Earlier last month, former Doctor Who Matt Smith announced that he was “really jealous” of successor Peter Capaldi.
Smith, who portrayed the eponymous Doctor from 2010 – 2013, told Calgary Expo Comic-Con visitors that upon hearing about series boss Steven Moffat’s plans for the upcoming episodes, he actually felt some misgivings about leaving the role.
“(I) Found out everything about the new series. It sounds really good! I was really jealous actually” he said.
This statement only served to whet the collective appetites of the science fiction show’s legions of adoring fans, as they eagerly anticipate the arrival of the latest series, which will be the first to star Capaldi.
Mark Gatiss, the writer behind Christopher Eccleston adventure ‘The Unquiet Dead’, David Tennant episode ‘The Idiot’s Lantern’ and Matt Smith outings ‘Victory to the Daleks’ (Spitfires in space! Yay!), ‘Night Terrors’, ‘Cold War’ and ‘The Crimson Horror’ has also teased fans by allowing us a little peek behind the curtain,
“I saw a little of Peter Capaldi in action and he is wonderful. I think it will be very exciting for everyone, because it is a more dangerous, more urgent Doctor. It has a side of crazy”.
Clearly, Gatiss, who has written for every incarnation of the character since the show’s 2005 revival (as well as appearing as an actor in the 2007 story ‘The Lazarus Experiment’), is already a fan.
“The series has already turned eight. It’s not new anymore. (…) Its time to do something more radical. I think it will be fantastic”, he told Adorocinema in March.
Speculation is absolutely rife as to what Series 8 (and especially Capaldi’s full-length debut) will bring, but the BBC is doing a spectacular job of keeping a lid on it (and a tight one at that!).
In one funny example, the Radio Times attempted to come off like they had some inside dirt on the new series, claiming to have a ‘source’ on the show. This ‘source’ however, is less of a mole than the show’s writers, producers, actors and official website, all of which regularly reveal more than this would-be ‘Deep Throat’ has, (or likely ever will).
Still, from the RT article (which did yield at least a couple of points of interest), we can discern that BBC bigwigs are very much behind Capaldi in the role and that Capaldi’s Doctor will be written and portrayed as
“More distanced from his assistant, more of a mystery. Less a mate, and someone she looks up to. She has to try and gauge him – but dramatically it’s very satisfying and onscreen they work very well together.”
The mysterious source also compares Capaldi’s Doctor with the performance of Jon Pertwee, who played The Doctor from 1970 – 1974, but also stresses that “he’s his own man – very distinctive”.
In any instance, Steven Moffat is certainly not fretting about losing his audience with the casting of a new Doctor. In fact, he believes that the arrival of a fresh new face in the role will actually gain the long-running series some new fans.
“We’ve cast one of the most beloved, one of the most distinguished – and one of the few Oscar winning – actors in the role of the doctor” he told SFX magazine.
“There will be people who will come and have a look just because it’s Peter Capaldi. We’ll tell them “You never thought this would be your show, but it is your show.”
A few leaked images have teased at least one new monster (which we covered here a few months back) and a smattering of casting choices have been announced, but that’s about it. At this rate, the entire nation, from the diehard to the casual fan, will be able to go in totally fresh.
The secret to the longevity and success of both the character and the show is the ability to occasionally change and shake things up. It looks as if this tradition is going to continue for a long time to come.