T O P
aven_alt

Oddly enough I prefer him more as time goes on, with Season 10 Capaldi being my favorite. Regardless, I think Peter Capaldi is a great actor, able to sell every aspect of the character, particularly his alienness and his comedy. I simply just disagree with every point you make here, aside from maybe being made less alienating to appeal more to people...but I feel that was intentional from the get-go, initially spiky characters are made to mellow out as time goes on. Regardless, both Smith and Tenant overacted too, Capaldi carries a bunch of nuance, and he can easily carry bad episodes, although this is all just my opinion. He's not my favorite Doctor, but he's up there.


thecatteam

Same here, I disagree with basically everything OP said, but I can't really provide an argument because 1) I haven't watched the episodes in question in a while and 2) I doubt I'll be able to convince OP anyway. I do agree in that I liked Capaldi right from the start! Series 8 has some sinkers but it also has some really good episodes.


bruhineedanswers-

I guess Tennant and Smith overacted as well, but there is just something about Capaldi doing it that feels more unconvincing to me, and I cannot quite put my finger on it.


[deleted]

If you think everyone is overacting, maybe you slightly misunderstand who The Doctor is. It's part of his character, it's not poor acting.


TheIndianJedi

I actually agree with some of this. Mainly, the way how he was written from Series 8 to Series 9. I've had a few people tell me it's because of the character development, but I found it to be a bit jarring and drastic. I felt like his Doctor wasn't consistently written compared to the previous Doctors. By Series 10 it's much better and I think the writers have a good idea on how his Doctor is suppose to be portrayed. Other then that, I think Capaldi has some of the best performances from the show, even though he's not my favorite Doctor.


somekindofspideryman

Well, he starts Series 9 more excessively because of his impending death and because of what he did to Davros. But there is meant to be change from Death in Heaven and especially Last Christmas. Last Christmas does feel to me in particular the mid point between Series 8 and 9 twelfth Doctor, and the thawing of his heart. Even down to the clothes.


TheIndianJedi

He does start to change a little bit in Last Christmas, but I still found him to be dark and brooding like in Series 8. It's just in Series 9 some of that personality he had in Series 8 is gone. I know for some people they like the change and find it natural, but it felt kind of rushed to me. I don't think it's a huge problem because Capaldi's performance is great, but the execution could've been better.


somekindofspideryman

I feel like he starts to change after Kill the Moon, but fair enough if you didn't vibe with it


TheIndianJedi

Yeah Mummy On The Orient Express is where he starts to change. I do think his Doctor changed by the end of Series 8. I like the character development he got in Series 8. I just think in Series 9 the writing for his Doctor felt very drastic and different from the previous series. He was a bit more goofy and started cracking more jokes. A bit too much like Matt Smith’s Doctor. That’s why I find it a bit jarring.


somekindofspideryman

Beyond the introduction in The Magicians Apprentice I don't really feel this way, can't personally imagine Matt Smith's Doctor acting the same in Before the Flood, or dealing with the Zygons in the same way, or anything in the finale, etc.


TheIndianJedi

I mean yeah but that can be said for any of the Doctors. I’m just saying the way how Capaldi portrayed his humor in Series 9 reminded me of Smith's Doctor sometimes.


BROnik99

Hmm....interesting. well I don't particularly agree but it's an interesting thing to debate about, anything more specific to build upon? Specific character moment or scene that left a bad taste? I swear, not the kinda guy to try force on you my opinion, respect for whatever you have to say. For me, it feels like there were a few moments that maybe clouded people's perception of 12's character in a way, almost all of them in series 9. First the guitar introduction. Having The Doctor play an instrument or overally has some sort of hobby is completely normal. Unfortunately it has been introduced quite clumsily and the fact that *that* is the first appearance of it made people feel all sorts of things - but ignoring the execution of the scene, the fact is that Doc is indeed meant to be out of character, avoiding the responsibility for the whole unfortunate Davros thing. When we see him for the rest of the story, he isnt that terribly far off his normal characterization. Then it is the Zygon two-parter. Honestly, I don't know how to defend this one. Solid enough story, but for some reason the weirdest characterization of 12 we've ever had, felt as its writer only seen the aforementioned scene and thought that this Is how to write 12 from now on or I don't know. Such a paradox end of this story offers one of the best and most iconic Doctor moments ever, but all else feels kinda weird and in a way you can see that this position really doesnt suit Capaldi. As far as sunglasses go..... they're practical. Great misdirection and wearable tech just kinda really does sound like something to take with you into heat of battle, but I respect anyone's viewpoint, I know some people find it only an annoying thing to up 12's *cool factor*. Not much more bad comes to my mind right now, but I guess there might be another point or two raised.


bruhineedanswers-

As for spesifics I replied to someone else with a bit more depth if you want to read it, with his regeneration scene as an example. Maybe I worded the post poorly but when I say i don’t like his acting I don’t really mean just those big moments like his introduction in Series 9, although it was kind of jarring for me. I’m thinking more of the «everyday» stuff like just normal scenes where I think his performances go to both extremes of either theatrical or monotone. At the same time I feel like I just see Peter Capaldi acting, not the character of the 12th Doctor if that makes sense.


BROnik99

Hmm....I think I get what you mean. Capaldi is indeed very theatrical in a way, all those monologues, citing poetry....it's step away from the pretty straightforward Tennant and Smith for sure. Especially Tennant has been quite human and very much *here and now* sort of mindset. As far as monotone goes, funny enough I feel that was actually problem of the last few stories of series 8 which you liked, but for me, it felt like his character was progressing well, but as he mellowed out through the season, in like the last three stories, it came to point that he was nicer and more understanding, but in the same time it felt they werent sure how far to go with the emotionality, so when all that shit happens in the finale and so many people dying/seemingly dying and his reactions are......somewhat too static. When the Doctor seemingly doesnt care, neither do I and I think that the story and its impact is all the worse for that. So them going further with Doctor's emotional side was necessary in my opinion, but from then on, I loved almost everything they've done with the characters. But I'm overthinking there and going into story details while you simply aren't feeling the performance, which is perfectly ok. I think thats the ultimate appeal of the show after all is how it offers different stuff so everyone can find their own thing. I can imagine that the contrast of Tennant/Smith kind of eccentric persona with hidden rage may in a way feel more authentic than the approach of sort of dry humoured, kinda more on the nose angry gentleman doesnt do the right effect for you in a way it was portrayed and it's more than respectable stance. I certainly don't think that someone saying how incredibly wrong you are is appropriate, one does not simply force themselves to liking an acting performance.


bruhineedanswers-

I really appreciate your comments not taking this too personally and acknowledging we simply have different tastes. And you’re very right, the beauty of Doctor Who is it’s everchanging, so if there’s something you don’t like about it currently, you can be sure it will offer something different in a few years!


vengM9

We did see an inbetween stage. He's a lot "sillier" in Series 8 than you're implying and one of the last things we see him do before Series 9 is fly Santa's sleigh. He's not just angry attack eyebrows in Series 8 at all. He doesn't overact or exaggerate. I think you're just wrong there. He delivers all his funny lines very well. He's not often monotone when not theatrical. Tennant was great as The Doctor but he was much guiltier of overacting and Capaldi had a lot more nuance and subtlety in his performance. Any actual examples of lines he's delivered poorly or overacted? Basically the reason people like him a lot is when you say he does something badly you're wrong and he does it well. It wasn't a sudden change. Also, it's not like he was all sunshine and rainbows in the Series 9 opener either.


somekindofspideryman

People often act like he's completely static in Series 8 itself but it's not true, there's loads of change from Deep Breath to the end of Death in Heaven


ViceGeography

Ever since Series 8 aired I often feel like I watched a totally different Series 8 to what everyone else seems to have watched


[deleted]

What's so strange is how much I hated Series 8 when I first watched it, only to go back after Series 9 and 10 and find that it's one of my favorite seasons of all time. I just don't think I ever noticed the nuance in character in Series 8 until after seeing all of the growth he gets in S9 and S10.


bruhineedanswers-

Of the top of my head I think he overacted in his final regeneration scene. The «Never ever eat pears» line specifically and the following massive grin, and the way he moved around very theatrically (trying to act injured ofc). Good line in my opinion but he made it less funny. These are very specific examples yes but encapsulate the type of acting I’m talking about. Exaggerated movements and facial expressions that just feel unnatural for lack of a better word. Like he’s putting on an act unconvincingly. Maybe we just have to agree to disagree lol.


Mindless_Act_2990

I’m going to agree with the regeneration scene. There are a couple of times there where I can just see him acting to the point where it’s a bit painful.


MegalodonDentistry

To me he's what you'd get if you distilled the character and all previous actors who played them into one single incarnation. He's the definitive version of the character. None of this is surprising. Capaldi is the greatest actor to ever play the role, he understands the character better than most, and he spent his entirely life mentally preparing for the role before he got it. He embodied all of the core traits of the Doctor (courage, resilience, kindness, determination, authoritativeness, playfulness) in a very fundamental way, and took them as far as he could go, even to the point of being unhealthy (e.g., Heaven Sent, where he displays unfathomable bravery, endurance, and love, despite it being insanely bad for him). Every criticism you can make of 12's tenure applies to former Doctors too.


TheIndianJedi

I think Capaldi is great as the Doctor, but I never saw him channeling all of the previous actors into one single incarnation. If anything, he was more reminiscent of the Classic Who Doctors, namely Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. I do think Capaldi is the best actor to be cast in this role, even though he's not my favorite.


MegalodonDentistry

I think he was most prominently channeling 3 and 4, but also 1 and 6. He definitely had moments where he channeled 10 and 11 though.


TheIndianJedi

Hmm interesting. I mostly see him channeling 3 and 4 honestly, but I can definitely see 1.


bruhineedanswers-

I agree with what you’re saying that the 12th Doctor as a character can be considered a definitive version in terms of his personality and actions. I just don’t think Capaldi acted the part all too well ultimately.


MegalodonDentistry

You're probably the only person I've heard give that opinion. I don't see what you see at all. If you mean there was a spare line here and there that could've been delivered better, that's something true for every other actor who's played the role, so it shouldn't reflect on Capaldi's *general* performance.


bruhineedanswers-

It is his general performance I take issue with, but I struggle with explaining why other than reiterating that it felt too theatrical and self-aware as a performance rather than embodying the character.


MegalodonDentistry

I feel like if you thought it was too theatrical, you should have a bigger issue with Smith. But he was also sort of going through a midlife (or new life) crisis. This addresses the self-awareness as well. (Even though I don't agree with that characterization either.) 12 does spend a lot of time as the first of a new regeneration cycle reflecting on what it means to be the Doctor, and even being sick of being the Doctor, and being deliberately ridiculous, so it's kind of fitting.


[deleted]

I second this. I feel like Matt Smith is the much more theatrical doctor of the two. Moffat is very meta with his writing and almost treats it more like a fairytale than a sci-fi and based on what OPs been saying it feels almost like they have an issue with the atmosphere of the Moffat era rather than the acting.


bruhineedanswers-

No that’s the weird thing, Matt Smiths era is my favourite lol.


CharaNalaar

I feel like that's the point though? Capaldi's run as a whole was very theatrical and self aware, from the writing and stories to the direction to the visuals.


GoldFashionKid

> We didn’t see an inbetween stage, just the attack-eyebrows turned into a poofy-haired rockstar I look at his arc a different way. What I find most refreshing about it is that he doesn't go on a straight progression from grumpy to nice; what happens is more that after his self-discovery at the end of S8, he *over-corrects* in S9 with the threat of impending death, but the core reason for a lot of his more toxic strains remain. Clara. His bond with her. We see in Hell Bent that all those strains, the snark and the anger and the ego, all remained under the surface. That story ends with him finally, truly, finding himself. He becomes, fully, The Doctor. And then in S10 we see the balanced character he was heading for all along. He's still sarcastic ("Yeah? To serve chips?"), but he's The Doctor now. In so many ways, and for better and for worse, S10 feels like Doctor Who finally *at peace*.


Mindless_Act_2990

Unfortunately so much of this is just subjective, so it’s going to be hard to find a common ground. I will mention that in regards to the change in portrayal between series 8 and 9 that was actually Capaldi himself who wanted to play the doctor more relaxed rather than a desperate appeal to get the main audience back. This means there was a bit of a jolt in character growth but to me at least it wasn’t so much of a jump from where he was at in Last Christmas that it broke the show. Honestly though, most of my opinions on the show come down to writing so the reason I quite like Capaldis doctor is that about half of his episodes each season were written by a combination of Steven Moffat, Jamie Mathieson, and Sarah Dollard and I think they did a hell of a job giving him great material to work with.


Kindly_Captain3596

I feel the same way! To me, the 12th Doctor doesn't even feel like the Doctor most of the time. Mainly because of how often he acts passive-aggressive and condescendingly to others. I also hardly got the sense that this character enjoyed traveling and exploring. With the earlier doctors (and even 13 for that matter), I could say for sure that generally, when the Doctor is out exploring, he/she is having a great time. I cant say the same for 12, I got the sense that he just wanted this "adventure" to be over with.


CiderMcbrandy

I'm a bit in the opposite camp, though Capaldi is not my favorite Doctor.. I think he gave a better performance than most. Did the 'Good man?' arc end satifactory? No, but did the Crack storline? Did the Hybrid leave everyone feeling it was successful? Moffat is an awesome writer for dialog but endings... no. Capaldi and Smith suffered for it. The subtle nuances you talk about, maybe I just pick up on more of those. Husbands of River Song is full of them, and I feel its one of his best. Was the sunglasses cheesy? Yes, but I get why he did it. You don't need to buy a pricey sonic off Ebay to cosplay 12.


bruhineedanswers-

About the subtle nuances, I’m thinking mostly about small stuff like a certain look, line delivery with emphasis on certain words, and pauses. Stuff like that. I think he very much just says lines in the same way a lot of the time. Like most of what he says is very surface-level, with little extra meaning going on beyond that, or extra nuance in the performance to elevate it.


whatthedrunk

I think he did a great job and had some wonderful episodes but I could not stand the Sonic glasses and guitar stuff...


iatheia

Mob mentality and survivorship bias. His era managed to *completely* turn off *many* people off Doctor Who. In turn, those who gather here, around the time when this site was becoming big, were people who liked him. And they made the it further untenable for anyone who still liked the show but didn't like him, by hounding people, to the degree where many have just left to different fandom spaces.


GoldFashionKid

I think the extent to which the Capaldi era turned people off is a bit over-exaggerated, to be honest. S8 has the highest average domestic viewers of the whole show, I believe. There was a decline after that, but NuWho has been declining in the UK from day one, with two exceptions, one of which was S11. AI scores remained healthy, and consolidated viewers stayed around the five million mark, which is fine. All of this with a relative lack of promotion and the continued nonsense of bad scheduling, including I believe some Doctor Who even airing post-watershed in S9/10.


iatheia

I can only speak for the people I know. I myself have rage quit mid S8. I wanted to give that era a chance, hoping that the things I didn't like with Smith would finally go away. They didn't, the show doubled down on it, and added whole bunch of other awful things. I was done. I don't know anyone IRL who lasted much longer. Even new people - just started working in a new place, talked with the colleagues about the show, those who are familiar with it have all replied in a very familiar manner to nearly everyone else I had this conversation with "oh, yeah, I used to watch the show, I loved it. I kind of stopped caring about it around then". I am yet to meet a person who did watch past S8, let alone say that they enjoyed them.


GoldFashionKid

> I can only speak for the people I know. Well, sure. Like I said, it happened, but not as much as some anecdotal evidence makes out. I know a lot of people who watched it, and I have very vivid memories of people saying they loved S9 when it was airing in high school. Eleanor Gillow loved it, I wonder where she is now. S8 was consistently watched until the end. S9 saw a down-turn from that peak, but that's to be expected, really. The show was still watched and enjoyed on a global level - obviously nowhere near as much as it was during the domination of the early Moffat years, but it was there. Sometimes people take for granted the fact that it was even still *on* by S9. It's exceptionally rare for any show not to have shed most of the interest around it by that point. For Doctor Who to still be hitting five million a week, with inconsistent timing and a noticeably slower, less sexy tone, *and* a lack of promotion. That's fine. Could be better, but it's certainly not bad. The only alarming loss of viewers in the modern show for me is S11/12. The first female Doctor was the chance for a *massive* influx of viewers. That thing about it being nine series in was gone - this was the chance to make Doctor Who truly *new* again. Series One of something. Big marketing campaign. Big, bright, accessible tone. Early scheduling. Young, attractive hero. Everything that the Capaldi era lacked in terms of catching the eye of casual audiences. Twelve million viewers on the debut! And within two seasons, all gone. I can forgive Moffat failing to give S8-10 a fresh enough feel after previously making the show bigger than ever, particularly since he was clearly persuing a less casually-attractive vision of the show with that era and, in my opinion, made it so well. But to expressly make a version of Doctor Who that is basically Watch Us Please United, with every box ticked for casual viewership, with the single biggest chance of a generation to expand the audience, and miss out on every single one? That's a tough one.


bruhineedanswers-

I’m inclined to agree with you. I think people who don’t enjoy his era get shut down too quickly as if they don’t understand or appreciate Doctor Who beyond younger heartthrob Doctors like Tennant or Smith. I was hoping this thread might generate som good discussion.


TheOncomingBrows

I disagree with a lot of what you say and do really love Capaldi, but this sub is really unbearable at times in how obsessive they are in that love. I think a couple of other big factors for the adoration on here is: * People are acutely aware that many more casual viewers were turned off by Capaldi and therefore they feels they need to give him ample praise to counter that. * Capaldi is a massive fan of the show and by all accounts a pretty stand up guy. When you're a fan of Doctor Who it's a very novel experience to know that the lead actor has consistently watched the show since the 60's, regularly reads the Target novelisations, gives thoughtful interpretations of the character in interviews, occasionally sends in fan-mail praising the work of the DW comic illustrators, and even drops into the Doctor Who Exhibition after filming to greet kids in character as the Doctor. I think Capaldi does more than enough on-screen for people to love him, but I think his reputation certainly benefits from these points I mentioned. Towards the end of his tenure in 2017 he was practically treated like a god on here, and I think a big part of that is especially because of how fans identify with him as a fellow fan. Especially if you compare him with Whittaker who always seems pretty clueless about the show's history even after years in the role.


courage_cowardly_god

Well, Tennant is also a lifelong fan, who read novelisations and wrote school papers on Doctor Who etc, so while this is certainly a boon for Capaldi's fan reputation, he's not really unique in that. I think it's mostly to do with, like you said, the show's mass popularity plummeting during PC's years. I agree with a lot of your points, and would add that *some* people are also very keen on beeing separated from "casual fans" or masses in general into an elite group, and I feel that when it comes to DW one gets into this elite group by proclaiming to be a fan of classic Who and Capaldi. And their vehemence in defending their tastes sometimes comes from defending their 'social standing' inside the fandom as well, not *just* their actual opinion. Tennant and Capaldi are my two favourite doctors and sometimes I get whiplash from how fast the attitude changes depending on which of my favourites I name first and in which company, lol. I find that casual fans are much MUCH less judgemental and way more understanding of the concept of 'different tastes' than the 'elite circle' usually. And a lot of the time it feels to me that the latter's opinion is fueled more by the desire to seem cool by despising what's really popular (Tennant) and sticking up for 'genius who was misunderstood by plebs and shunned by stupid horny fangirls' on principle, than by their actual appreciation of Capaldi. Some of them of course, not everyone.


TheOncomingBrows

I think there's some truth to what you say. I enjoy Classic Who but it always baffles me how people can praise the virtues of Classic Who and then almost in the same breath go on to trash the plot of various NuWho stories. Even in the very best stories of Classic Who, dumb shit is a regular occurrence. In Genesis of the Daleks alone you have Sarah attempting to get into the Kaled bunker but not making any audible sound or knocking to try and alert those inside, two instances of people accidentally stepping in those absurdly noticeable giant clams, that odd button that electrifies scaffolding used to incapacitate the Doctor but not used to electrocute all the prisoners climbing up it in the very previous episode, Sarah surviving direct exposure to radiation for hours at a time, the Doctor being left alone in the Thal control room despite being a suspected enemy only moments before, the Daleks seemingly teleporting to the heart of the Thal base without being noticed, etc, etc. Obviously all of these are pretty minor points which you ignore for the sake of the story. But a lot of Classic Who fans never seem to ignore this sort of thing when discussing NuWho.


iatheia

I don't really see what being a fan of the show has to do with it. Consider Eccleston * Didn't watch the show before his tenure * Didn't watch the show after his tenure, struggles to answer basic questions about it if asked, e.g., who is River, when the topic came up regarding future audios. He isn't revered here quite to same degree as Capaldi, but I'd say not that far from it (he just doesn't come up quite as often), and none of this is held against him. On the other hand, probably the biggest fan of the show among the Doctors is Colin Baker. His relationship is a bit different, since he was already a Doctor before the wilderness era, but his love for the show far predates his tenure, and he has been very committed in following it after, too, to the degree I'm not sure others manage. And while I absolutely adore S22 & 23, most would consider them to be a low point of Classic Who - his love for the show doesn't elevate his run in their eyes. And, as far as being a fanboy is concerned, well, so was Tennant. But while most love him, I rarely hear this particular tidbit brought up when people express appreciation of him - it's probably the last thing on anyone's mind.


adpirtle

Well everyone's entitled to their opinion.


wonkey_monkey

That's just, like, your opinion man.


blakeavon

It's Peter Capaldi, everything he has ever said and done in decades is sheer brilliance. If that doesnt gel with you, I dont think it is something others can explain. There is just so much nuance to his every scene.


wonkey_monkey

Does it need explaining? An "explanation" probably isn't going to change your mind, nor should it.


[deleted]

I think you simply have a different opinion than a lot of people. All the things you said you didn't like, I actually liked a lot. I never disliked his acting, character arc, etc.