Steven Moffatt’s first Doctor, Matt Smith, became a fan favorite, and in some cases eclipsed his predecessor, David Tennant. It seemed as though he mostly proved he was a worthy successor to Russell T. Davies. But could the trend continue with Peter Capaldi?
“I do what I do because it’s right! Because it’s decent! And above all, it’s kind!”
About Peter Capaldi
At 59 years old, Peter Capaldi is the oldest actor to play the Doctor. He follows the tradition of Colin Baker in that he actually appeared in an episode of a previous Doctor’s run, “The Fires of Pompeii” as Lobus Caecillius (which became a plot point of the era). he’s also the second Doctor to have appeared in a spin-off prior to becoming the Doctor, playing Dr. Frobisher in the Torchwood mini-series “Children of Earth”. (David Tennant was the first, appearing in one of Big Finish’s UNIT audio dramas. He was a longtime fan of the show, much like Peter Davison, Colin Baker, and David Tennant before him. Prior to Doctor Who, his most famous role was Malcolm Tucker in the BBC TV sitcom The Thick of It. He played a “WHO Doctor” in World War Z and plays Mr. Curry in both Paddington movies.
In a Nutshell:
Catch Phrases: “Pudding brain” and “Shut up!”
Series 8’s premiere “Deep Breath” was an extended episode, which continued to be a fixture for all three series.
The Master returned in “Deep Breath”, having changed genders and referring to herself as “Missy.” She was played by Michelle Gomez.
Series 9 consisted mostly of 2-part episodes, with “Sleep No More” being the only stand-alone episode.
Series 10 was postponed one year, making the third time Doctor Who was put on hiatus during its history.
A new spin-off, Class, aired both online and on TV, but wasn’t nearly as successful as Torchwood or The Sarah Jane Adventures, only lasting one series.
Companions: First Doctor (David Bradley), Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie), Archibald Lethbridge-Stewart (Mark Gatiss)
Summary: Refusing to regenerate, the Doctor meets a soldier from the First World War and his original self. They meet a mysterious being made completely out of glass that calls itself Testimony, who wishes to exchange an old friend for the soldier–Bill Potts.
Summary: The Doctor arrives on Gallifrey and attempts to extract Clara from her death. Thanks to Time Lord technology, she is now still conscious and affected by the world around her, but she no longer ages, breathes, or anything else one does in life.
Summary: The Doctor is all alone in a castle, pursued by a shadowy, veiled figure. The events are in an endless loop, and each time the figure kills him, it starts over. This is the Doctor’s Confession Dial.
Review: It is very rare for a companion to die, even in Classic Who. In fact, only three companions died in Classic Who, if you count Sara Kingdom. Most of his companions left of their own accord, and the Doctor is grieving. This was a great exploration of that grief that we all face when someone we love dies. The veiled figure reminded me of the Grim Reaper, and has to be one of the scariest monsters in Doctor Who.
Continuity: The Doctor remembers that Clara told him not to take revenge for her death. He mentions that whoever has trapped him should know better than to put him in a trap, the same thing he once told the Weeping Angels.
Trivia: This episode ran 75 minutes, making it the second episode during Capaldi’s era to run longer than the usual run time.
Summary: Clara is called by Rigsy, who helped her when the Boneless attacked. He has a tattoo on the back of his neck that is counting down to his death. They discover that he has killed an alien and has been marked for death by Ashieldr, who is now the “mayor” of a “trap street”, a place where aliens live. Clara sacrifices herself by taking his place.
Summary: This episode is told in “found-footage” style, similar to movies like Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project. A space station has been invaded by strange monsters made of “sleep dust”, the dust left in your eyes when you wake up. These monsters absorb crew members into themselves. The crewmembers don’t sleep, and instead use “Morpheus Pods” to renew themselves, subjecting themselves to a state similar to sleep.
Companions: Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave)
Series: 9, ep. 7
Summary: The Nightmare Scenario has occurred. The Zygons have learned that Osgood, one of the humans who negotiated with the Zygons in “Day of the Doctor”, has died. This has caused Zygons to fear their lives are being threatened. Zygon terrorists are wreaking havoc. Can the Doctor and Clara stop the Nightmare Scenario, when they aren’t even sure who is friend or foe?
Companions: Ashildr (Maisie Williams), Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman)
Series: 9, episode 6
Summary: Several centuries later, the Doctor meets Ashildr again, who now calls herself Me. She’s now a robber baron called the Knightmare and has fallen in love with a fire-breathing creature. When the Doctor learns that an innocent man may die in her place, he has to intervene.
Companions: Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), Ashildr (Maisie Williams)
Series: 9. ep. 5
Summary: The Doctor and Clara help a Viking village fight a race of warriors called the Mire disguised as their god Odin. However, a girl named Ashildr dies during the battle. Using technology from the Mire’s ship, the Doctor grants her immortality.