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He's a Comin': Predictions for Peter Capaldi's Doctor Who Debut

He's a Comin': Predictions for Peter Capaldi's <em>Doctor Who</em> Debut

By Ryan Britt

BBC America

By the end of this week, Doctor Who fans everywhere will officially get their first full adventure with Peter Capaldi as the new incarnation of the Doctor. Advanced screenings around the world have already started happening, so some people already know exactly what magic PCaps is bringing to the beloved role. But we haven’t seen it, yet!

Here are seven major predictions for the premier of Doctor Who’s new season opener “Deep Breath.”

7. Confused, slightly amnesiac Doctor

In Matt Smith’s farewell episode—“The Time of the Doctor”—the regeneration from his Doctor to Capaldi’s was fiercely sudden. Making matters worse, he asks Clara if she has any idea “how to fly this thing!” referring to the TARDIS. Right from the start, “Deep Breath” will have to tackle what’s going on with this massive memory loss. Unless of course, the Doctor is just messing with our heads.

6. Different, non-contemporary time period

There’s every reason to believe showrunner Steven Moffat is aiming to break with the tradition of previous new-Doctor episodes, which have recently all featured the Doctor in a relatively contemporary time period, somewhere in England. From the looks of the trailers, it’s possible the 12th Doctor will be landing not in the 20th or 21st centuries, but instead, a more Victorian era.

5. Strax Origin?

It’s no spoiler that Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax are back in this episode, but could this finally reveal Strax’s origin? Back in “A Good Man Goes to War,” Strax was introduced as an old ally of the Doctor; a former Sontaran solider who the Doctor forced into the role of a nurse. Now, because things happen out of order all the time on Doctor Who, and Strax is bad with recognizing people based on their physical appearance, there’s a strong chance that a “future” Doctor recruited Strax, and not Matt Smith’s number 11. Maybe a twist in this episode (or sometime in this season) will sort all of this out. Far-fetched, yes. But clever if it happens.

4. Your grandfather’s Doctor

Instead of being a younger, hipper version of the epically cool Time Lord, Peter Capaldi will have to play this whole thing a little more mature. This means, that in most all ways, the zeitgeist will be time traveling in accepting PCaps as the new Doctor. If the 12th Doctor is grumpy (which it looks like he will be) then the show is right back in the territory where it all started with crotchety William Hartnell’s 1st Doctor in 1963.

3. Clara as a real person

In her previous season, the agency of Clara Oswald was seriously tricky, insofar as her entire persona was woven around the plotline of her being “the impossible girl.” Where did she come from? How come there were different versions of her popping up throughout history? Now that all of that has been sorted out in “The Name of the Doctor,” it seems like Clara will finally have a chance to be her own person. Plus, other than Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax, she’s now the most familiar and consistent element of the show.

2. The Doctor saving the world

This is a basic requirement for Doctor Who. The reason that the show works, regardless of how grumpy the Doctor might be, always has to do with the character saving the day in a big way. He’s accidentally Earth’s champion all the time, regardless of how different he acts in the little ways, the big heroic stuff is bound to be the same.

1. A hint (or an eyebrow raise) to Gallifrey

Both “The Day of the Doctor,” and “The Time of the Doctor,” are connected with the return of the Planet Gallifrey—the Doctor’s once-thought-obliterated-homeworld—making PCaps potentially the Gallifrey Doctor. Could his first adventure feature a reference to the events of “The Day of the Doctor?” We also know for a fact, that the 12th Doctor (13th, kind of) was present to help put Gallifrey in a time-bubble thingamajig. We saw his eyebrows!

What are you most looking forward to about Doctor Who’s “Deep Breath.” What are you the most worried about? Do you think he’ll change his sonic screwdriver again?

Tags: tv, doctor who, bbc, the doctor, matt smith, peter capaldi

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About the Author
Ryan Britt

Ryan Britt's writing has appeared with The New York Times, Omni Reboot, Tor.com, Clarkesworld, Crossed Genres, Story Magazine, The MindHut and elsewhere. He's performed stories on stage with The Moth, The Liar Show, and is the curator of two reading series; Lust for Genre and The HiFi Reading Series. He teaches at The Gotham Writers' Workshop and lives in New York City. Follow him on Twitter @ryancbritt.

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