Tag Archives: gravitas

Capaldi, Doctor Who

Yes, yes; I know the Doctor’s name isn’t Who. 

So, it’s official! Peter Capaldi is the next Doctor! Who (*snicker*) watched the announcement on BBC America (or BBC One)?

For those of you who missed it, here’s a taste of something that went on for WAY TOO LONG:

Yeah, they played the above A LOT.

We actually DVRed the show, because due to circumstances beyond our control, we were unable to watch it live. So, last night, already knowing Capaldi was the chosen one, we settled down to watch Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor. Both of us (the husband and meself) faced the television, eager shining faces (maybe I need to switch up my facial cleanser..) with wide eyes glued to the screen. The promo cycled through at least 436 times. Finally, the husband said to me, “Can’t we fast forward?”

I stubbornly refused.


“I want the real experience,” I declared, chiding his impatience. After all, we already knew who the next Doctor was, right?

437, 438, 439…FINE! I hit the button…and missed the first couple of seconds of the show. Of course!

I skipped back, and the show started.

It was rather obvious that they threw the show together at the last minute. Oh, the production value was fine enough. But, speaking as a Whovian from the other side of the pond, I only recognized two of the guests they had on to chat about the good Doctor. Wikipedia got a nice workout as I checked up on all the folks on the couch. Hopefully, they meant more to our British brethren and sister-en.

Finally, Faux Goldie Hawn announced Capaldi as the next Doctor!  I liked the shot of the actor’s hand clenching before he was introduced. It was a nice touch, hiding his face and letting the audience see his supposed anxiousness. Perhaps it was real trepidation, though. After all, Capaldi is stepping into an important role, right?


Capaldi, 55, is the second oldest Doctor cast in the title role, following Matt Smith, the youngest Doctor (26 when he started). As a member of generation NewWho (how I refer to those of us who became a fan starting with Doctor #9), I’m intrigued at how this will affect the show. I’ve heard over and over (just since yesterday, mind you) that Capaldi’s age will “lend a sense of gravitas” to the role. What does that mean, exactly? They think the show will take a more serious tone overall? That the Doctor will be cast in more of an authoritarian role?

Gravitas-wielding Peter Capaldi. Image courtesy of BBC.

Gravitas-wielding Peter Capaldi. Image courtesy of BBC.

It’s a nice way to refer to Capaldi’s age when reflecting on the difference that will be obvious when compared to Doctors 9-11, methinks. “Gravitas” makes me think of words like established, experienced, serious. And maybe that’s what the show needs after Smith’s rather slapstick-y run. I’m not sure. I, for one, hope showrunner Steven Moffat doesn’t take it too far the other way. Already, a sense of darkness is hanging over the Who-topia with the lasting image of John Hurt’s craggy, sad face.

Don’t give me too much drama, Moffat. I love Doctor Who for its lightness, for its Deus ex Machina qualities. Sure, through in some darkness here and there, but not too much, okay? Please?

What do you think, guys? Will Capaldi make a good Doctor? Will the show go dark? And what does “gravitas” mean? Hit me up in the comments!

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