Friday, 20 December 2013

Capaldi #1 - The Grumpy Question

I need to say this now.

I'm not sure if I wrote a blog on my thoughts on the casting of Peter Capaldi. I know I was critical of Doctor Who Live though (although I loved the post-Day of the Doctor show, which everyone else hated).

If I'm repeating myself then I apologise - but I'm going to raise a few different points I hope too.

I worry that Capaldi's going to be a stereotypical Doctor. As in "oh we've cast an old bloke, let's make him a bit grumpier". Moffat said recently (he says a lot of stuff and most of it is irritatingly teasy) that it's time for the Doctor to "bite back" or "growl" or some equally awful cliche, and that he then needs to remind the audience that really he's not grumpy, even if he appears it.

So this implies a sterner Doctor, with the same element of fun underneath. Which is fine. But I could have written that. I could have cast any old man to be like that. I expect it.

What isn't expected (although isn't particularly different to the style of Who we've come accustomed to) is if the Doctor was lively. How wonderful would it be to see Capaldi, a "father figure" (I tell you, if they ever use that term I'm gonna go mad), jumping about? What if he was as insane as Tom Baker, as thoughtful as Davison. Yes, I agree, darker elements would be good, like McCoy's darker elements.

But there's a difference between dark and grumpy. Grumpy is what I expect them to make Capaldi. Darker is what I hope they make him, along with a good dose of, if I dare say it, Tennant and Smith. It's not different in terms of the show - but it's different to everyone's expectations of Capaldi.

Making him grumpy, shouty, angry would be boring. I mean, I fully expect Capaldi to play the Doctor, however he chooses to do so, wonderfully. I'm sure his performance, even if it is as a grumpy Doctor, would be great. But that doesn't mean that grumpy is a good route to go down.

I want a Doctor who challenges the audience - and by challenge I don't mean "oh let's make him seem a bit less nice". Everyone says Hartnell was "irrascible", but in the little I've seen of his Doctor, he's not. He mellows by the end of The Edge of Destruction. And then he's great. A grumpy Doctor is not a good, or challenging way to go.

I want Capaldi to be different, and challenging, and not stereotyped, from the word go. He's all jumpy in his regeneration scene apparently - but Moffat tells us he'll change.

We'll see if that's a good change.

So although we've only seen CAPALDI'S EYES (worthy of capital letters, naturally) - I just hope and pray that the crew, and Capaldi himself, have chosen to make his Doctor different to the grumpy old man that I think a lot of fans are expecting.

He'll give an amazing performance - but one that I can't wait to watch week after week (which we're getting for Series 8, woo!) is what I hope for.

And when he's been on, for thirty seconds or whatever, I'll give my thoughts again. And when we see his costume *squeal of fangirlish excitement* I'll give my thoughts.

I can't wait to see what he's like. I just hope it doesn't let me down.

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