Peter Capaldi has been anointed as the 12th incarnation of the Doctor — whether you like it or not!
I like it.
I like it a lot. In fact, I am overjoyed that Executive Producer Steven Moffat went with an older Doctor. I definitely appreciate a Time Lord with more gravitas. Not that Matt Smith was lacking at all — no one has ever played an old soul in a young body better than Matt — but going with a young actor again would have been a mistake, because continuing that trend would have brought the show dangerously close to a situation where saving the universe might conflict with the Doctor’s bedtime!
My own dream casting would have been Bill Nighy. Even though he was offered the part before and passed, I was secretly hoping he would change his mind. To me, he would have made a Doctor who was a blend of loveable and irascible!
Elisabeth Sladen, who has played the most popular, most enduring companion in the history of DOCTOR WHO, the irrepressible Sarah Jane Smith, on and off since 1973, has died at age 63, following a battle with cancer.
There’s a saying in DOCTOR WHO fandom that the first Doctor you ever saw was “your Doctor.” Well, by that measure, Sladen’s plucky Sarah Jane was “my companion.” She and the well-meaning but bumbling Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter) were the companions for “Genesis of the Daleks,” the very first DOCTOR WHO story I remember seeing, way back in the primitive days of late 1970s syndication. Back then, WWOR Channel 9 out of New York City purchased a bloc of Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor stories, and introduced them to a benighted America that had previously never known the Time Lord. I vividly recall her in that yellow rain slicker and blue knit cap, clambering over the rocks.
Apparently, it’s never too late for a major revelation about the Doctor’s Gallifreyan physiognomy on DOCTOR WHO.
In the latest episode to air in the USA, “Cold Blood,” the Doctor (Matt Smith) was subjected to a decontamination process by the Silurian scientist Dr. Malokeh. The Time Lord writhed in pain as the procedure was explained to him. “Removal of human germs will remove half the things keeping me alive!” the Doctor cried.
Really? Since when? Well…since now.
I am not suggesting that it is impossible for the Doctor to require “germs” to keep him alive. We humans use lots of helpful bacteria in our bodies. And I assume that the Time Lord needs human germs in particular because he is, as the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) revealed in the 1996 TV movie, “I’m half-human on my mother’s side.” Further, the Master (Eric Roberts) echoes the assertion, stating, “The Doctor is half-human.” (The fact that he is a hybrid must account for why those germs are “half” the things keeping him alive.) The Doctor has undergone decontamination procedures before, but perhaps not processes designed to so specifically wipe out all “ape-based” germs. Indeed, the very word “germs” is often colloquial for “microscopic organisms” in general, though I would hardly expect a medical specialist like Dr. Malokeh to be so imprecise with scientific terminology.