Doctor Who: 5 Reasons to be Excited About an Older Doctor
All day Sunday afternoon the American Whovians were glued to their TVs as we waited the announcement of the actor who would take over for Matt Smith as The Doctor. Vegas odds were that Peter Capaldi was the man of the hour, and Vegas turned out to be right, he strode out onstage to thunderous applause.
Capaldi has twice been involved with Doctor Who before, as Caecilius in "The Fires of Pompeii" and John Frobisher in Torchwood: Children of Earth. There's plenty of precedent for Capaldi's casting. Colin Baker appeared as Commander Maxil in "Arc of Infinity" and David Tennant made his initial debut in a Seventh Doctor audio story.
The most remarkable thing about Capaldi is his age. At 55 he is the oldest modern Doctor by 14 years, and is in fact the same age as William Hartnell when he first assumed the role in 1963. This is a great shake-up. Since the original series ended The Doctor has been young and somewhat romantic. Paul McGann was 36, Christopher Eccleston 41, David Tennant 34, and Matt Smith was the youngest Doctor ever at 26.
I for one am really looking forward to having an older Doctor for the following reasons...
5. The Doctor's Sex Life Is Played Out: The Eighth Doctor was the first to kiss a companion romantically, and frankly ever since that moment there has been a great deal of focus on how much his female companions (And Jack) have been head over heels in love with him. Even with platonic relationships like with Donna a possible relationship was still a frequent focus of other characters.
There's no reason to not explore that aspect of The Doctor, but we have literally been doing it since 1996. It's going to be quite a while before another love story on the level of Rose's comes along, and having an older Doctor will help put some distance between the character and constant infatuation.
4. A Father Figure Doctor is Awesome: If you go back to the last couple of Hartnell seasons or the episodes with Seven and Ace you get a really wonderful look at The Doctor as someone that feels at home taking care of others like a father does. The character is capable of such great compassion and strength in that regard, and even though someone like Matt Smith can pull that off very well it has a lot more verve coming from someone whose age shows in his face rather than just in the eyes.
This is a great opportunity for an audience to feel like The Doctor is more than an imaginary friend or an action hero. This is The Doctor that you can believe will make everything all right because that's what a parent does.