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Who @ 50

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jjpor wrote in who_at_50
This literally just in from the BBC (yes, I have a smartphone nowadays):

Peter Capaldi to leave Doctor Who

A sad day, as always, I think, although I'll be honest that I'm not entirely surprised given the impending Moffat-Chibnall changeover. The new guvnor, no doubt, will want to have the same chance to establish his vision of Who as Moffat got in 2010 (and hopefully it will be as great as the magisterial The Eleventh Hour).

I for one don't buy into the narrative about the past couple of seasons of NuWho losing their way; I actually think they contained some of the best stories since the revival in 2005, and Capaldi has always been a joy to follow both on screen and off. So it will be a sad day, but also I think an exciting one as Who does that thing it does and remoulds itself into a new era. I assume this means the 2017 Xmas special will also double as a regeneration story?

Anyway; thoughts, wild speculation, fancasting fantasies...? Please feel free to share all in the comments below!

EDIT: More detail!

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This makes me emotional, so should probably not comment. ...Oh well.

I'm a Classic fan who found modern DW eyerollingly, smugly overwrought, almost quit watching during Tennant (but forced myself to go on because I'd watched all DW to that point and wasn't going to quit), at least found Smith appealing (though the writing still wasn't working for me), and suddenly found my modern Doctor with Capaldi.

I keep hearing about how terrible Moffat has been. However bad he's been, I can give examples of how bad RTD was. I just am not interested.

I keep hearing that Capaldi is somehow the worst ever. Strange, considering I haven't enjoyed DW so much since Seventh Doctor and Ace, which shows the weirdness of my taste. I'm obviously not the intended audience, and I jinx anything I like, so will finally remove myself from DW fandom once Chibnall comes in with whatever "hot," "sexy," young Tennant-clone Doctor he'll magically think is an improvement on Capaldi.

So, lose my country to stinking fascists, lose my favorite modern Doctor, all on top of anxiety and depression. Just really tired and done with bullshit now. It's a weird relief to have no interest in watching DW past S10.

I hear you, and I think we're in pretty broad agreement regarding the various eras of NuWho; although I remain an unreconstructed Eleven fan I have been 100 percent on board with Capaldi from the beginning. He has been a delight and I will be sad to lose him, although I'm willing to give Chibnall and whoever is cast as Thirteen the benefit of the doubt until I am able to judge them properly. I am a firm believer in renewal and reinvention being an integral part of Who, and am interested to see what form that takes this time.

And we live in dispiriting times generally, I agree, so my condolences for any additional emotional distress this news may be causing you. :(

I heard months ago that Chibnall wanted an all new team - which infuriated me since it means that Pearl, like Freema before her, will only get one season, and she doesn't even get to fly solo with PCap since they've also shoved in Nardole, or whatever that annoying white dude's called.

Edited at 2017-01-31 04:33 am (UTC)

I bet Bill will be with Thirteen. She may possibly be the last NuWho companion, before it ends in 2020.

I mean, NuWho will have been on for 15 years by then, and nothing lasts forever, but that's an oddly specific date. Do you have inside information I ought to know about...? :)

I think either Moffat or RTD wants it to be for 15 years (perhaps both of them?) and that's also when Big Finish's Classic Who license ends.

Yeah, Nardole is imho rather surplus to requirements. Putting it very kindly. I share your frustration, because she does look like a very promising companion indeed and I can't wait to see her and Capaldi in action together. I guess we need to make the most of the coming series...

I suspect I might have found the Xmas 2016 episode more bearable if he hadn't been shoved in.

Yeah - it could well be my last time watching, esp if they give the job to someone like Ben Whishaw who is honestly so boring he sends me to sleep - quite literally! (I gave up watching The Hour about 2 eps into S1, despite being desperate to see PCap and Anna Chancellor together because BW's character bored me senseless.)

You know, I *wanted* to like the 2016 Xmas special, and it had its moments, but I was generally apathetic about it. I didn't like 2015's special much either, tbh, but that was probably just my anti-River bias. ;)

Yeah, I think Whishaw's okay in the right role. Was really good in the BBC adaptation of Richard II imho. But he'd play it too close to Matt Smith, I think. And I really, really like Eleven, as you know, but I don't think I'd want a less charismatic clone of him.

Yeah, apathetic sums up my own feelings about it.

I've not seen the Hollow Crown, TBH - because of both Whishaw and Benadryl Clumbersnatch (as R2 and R3 respectively) despite the presence of other actors (eg Judi Dench) whom I love. I found BW tedious and hopelessly miscast as Q in the Craig!Bond movies, and didn't even bother looking at him when he was on stage in 'Peter and Alice', so I can't claim to have seen him in the right role yet.

Aw, it's sad to see him go - but it's been a 3 year plus run for him, so about usual for a Doctor, and it allows Chris Chibnall to start afresh with his own take, so it's not surprising, as you say.

But Peter's been wonderful - at least we still have a whole series and special to go!

Indeed, the timing is not surprising, and the conspiracy theorist in me is whispering that announcing it now also helps build hype for the impending Series 10.

But indeed, he has been a great Doctor and I will be sorry to see him go, so we should make the most of his last year in the role.

I can't say I'm surprised. I'm sure I will be sad to see Peter go, but at the same time, I was hoping for a new start for Chibnall. Three full series is enough, even if Peter's first one failed to introduce the new Doctor properly.

I joined the fandom way after Peter was announced as a new Doctor, so now I can join discussions and speculation about the next Doctor for the first time!

Season 10 can be Twelve's best. Moffat often decides to write something deep about a character just before the character leaves a series. I hope he has a good idea for Twelve's reason of regeneration.

Exciting times to be a Who fan of relatively recent vintage! :)

I tend to take a similar view whenever one of these changeovers takes place - sad, but also hopeful and curious to see what comes next. I'll miss Capaldi, though, and tbh Moffat as well, who I don't think deserves (most of) the stick he gets from various parts of the fandom. So yes, here's hoping Series 10 will be a fitting swansong for both of them...!

I've been critical about Moffat, but I'll still miss the good parts of his writting. I guess we'll all going to speak warmer about his tenure when it's over, isn't it what we do as people?

Except I still dislike RTD's time, and will never like Chibnall based on his output to this point, whereas I got tired of Moffat as showrunner/head writer during Smith, but he got on my good side by casting Capaldi, I enjoyed S8-9 more than the rest of modern DW, and the vicious hatred for Moffat in fandom's lunatic fringe is utterly exhausting. (Hey, RTD stans, your lord and savior actually likes Moffat and wanted him in there, so "poor babies" to you.)

In Classic DW, I dislike John Nathan-Turner as producer more than I used to -- I used to defend him more, but now find most of the Davison/Colin Baker era wrong, as if done by people who had no clue how to make DW any longer. (Probably true. Also, McCoy with Mel is a problem, but at least was trying to be experimental.) However, I'm still delighted by the Seventh Doctor with Ace, but that was probably more influenced by Andrew Cartmel's influence as script editor than JNT (and he made mistakes, too, such as allowing a script by Pip and Jane Baker).

Fan opinions are all different. Trying to get all fans to agree is like herding cats.

Not entirely surprised that Capaldi is leaving. I think he's good, but the stories have not been skewed towards the casual viewer who just want to sit down and not think much about. Some of the stories fandom absolutely loved last series casual viewers I know thought were a big steaming pile of ...!

I have heard similar anecdotal evidence, but obviously as a firmly entrenched denizen of the Who "bubble" I've never let it trouble me. :D I don't really think that's the reason for the departure, though. I think it's probably mainly down to the handover to Chibnall, who probably wants to start with a similar clean slate to the one Moffat had when he first began as showrunner, and also Capaldi has been in the role for three and a half years by now - more than four years by the time he actually leaves. Patrick Troughton would have said that was long enough for anybody. :)

Fortunately for the actors, DW isn't TV weekly rep anymore phew.

Every new producer wants to make their mark it's true.

I'll follow-up to my previous comment because LJ isn't letting me see the Edit button to add...

I seem to have missed explaining some of my anger -- there's been this nasty gossip-sewage spewing forth, which wouldn't go away, about how DW had to be made all-new, and the BBC wanted Capaldi out because he wasn't selling merch, blah blah blah. So, I think that, though Capaldi was having great fun, an old fanboy having the time of his life with his dream role, he was, in some way, convinced to leave because he wasn't really wanted, and he also thinks he's too old for DW's filming schedule (and had a knee injury), and wants to be with his family more, and do other work, etc. Also, his reception has seemed to be, "Oh, okay, he's there. Let's ignore him and drool all over ourselves speculating about which hot, sexy youngster should play the next Doctor!" and who needs that?

Who knows the truth, but having heard all the gossip, it's poisoned my already-wary opinion of modern DW (quite apart from having just not been impressed with anything Chibnall's done for the DW 'verse, including his time running Torchwood). Since I'm always going to assume PCap was pushed out because, despite being a damn good actor, he wasn't good or young enough for what the role's become, I'm finally done with modern DW past S10, and it's going to be a relief.

I have heard speculation along these lines in various places, and it seems plausible that some of the executive types at the BBC and BBC Worldwide might think along those lines. I really hope it isn't true. I don't honestly have a lot of faith in Chibnall, given the Torchwood thing (and you know, I *like* "classic-era" Torchwood, but I'm not going to pretend it often rises above so-bad-it's-good sort of territory), but his last couple of Who scripts were imho okay, and I hear good things about his non-Who work, most of which I'll admit I haven't seen. So, he has my benefit of the doubt for now. We'll see if I'm still saying that a few episodes into his tenure (I hope).

Since hearing Moffat was leaving it's not a shock to hear Capaldi's leaving as well. I wonder how much of it is his choice, and how much of it might be Moffat wanting to have a big, complicated blow-out ending to his era, which I'm sure we'll get (whether we want it or not).

I've had such mixed feelings about Capaldi. I don't have any issues with his age, I really wanted an older actor to play the Doctor, especially after getting to see some of the Hartnell episodes (and I would've loved to see more of Hurt's War Doctor...it's so sad we won't see him again). Thought it would be a nice change up after three young-ish Doctors in a row. Capaldi has had his moments but to me his tenure has been uneven. I can't explain why but he's never fully "locked in" as the Doctor to me, which is disappointing as he obviously has such a love for the show. Maybe it was the whole Clara thing for me. I know some people adore her, but due to the writing she really did dominate the series for quite awhile - with them even giving Coleman top billing in the opening credits once - and the chemistry between Capaldi and Coleman was lacking to me. They started out with 12 telling her "I'm not your boyfriend" but ended up with a sort of awkward almost-romance.

It probably is likely that they'll go back to a younger Doctor. It of course depends on who that is as to whether it'll be a good thing or not. And I expect the series to get even darker.

I don't know if that's a factor in the decision (the big blowout ending to the Moffat era) - I think it just makes a lot of sense, timing-wise, for Chibnall, the BBC and Capaldi himself, but I'm willing to bet that that's exactly what Moffat has been thinking ever since the decision was made. :D

I've really enjoyed Capaldi, and most of the stories he's been in, but I agree they'll go for a contrast in casting his successor, with a youngish actor and possibly a more "likeable" Doctor. I hope it's something new and not just a rehash of Ten or Eleven, though (as much as I love Eleven). Somebody a bit more like Nine...that I could get behind :)

"the chemistry between Capaldi and Coleman was lacking to me"

...I don't even understand what you were watching. That was no chemistry? I wasn't impressed with Coleman until she started acting with Capaldi, because I saw electricity there, where she'd just seemed "meh" to me with Smith. Maybe I was simply influenced by knowing what great friends they were (and possibly will be for life) in reality, like some of the other Doctor/companion teams (Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning, Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant [however badly they got along on-screen], Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred, possibly Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen) have been. But no, I see it on-screen, and other people claim it never existed. So what do I know.

Also, I find it downright "hilarious" that fandom pretends to be feminist and want female characters, then, almost without fail, it attacks the women it gets (although I did that with Rose, so oops). Which is why I ended up loving how Moffat snuck Coleman into the top-billed spot in one episode to troll fandom. (It certainly enraged a long-time fannish friend of mine who proved herself to be an amazing misogynist. No woman would ever be good enough.) I started out with the typical woman-bashing reaction, which was "You cast such a good actor as the Doctor, then push him into the background for his companion?" Then I began to realize that it was probably Capaldi being generous to a fellow actor he really appreciated and wanted to see shine, because that's how he works; he refuses to take all the credit for himself. Oh, well. I respect him, so accept his choice.

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