Realm Makers 2013 wrapped up just in time for more big news: onetime Doctor Who fourth-season guest star Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor.
No, he’s not a woman, but is Roman. And he’s presumbly not rude, and not ginger.
The 55-year-old Glasgow-born star will be the 12th actor to play the Doctor, replacing out-going lead Matt Smith.
Capaldi is best known for his role as foul-mouthed spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker in the BBC series The Thick of It.
“It’s so wonderful not to keep this secret any longer, but it’s been so fantastic,” he said after the news was revealed on a live BBC One show.1
Many of my family and friends reacted with cheers — as did I. First, Capaldi was excellent alongside the Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who‘s fourth-season episode The Fires of Pompeii. Fans have also been saying things like: Yes! We loved Eccleston, Tennant, and Smith, but isn’t it time for an older Doctor? Maybe one who’s a little more mad-professor-with-tenure rather than mad TA?
Some seem disappointed with the announcement. This I don’t get, and it seems to be based on taking silly casting speculation seriously.
Why can’t the Doctor be a woman?
Sure, thanks to press (and political correctness?) the BBC wouldn’t rule out “A female Doctor? Oooooo”-style speculation. But Doctor Who‘s fans are accustomed to the Doctor being a man, the companions (mostly) being women, and all the story and sex dynamics that accompany that. Chalk this up to sexism or Just How God Made Things, but either way, men and women will appreciate a male hero more often than men and women will appreciate a female hero. That’s simply the dynamic of Doctor Who. Its makers have no need to break the unbroken franchise with stunt casting.
Why not [name of A-list film actor such as Rupert “Ron Weasley” Grint]?
I’m still not sure why folks keep seriously suggesting A-list film stars to play the Doctor. Helen Mirren, for example, has been in Oscar-winning films (and admittedly, also the fine action-adventure masterpiece National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets alongside Nicolas Cage). Rupert Grint, no matter how ginger, is also too expensive to be the Doctor. Plus, no one actor can’t play two British icons.