There has been a sort of rivalry over the past nine years between fans of the original Doctor Who run and the NuWho viewers; regarding the radical changes made to the characters and the series in general since the 2005 revival. People who grew up with Pertwee or Baker or Davison complained that the new show didn’t “feel” like Classic ‘Who’. Those older fans have been told to “deal with it” for almost a decade, but now those longtime, loyal viewers may have a reprieve coming.
According to several sources, the newest Doctor—who will be played by the talented Peter Capaldi—will have a retro feel, harkening back to the ‘Gothic Horror’ era of the show when Tom Baker charmed the world with his unforgettable interpretation of the Doctor. Calpaldi will play a more “dangerous and difficult” version of the Doctor than we’ve seen from Matt Smith and David Tennant.
Executive Producer/Show runner Steven Moffat said in Doctor Who Monthly, “There would be little point in making as radical a change as we’ve made unless you’re going to go quite different with the Doctor. The last two Doctors have been brilliant, and have been your ‘good boyfriend’ Doctors. But the Doctor isn’t always like that. There is the sort of Tom Baker, Christopher Eccleston end of the spectrum, where he is mad and dangerous and difficult.”
Director Ben Wheatley, who works with Capaldi this season on the show, talks about bringing the Baker-esque gothic horror back to the program; “Oh yeah, Doctor Who is pretty dark, I think. Generally it’s dark, it’s always been dark. If you look at the Tom Baker stuff, it’s especially dark. When he leaves Leela , who’s a very beloved assistant, he just laughs after it. There’s none of the breaking down and crying. He just laughs, and ‘on to the next one’, you know.” Wheatley adds, “It seems to me the episodes that we’re doing now seem more like classic Who. We’re going back to that style. But you’ll have to wait and see.”
Moffat further adds, ““I think it was time for the show to flip around a bit. The new version of the show is quite old now. It’s very old… We need the kick-up-the-arse Doctor, in a way, to frighten you and make you think, oh, it’s a different show again.”
Do you like the idea of Capaldi’s Doctor being classic series retro, or do you prefer the “good boyfriend” (as Moffat called them) Doctors?