There’s been some chatter on the internet (where the nerds live) (also free naked people) (AND BINGO!) that Capaldi’s Doctor is going to be dark. A bad-tempered meanie and a right nasty so-and-so. Goodbye to the friendly, whimsical sort we’ve had recently, hello to a cold-hearted, no-nonsense git. He’s not your friend. He’s not to be trusted. He might call you rude names.
Now this hasn’t just appeared from nowhere, it’s been highlighted right from his first brief appearance in ‘The Day of The Doctor’, when his furious eyebrows appeared in close-up and put the screaming willies up viewers worldwide. Moffat then stirred the pot further by stating of Capaldi’s Doctor that he “goes back to being the trickier version of the Doctor, the fiercer alien wanderer” and “He is different and it’s time to stop play-acting. He’s not apologising, he’s not flirting with you – that’s over.”
And now come the first two teaser trailers, full of dark, foreboding visuals and dialogue, Capaldi’s Doctor himself asking Clara to ‘be my pal and tell me, am I a good man?’ It all seems to point to a harsh, dark new persona; perhaps he’ll take a leaf from Colin Baker’s book and attempt to throttle Clara early in his first episode? Because we all know how well that went down…
But… but no. I don’t buy it. Moffat knows who the Doctor really is, Capaldi knows, and a full on dark, mean bastard of a portrayal is just not him. I expect Capaldi may be a bit more to the point, a bit more ruthless, rude even, but nasty? No. This Doctor, like all the others, will have light and shade, though perhaps the switch will have been flipped away from the more whimsical aspects that infused Matt Smith’s take on the character, or Tennant’s romantic hero version, but you can bet those aspects will still be present in the mix somewhere.
I think what we’re going to see, in feature-length opener ‘Deep Breath’, is a new Doctor who will start off more ‘unknowable’ than either Smith or Tennant were when they first appeared. More secretive and curt. Rather than a Doctor who is presented from their first moments on-screen as someone to love and trust, he’ll be more erratic and awkward. But fear not; he, Clara and the viewers at home will, by the episodes end, see him for who he really is. He’s the Doctor. A mad man with a box.