Matt Smith left huge shoes to fill when his time in the TARDIS came to an end. Fortunately, Peter Capaldi quickly proved himself to be a magnificent replacement, bringing greater darkness to the Doctor and taking his heroism and compassion to new heights.
The Twelfth Doctor’s era represented a creative triumph for Doctor Who, thanks to Capaldi’s acting abilities and the imaginative genius of Steven Moffat, who maintained a brilliant standard of storytelling with the aid of other talented writers like Jamie Mathieson, and ingenious directors such as Rachel Talalay.
Considerable credit for the success of the Twelfth Doctor’s era is owed to his superb companions. Clara, Bill and Nardole all had engaging, multifaceted personalities, and proved themselves to be the Doctor’s equals in their thrilling adventures. Capaldi’s tenure also pitted the Doctor against some phenomenal opponents, ranging from new hostile species to classic villains taken in bold, original directions.
From the beginning of his quest to discover who he really was, to his decision to regenerate once again despite the losses he’d suffered, the Twelfth Doctor was a riveting presence, and his journey was a joy to watch.
Now, the time has come to stand with him, and relive the greatest stories of the Capaldi era...
12. Mummy On The Orient Express
“Start the clock.” An excellent combination of the classic “base under siege” formula and an Agatha Christie mystery, Mummy on the Orient Express proved that Jamie Mathieson had a natural talent for writing great Doctor Who. The 66-second countdown made the Foretold’s appearances all the more intense as it slowly closed in on its victims, and was brilliantly realised thanks to the on-screen clock graphic and some clever editing.
The revelation of the journey’s true nature upped the stakes even further, as Gus took full control of the train and tasked the gathered experts to work for their lives. Combining callousness with cordiality, the mysterious AI’s twisted personality provided additional flavour and drama to an already gripping tale.
Mummy on the Orient Express also included some great character moments, and represented a turning point in the Doctor and Clara’s relationship, as the Doctor won back Clara’s trust and shared the burden of impossible choices with her, and Clara realised that she couldn’t live without her travels with the Doctor. Clara’s decision to lie to the Doctor and Danny about her decision to remain in the TARDIS gave her character further complexity, and would result in painful repercussions.