaldi's acting chops, showcasing his talent and giving us some truly special adventures. Give Capaldi more time on the series and he may well end up as the New-Who poster-Doctor. I can see Capaldi being the one to pop up in the 75th Anniversary Special as a Curator-type character.
Then there's the case of Steven Moffat's departure. Surely it would help the transition period as the series is likely to have a shift in tone, even if just slight, when Chibby takes over as he will no doubt approach the show differently to the Moff. If Capaldi is there throughout this time then it may not be as tonally jarring as many people found The Eleventh Hour to be. And for all of those fans who dislike Moffat and voice their dissatisfaction with the series today, many of them still rate Capaldi as a Doctor and would like to see him work with a different showrunner. Series eleven would give them that chance.
Once again, we have to go all the way back to Tom Baker's era to find a Doctor who worked with more than one producer, which is mad if you think about it. Even more mad is that Tom's Doctor actually outlived three of them - Barry Letts, Phillip Hinchcliffe, and Graham Williams - before John Nathan-Turner pushed him off a communications tower and became the Executive Producer Victorious of the 1980s.
So, wouldn't it be great to see our Twelfth Doctor guided on his adventures in time and space by a new head scribe? Here's what Capaldi had to say on the subject,
“I’ve been asked to stay on, but it’s such a long time before I have to make that decision.Will Peter Capaldi vote to remain or leave Doctor Who?
Steven’s been absolutely wonderful, so I love working with him. Chris is fantastic, and I think he’s a hugely talented guy.
I don’t know where the show’s gonna go then. I don’t know. I have to make up my mind, and I haven’t yet.”
I know which way I'd vote, do you?
Vote Remain or Vote Leave in the comments below.
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