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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Peter Capaldi Cast as 'Doctor Who:' Drew Weighs In

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First of all, let me make one thing clear: I didn't start watching Doctor Who until it came out of retirement in 2005. Actually, to be perfectly honest, I didn't watch my first full episode until a couple years later, when Netflix kept thrusting it in my face. Before that, the only exposure I had to the famous Time Lord and his companions was what I occasionally saw on Public Access as I flipped through channels; and at that point, I had no idea what was going on, so I never watched for more than a minute or two. Despite all that, though, I'd still consider myself a pretty hardcore Doctor Who fan nowadays; but rest assured, you won't get any of that "I liked it before it was cool" hipster attitude from me.  All that considered, I can say without reservation that I'm excited to see Peter Capaldi taking up the role of The Doctor. Here's why...

If you're not familiar, The Doctor is an extraterrestrial who only looks human.  He is almost 1,000 years old.  When he reaches the end of his life, through age or being killed, he can regenerate into an entirely new form and go on living.  This is how Doctor Who has managed to continue for 50 years, and how 11 (soon 12) different actors have played the same character.  If you need more background than that, watch the show!

My wife and I watched the worldwide live reveal of the next Doctor with bated breath.  When they finally said the name Peter Capaldi, I'll be honest, we had no idea who they meant.  It wasn't until he came out onstage that we recognized him.  Not only has he appeared on Doctor Who before (as Caecilius in "The Fires of Pompeii"), but he also played a major role in the spinoff series Torchwood: Children of Earth.

Now, some people on the vast public forum that is the Internet have complained about casting Capaldi as The Doctor, since he's already appeared so prominently in other related things.  I say, who cares?  I've always believed that as long as an actor is right for the part, it doesn't matter who else he's played.  As a matter of fact, that brings me to my next point.

Some might recognize Capaldi from another show, The Thick of It, in which he plays a government official who often speaks in angry obscenities.  Many have criticized his casting as The Doctor as inappropriate, since Doctor Who is a family program.

Again, WHO CARES?  You can't condemn an actor solely because of the characters he's played.  Do people honestly think Capaldi is going to bring ANY of that adults-only character into a family program?  Of course not!

Then there are the people who say Capaldi is too old to play The Doctor.  False.  Capaldi just happens to be the oldest actor to play The Doctor recently. At 55, Capaldi is the same age as the first Doctor, William Hartnell, when the show first started in 1963.  At the very least, casting Capaldi in the role is bringing Doctor Who back to its roots.

So if you're one of the people sounding off on every message board you can find about how terrible a choice Peter Capaldi is for The Doctor, calm down.  Capaldi is a talented actor, coming into a show that is being run incredibly well.  It's gonna be awesome.