Saturday, October 6, 2018

Oh My Word! Raising A Glass To Peter Capaldi

Alwyn Ash was going to write a lengthy article celebrating the work of Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi. Instead, some lovely fellow Doctor Who fans shared their thoughts on the man, his time on the show, and what it meant for them to watch this fantastic Doctor in action...

"With Capaldi as an actor, we have arguably the best, most diverse actor to have played the role"

Steve Beaufoy: Peter is a fine character actor, and completely sold me on his take on the Doctor. It was my brother who first suggested I watch 'In The Thick Of It', and since then, after having watched the first series of 'The Musketeers', then his three series of Doctor Who - I am a fan. I didn't believe that anyone else could endear me to the Doctor since Tom Baker, but Peter did, 100%, and it was obvious that he loved the show. Yes, some scripts were poor, but isn't that the way with every other actor who has taken on the role? Would be honoured to meet the Gent.

Adrian Sherlock: He had the X factor which you cannot always find in every actor to play the Doctor, that old man of the Universe thing which cannot be bought or faked. He could be off the wall and funny, he could be vulnerable and sympathetic, he could speak with great passion and conviction. The scripts in his era sometimes felt like they were missing the mark, but when he had the chance to shine, he always impressed. I feel a smile come to my face when I see him and you can't fake that or buy it with money either.

Brendan Lynch: As The Doctor, for me Capaldi comes 2nd only to Troughton. Throughout his 3 seasons in the role we saw different facets of his character, from the moody, somewhat distant, traveller akin to Hartnell, to the softer, more funny uncle in Series 10. Capaldi played each aspect with vigour and love for the character and the show. As others mention, when his Doctor walked into a room, like Pertwee, he owned that room and the attention was on him. He was unpredictable in his actions, making the character harder to guess their response to new situations that that incarnation experienced. When the rage of 12 set in, we saw the ferociousness that Capaldi plays so well.

With Capaldi as an actor, we have arguably the best, most diverse actor to have played the role. His most famous role being a role in comedy series The Thick of It, he showed not only his skill with the humorous moments, but also the dramatic moments. The rage mentioned before, such as in Face The Raven, to the hopelessness in Heaven Sent and The Doctor Falls when he pleads for the Master's help. We had an actor who put his all into every scene, and made an era marred by a mixed bag of scripts, so memorable for me.

With Capaldi as a person, I cannot fault him. The way he has been with fans from the off has been sensational. From comforting a young fan upset that Matt Smith had left by showing him a photo of himself and Matt together, and explaining to the child that he asked Matt's permission to become The Doctor and he said it was ok. And followed by saying I hope that it'll be ok with this fan to take over.

Then there's the in-character message to the autistic boy who was struggling after the loss of a grandparent, surprising young fans at The Doctor Who Experience, and writing a letter to 2 young fans (again in character) upset about him leaving the show.

I was lucky enough to meet him at LFCC this year, and he chucked himself into the photoshoots, giving everyone a memorable photo with him, and when it came to the signing, he gave every fan the time to chat with him. Me personally, I spent 5 minutes chatting to him about The Thick of It and Capaldi's new project with Armando Iannucci.

Overall, Capaldi has shown both on and off screen just how much he loves and cares about the show, the fans and the legacy he and the show leaves. If there is any actor I can completely see geeking out at the sign of another Doctor Who actor, it's Peter Capaldi. We were so lucky to have him be a part of our show.

Andy Price: Capaldi was a fantastic Doctor. Like Pertwee before he brought a sense of gravitas as well as humour after the more clown like performance of Matt Smith (aka Pertwee and Troughton). He was let down by poor scripts and Moffat's clinging on to the character of Clara long after her story was done. To the point that at times is was more about Clara and her companion the Doctor.

Barbara Schafetz Viohl Orapello: He is a brilliant actor and was wonderful as The Doctor. Loved the fact that he is also a big fan of the show and I believe that showed through.

Final Thoughts

Alwyn Ash: On 24th Sept 2018 BBC's Entertainment and Arts Reporter Ian Youngs commented on his post 'How will the first female Doctor shake things up?' that Jodie Whittaker's first episode "will be a significant moment in British telly". A nice feel to the article. The writer, however, then added, "And what a great way to refresh a franchise, especially after four years of Peter Capaldi, who certainly wasn’t universally loved". Well, you can imagine the uproar from Doctor Who fans as responses became evident on social networking and online media. In short: 'The Universe Loves Peter Capaldi'. Mr Youngs' piece was regarded as "rubbish" and "disrespectful" to the actor who had portrayed the role of the Doctor with such passion.

Though short-changed regarding some scripts, there is no doubting the strength of Peter's Doctor. I recently watched 'The Witch's Familiar' (and 'The Magician's Apprentice' that preceded it) and loved the Doctor's performance as he stole Davros' chair only to confront a room full of Daleks. It's that sole determination, confidence and spirit that Peter brought to each scene, a power that only a great actor can achieve. Perhaps he wasn't "universally loved", but then, who is? No actor is universally loved, no rock star or artist either. Everyone has their fans and doubters, critics and haters. It's simply how things are.

I cannot fault Peter at all, he gave us the best of everything. I can fault the production team, writers and showrunner, on occasions. But never the actor. He is the Doctor. He is fantastic. We owe him such a great debt for enriching our lives with a wonderful performance. How best to bring this article to a close? Simple. Prior to the Twelfth Doctor's regeneration in 2017's 'Twice Upon a Time'...

"Oh, there it is, silly old universe. The more I save it, the more it needs saving. It's a treadmill. Yes, yes, I know, they'll get it all wrong without me. Well, I suppose one more lifetime won't kill anyone. Well, except me. You wait a moment, Doctor! Let's get it right. I've got a few things to say to you. Basic stuff first: never be cruel, never be cowardly, and never, ever eat pears! Remember, hate is always foolish, and love is always wise. Always try to be nice, but never fail to be kind. Oh, and you mustn't tell anyone your name. No one would understand it anyway… except… except children. Children can hear it, sometimes, if their hearts are in the right place, and the stars are too, children can hear your name. But nobody else. Nobody else, ever. Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind. Doctor... I let you go."