After Guardians of the Galaxy releases this weekend, the next big geek milestone on our calendar is the August 23 premiere of Doctor Who’s eighth (modern) season, with Peter Capaldi officially making the role of the time lord his own. Having read the first five scripts for the season, we can safely say that Capaldi’s Doctor is very different from David Tennant and Matt Smith’s portrayals of the character: colder, more alien, more temperamental. And as showrunner Steven Moffat has said several times now, don’t expect him to be swapping flirtatious banter with Clara. Half the time he wanders off, you’re left wondering if he’ll come back for her at all.
The season premiere episode is titled “Deep Breath,” and here’s the official synopsis:
The Doctor has regenerated and now Clara has to deal with the fact that her best friend appears to have changed completely… Meanwhile the newly regenerated Time Lord must face a terrifying monster as the Twelfth Doctor’s era begins in dramatic style!
Also along for the Twelfth Doctor’s first adventure is Madame Vastra. That being the case, I think we can all safely assume that with her, as always, will be Jenny and Strax. So thankfully Clara won’t be all on her lonesome when it comes to getting used to the “new” Doctor. And there will most definitely be a learning curve. Speaking to Empire Magazine recently, Capaldi said that his Doctor is “more alien than he’s been for a while. He doesn’t quite understand human beings or really care very much about their approval.”
Jenna Coleman echoed that sentiment:
With Matt’s Doctor [Clara] felt quite safe, really. She knew she’d be caught if she was in danger, but this guy is a lot less human-friendly and a lot less patient. He’s more removed and accessible. You can’t quite access him in the same way.
That’s definitely apparent in the first few scripts for the new season, and it does make this Doctor feel refreshingly different than any of the “modern” Doctors that preceded him. Not that I didn’t love Tennant and Smith, but Capaldi is a very different guy both physically and age-wise, so letting him do something different with the character really does feel like a breath of fresh air for the show.
Doctor Who will premiere Saturday, August 23 at 8/7c on BBC America. Even better, “Deep Breath” is a feature-length extended episode, so you’ll have plenty of time to either fall in love with Capaldi’s Doctor or retreat to a corner and sulk while hugging your Raggedy Man doll.