WIT :: the 12th Doctor

*this post is dedicated to Jan, because she asked…

The 12th Doctor: The Oncoming Storm… or hope?

So I don’t know when this blog became a secret vehicle for my fangirldom, but slowly and surely, I find it being infected with all things Doctor Who.

I hope you don’t mind, but if you do, I’m warning you that I’m gonna rant a little bit about the show and the brand spankin’ new twelfth (12th?) Doctor so I give you permission to navigate away from this page and come back tomorrow for style pics.

But for you, gentle reader, who harbors the same fascination for our beloved Time Lord, I give you my humble thoughts on Peter Capaldi and my hopes for the future.

12

First off, I am not British and sadly do not follow British pop culture and therefore had no idea that Capaldi was famous in his own right across the pond. That said, my first impression of him is his amazing range and his flexible face. And when I say “flexible”, I’m talking about those attack eyebrows, and that aquiline nose and those slightly bulging eyes and that pursed mouth.

Capaldi raises “irritated” into an art form – he has so many variations of it and is not afraid to take any one of these variations and sling it about willy nilly. He’s not as manic as Tennant or as goofy as Smith but he does have his own brand of quirk. It’s an older man’s quirk and I think I like it. It speaks volumes to his experience as an actor that he can take a single emotion and create seemingly endless variations thereof.

For the future? I want to see that irritation morph into full-blown glee. Oh, he’s smiled some already in the four episodes I’ve seen, but they seem more like grudging grimaces or pained grins than true smiles. Of course, Capaldi would have to be given an authentic reason to beam, which leads me to my second point.

How do I feel about the 12th Doctor’s relationship with Clara?

To be blunt, I didn’t like it. Not at first. As far as series openers go, I was a bit underwhelmed by Deep Breath only because I felt cheated out of a true bonding experience between Clara and the Doctor. Much as I love the Paternoster Gang, I felt there were too many things happening in that episode for me to fully appreciate the Clara/12 vibe.

I thought to give them a chance with episode 2, but then the Dalek took over that one (don’t they always?) and I was still feeling no warmth and chemistry between Doctor and Companion and I was despairing of ever liking the pairing and hoping the intro of Danny Pink would work Amy/Rory magic so I could tolerate the show for the remainder of the season.

capaldiandclara

Then came episode 3. And I was blown away. I felt this was when the pair hit their stride – Clara being less dumbstruck and more sassy (Tell me I‘m not the only one who loves it when she tells the Doctor to shut up) and 12 being less crotchety-mean and more crotchety-petulant  (“I don’t do banter.” Priceless!)

I didn’t think things could get any better after the slapstick slapdash and comic timing of Sherwood, but along came Listen, and now I’m just speechless. I have no words, so I’ll just borrow Moffat’s:

“Why do you have three mirrors? Why don’t you just turn your head?”

“Do you have your own mood lighting now, because frankly, the accent is enough.”

“What’s going on with your face? It’s all eyes. Get them under control.”

“Fear doesn’t have to make you cruel and cowardly. Fear can make you kind.”

“I’m against the hugging.”

And when she smacks him on the head for scaring Rupert? Fangirl squee!

For the future, then, I will just trust the Moff and cheer Coleman and Capaldi from the sidelines. They’re gonna be magic.

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6 thoughts on “WIT :: the 12th Doctor

  1. Oh, thank you! Wonderful. I see exactly what you mean. I’m always disoriented with a new Doctor, so I just go with it because I know I’ll feel odd. I’d made up my mind to like Capaldi, so I did, but I wasn’t prepared for how much. As an old fangirl ( ewww.) I’m delighted that he is so pissy. He reflects a lot of our political disquiet here in the US, and I’m not sure I’m just projecting this. I suspect a lot of social-economic-world issues are afoot with my generation of Brits as well, and we have reason to be angry.
    Do you have a NetFlix queue? Go find “Local Hero” to see his film debut. You’d like this one, I think, if you haven’t seen it.
    He *seems* like I sometimes feel in spite of his Timelordly relationship with life, death and ageing. He has a touch of fragility that I like played off against Clara’s strength, too. And isn’t Pink a timely and decorative character? It will be interesting to see the Doctor and Pink interact more, I know.
    Thank you for the shout out. My Saturday nights are so much better, knowing we have the recorded Doctor waiting to help us decompress, and I’m so happy to hear your reactions.

    • Since Selah has been at me to morph this blog into something less fashion-esque, you may just get your wish. I’m toying with co-opting the weekend posts for all my geekery and fangirling. I do have Netflix and will add that to my queue right quick. Thanks for the recommendation. Am currently in the midst of a documentary phase in preparation of teaching my students from afar, but when I’m done committing to doc titles, I can go back to enjoying my fiction viewing.

  2. I’m a huge Peter Capaldi fan (I’m not British, but he was magnificent in The Hour). This Doctor has totally won me over and he can throw off an insult like no one else, except maybe Douglas Adams. Write about the Doctor every day, I am a happy reader! xox

    • How did you like this Saturday’s episode? I almost want Psi and Saibra to be companions over Danny Pink, but next episode might change my mind.

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