Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Clock is Striking Twelve...

Before I turn in for the night, I just wanted to get my thoughts down on the announcement that Peter Capaldi has been cast as the Twelfth Doctor.  I've been posting, reblogging, tweeting and retweeting my thoughts everywhere today, but I need them somewhere I can be put-together and coherent (somewhat).  First, here's the initial announcement and interview -

You know when you first meet someone and you instantly know you're going to be friends? Or (this I only know from other people telling me about it) how some couples talk about the first time they met and they knew that they'd found The One? Well, that's how I felt about Peter Capaldi. Right when they said his name and he walked out on the stage, I just kept thinking "That's the Doctor." (I didn't even notice his little Hartnell-esque lapel-clutch until later, but that was magic).

Whenever it was that his name first came out (in a loooooong list of potential Twelfth Doctors) - last week or something - I actually had a little nudge in the back of my mind think "He'd be a good Doctor."  Now, I've kept out of the crazed frenzy to fantasy cast the Doctor because (A) I don't know enough about most British actors and actresses (outside of Doctor Who or Harry Potter) and (B) I just don't feel comfortable speculating about this stuff.  I know lots of people had their wishlists - a woman, a person of color, a redhead, a purple wallaby - but I just don't get into wishlists.  I trust Steven Moffat and the top BBC brass to make the right decision and I decided early-on to welcome the new person with open arms because I knew there would be a ton of other people slinging crap about it, no matter who they cast, and I didn't want to contribute to that mess.  But last week, Peter Capaldi's name surfaced out of nowhere and I just couldn't get the idea out of my head.  And the more I thought about it, the more I liked it and the more I got my heart set on him (and this morning, I even thought - "I might be a little upset if it's not him."  Hypocrisy, thy name is me).

Well, I guess The Greater Cosmos was preparing me for change because I couldn't stop shouting my surprise - not that it was Peter Capaldi, but that I was actually right.  And while I was so happy and so excited, the instant that sold me on this man being the Doctor was the part where he talked about how it's the fans that have made Doctor Who what it is and that the show belongs to us all (and he even included himself in that statement - since he's been a fan since age 9) and I remember thinking "This show could not be in better hands."

I said this to some extent over on Tumblr, but I'm going to repeat it here - I love Matt Smith.  I love what he's done with the role and what he's given to this show that I've grown to love so very much.  I'm going to miss him - but I'm already in love with Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor (and we haven't even properly seen him yet!)  It's like at the end of "The End of Time" - the Tenth Doctor has said his goodbyes and I was a sobbing mess and I didn't want him to leave.  And then he regenerates and I have no idea how the universe is going to continue without him.  But then there's Eleven - and he's babbling on about arms, hands, legs, "I'm a girl!" and "still not ginger!" - and I am suddenly laughing through my tears.  So many people say that "The Eleventh Hour" is what cemented Matt Smith for them - but for me, it was those final minutes of "The End of Time" (also, I was mainlining the show and had "The Eleventh Hour" ready to go immediately after the regeneration scene).  And I have no doubt that's how this is going to go down at Christmas - Eleven will be turning into that yellow-regeneration-sparkly-energy stuff, I'll be bawling, Clara will possibly be bawling (though she's probably the most prepared out of any companion to witness a regeneration) and - BOOM - there's Twelve, looking around like he's just gotten up from a bad fall, but ready to go sprinting off into the cosmos and I'm right there with him.

I sometimes don't understand why this show means so much to me - that it's so important that these things succeed and go right.  I try to explain it to other people (and myself) and I'm realizing that it's not meant to be explained.  It's something that I understand, but nobody else has to, so I can't really ever put into words what days like this truly, truly mean.  Watching the announcement, tweeting along, the subsequent response from fans - it was a remarkable moment.  Even more remarkable was that my Twitter feed was full of people saying how happy they were with the decision and how much they were looking forward to seeing the Twelfth Doctor and praise and admiration for Peter Capaldi's work - not one cross word or complaint in those first few hours.  Oh, the malcontents surfaced eventually (they always do), but they had been soundly drowned out by the many many fans who were as excited as I am about it.  Some of us even organized an impromptu Tweet-Along rewatch of "The Fires of Pompeii" - the episode back in Series 4 that Peter Capaldi was in (he was also in "Torchwood: Children of Earth," which is a very well-crafted piece of television, but something I just can't bring myself to rewatch because it disturbed me so much when I saw it).  Definitely adding today to the pile of good things (which is good because so many of my memories of past Augusts have been total trainwrecks - I need something to balance out the crap I've dealt with in the past).

I guess this means we can get Craig Ferguson on Doctor Who as a one-off character.  I didn't know this before today, but he and Peter are good friends and how great would it be to have them on an episode together?  It's been one of my dearest hopes that Craig could be on Doctor Who, but the chances of it are slim-to-none.  Now... well, the chances are still slim-to-none, but it's even more fun to think about (but probably without the acid - this is still a family show, after all).

What else is there left to say?  Only this -

Yes, you are. You are the Doctor. Welcome to the family.

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