The Doctor is regenerating.
It has been no secret that Matt Smith is leaving the TARDIS at the end of the season. After four years, he has decided to hang up the fez and that means a new face for the time lord, and a new actor for the role.
BBC announced the next Doctor Who live on TV on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET (that’s 11 a.m. for us on the west coast) on BBC America and BBC ONE UK simultaneously, and was reported on True-Believer.Net. The program interviewed cast and crew of current and previous iterations of Doctor Who, including the fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. At the end of the program, with much pomp and circumstance, the new Doctor was announced: Peter Capaldi.
Little surprise as he was the natural choice to take on the role. Bookies even stopped taking bets on him 48 hours before the announcement because he was too sure to win. Capaldi, who is a well-known British actor, has already graced the scene of “Doctor Who” in the David Tennant (10th Doctor) episode titled “Fires of Pompeii” in which Capaldi played the father of a family that the Doctor interacts with.
Recycling actors is nothing new for “Doctor Who.” Freema Agyeman was featured on an episode then killed off by Cybermen early on. When she showed up in the TARDIS as Martha, a companion, they explained it away as her being the cousin of the girl who was killed by Cybermen. Her identical cousin. The reasoning is loose at best, so it will take some real finesse to explain why the Doctor transformed into someone he met two regenerations ago.
More important than who will play the Doctor is what shall become of the Doctor himself. Time lords can only regenerate 12 times, for a total of 13 lives. Matt Smith, the current Doctor, was the 11th Doctor, meaning that he will go out with the 11th regeneration. The next Doctor is second to last. For a time lord who has been on the air since 1963, to have gone through only 11 faces is impressive. We have already seen his connection to River Song begin. We have seen his people rise to take the universe once more and watched him push them back into The Void. We have seen him become human on more than one occasion.
But now, when he has only two lives left, what will become of him?