When “Doctor Who” season 8 picks up on BBC One later this year (or BBC America, depending on where you are), one thing that you are probably going to notice is that this is not the same Doctor that you have to come to know. With a new actor in Peter Capaldi comes a new interpretation, and he will not have the same sort of exuberance and energy that we’ve seen from Matt Smith or even to an extent David Tennant. Instead, this may be a return to some of the darker Doctors of the past. Whether or not we’re talking dark on Tom Baker levels remains to be seen, but dark is still dark nonetheless.
The latest bit of clarification on just how dark this character will be comes via Ben Wheatley, who is on tap to helm the first two episodes of the season. Speaking in a new interview with io9, he confirmed that the twist in tone will be there, much to the joy of many fans everywhere:
“Doctor Who is pretty dark, I think. Generally it’s dark, it’s always been dark. Even in the more modern ones. If you look at the Tom Baker stuff, it’s especially dark. When he leaves Leela — who’s a very beloved assistant — he just laughs after it. There’s none of the [breaking down and crying]. He just laughs, and ‘on to the next one,’ you know. It’s a bonkers show. It’s a monster. To have a unity that runs eight years [of the new series]… it’s pretty crazy. They’ve done everything, they’ve tried all sorts of stuff. It seems to me the episodes that we’re doing now seem more like classic Who. We’re going back to that style. But you’ll have to wait and see.”
The idea for this, like the idea for almost any television show, is that you always want to give fans the opposite of what they have seen most recently. Who knows? After maybe four or five years of seeing a darker turn as The Doctor, fans may be clamoring for more of a silly version of the character. Or, another possibility here to consider is that it may come sooner, since many of the new mainstream fans have only been watching the past five or so years, and may not even know The Doctor as someone with the capacity to be this cold and callous.
What do you think: Is a darker Doctor a good thing at this point in the series run? Let us know your thoughts below.