Peter Capaldi has announced the end of his run as The Doctor on Doctor Who.
He’s not the Doctor with the shortest run, by far (Hi, Christopher Eccleston, Paul McGann, and I suppose John Hurt) but he’s The Doctor I feel least connected to. Nine’s single season still feels more robust and developed than Capaldi’s four years or so.
Maybe it’s because we have Moffat running long past his expiration date as showrunner? Is it the way seasons are sporadic and stretched out now? I don’t think it’s Capaldi’s lack of integration, I really did believe him as a grumpy phoenix, reborn sullenly from the ashes of Matt Smith’s giddy burn out through the ages. There were moments Twelve shone as an echo back to our more serious, but still whimsical, Doctors. He brought his own passions and fire, and yet those moments felt briefer than I expected. And then we were left with so many “Really?” moments from Moffat’s execution.
Maybe if I returned to Nine I wouldn’t see him through the rose colored glasses of hindsight, but as we stand now history overshadows the present. Don’t get me wrong, I believe I will miss Twelve when he regenerates, but I don’t feel the end of an era like I did when Ten(nant) proclaimed his reluctance to leave us with “I don’t want to go!” I attached to Twelve faster than I accepted Eleven, he was a refreshing change of Doctor instead of a magnification of the previous incarnation, but as we face the end I don’t know that we’ve actually gotten the Doctor we were promised, that we needed.
In a way it feels like he’s already gone too soon, even though he hasn’t regenerated yet. We never really got to appreciate him fully as we did with previous Doctors. Glorious moments, but no lasting hand to hold as we march towards the next inevitable period of “But he’s not MY Doctor” until the new form steals our hearts in some way. (Maybe this upcoming season will prove me ever so wrong?)
As a note, no Doctor, even Ten, will be MY Doctor as truly as Four, everyone’s favorite scarf-clad Tom Baker.
“It’s the end. But the moment has been prepared for.”