The Twelfth Doctor spent much of his first series pondering whether or not he was a good man. Three years on and with Peter Capaldi having announced his departure, the jury is well and truly out as to whether or not he was a good Doctor.
Last week was open season for the anti-Moffat brigade bemoaning the fall in ratings and the fact that the latest version of the show was not to their taste, and yet the same critics almost universally absolve Capaldi of any blame. ‘The greatest actor to play the Doctor,’ they say, ‘tragically let down by poor material’. Feeling robbed of the opportunity to see Chris Chibnall transform Capaldi into the best ever Doctor, some have already written off Series 10.
But hold your horses everyone, we still have adventures to come, plenty of time for Moffat to add fresh nuances and twists to the character.
The Twelfth Doctor is already one of the most complex, hardest to pin down of incarnations, with Series 8 and 9 offering quite distinctive takes and exploiting Capaldi’s full acting range in the process. Other Doctors by contrast can be easily stereotyped and described in a sentence. Perhaps that’s why Capaldi’s version remains something of an enigma. But it’s also why, when the dust has settled and Series 10 has fleshed out his character more, his Doctor will possibly be recognised as one of the greatest.