Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Neil Gaiman shares his thoughts on Capaldi, future regenerations and Doctors who aren't white men.

Since Peter Capaldi's official announcement as the twelfth Doctor, Neil Gaiman has been sharing his thoughts and answering fan questions related to the announcement on his official Tumblr.  As a popular storyteller in his own right, and particularly as a writer for Doctor Who, his thoughts are really quite interesting.

On the topic of what he thinks of Capaldi as the Doctor:
I think Peter’s a brilliant actor (the best conversation I ever had with an actor was a phone call with Peter about Islington, and about how Islington always believes itself to be in the right). I can’t wait to see what he does. I’m glad that we’re getting an older Doctor — we’ve had two puppies, it’s time to see someone older. It’ll change the nature of the relationship with Clara in interesting ways, for a start. ... [I'm] just excited to see what kind of Doctor he makes. He’s an Academy- Award winning director, an amazing actor and I really liked him when I worked with him before.
On introducing a female Doctor:
Do I think it’s time to cast a woman as the Doctor? Not yet. Not quite. And lord, if and when they ever do that, I want them to keep it the biggest secret in the world until we see it happen on our screens during the regeneration.
If I were show-running (I’m not) I wouldn’t cast a woman as the Doctor yet, and it would absolutely be on my list of things to do in the following regeneration. (I was the one who wrote the line about the Corsair changing gender on regeneration, in “The Doctor’s Wife" after all, and made it canon that Time Lords can absolutely change gender when they regenerate.)
Some of that is stuff I’d find hard to articulate, mostly having to do with what kind of Doctor you follow Matt Smith’s Doctor with: someone harder and much older and more dangerous and, yes, male feels right to me, as a storyteller. Where you go after that, ah, that’s a whole new game…
On there ever being a black Doctor:
Would I like a person of colour as the Doctor? Absolutely. Paterson Joseph was the Marquis de Carabas in Neverwhere, because he aced the auditions, and beat all the other actors, mostly white, who tried out for the role. I’d want that kind of performance at the audition for the Doctor. And there are certainly actors good enough out there that it feels like a missed opportunity. ... And yes, I have no doubt there will be. (I know one black actor who was already offered the part of the Doctor, and who turned it down.) Just as there will be a female Doctor.
i09  speculates that this last comment means that a black actor was offered the role of the twelfth Doctor and had turned it down before it was offered to Capaldi.  Personally I'm not convinced that's what Gaiman means, not least because that would imply he has an awful lot more inside information on the current status of Doctor Who than we thought, but also because that's simply not what he says.  Then again,  perhaps that is exactly what he means by it.  A comment like that is bound to raise more questions than it answers, however, and so I suspect we'll hear the truth of it before long.

And finally, on the topic of just how the show might get past the thirteen regenerations limit:
Well, that was the rule when we had Time Lords running the show. (And they were the ones who gave the Master his extra regenerations.) There aren’t any Time Lords any more… 
MY OPINION (which is not Canon) is that the regeneration limit is a lot like the speed limit. You can break it, but things get a lot more dangerous if you do. The Time Lords were the traffic cops: they enforced the limit. With them gone, the Doctor can keep regenerating beyond 13, but with consequences.
 Not canon yet, Neil.  You can always write some more and make it so!


Mercy Reborn 2 said...

I would like to see a female doctor some day what i like is at least hes not saying no or making sarcastic jokes and thats ok in my book

HongPing said...

there should never be a female doctor. the doctor is a male. this is ridiculous that people are obsessed with a female doctor.

Ingold Inglorion said...

I always thought Paterson played Carabas much like Colin Baker played the Doctor (not trying to be insulting here either, the style was very similar). And not to pick nits, but the Master didn't just get new regenerations, he got a whole new body (hence the "resurrected" line in the Sound of Drums). Time Lord resurrection is the one thing that's been mentioned and not explored...and resurrection is not regeneration. As for a female Doctor...if everyone is so excited to see a female Time Lord why the heck don't the writers just BRING ONE BACK? Leave the Doctor as he is and bring back Romana.

Ricardo Baptista said...

Ressurected in new-Who, new set of regenerations in classic-Who. Not all continuity stems from these last past 8 years.

Pete Caldwell said...

Even in Classic Who - The Five Doctors to e precise - the Time Lords offer the Master a defacto whole new regeneration cycle - 12 more regents/13 lives. So it was possible and canon even in the Classic Series, and the New Series added the Resurrection aspect which is how Double 0 Rassilon is running the show in The End of Time. Always been possible.

Adric said...

Rule No. 1: The Doctor lies. When the Doctor regenerates into a woman, then it's canon. Until then, it's Gaiman talking out his ass.