Peter Capaldi Teases “Complicated” Regeneration

How will the Twelfth Doctor meet his end? It's not going to be as simple as the last few regenerations have been.

We know that Doctor Who Season 10 will be Peter Capaldi’s last as the Doctor, but details on how the Twelfth Doctor’s reign will end have, of course, been kept secret. We’ll say goodbye to Capaldi in the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas Special and, in a recent interview with the New York Times, Capaldi teased what the end will look like for his Doctor.

Capaldi said that his character’s quasi-death is “more complicated” than simply knowing what’s going to happen to cause the end of his tenure as the Doctor…

There’s this notion now that it’s the same process he’s gone through every time, and that’s not true. It’s only the last couple of regenerations that have been, as it were, fairly straightforward ones. I can’t go into the details of a lot of it, because I know what happens, but I don’t know how it happens.

Intriguing, no? It sounds like Twelve’s regeneration will not be as cut-and-dry as some of the other NuWho transitions, which have all been more-or-less forced due to imminent death. The Doctor needed to regenerate to survive. If Twelve’s regeneration is different, than might it be more of a choice? Feel free to debate what Capaldi might mean in the comments below. I am eager to hear theories! Extra points if they involve Missy/The Master because you know it’s probably their fault.

(Note, sometime between this New York Times interview and this Sydney Morning Herald interview, Capaldi filmed his regeneration, leading some to speculate that the regeneration will start occurring at the end of the Season 10 finale and lead into the Christmas Special. Food for thought.)

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Of course, Doctor Who will survive long past Peter Capaldi’s departure, as is the nature of this show, which is good news for Whovians who find solace in the inherently optimistic show. Why is Doctor Who important in a world that seems to becoming increasingly desperate? Capaldi, a longtime Who fan himself, has some comforting thoughts…

It offers hope for the power of kindness and intelligence and care. The Doctor is someone who sees the big picture, and has seen how the human race is — he loves the human race, because he sees its cruelty, but also astonishing kindness and heroism. The Doctor is a beacon of goodness, and that’s why he can survive all these different permutations — an abrasive character or an avuncular character or a strange character. Because at heart, he is, in essence, a good creature. I think we need heroes like that.

It’s not time to start saying goodbye to Capaldi’s Doctor yet, but he surely will be missed when that time inevitably comes.

depth vs. expansion: the shared universe/franchise