Doctor Who – Twelve (No Story Spoilers)

The new series, and Peter Capaldi, premiere August 23rd, but someone leaked a screener version online. It’s in black and white and the effects are not completely finished yet, but they are mostly there and convey the action well enough. The music is “placeholder” stuff pulled from a variety of sources. It’s not Murry Gold’s wonderful scoring yet, which I think lessened some of the emotional impact.

Which is the only part I regret about watching it. Without the score, part of the emotional whammy is gone and I won’t get that with a second viewing. If you want to see it, if you want the surprise spoiled, go see it now before someone yanks it down.

The story is good (I won’t spoil it), and we get to see our favorite Victorian trio (all of whom have wonderful lines) again. We even get to see more of Jenny and Vastra’s relationship, and that Jenny is not as “beta female” as we have been led to believe. There were some lovely shout outs to old stories (including one that is utterly heartbreaking). And yes, they do acknowledge Capaldi’s previous role in “Fires of Pompeii.”

I think Capaldi will be a good Doctor. It felt a wee bit like he was finding his feet with this first episode, but then that is what the Doctor is always doing after a regeneration. That’s actually a great transition mechanism for the actors.

He is going to be a seismic shift for those used to Tennant and Smith’s frenetic performances and how Ten and Eleven were written. The patter does not flow out of his mouth like a broken dam. He is not adorkably cool like Ten, he does not get comically disconcerted as Eleven did. (Or have Smith’s remarkable gift for physical comedy.) He is more measured, more serious. He retains that off-the-wall quality, make no mistake, but he is not as wildly so. He is the Doctor, just not as goofy as his previous two incarnations. He is perhaps a bit darker, perhaps a bit more mature. I would say that Capaldi’s Doctor is not the boys Ten and Eleven were, he is a man. A strange, brilliant, funny, ancient man of wonder. (Speaking of which, we find out that Eleven was around for *quite* a while.) What he does bring is a measure of quiet emotional depth not seen in any of the incarnations of NuWho. I’m not overly familiar with the Classic Who Doctors, but from what I have seen, he is a bit more in the line of Pertwee or McCoy’s Doctor.

And yes, he is Scottish.

Also, eyebrows.

So it is bigger adjustment than the last regeneration, but I enjoyed “Twelve” very much and I am excited to see his adventures.

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