August 7 kicked off the 12 day tour for the Doctor Who stars, and hometown Cardiff got the first peek at Capaldi's Doctor.
Doctor Who world premiered Peter Capaldi's first episode as Twelve earlier today, August 7, in Cardiff's St. David Hall. The Guardian reports that excited, complying fans "came as far as Canada, Israel, Italy and the US" to see the stars up close.
Dolled up in Four's scarf, Eleven's fez, and a Five's celery, fans proudly represented their favorite Doctor while anxiously waiting on news and gossip for the upcoming season. Most of the crowd wasn’t allowed into the Hall to see "Deep Breath," the episode simultaneously premiering worldwide on August 23, but that didn't stop the excitement.
Fan Gary Luz told the paper that he really wanted a "darker Doctor." Eleven (Matt Smith) was somewhat polarizing, with fans either loving or hating the character, after Ten's (David Tennant) run. "We've been too whimsical the last series and we need the Doctor turned on his head."
Both Capaldi and show runner Steven Moffat promised a darker, deeper look. The professorial persona has left the building. It sounds like Twelve might be a bit like Nine (Christopher Eccleston), that manic element without the trauma attached.
And since the show opens in Victorian London, that might not be a bad thing—along with the lack of romance between Twelve and Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman). In a change from the will-they-won't-they of Ten and Rose (Billie Piper), this Doctor bluntly states, "Clara, I'm not your boyfriend."
Coleman gave a preview of their relationship, saying, "Clara's going to struggle to make the doctor dance to her tune absolutely and I think that's what's really interesting because this Doctor is someone who doesn't like to dance as much."
Unlike the previous Doctors since the reboot (Nine, Ten, Eleven), this Doctor has a much darker edge, which seems to highlight a bit of manipulative Seven.
"He has a kind of mad curiosity that pushes him to different limits and really tests her so I think it's not easy but they are bound together still." The "impossible girl" looks to have a challenge on her hands with the different kind of Doctor.
Channeling a little Malcolm Tucker from The Thick of It, Capaldi's Doctor is going to be more "edgy, volatile and dangerous." Without the foul mouth, there's a shared "certain acid wit,” and Twelve doesn't have "to spend his time dealing with idiot MPs in parliament."
Setting a new standard in this incarnation means Capaldi has a different set of shoes to fill. It turns out that The Musketeers star was the only one even auditioning, unbeknownst to him. Talking to the paper, he admitted, "I felt a great responsibility, because I know how important the show is to people but I thought, it doesn't get better than this."
And as a fan growing up, he was deeply influenced in his own craft by the various doctors and actors playing the part. "William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker and Peter Davison, they are sort of in me and taught me how to act because I spent a lot of time trying to be them."
Capaldi's statement isn't a lot different from when Tennant won the role of Ten. Before leaving Doctor Who in 2009, the Scot told Crave Online, a fan's most emotionally connected Doctor is often the one who introduced the wild world of a little blue box. "That’s kind of who you imprint on it, who you see first."
So who imprinted on him? "Tom Baker and Peter Davison were the two that I grew up with.” Ten definitely was missing a jelly baby or two, then. Tennat completely backs up Capaldi.
The Capaldi opened up on the sheer impact of a Doctor Who fan that never expected to takeover the role, battling villians meant to terrify and engage a child's imagination. "When I was out in the world, trying to be an actor, I was constantly channeling those guys."
And he brought back the parade of outfits, too. Turns out there were "lots of scarves and floppy hats. Everyone wants you to wear a floppy hat." Instead of something causal and quirky, a stark, more dangerously sophisticated look appeared: buttoned-up shirt, long black coat with red silk lining. The silk lining is a call back to Three (Pertwee) and his magnificent cape.
This new Doctor isn't going to be entirely different from previous seven seasons, though. The character will "struggle with who he is, and whether the life he leads is an accurate expression of his spirit." Completely explaining the "am I good man?" question haunting the teaser trailers.
The Telegraph noticed the latest Doctor's just a little different, too. Unlike Tennant, who was forced to adopt an English accent, Capaldi's take gets to keep his Scottish burr. “I am Scottish." The newly minted Doctor adds a little joy to what the voice means. "I can really complain about things.”
And the Doctor, no matter which incarnation, does love to complain about the actions of mankind while saving the species at the same time.
Capaldi’s Doctor leaves everyone wondering who he is. And "Deep Breath" leaves the audience wanting so much more.