So the weeks and days have winnowed to hours and minutes, and all of the publicity leading up to Deep Breath have been warning viewers both casual and dedicated about the (possibly abrupt) change in tone to come with the advent of the Capaldi Doctor. It’s another inflection point in a long line of inflection points over the long history of Doctor Who. Of course every time there’s a cast or production regime change it’s an inflection point but this one augurs well for longer-term fans of Doctor Who.
There’s so much to love in nu-Who, but occasionally there are times when the breathless pace can leave even longer term fans exasperated. It should never require a second viewing of a program to grok all of the dialogue. So not only are we getting an older Doctor (something we agitated for) but we’re also hearing the pacing will not be as frenetic as in recent years. Additionally we’re all being told Capaldi will be less ‘user-friendly’ then in recent years. This is remindful of the change from Pertwee to Tom Baker for Season 12 in 1975.
Stylistically Capaldi may bear many of the Pertwee sartorial hallmarks, but one of the overriding characteristics of the Pertwee Doctor was how paternalistic he was, particularly in regards to Jo Grant. The advent of Tom Baker saw a reversion to a much more ‘alien’ Doctor, which Capaldi himself seems to be heavily foreshadowing in interviews.
This is a good thing folks, and a needed contrast.
But then we’ll all have to watch to find out. See you on the other side.