With Jenna Coleman's Clara leaving during Series 9, and the 2016 slate in question for Doctor Who, now would be a good time for an actor who might want to stop being The Doctor to simply slip out. Thankfully, that's not the case here, as Peter Capaldi is eager to stay on – at least for one more season.
Despite his comments about the grueling production schedule, Capaldi has reportedly signed on for yet another season of Doctor Who, effectively renewing his contract until the end of next year. The Mirror says rumors that next year's episode order will be similar to that of the “Specials Collection” run that capped of Season 4 between 2008 and 2010 – with a handful of extended episodes taking the place of a full season of regular episodes. However, one quote from a supposed BBC source does give us pause, as the following statement describes what may be the conditions of Capaldi's return:
Peter is keen to complete three years playing the Doctor to round off his storylines. That will take us until the end of next year. After that, who knows?
This report is the latest in a long line of Doctor Who stories that have had fans wondering just what's going on behind closed doors at the BBC. Between Jenna Coleman's departure, the alleged pressure from the BBC for showrunner Steven Moffat to cede his post, and Season 10 possibly being delayed past a 2016 run, there seems to be a lot of tinkering in the workshop. One can't blame the BBC for this though, as the series has hit somewhat of a ratings slump since Season 8 – which some may blame on the fact that Capaldi skews towards the older portion of the show's demographic.
Coming after a successful run of two younger, traditionally handsome actors in the role, it can be assumed that all of the talk has been focusing on the fact that some of the younger Doctor Who fans feel somewhat left out. This assumption is reflected in the reporting of Game Of Thrones veteran Richard Madden, Robb Stark himself, being at the top of the BBC's supposed shortlist of replacements – should Capaldi leave the role. Now's a good time to reinforce the fact that this is just a rumor and the BBC has not made any confirmation either way, yet.
Still, even if the BBC sources are accurate and have nothing but praise for Peter Capaldi's portrayal of everyone's favorite Time Lord from Gallifrey, the statement above has us thinking about David Tennant's departure from the role back in 2010. While he was engaged in his theatrical run in Hamlet, Tennant managed to film the specials that capped off his tenure as The Doctor. That model sound like it could be employed once more, with Capaldi set to direct episodes of the HBO hit series Veep, and with his scheduling concerns still fresh in everyone's heads. We'll be waiting for official confirmation on whether the Twelfth Doctor will be returning, and whether it will be for a special or regular season run. For now, we're just happy that the information at hand suggests that he'll be back.
Doctor Who airs on BBC America on Saturdays at 9 p.m. EST.