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The Twelfth Doctor: Let's Not Argue About Numbers

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Still haven't found that photo...

 

This is a quote from the preview BBCA ran for "Dark Water".

 

 

In brings up something that has bothered me for some time.  Why is Twelve Scottish or at the very least sounds like someone from Scotland.  Putting aside, the whole "Capaldi is" answer, making the Doctor, an alien from a different place, sound like someone from a specific place on Earth never made sense to me.  I've heard the theory that it was because Eleven was so fond of Amy that he took on the accent.  Okay, then why didn't the Doctor do the same thing after spending so much time with Jaime?  Ten even uses his name in "Tooth and Claw" as the alias Doctor James McCrimmon together with a Scottish accent.

As Eleven pointed out Amy was the first Person Eleven ever saw.  He imagines her right at the very end.  Whether you think it's right or bad writing 11 very clearly linked himself to Amelia.  The theory goes back slightly further in that the Regeneration into Ten was very much influenced by Rose and that Ten was a version that he subconsciously felt would be appealing to Rose.  Not every Regeneration is influenced though, but you can certainly make a case for 11's being influenced for sure

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Rose Tyler: If you are an alien how come you sound like you're from the North?
The Doctor: Lots of planets have a North!

 

Being an American, they all talk funny to me.

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Rose Tyler: If you are an alien how come you sound like you're from the North?

The Doctor: Lots of planets have a North!

 

Being an American, they all talk funny to me.

And we talk funny to them! :0)

 

With Nine, I recall, that was the only mention about his accent or that he sounded "from the North".  With Twelve, it has seemed to me that the Doctor's accent has been pointed out more than once, the last being in this week's episode.  It takes me out of the episode.

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I don't remember them referencing the accent, they say that he IS Scottish, just like the Dr does in Deep Breath (when he references certain character traits associated with being Scottish)

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I don't remember them referencing the accent, they say that he IS Scottish, just like the Dr does in Deep Breath (when he references certain character traits associated with being Scottish)

That is what I was trying to say.  How can he BE Scottish?  He, Twelve, was not born in Scotland.

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Maybe it because he was hallucinating Amy at the end? Otherwise I don't even know.... (though he really should have a accent close to Clara's but maybe he hadn't bonded with Clara sufficiently yet? In Ep time they've only had 8 together.....

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Imagine if the Doctor were a woman but completely weak and constantly controlled, bossed around like Capaldi? You could never get away with that, it would be the absolute end of the show as showrunner was accused of being nothing more than a vile misogynist. That's if a woman was given the identical material that Capalid has.

 

That's why it would be terrible to have the Doctor regen into female form. The show would then immediately become solely focused on what it meant for the Doctor to be a woman. Everything would have to be written with an overarching concern for fact the Doctor was a woman. That's what the show would be about, the Doctor as a woman instead of the Doctor as a curious and almost unknowable alien Time Traveler. 

 

So no thanks to the Doctor as a woman. 

Brought over from the "Missy" thread...

 

If this Doctor had been a woman from the beginning, there would have been a whole different dynamic to this season.  In no way would the writers have had Clara being as disrespectful, arrogant, or just plain rude to the Doctor.  There may have even been hints a mother-daughter relationship between the two, as Clara had lost her mother at a young age.

 

I still say "no to the Doctor as woman".   Find a Time Lady for the role, but don't mess with the Doctor.

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This whole season ... I have to admit there were more likes than dislikes about it.  I do really enjoy PC as The Doctor, however, I think some of the episodes fell flat.

 

One thing I can say however, is that when PC smiles?  His face is as bright as the sun.  I absolutely LOVE his smile!  It's a very Cheshire cat type of grin, that totally melts my heart.  He had a smile during the finale that, if I have to be honest, made me swoon.  He is not drop dead by any stretch of the imagination, but his smile has my heart.

 

From Doctor Who: The Mad Man In A Blue Box Returns

 

But then something amazing happens... the Doctor smiles. You know that smile. The one where he's figured out exactly what needs to be done instead of moping about this bleak universe he needs to save. And with an honest-to-God glimmer of hope in his eyes, he says:

 

I am not a good man! I'm not a bad man. I am not a hero. I'm definitely not a President. And no, I'm not an officer. You know what I am? I am an idiot! With a box! And a screwdriver! Passing through, helping out. Learning. I don't need an army. I never have. Cause I've got them. Always them.

 

^That was the best scene.

 

I hope he gets to smile more in the next season.  His smile speaks volumes.  I want to hear/see that.

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One thing I can say however, is that when PC smiles?  His face is as bright as the sun.  I absolutely LOVE his smile!  It's a very Cheshire cat type of grin, that totally melts my heart.  He had a smile during the finale that, if I have to be honest, made me swoon.  He is not drop dead by any stretch of the imagination, but his smile has my heart.

 

 

 

Same here!  He's had my heart since he opened the Tardis door and told Strax to shush.

 

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RATGIRLAGOGO, ON 29 DEC 2014 - 6:08 PM, SAID:

I loved him from the beginning.  I've also found it kind  of baffling that the show seems to think that I'm not supposed to find him sexy WHEN HE SO CLEARLY IS. 

(Brought over from the "Last Christmas" Thread.)

I've loved Twelve/Capaldi since the beginning as well, but I do feel like the show is beginning to acknowledge his attractiveness.  Ever since "Mummy on the Orient Express," when he looked so great in the tux, I feel like the show has "softened" his look up, if that makes sense.  I thought his original "magician" look was too buttoned-up/severe, and I've liked the "mixed-up" outfits more, whether with the hole-y sweater, the darker shirts, or the hoodie.  They just seem fresher and edgier.  (I know Capaldi himself helped to pick out the magician-look, but it seems like the hole-y sweater and the hoodie--and the longer hair-- "fit" Twelve's edgier personality better.)

 

ETA: I just realized that I said that the show has "softened" his look AND allowed him to wear "edgier" clothes, which sounds contradictory!  I guess what I meant is that Twelve's magician costume felt too stiff, like he wasn't comfortable in it.  But with the mixed-up outfits, Twelve seemed more comfortable, more like "himself," which allowed more confidence/swagger to come through.  (The only outfit I really didn't like was the shirt with the big white polka-dots.)  Okay, on to less shallow issues!

Edited by alrightokay
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I'm finally getting to know Twelve through BBC America reruns. I enjoy Capaldi quite a bit, but I have one quibble.

 

During those epic speeches The Doctor always gives (you know, the speeches that usually end with him stating, "I will save you all. I am The Doctor") I wish Capaldi would slow his delivery. Dude, take your time. Hit the beats. David Tennant and Matt Smith, both natural hams, did that beautifully, allowing the audience to take in the power of their words. Capaldi fairly races through the grandiose "I Am The Doctor" dialog, and I always feel annoyed. I want to stare at you in awe. Slow your roll and allow me that big moment, hon.

 

I know, I know. I've been watching less than a year, and yet have become the whiniest Nu Who fan, ever. LOL.

 

All that said, I like Twelve. My issues are rarely with the actors or choice of The Doctor. I'm pickiest about lack of character arcs, overly complicated yet nonsensical plots, and the sacrificing of emotion for shiny sci-fi wizardry. Basically, I hate on everything Steven Moffat's Doctor Who has become.

Edited by eXiled
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Oh, there are plenty of character arcs in Moffat's Who - they just rarely actually connect to or build on what's gone before and he tends to jump them from plot point to plot point without taking time to explore anything in depth; he skims over the surface but only rarely delves in. The character arcs get grafted on for the sake of giving the characters a story, rather than arising naturally from their experiences or personality. He's an ideas man, and, like the Impressionists, he tends to paint in broad brush strokes, so that his stuff looks better from a distance, but the closer you examine it, the more messy it becomes. There are many who love that style. But me, I'm a character viewer - I like the nitty-gritty detail, spending time getting to know the characters, less rushing around to hit all the requisite plot points. I'd rather let the characters be themselves than get tied in knots for the sake of looking cool.

 

Basically, like you, eXiled, I like Capaldi's Doctor but not the writing for him,

 

On the other hand, I'm kicking myself because yesterday afternoon I went for a walk around Cardiff Bay, as I often do, and I stopped off at the Doctor Who Experience for a cuppa in the coffee shop there...and it turned out that Peter Capaldi had randomly popped in just a couple of hours earlier to spend time hanging out with the fans - I can't have missed him by more than an hour! Gutted.

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In the Clara thread, Ringthane wrote:

I think, and this is just my opinion, one thing you're missing or forgetting about the Doctor is that he's an alien.

Really? Are you sure about that? I can't for the life of me ever recall the show mentioning that the Doctor was an alien.

Sorry for the sarcasm, but this is kind of an impossible thing for a viewer to forget. It's also not a very good explanation for Twelve's behavior. Nine was an alien. Ten was an alien. Eleven was an alien. All of them definitely had their moments of dickishness, but none of them ever treated their companions (and everyone else) the way Twelve does. None of them have ever left their companion to make a completely pointless moral decision that could have gotten them killed while withholding vital information necessary to make that decision. None of them constantly insulted their companion's physical appearance or their significant other.

I don't expect the Doctor to be human. I expect him to be smart. I expect that he will be "never cruel or cowardly," a phrase from the original Who if I'm not mistaken. Yet that's exactly what Twelve has been this season.

You know who had a reason to behave this way? Nine. And yet after going back to watch the first episode of the reboot last night, to wash the taste of the Season 8 finale out of my mouth (I just caught up via Netflix), I was struck by how much Eccleston smiles in that episode. Even after blowing up his entire planet to save the universe, he smiles and jokes to cover up the pain. Twelve literally had his worst tragedy reversed. He knows his planet is alive again. In addition that planet finally gave him a chance by giving him a whole new set of regenerations. What is he so goddamn bitter about? What right does he have to be such a rude jerk to people when he pretty much gets whatever he wants, with almost no consequences?

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In the Clara thread, Ringthane wrote:

Really? Are you sure about that? I can't for the life of me ever recall the show mentioning that the Doctor was an alien.

Sorry for the sarcasm, but this is kind of an impossible thing for a viewer to forget. It's also not a very good explanation for Twelve's behavior. Nine was an alien. Ten was an alien. Eleven was an alien. All of them definitely had their moments of dickishness, but none of them ever treated their companions (and everyone else) the way Twelve does. None of them have ever left their companion to make a completely pointless moral decision that could have gotten them killed while withholding vital information necessary to make that decision. None of them constantly insulted their companion's physical appearance or their significant other.

I don't expect the Doctor to be human. I expect him to be smart. I expect that he will be "never cruel or cowardly," a phrase from the original Who if I'm not mistaken. Yet that's exactly what Twelve has been this season.

You know who had a reason to behave this way? Nine. And yet after going back to watch the first episode of the reboot last night, to wash the taste of the Season 8 finale out of my mouth (I just caught up via Netflix), I was struck by how much Eccleston smiles in that episode. Even after blowing up his entire planet to save the universe, he smiles and jokes to cover up the pain. Twelve literally had his worst tragedy reversed. He knows his planet is alive again. In addition that planet finally gave him a chance by giving him a whole new set of regenerations. What is he so goddamn bitter about? What right does he have to be such a rude jerk to people when he pretty much gets whatever he wants, with almost no consequences?

 

Four used to rag on Harry all the time.  Six tried to strangle Peri - yes, he was still screwed up from regeneration, but he still did it.  Seven told Fenric to go ahead and kill Ace so that Ace's faith would break and he would be able to trick Fenric.  Nine called humans apes (stupid apes?  I don't remember if he said that or not).  Ten told Martha in "Smith and Jones" to leave another doctor behind because she would slow them down. 

 

And what is Twelve bitter about?  What right does he have to be a jerk?  Well, that's who he is.  That's his personality.  Have you never seen anyone who had everything they wanted and was still a jerk?  And Twelve spent his entire first series trying to figure out who he was - if he was a good man, or not.  Remember, this is a Doctor who wouldn't exist if not for the Time Lords giving him a new regeneration cycle.  That has to have an effect on a Time Lord (in fact, if Moffatt weren't such a hack, that would have been a neat story to tell - the story of a Doctor who didn't think he'd exist, as Smith's Doctor was supposed to be the final Doctor.)

 

And Twelve still doesn't know where Gallifrey is.  It's not like he can just pop back there whenever he wants. 

 

So that's why I don't have a problem with his personality.  He is who he is.  And if there are no consequences, who's really to blame for that?  The scriptwriters are the ones who give them the words to say and write the stories that don't have the consequences in them.  And Moffatt's the one in charge of all of them.  Maybe this season, things will be different. 

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This might get me lose my Doctor Who fancard but I am thinking is that maybe Capaldi just doesn't quite gel with Moffat's vision of the Doctor.

Or maybe he can't quite smooth over the harsh aspects of the Doctor like the others could. Nine was pretty awful to people sometimes, Ten wasn't much better, and Eleven was so charming and talked so fast, it was barely noticeable or more funny than annoying.

 

I can't really say, but maybe that's why I don't connect with Twelve at all. The presence of Clara doesn't help me either because she annoys the crap out of me but I don't think it's just her. I think Capaldi needs a different showrunner. So, I'll wait until then and rewatch season 1 to 7 instead.

Edited by supposebly
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And what is Twelve bitter about? What right does he have to be a jerk? Well, that's who he is. That's his personality. Have you never seen anyone who had everything they wanted and was still a jerk?

Sure, but I tend not to want to spend time with such persons, so I'm not sure why I should want to spend time with this Doctor. Jerks in fiction are usually only interesting if they have reasons for being jerks. This Doctor doesn't. Being a moody jerk for no reason is a trait of a teenager, not a 2000 year old demi-god who has seen virtually all of time and space.

I can't speak for classic Doctors, but 9, 10, and 11 all had reasons for their behavior. They were different personalities, but there was still a sense of continuity between regenerations that could explain those changes. 9 just got out of the Time War and played the trauma perfectly while still having a lighter side. 10 was a deliberate echo of Rose. 11 was determined to cheat death at all times. Other than the Scottish accent, I don't see any traits of 12 that would logically carry over from his previous experiences. "He just is that way" is bad characterization. He's an asshole because Moffat thought it would be cool if the Doctor were an asshole, and didn't bother thinking up any actual conflict that would make the Doctor an asshole. He doesn't know how to write meaningful conflict. He wants to have his cake and eat it too.

When Clara said the Doctor was her best friend in the finale, I didn't believe her. When the Doctor said his greatest strength is his companions in the finale, I didn't believe him. Maybe because they spent the entire season lying to each other and everyone else, and half the time they were putting each other down or insulting each other.

Edited by Fat Elvis 007
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Sure, but I tend not to want to spend time with such persons, so I'm not sure why I should want to spend time with this Doctor. Jerks in fiction are usually only interesting if they have reasons for being jerks. This Doctor doesn't. Being a moody jerk for no reason is a trait of a teenager, not a 2000 year old demi-god who has seen virtually all of time and space.

I can't speak for classic Doctors, but 9, 10, and 11 all had reasons for their behavior. They were different personalities, but there was still a sense of continuity between regenerations that could explain those changes. 9 just got out of the Time War and played the trauma perfectly while still having a lighter side. 10 was a deliberate echo of Rose. 11 was determined to cheat death at all times. Other than the Scottish accent, I don't see any traits of 12 that would logically carry over from his previous experiences. "He just is that way" is bad characterization. He's an asshole because Moffat thought it would be cool if the Doctor were an asshole, and didn't bother thinking up any actual conflict that would make the Doctor an asshole. He doesn't know how to write meaningful conflict. He wants to have his cake and eat it too.

When Clara said the Doctor was her best friend in the finale, I didn't believe her. When the Doctor said his greatest strength is his companions in the finale, I didn't believe him. Maybe because they spent the entire season lying to each other and everyone else, and half the time they were putting each other down or insulting each other.

 

I guess I don't understand how, in a show where twelve different actors have played the lead part, the current incarnation's personality being jerky is bad characterization.  Was Five being weaker and quieter bad characterization?  No, that's how he was played.  Was Three's affinity for class and affluence bad characterization?  Was Eleven's "old man in a young man's body" bad characterization?  This version of the Doctor is what he is.  Just like Donald Trump is what he is.  Trump could act like a saint from this moment on, but at some point his true self will show through.

 

And as for how Clara and Twelve treat each other - I've been friends with people that we could mock each other and insult each other all day long, but at the core we knew we'd be there for each other the moment we needed each other.  That's just the type of friendship we had, just like that's the type of friendship the Doctor and Clara seem to have.  Now, if you're looking at writing, yeah - being rude to each other like that in lieu of actual conflict is lazy writing.  It's very easy to just write characters being mean to each other.  And that's what Moffatt seems to want from his characters.  But there are people who act like that with their friends, but it's just the way they are.  Below that is a real connection (or should be, anyway).

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And as for how Clara and Twelve treat each other - I've been friends with people that we could mock each other and insult each other all day long, but at the core we knew we'd be there for each other the moment we needed each other. That's just the type of friendship we had, just like that's the type of friendship the Doctor and Clara seem to have.

But that's not the type of friendship they seem to have--the undercurrent of trust and respect was never established. The Doctor and Clara clearly don't trust each other for the majority of the season, despite the fact that Clara has seen all of the Doctor's lives. (Once again Moffat pulls a big twist and then completely ignores the emotional consequences of it.)

I'm not sure how comparing the Doctor to Donald Trump is supposed to endear him to me.

The comparisons with past Doctors other than 11 are lost on me, but the traits you bring up seem more like personality quirks than anything else, not fundamental changes to the character's core. 12's lack of joy goes against what I see as the core of the character. (He has his moments, but they're too rare.)

Now, if you're looking at writing, yeah - being rude to each other like that in lieu of actual conflict is lazy writing. It's very easy to just write characters being mean to each other. And that's what Moffatt seems to want from his characters. But there are people who act like that with their friends, but it's just the way they are. Below that is a real connection (or should be, anyway).

I'm not sure what we're disagreeing about at this point--as I said before, it's probably possible to write a more antagonistic relationship between Doctor and companion and do it well, but that requires real conflict, and Moffat didn't provide that. You seem to agree on that point; am I wrong? Edited by Fat Elvis 007
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12 starts off not knowing himself-his place. He's new except he's not. He lived more than a lifetime as 11 and thought he was going to die. He accepted it. Then he didn't die but wasn't comfortable among the things that used to give him joy. And Clara wasn't his companion for many moons and now she was back but untrusting of him. Clara's uncertainty is how 12 finds his first companion-the presence that has been there in all his regenerations. It really set him off in this depression like state and a slow accepting of himself.

And then He pretty much took on Clara's obsessive energy (which she adapted from 11) and he directs it at trying to force Clara to continue as his companion. But she could never really gel with 12. Traveling with and helping the doctor is in her soul but it's not sonething s8 Clara truely enjoys. I think 12 just didn't feel like the doctor to her. Maybe it's because of his new regeneration cycle. Maybe it's because he doesn't have faith in himself and the good of mankind. Clara and the Doctor fed off the negative vibe they were giving each other. )

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I'm not entirely why Twelve works for me so well.  Not all the time - for me, there's a definite line between "brusque and prickly" and "dick," and while I like the former, the latter majorly annoys me.  I hate the remarks about Clara's appearance, and "The Caretaker" generally swung way too far over to the "a-hole" side of the pendulum IMO.  I agree that leaving Clara without the information she needed in "Kill the Moon" was a dick move, and the whole Doctor's Choice moment with Danny in "Death in Heaven" was beyond stupid (and what's worse, both of these especially-unpleasant moments seemed bluntly forced into the story in order to manufacture the drama the show wants:  namely, Clara's "breakup" with the Doctor at the end of "Kill the Moon," and Danny's "oh-look-the-Doctor's-a-total-general-what-a-monster" speech in "Death in Heaven," which REALLY makes me mad because, a) Danny's the one who wanted them to switch on the inhibitor in the first place, so why is he disparaging the Doctor for giving him what he wants, and b) if they're working under the assumption that turning on the inhibitor will make Danny a full-fledged Cyberman who'd kill Clara without a moment's notice, what makes them think he'll still cooperate and give them the information they want?  Stupid and sloppy.)

 

For me, though, when I get moments like that, I'm less inclined to be annoyed with the Doctor himself and more with the writing that's making him behave that way.  I don't know why, but stuff like that feels to me like the writers poorly serving the Doctor rather than the Doctor's actual character being bad.  Is it because he's the Doctor and I want to love him?  Is it because, for me, Capaldi is doing so much with the character despite such haphazard writing?  I'm not sure. 

 

Because the overall cantankerousness doesn't bother me.  Sometimes I find it amusing, like when the Doctor isn't down with the hand-holding in "Last Christmas," or how he'll give young Danny the nice "fear is a superpower" pep-talk in "Listen," but when the kid wants a bedtime story, he's like, "Pshaw, who has time for this?" and makes the kid fall asleep using his Time Lord mind mojo.  Sometimes I see it as an extension of his extreme pragmatism, that he's so focused on the larger goal of fighting the monsters and keeping people safe that he doesn't take time for niceties.  And I do in part think that it's just who he is, which is interesting to me.  We tend to think of "crankiness" as a quality that people shouldn't have, like it's their "fault," but while people can control their behavior (and that's obviously a fair point,) they can't control how they feel.  Eleven to Twelve WAS a dramatic shift, and I've tried to imagine what that must have been like for Twelve.  He didn't decide to be cantankerous any more than Eleven decided he was going to dislike apples or yogurt.  I mean, in the blink of an eye, he stopped liking hugs - you wouldn't even need to watch a full episode with Eleven to see what a departure that is.

 

Even though the show itself didn't seem too interested in exploring it beyond the "broom" speech in "Deep Breath," I think the Doctor was probably pretty unseated about the fact that he's still here.  He thought he was going to die and evidently spent centuries preparing for that fact, and at the last minute, someone flipped the script.  Not that it's BAD to be alive, of course, but it threw him for a loop, and in series 8, he's not really sure who he is anymore.  He doesn't know if he's a good man, and he doesn't know if he's still HIM or if he's changed too much and too many times for anything to be left.  I think there's a lot of potential in that story, and though I wish the show had explored it more fully, there are still enough hints of it that I can fanwank it informing the Doctor's character (in "Kill the Moon," when he sarcastically suggests the astronauts just shoot them, I'm really intrigued by the almost nihilistic way he points out how "messy and time-consuming" killing him will be and wonders if he won't just keep on regenerating ad infinitum.)

 

And IMO, the caring and the joy is still there; it's just less overt.  He tends to SAY brusque and unfiltered things, but a number of his actions indicate that his hearts are still in the right place.  When he "leaves" Clara in "Deep Breath," he's still with her practically the whole time, disguised, watching her back.  Although he presses on when Psi and Saibra are apparently killed in "Time Heist," his thunderstruck reaction to discovering they're still alive shows, to me, that he was far from indifferent to their deaths.  I love how affected he is when Marian thanks him for helping the prisoners in "Robot of Sherwood," and despite Clara's colossal betrayal at the start of "Dark Water," he still forgives her without question.  And for the joy, I like his excited wonder at the tiny TARDIS in "Flatline," his obvious respect for Osgood's Excellent Question skills in "Death in Heaven," and the whole "I'm the Doctor, and I will be your victim this evening!" thing in "Mummy on the Orient Express."  (For my money, "Mummy on the Orient Express" gets Twelve exactly right.  The overall writing on him was extremely spotting last season, but I loved basically everything about him in that episode.)

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See, the last two posts illustrate what I was trying to say.  Twelve is probably still amazed he's around at all.  As far as he's concerned, Eleven was it.  He'd come to terms with it, he'd adapted to it.  I mean, the same guy who couldn't sit still for a few months with Amy and Rory during that heart attack box episode decided to live out the remainder of his life (which turned out to be centuries) on one little planet, just so the Daleks couldn't start up the Time War again. 

 

And then all of a sudden, bam!  Now he's got a whole new set of lives (and who knows if it's another 13-life set, or if, as someone else said, if the Time Lords gave him the ability to be able to regenerate forever, without limit.  Here's an intriguing idea - we all know what the Master did when he ran out of regenerations.  We also know that somewhere, the Valeyard was formed between the Doctor's last two lives (or what they thought would be the last two), and he wanted the Doctor's regenerations as well.  What if the Doctor - just for a brief moment - considered what he would do at that point, and if he would be able to find a way to go on as well, and what that would entail?  It's an interesting thought...  Maybe Twelve is so down on himself because he knows something like that happened, and he's not sure what that means.  (We do know that the person the Doctor hates the most in the entire universe is himself, as the Dream Lord showed us.)

 

Also, we've never seen a Time Lord on the show that got a new cycle - I don't remember it being stated that the Master ever did, or if the ones we saw in the new series were just before the Delgado and Ainley ones.  So maybe in the Doctor's eyes, he's thinking that the real him died with Eleven, and he's not sure if he's the same guy or if he's something different.  We have no idea what the mental toll of spending an entire life preparing to die finally, fully, and then getting a whole new batch of regenerations might be. 

 

So I'm OK with Capaldi's Doctor as played.  Perhaps this year Moffatt will finally be able to get over the Clara-love and do Twelve right. 

Edited by Ringthane

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Also, we've never seen a Time Lord on the show that got a new cycle - I don't remember it being stated that the Master ever did, or if the ones we saw in the new series were just before the Delgado and Ainley ones.  

The Master was offered a new regeneration cycle in "The Five Doctors" in return for his help rescuing the Doctor.  I don't recall if the Time Lords followed through with it or not.  (His "help" was dubious at best.)

 

I think Twelve has some of the same personality traits as One.   So maybe it's the whole cycle repeating.

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The Master was offered a new regeneration cycle in "The Five Doctors" in return for his help rescuing the Doctor.  I don't recall if the Time Lords followed through with it or not.  (His "help" was dubious at best.)

 

I think Twelve has some of the same personality traits as One.   So maybe it's the whole cycle repeating.

 

I don't think they did (at least at that point) - if the Master could regenerate, why would he stick around in Tremas's old body?  Unless he regenerated and kept the same body/face, just like Tennant's Doctor did.  The last I remember, the Doctors told the Time Lords that came in the Tomb to do what they wanted with him. 

 

But that was during the whole JNT/Saward era, so who knows what was really supposed to happen.

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As others have pointed out, the Doctor's centuries-long stay on Planet Christmas was rushed and nonsensical, so if that's the justification for Capaldi's behavior, I just don't see it.

Interesting that in that episode 11 was already acting quite 12-ish; the only reason he ended up staying there so long is because he sent Clara away in the TARDIS twice. Had he not done so the entire episode would have been mercifully shorter, since Clara could have done exactly what she did at the end of the episode at the beginning. He could have also just evacuated the planet on the TARDIS. Ugh, that episode.

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But even if he did evacuate the planet, once the Time Lords came back, the Daleks would have started the Time War again.  Once Handles deciphered the message, everyone knew it was them.  That's what he was really trying to stop, even if Moffatt couldn't articulate it beyond a couple of throwaway lines.  And imagine what that must have done to him - right there in front of him was everything he wanted for centuries: a restored TIme Lord society, not to be alone in the universe, maybe a new regeneration cycle and a way out of the final death that was in his future on one side, and the Daleks waiting to destroy everything on the other. 

Edited by Ringthane

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Good points, but that still leaves the problem that Clara could have solved the problem at the beginning of the episode had the Doctor not sent her away. She didn't learn anything in the time spent away from the Doctor that allowed her to save the day; all she had to do was plead with the Time Lords through the crack. There was no story or conflict, just the writers making the Doctor look stupid; those hundreds of years were spent entirely in vain. It was poor writing, and basing the current poor writing for Twelve on this foundation--especially when this has never even been mentioned as an explanation for his bad attitude--is like building a house of sticks on a foundation of sand.

Edited by Fat Elvis 007
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Even the Doctor could have talked to the Time Lords once he knew what the crack and the message were, as I'm sure not even the Time Lords wanted the Time War to start up again.  But, it's the story we got, so it's the story we have to go with.

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This topic should not be used to debate specific stories, but to discuss the 12th Doctor generally. Some of the conversation has veered into Classic Doctor Who and some of 11's storylines. I would hate people to miss this discussion because it is in a thread they do not read. If there isn't a topic for a show you want to discuss (The Five Doctors, for example) then please feel free to create it!

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See, the last two posts illustrate what I was trying to say.  Twelve is probably still amazed he's around at all.  As far as he's concerned, Eleven was it.  He'd come to terms with it, he'd adapted to it.  I mean, the same guy who couldn't sit still for a few months with Amy and Rory during that heart attack box episode decided to live out the remainder of his life (which turned out to be centuries) on one little planet, just so the Daleks couldn't start up the Time War again. 

 

And then all of a sudden, bam!  Now he's got a whole new set of lives (and who knows if it's another 13-life set, or if, as someone else said, if the Time Lords gave him the ability to be able to regenerate forever, without limit.  Here's an intriguing idea - we all know what the Master did when he ran out of regenerations.  We also know that somewhere, the Valeyard was formed between the Doctor's last two lives (or what they thought would be the last two), and he wanted the Doctor's regenerations as well.  What if the Doctor - just for a brief moment - considered what he would do at that point, and if he would be able to find a way to go on as well, and what that would entail?  It's an interesting thought...  Maybe Twelve is so down on himself because he knows something like that happened, and he's not sure what that means.  (We do know that the person the Doctor hates the most in the entire universe is himself, as the Dream Lord showed us.)

 

Also, we've never seen a Time Lord on the show that got a new cycle - I don't remember it being stated that the Master ever did, or if the ones we saw in the new series were just before the Delgado and Ainley ones.  So maybe in the Doctor's eyes, he's thinking that the real him died with Eleven, and he's not sure if he's the same guy or if he's something different.  We have no idea what the mental toll of spending an entire life preparing to die finally, fully, and then getting a whole new batch of regenerations might be. 

 

So I'm OK with Capaldi's Doctor as played.  Perhaps this year Moffatt will finally be able to get over the Clara-love and do Twelve right. 

 

to your last point, I really wouldn't hold my breath on this . 

 

I really loved your break down, and honestly that would be a very telling story to indicate. How does Twelve feel about being aliveI truly don't have "anything" with Twelve yet. Took me a while to get used to Ten, and Eleven lost me after Season five. so we'll see how Twelve and I get along. I think he's no-nonsense brusque, and a touch more "I can't even, even with you if you can't keep up." And I am curious if it does have anything to do with how he is trying to escape that  conversation/realization about his existence. 

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to your last point, I really wouldn't hold my breath on this . 

 

I really loved your break down, and honestly that would be a very telling story to indicate. How does Twelve feel about being aliveI truly don't have "anything" with Twelve yet. Took me a while to get used to Ten, and Eleven lost me after Season five. so we'll see how Twelve and I get along. I think he's no-nonsense brusque, and a touch more "I can't even, even with you if you can't keep up." And I am curious if it does have anything to do with how he is trying to escape that  conversation/realization about his existence. 

Rewatching "Deep Breath", oh, the potential that was there.   I would have been interested in the writers exploring your point about Twelve being alive.  Even better, exploring that while searching for Gallifrey, and no Danny Pink (sorry).

 

In the shallow end, I like a good clean short haircut myself, Season 8 Episode1 12 is more handsome to me than what I have seen in the previews for Season 9.  (and I did like floppy hair 11)

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For me, though, when I get moments like that, I'm less inclined to be annoyed with the Doctor himself and more with the writing that's making him behave that way.  I don't know why, but stuff like that feels to me like the writers poorly serving the Doctor rather than the Doctor's actual character being bad.  Is it because he's the Doctor and I want to love him?  Is it because, for me, Capaldi is doing so much with the character despite such haphazard writing?  I'm not sure.

I just have to state my agreement with this. I still love Twelve, even as I've been much less satisfied with some writing choices (especially most of the Danny business last season). He's still the Doctor, and I think Capaldi is brilliant, so I tend to assume those are poor writing choices rather than changes to the Doctor's essential character.

 

On a related note, it was nice to see the Doctor hug Clara in the season premiere (and have Clara be surprised but pleased!). :) I'm interested to see how Twelve behaves for the rest of the season... maybe it will be more consistent? We can always hope, anyway.

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(For my money, "Mummy on the Orient Express" gets Twelve exactly right.  The overall writing on him was extremely spotting last season, but I loved basically everything about him in that episode.)

 

(Just catching up in this thread.)  YES!  I think that's why MotOE was my favorite episode from S8; it felt here like the Doctor had finally settled in and could just be himself: curious, quirky, engaged with others (such as when he meets Perkins), but still ruthless in his methods of figuring out/solving the problem presented.  I loved the scene on the beach at the end, where the Doctor morbidly jokes that he only saved Clara and let everyone else on the train die, but then, after Clara says that he was only pretending to be heartless, he says, "Would you like to think that about me?  Would that make it easier?"  It seems like that's how some people want to see him, as just heartless and cruel, to simplify his behavior.  But he later says, "Sometimes the only choices you have are bad ones.  But you still have to choose"--that's what he does, he makes the tough choices, and if some of those choices make him seem like a jerk, then so be it.

 

I do get that all of the unpleasant comments in other episodes about Clara's looks, Danny, etc. were separate from those moments when he had to make tough choices.  I agree that those comments were unnecessary and hurtful; but I got the feeling that Moffat/the writers were trying to distinguish Twelve from Eleven, who gushed a little too much about Clara/humans at times.  Now that Twelve has been established, hopefully we'll get fewer of those comments (and they did seem to decrease as S8 went on).  

 

My other favorite episodes from S8--"Listen," "Flatline," and "Last Christmas" were also ones in which the Doctor's characterization felt "right."  And so far, I'm really enjoying Twelve/Capaldi in S9.

Edited by alrightokay
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Tonight was Twelve's swan song . . .  or at least in the UK. We're less than 150 minutes here from"Twice Upon A Time" on the East Coast. I'm surprised this thread hasn't been active for over two years.

So . . . what did you think of Peter Capaldi? Personally, I don't think there's such a thing as a bad Doctor. Capaldi was no exception . . . once he got warmed up, he was great at the job. Being older helped, in the sense that he could do some big speeches better than Matt Smith. Also, I'm peeved we only had one adventure with him and River, because the gap between the actors' ages isn't that great. If it was Eleven at the restaurant with River, the waiter would have provided a children's menu. Being an old-school fan helped Capaldi as well, and his "Every (Non-Retconned) Third Doctor Being Cranky" thing also worked for him. He didn't like hugs at first, but he got used to it. Last year, I wrote a post-election post from the Doctor's point of view, suggesting that the sunglasses and guitar were indicative of a Time Lord midlife crisis. I was half-joking, especially since Capaldi was good at playing.

The weak stuff: I'm blaming Steven Moffat not putting enough love in Twelve's adventures as Eleven. There were epic moments, but the first season felt like a drag. Worse: Clara. Ugggggh. This is no slight on Jenna Coleman, whom I'm certain is a fine actress (she hasn't shaved her head, gotten dyed blue and starred in a Marvel movie, so of course I hven't seen her recently. No, I don't watch PBS), but Clara stunk. And I felt that she went out in a manner most "Mary Sue": dead-but-not-dead, traveling space and time with Ashildr, the Norse girl the Doctor made immortal. Yes, Bill can be criticized as not being fully flesh-out, especially during the Monks arc (did we really need three episodes, with one being a simulation?!?), but she came off better. Kinda wish we had more than one season of Nardole. I don't think the Doctor had a male companion who's look and manners shouted "SCHMUCK!" loudly. But he was a nice foil, at least in the past season.

What is the legacy of the Twelfth Doctor? Crankiness? Irritation? Or the guy that wound up getting looped endless times (I'm thinking "trillion"), ending with him breaking his fist on  a diamond wall (diamond-like?) and dying in a horrifying manner. I also think of the two overreaction scenes in "The Husbands Of River Song" (where he did the gobsmacked-at-TARDIS bit for an unsuspecting River) and "The Lie Of The Land" (where he out-Wonka'ed Willy Wonka to Bill, followed by an over-the-top "death" scene with regeneration effects). At least he had fans. Check out the video BBC America put out in their farewell to Capaldi:

And, for your amusement, here's a cat that has his eyes and scowl.

ETA: Heh . . . Capaldi said "midlife crisis" in the special. OMG, I was ahead of the curve!!

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I'm just wrapping up season 10 now on Netflix.  For me, Peter Capaldi got off to a bumpy start and it took awhile for me to adjust to him as something other than "what if George Harrison was The Doctor?".   But once he got going, he became My Doctor.  And this is someone who loved Christopher Eccleston's cool demeanor, David Tennant's joyous spirit, and Matt Smith's boyish innocence.  They were all great in their own way.  But being older, I was drawn to Capaldi's curmudgeonly personality, his mildly autistic behavior and mannerisms, his hunger for knowledge and understanding of how things work above playing the hero week after week.  He was a Doctor I could relate to, someone who reflected the age and perspective of a person alive for two thousand years, with all the wisdom and the weariness that it brings.  I will miss him the most of all of them, the TARDIS will feel a little emptier without him in it.

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I'm way behind the times because I only just now watched 12 in action. BBCA is airing The 13 Days Of The Doctor to get ready for the new season.

I sort of lost interest when 11 regenerated.

I am not new to Who-- started watching when 3 regenerated into 4 (Tom Baker-- I mean c'mon! He was The Doctor for seven years! The longest of any actor portraying the character!) and I've been a fan ever since.

Loved when New Who started and I fell in love with 9 (Christopher Eccleston) I went right along with the trip with 10 (David Tennant) and then onto 11 (Matt Smith.)

But now that I've caught most of 12's eps -- I've got to say I quite like Capaldi's Doctor. And I have always loved the character Clara since the moment the Impossible Girl was introduced. I loved her chemistry with Matt Smith and I adore it with Capaldi's. They are SO DAMN good together.

I also liked the twist that the Doctor's memory being wiped of Clara instead of like Donna who had her memory wiped of the Doctor.  Also I thought Rose's (One of my favorite companions!) ending of going off into an alternate universe with a clone Doctor was much cheesier than Clara being dead but not dead. I did not see that coming and I rather enjoyed it actually. Clever.

Anyway. Now onto 13. At first I rejected the turning into female thing. But now? Bring it on I say.

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I'm a new American viewer and started with the new season of the 13th Doctor, so I've been catching up with previous seasons' episodes when I can. I've seen the first few episodes of Capaldi's first season and my first impression is, boy is he cranky and cantankerous. So I don't especially like him yet particularly after first seeing the warmth and kindness of 13, but at the same time, I love the humor, especially when the Doctor gets into a cranky argument with someone else. I do find it strange how Clara pops in and out on the adventures and otherwise tends to her regular job as a teacher since I thought most companions are regularly on adventures with the Doctor

Something else I noticed, especially after watching 13, is that he doesn't always seem particularly interested in other people's safety. He seems more interested in what alien baddie is lurking about. At the same time, I thought #10 (Tennant) wasn't always so keen on helping other people at the risk of his own. He majorly hesitated to help Donna's granddad(??) at the risk of his own life in Tennant's last episode

I'm still early in his first season, so we'll see how things go

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I finally finished with Capaldi's seasons and he definitely got somewhat more likeable, particularly once he got together with Bill. There was so much angst and toxicity in the end with Clara that a soft reset in Capaldi's 3rd season with Bill made a huge difference. There was a lot to like about many of the episodes, especially in the 3rd season

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On 11/20/2018 at 11:01 PM, DanaK said:

At the same time, I thought #10 (Tennant) wasn't always so keen on helping other people at the risk of his own. He majorly hesitated to help Donna's granddad(??) at the risk of his own life in Tennant's last episode

Yup, Donna's grandfather and to be fair to 10, he hesitated before sacrificing his life for the guy, not risking his life.  It took a few more episodes to finish the process but he knew that it was a death sentence.

Capaldi's Doctor really was cranky wasn't he? Especially while he was teamed up with Clara.  If you haven't seen his Christmas special yet with River Song, it's very sweet and even more so if you've first seen Tennant's and Smith's interactions with her character over the years.  

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I loved the chemistry between Matt Smith's Doctor and Clara.  That was all gone with  Capaldi 's Doctor, just wasn't going to happen like before. I think a lot of viewers missed that too. I may be wrong, but just sayin'. 

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I do think Capaldi was perhaps too old for the role, given all the running around the Doctor does in the new Who era. It didn't help that various characters kept calling him old and old man. I haven't seen much of Matt Smith's era, but I'm sure Capaldi's age following the much younger Smith really stood out. Given the action nature of the series in the new era, it's probably best that future actors taking the role are in their 30s to 40s, high 20s on the outside.

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Forgive me if I asked this before . . . why was there nothing airing in 2016? I heard something about Capaldi not being in the best health. We ended up with a Christmas special that wasn’t really Christmas-related. As if Moffat woke up, realized he had to submit a script, grabbed a superhero story out of the inventory, made quick alterations, then mailed it in.

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On 12/7/2018 at 5:42 PM, DanaK said:

I do think Capaldi was perhaps too old for the role, given all the running around the Doctor does in the new Who era. It didn't help that various characters kept calling him old and old man. I haven't seen much of Matt Smith's era, but I'm sure Capaldi's age following the much younger Smith really stood out. Given the action nature of the series in the new era, it's probably best that future actors taking the role are in their 30s to 40s, high 20s on the outside.

Look I am Capaldi's age and I felt that he was not only too old but he didn't seem particularly robust, I did like the last series with Bill but by then it was too late IMO (also "The Husbands of River Song" was a really great episode because Capaldi and Kingston are closer in age and the wistful yearning of both characters was touching and believable.) I am really loving Jodie as The Doctor and feel that the series is back on track, the cinematography and special effects have been outstanding this series, and the music in the "Punjab" episode was gorgeous. 

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I loved Capaldi's Doctor. He was not too old. That he's naturally thin doesn't make him frail. He was terrific, gave a speech like nobody's business, and delivered an outstanding performance in a solo episode that deserved awards. He just wasn't a young hunk or the first woman Doctor. His tenure was handled poorly by the BBC with all kinds of scheduling crap, to the point that this gracious man, a complete champion of the show, felt the need to speak out, (I never heard that the lack of 2016 episodes was about him or his health; I could be mistaken), and the "offer" for him to stay felt false, like they gave him the option to turn it down to save face but there was no real option to stay with Chibnall running things. It pisses me off.

I know there's a lot of Clara hate around here (though this is only one board; others elsewhere loved her), but I found much of their relationship quite touching (the end of Deep Breath and Last Christmas as just two examples). I hated her slapping him in Into the Dalek, but the bigger mistake that series/season, I thought, was the way Danny Pink was written and how it affected the stories. Series/Season 9 remains my favorite -- so many excellent episodes and the peak of Capaldi's tenure, in my opinion; the series was not remotely off track with him. This season/series has been difficult to like, feeling less like Who (though Jodie has grown on me), and with some pretty poor stories and execution with major holes.

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Capaldi had some health problems requiring a knee operation, but that was the same problem Matt Smith, and I think Tennant, had. It's not due to his age, just that Doctor Whoi is a very physically demanding show to make.

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This season has felt like someone's trying to cram a huge SJW  shit sandwich down our throats and think everyone will want more of the same in 2020.  I remember Doctor Who as being an  entertaining syfi,drama, fun ,escape from the everyday grind kind of show. Now I feel like I'm trying to be indoctrinated geesh...

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I keep seeing this complaint. Too 'SJW' - what do you mean by that, exactly? What did the show do different this year that it hasn't done before, that makes it suddenly 'too progressive'. This is a show that has always been progressive, since its inception, although what that looks like has changed over the decades. This season was weak in many ways, but it has nonetheless still very much been an entertaining, escapist sci fi drama. Each episode this season was hugely varied - what exactly did you think they were trying to indoctrinate you into? The one common theme I've picked out of the season was 'be a decent person' - what's wrong with that?

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