The new “Who” is just what the Doctor ordered

Peter Capaldi 2online

Academy Award winner Peter Capaldi, will portray the 12th incarnation of the famed Doctor when Matt Smith concludes his run of the show “Doctor Who” this Christmas. Capaldi is best known for his Malcolm Tucker character on the hit British television show “In the Thick of It” and its film spinoff, “In the Loop.” BBC announced the news during a special live event in August after much speculation as to who would play the part.

Although fans have expressed mixed opinions online concerning Capaldi playing the titular hero, Capaldi appears to have a lot of support in his new role from Mercer University students.

“I feel like it is the same situation as when Michael Keaton was cast as Batman,” said sophomore Robert Fussel, referring to the controversy surrounding Keaton’s casting as the Dark Knight in Tim Burton’s “Batman.” “I think the people writing and directing have a better idea of what is going on than [fans],” said Hanin Menchew, a sophomore. “I’ve seen a lot of negativity because he is older and was already on the show.” At 55, Peter Capaldi will be one of the oldest actors to portray the Doctor, tied with the first Doctor, William Hartnell. Previous Doctor Matt Smith was the youngest, taking the role when he was 26. As for the complaints that Peter Capaldi cannot be the Doctor due to prior roles in “The Fires of Pompeii” and the “Doctor Who” spinoff, “Torchwood”, sophomore Carson Moore does not believe it will be a problem.

“Amy Pond was in that episode too,” said Moore, referring to former “Doctor Who” cast member Karen Gillan who was in the same episode as Peter Capaldi.

Moore is not concerned with Capaldi being older than the prior Doctors. “I’m excited”, said Moore. “I love his face. He looks almost sinister.” Some fans complain the Doctor has been a straight, white male for the past fifty years. They argue that the Doctor should change in some way with the next iteration. Famed writer and “Doctor Who” scribe Neil Gaiman revealed on his blog that BBC did consider going in a different direction. “I know one black actor who was already offered the part of the Doctor and who turned it down,” said Gaiman. Although he did not say who the actor was, Gaiman did indicate that Paterson Joseph was considered for the role of the Doctor before Matt Smith signed on.

Regardless of actors who were passed over for the role, Mercer’s “Whovians,” (the self-imposed title of Doctor Who fans) are generally excited for the next Doctor, even if it means saying goodbye to the previous one.

“I think they could go in many interesting directions,” said Moore. “I’m going to cry when Matt Smith leaves, though.”

Show runner Steven Moffat has indicated that Peter Capaldi will make his first appearance at the end of this year’s Christmas Special and his first episode will debut next Fall.