Doctor Who: 10 Qualities That Made Peter Capaldi's Doctor Great

10 facets of the Doctor we'll miss when Capaldi hangs up his Doc Martens.


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.


Paul Driscoll is a freelance writer and author across a range of subjects from Cult TV to religion and social policy. He is a passionate Doctor Who fan and January 2017 will see the publication of his first extended study of the series (based on Toby Whithouse's series six episode, The God Complex) in the critically acclaimed Black Archive range by Obverse Books. He is a regular writer for the fan site Doctor Who Worldwide and has contributed several essays to Watching Books' You and Who range. Recently he has branched out into fiction writing, with two short stories in the charity Doctor Who anthology Seasons of War (Chinbeard Books). Paul's work will also feature in the forthcoming Iris Wildthyme collection (A Clockwork Iris, Obverse Books) and Chinbeard Books' collection of drabbles, A Time Lord for Change.