So, I’ve been thinking about the Twelfth Doctor today. First of all, big congratulations to Peter Capaldi, the new face of Who. I’m chomping at the bit to see what he brings to the role, even at the same time as I know I am going to be weeping openly watching Eleven regenerate and leave.
Anyway, I’m thinking about Twelve, and my thoughts go all the way back to Ten — specifically to the circumstances surrounding his regeneration.
pause for moment of silence in remembrance of Ten
In particular I am thinking about “The Waters of Mars.” Ten had lost The Doctor Donna, the companion who could have been the closest to him if it hadn’t meant her brain having a nuclear meltdown. He becomes a wicked, cold fish, untouchable by that all too human emotion, love. Do you remember that cavalier bastard who walked in to the Mars base like he owned the place? And who can forget the startling lesson that Adelaide Brooke teaches him at the end? Sacrifice — and above sacrifice, family.
In “The End of Time,” for whom does the Doctor die? Family. He realizes, finally, that he doesn’t want to go because he squandered his chances to love purely, for the sake of loving, as though every person he met was family.
And then comes Eleven. The first person he meets is this brave little girl living all alone in a big scary house with a crack in her bedroom wall, and he has to save her. Despite his apparent childishness, his instinct is to care for that frightened little girl, even when she’s a frightened adult. In “The Beast Below,” we begin to realize that what appears as childishness is actually joy in the ability — and right — of children to live life without fear, to live with childish abandon — to be child-like. He is a hurt man, a broken man, and he chooses to redeem himself through love.
Seriously, think about how many times Eleven has gone out of his way to save, protect, care for, or show love to a child.
The Eleventh Hour
The Beast Below
The Vampires of Venice
The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood
The Lodger (Stormageddon!)
The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang
The Impossible Astronaut/The Day of the Moon
The Curse of the Black Spot
The Doctor’s Wife (poor child-like Idris)
A Good Man Goes to War
The God Complex
The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe
Asylum of the Daleks (souffle girl!)
The Rings of Akhaten
Nightmare in Silver
Am I right?
Eleven is, at the very core of his being, a father to all the wounded, frightened children in the universe. The First Doctor was, lest we forget, a grandfather. The Doctor’s been around the block a few times, and in this twelfth regeneration, he looks old and venerable again. I think this regeneration is going to age him in more ways than one — the Doctor who tries so hard to hang on to a child’s innocence would die to protect it.
I am also hoping six ways from Sunday that Alex Kingston comes back at least a few times for the Twelfth Doctor. I think this older, dashing, debonair Doctor could very well be her Doctor, the one she meets and falls in love with. How fitting, then, that her last Doctor — Ten — is truly young, in years and in face, and innocent. How glad would she be, to see him so happy? Even if he hadn’t met her yet….