As crappy as it is that Peter didn’t get a fair shake at being The Doctor, this decision to leave is for the show’s benefit.
Doctor Who has been in dire need of a direction change for years now and I think it would really benefit from a clean slate. Many people are complaining that ageism is somehow responsible. That the reason people haven’t been tuning in is because Capaldi is an older gentlemen and not a handsome hero like Tennant or Smith.
“Go back to your Twilight fanfictions!” they cry.
However, it’s pretty clear that’s not the case. The reason I don’t care about the show anymore isn’t because the actor playing The Doctor is older. I don’t care about the show anymore because The 12th Doctor is…kind of annoying. Sometimes he can be funny and, in rare moments, charming. But his character went from being this dark, almost Valeyardish Doctor to just being a grumpy curmudgeon that wants everyone to get off of his lawn.
I really wanted to see how dark The Doctor could be, but it seems like the writers were too scared to go all in. To make matters worse, the humor they used for Capaldi’s Doctor just…didn’t work. It’s like Steven was still trying to write lines for the 11th Doctor. It was cringey. Seriously cringey.
Also his character hasn’t really gone through a compelling metamorphosis like The Doctors past. He just essentially became another character entirely with no hint of natural progression.
Capaldi’s a good actor, but a good actor can only do so much. If a line sucks, a line sucks. It doesn’t matter how much passion you put behind it.
If I had to sum up Capaldi’s tenure as The Doctor, I would say “wasted opportunity.” And that’s if I were being charitable. If I wasn’t, I would call it….well…”dull.” There were moments where I thought this Doctor was beginning to come into his own, but then he would almost immediately retreat back into his veneer of grumpiness.
I don’t wish Capaldi any ill will and I don’t blame him for the show’s downfall. However, I think his leaving is best for the show.
Here’s to hoping Chibnall can give Doctor Who the kiss of life and make it the hearts-stopping, family show that it used to be.