Peter Capaldi may have survived the last cycle of Doctor Who, but in a Christmas Day Telegraph article, he said he’s already thinking about his inevitable regeneration. Capaldi is the twelfth doctor, the fourth since the series’ 2005 reboot. Although he’s contracted for another year on the program, that may be his last. He joked to the paper that it was his particular sorrowful bent on things that had him looking forward to the Doctor’s inevitable transformation.
“This could be my final year – it’s terrifying. I love ‘Doctor Who’ but it can be quite an insular world and I do want to do other things. There will come a time when this is over. But I knew that when I started. I was thinking about my regeneration scene from the outset. That’s my terrible melancholic nature. When you accept the job you know there’ll come a day, inevitably, when you’ll be saying goodbye.”
Capaldi has had the role since 2014, following previous Doctors Matt Smith, David Tennant, and Christopher Eccleston. The actor expresses his willingness to move on just after fans saw the fate of Clara Oswald, the Doctor’s companion, who embarked on her own series of adventures in the Season 9 finale episode.
Jenna Coleman, who played Clara, said of her then-upcoming exit that it would be “really, really cool,” and that her departure had long been planned by Doctor Who producers in an Entertainment Weekly article in September. The BBC reported that Coleman has been tapped to star in an ITV series about Queen Victoria and is set to play the monarch as her early reign is recounted.
The Doctor Who Christmas special, “The Husbands of River Song” featured the return of a beloved guest character, the Doctor’s wife, River Song. Alex Kingston told The Guardian she did not expect to come back after Song’s last appearance in 2013. Her plot in the special was her first opposite Capaldi’s Doctor.
Kingston dismissed the idea of becoming one of Doctor Who‘s regular stars, perhaps to replace Coleman in the role of companion. Part of River Song’s appeal, she argued, is the ability to let fans imagine what she does when she’s not conversing with the Doctor. Kingston also had her own opinion about the idea of a gender-flipped Doctor when the next regeneration inevitably occurs.
“It’s difficult, I don’t know quite why, but I would imagine, if anything, the Doctor might be of a different race than a different gender. I can’t imagine, myself, the Doctor being a different gender. I just think that too many men have played that role [already].”
To bolster her argument, which she says may be unpopular, Kingston cites the fact that the Doctor has always been male and the show’s audience made up primarily of boys. She says, however, that regenerating the Doctor as a woman could bring in a different kind of twist, of which she approves.
“I just feel – I hope that women aren’t going to hate me for this – the Doctor has to be a guy, actually. I do. Although it would be very interesting for River if it were a woman!”
Capaldi told The Telegraph he doesn’t mind being an older Doctor, and doesn’t believe that every Doctor regeneration should be young and handsome.
“[E]very Doctor should be different from the last one. If you want exclusively young, sexy guys, to me that’s not ‘Doctor Who.’ You want occasional ones like that – but then some other eccentrics.”
Capaldi also said he doesn’t mind criticism of his turn as the Doctor, saying that fans who don’t like him will eventually have another Doctor to fill the spot.
[Feature photo courtesy of BBC One]