Just as we were getting to know the 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi, he's dropped a hint that he might be ready to regenerate. Meaning that, once again, our love for Doctor Who could be turned upside down, and quite soon. Capaldi intimated as much in a recent interview.
This could be my final year – it’s terrifying. I love Doctor Who but it can be quite an insular world and I do want to do other things. There will come a time when this is over. But I knew that when I started. I was thinking about my regeneration scene from the outset. That’s my terrible melancholic nature. When you accept the job you know there’ll come a day, inevitably, when you’ll be saying goodbye.
Peter Capaldi talked to The Telegraph during an interview for the Doctor Who Christmas special. And, it'll be a blue Christmas if we find out he's really ready to regenerate in 2016, but an on-set report suggests that it'll be a "blue" Doctor Who Christmas Special this year either way, with his rambunctious wife, River Song (Alex Kingston), popping in again.
Doctor Who is obviously going through some changes right now. The show hit a ratings slump in season 8, possibly because Peter Capaldi is drawing older audiences to the show. The actress to play The Doctor’s most recent companion, Jenna Coleman, ceded her post at the end of 2015 season, and rumors are swirling that showrunner Steven Moffat is being pressured to give his post over to someone else.
If these behind the scenes changes lead to Peter Capaldi being let go from the show, or in him deciding to take a walk on his own, it’s a good idea to hedge his bets when doing interviews like this. As Capaldi said, he, and everyone else, knew that his time as The Doctor wouldn’t be unlimited. The question now is whether or not he’ll actually continue past next season.
Peter Capaldi is the twelfth actor to officially portray The Doctor in the TV series. If Capaldi does leave after his third season on the show, he obviously wouldn’t be our longest running Doctor, but he wouldn’t be the shortest, either. Actor Christopher Eccleston helped reboot the series in 2005, and took his leave after one season. A previous version of The Doctor, played by Tom Baker, holds the record for longest tenure as the adventurous Time Lord, by staying on for seven seasons.
So, who might be up to play lucky number 13? Considering that his main rival, The Master, recently regenerated into a woman, The Mistress (Missy), who’s to say it has to be a Caucasian man? The character should be played by a Brit, but beyond that, the sky is the limit. All we can hope for is that if Peter Capaldi does step down soon, whoever replaces him will make the part his (or her) own and successfully carry Doctor Who into the future.