Jesse Ulrich (@rant9space):
The majority of the Rant9 are big Doctor Who fans, myself included. With the Season premiering this Saturday, it time for us to throw our crazy theories, angry rants, rumors that may or may not be true and questions and thoughts out there into the ether for other Doctor Who fans to either agree with or hate.
Personally, as per usual, as soon as a Doctor leaves, I realize how much I liked him and I don't want him to go, but considering how good the episodes have been lately, I am very interested in seeing an older Doctor. If the rumors are true that this is going to be a darker Doctor, count me in!
First up, TYLER DAWSON (@tylderdawson)!
Doctor Who? A Series 8 Theory
Rejoice fellow Whovians! The long wait is over and we finally get to see Peter Capaldi's Doctor in a few days. I'm as excited as the next guy as this is my first live Doctor transition after just barely missing the Tennant to Smith regeneration by a few months on Netflix. But is it just me or does something seem very different about Series 8? First the promotional materials are very, shall we say, limited which I really don't remember being the case. Of course Moffat always plays his cards close to the vest but they have gone to great lengths in order to keep the audience in the dark as much as possible going in. This leads me to believe that we are in for a truly game changing series of which would make this series be one of the biggest gambles in Who history!
Before we go any further the rest of this post MAY contain spoilers. If you wish to go in 100% blind, you might want to go check out some of our other Doctor Who postings instead. Also worth mentioning: I haven't read or sought out any of the leaked scripts, so it's entirely possible (and likely) that I am wrong. What I have seen, however, are set photos/videos/reports and the episode titles with the descriptions as well as all of the official promotional material. But I'm not claiming to have any inside information, this is just my own fun theory about where they could be going with Series 8.
You've been warned on the 0.01% chance I am right...
Are you still with me? Alrighty, let's dive in headfirst to this insane theory (I'm a madman!): Peter Capaldi is not playing the Doctor, he is going to be the Valeyard. That's right, you heard it here first folks! If you're unfamiliar with the Valeyard he's a character from the classic series who we later find out is actually a future version of the Doctor. The cliff notes version is that the 6th Doctor was on trial by the Valeyard for messing up the space time continuum too much. It is later revealed by the Master that the Valeyard is a representation of the Doctor's darker sides and his “penultimate reincarnation... Somewhere between your twelfth and thirteenth regeneration". As we know from the events of Day of the Doctor and Time of the Doctor, Matt Smith was actually his 12th and final regeneration while Peter Capaldi will be his 13th and start of a new regeneration cycle. What we don't know is how the Timelords granted the new cycle and the particulars of how it works. Now that we have a foundation for the theory, let's dive into the evidence.
First up, the theatrical Series 8 trailer:
First, notice it is darker in tone. We already know from interviews with Moffat, Capaldi, and Jenna that 13 is darker and “less user friendly” than what we are used to. Second, and you will notice this in the other trailers, there are questions of who the Doctor is and if he is a good man. More on this later. The Doctor also mentions correcting some past wrongs. Recall that the Valeyard was involved in putting the Doctor on trial for messing with the timeline too much. If you are paying close attention during the trailer, you can see glimpses of some episodes that look very familiar if you are a classic Who fan, the first being Deep Breath which we know involves a T-Rex running around what looks like Victorian London. This could be either a reference or have a more direct link to a Pertwee episode with a similar premise called Invasion of the Dinosaurs. There are potentially others from the trailer, but that is the most obvious one. The other evidence of revisiting past adventures is set photos of a shrinking TARDIS which may or may not be related some how to an early William Hartnell episode Planet of Giants.
Next we have the BBC Radio trailer:
It sounds like the Doctor is for the first time (that I know of) trying to determine the origin of his new face. Does that strike anyone else as strange? Combine this with the revelation that we know Moffat is addressing Capaldi's past Whoniverse appearances and Russell T. Davies had a plan for if/when they cast Capaldi on how to explain his appearances. They claim that it is a short sweet explanation that is low key, but from that trailer it sounds like more. “I didn't do the frowning. Who frowned me this face?” isn't the typical post regeneration Doctor antics. Combine that with his short regeneration scene at the end of Time of the Doctor where he appears to have no idea what is happening, who Clara is, or how to fly his TARDIS we could have an entirely new identity on our hands. If you recall towards the end of Name of the Doctor, the Great Intelligence also teased that he would be known as the Valeyard at some point before he dies.
Last, but not least, remember those Series 8 episode descriptions toward the top of the posting? I won't go through them one by one but I would like to point out three big hints as to why I think he turns out to be the Valeyard.
So,the Doctor starts out as a darker version of himself who appears to get progressively darker as the series goes on, resulting in him getting disowned by Clara? I suspect this leads to him giving into his dark side, which we already know is The Valeyard. From there, who knows?
One of the reasons I think Doctor Who has become so popular since Matt Smith took over is that, let's be honest, it appealed to the “fan girl” crowd. Not that it's a bad thing, but it was constructed, especially early on, for that demographic. I mean, Series 5 had a fairtale theme. A genius move in hindsight because shortly after that it exploded. Now they have a huge built in audience with an even MORE obsessive fan base that continues to grow so why not reinvent the series once again? So if this theory holds any water, my last point is that anti-heroes are incredible popular right now especially in TV. Look no further than Breaking Bad's Walter White, Dexter, or Moffat's own Sherlock or any number of other shows. Why wouldn't this work for Doctor Who? Keep in mind that they were originally going to offer Capaldi the role after Tennant but Moffat said it wasn't the right time. Now, the television landscape is perfect for this kind of story and people will tune in, both new and old fans.
Well, that's it. That's my grand theory. As I said, I'm probably wrong and I'm OK with that but it would be an interesting plot twist and I don't think anyone would bat an eye with the tonal change in the show. We've only got a few more days of suspense, but in the mean time let's speculate! Do you fellow Whovians think this theory holds any water? Am I nuts? What are your theories?