First he twiddles his fingers over his lapels like Hartnell in “Doctor Who Live”. Then he does a Tom Baker boggle-eyes in “Time of the Doctor”. A few weeks back, dressed in Matt Smith’s attire, he pointed his finger and mimicked a famous Jon Pertwee pose. And now he’s gone and dressed up like him. Peter Capaldi is one smart cookie and has been extremely canny in his use of Whovian body language to win over the fans.
His new costume is no-nonsense and dashing. Just for a second, let’s imagine him striding into the room in his new gear and instantly commanding authority. Dressed in black, he’ll have all the monsters quaking in their boots, not just the gell-guards. Colin Baker once said that he always wished he could have worn black. Black is quite literally a “masterful” colour as the renegade Time Lord surely knows. What’s more, the jacket’s red lining hints at the Doctor’s hidden fire beneath the calm exterior.
Davison, McCoy and Smith all said that they tried to emulate the great Patrick Troughton’s Second Doctor. Now it’s Jon Pertwee’s turn to set the bar. Capaldi grew up with this Doctor and even wrote to Pertwee’s producer Barry Letts, as he himself turned into one of the show’s first ever überfans. Following in Jon Pertwee’s shoes would be an extremely wise move. Everyone worrying about Peter Capaldi being “old” would be reassured to see him dashing around in fast cars, doing stunts and beating up the baddies. Pertwee made “old” seem “young” and Capaldi will hopefully do the same. In today’s filming pictures Capaldi cuts a fine figure. He is in jaw-droppingly excellent physical shape and almost rivals Tennant’s slimline physique. He looks like a fighting fit Pertwee from Season 7, full of energy and raring to go.
Like Pertwee, I would like to see Capaldi have more Earth-bound adventures. Clara could stay on in her school teaching post because she doesn’t trust the new Doctor enough to go off with him. But he will miss her enormously and continually come to Earth to pester her. He will try to whisk her away on adventures, but end up having to save the planet again and again.
However much we miss Matt Smith, these are exciting times. We will all look back on these pre-Capaldi days with nostalgia. We are living the Whovian dream, with Doctor Who heading off in a brand new direction. In his Doc Martens the Doctor has quite literally been “rebooted”!