Monday, February 3, 2014

Guesses about Doctor 12* based on what we've seen of his official outfit

So here's the official announced look of the 12th* Doctor! I'm not going to describe it, since you can see it right there, but here's what I like, and what I can infer from it:
  • It's basically 11's outfit, but less obviously outdated, and, as the comments circulating with the picture said "with all the frills stripped off". Frills, in this case, seem to mean texture and color (other than red), but also pants that are too short or too formal, and the poor bowtie.
  • There's a sweater! I love that there's a sweater, because that could have just been another vest or waistcoat, and instead we have something that is specifically warming and of a softer texture than tailored clothes--to me, that indicates some sort of lingering softness of character, and since I'm under constant fear of the Doctor getting so dark and fatalistic that I don't want to watch it anymore, this is a good thing.
  • He looks a bit like a wizard. The Moff generally gets more and more fantastical the longer he gets to play with something, so I guess this follows--Ten was brilliant, but was someone else's creation and was very much like a man; Eleven was a fairytale creature who was sometimes sort of godly; it follows that Twelve* could very easily be a sort of wizardly character, who doesn't have that much in common with ordinary people at all. That could be either charming or terrible, depending how the stories go.
And it looked sort of familiar when I first saw it, but I couldn't figure it out until my bestie sent me this picture, and it all clicked:

He looks like Three! Less fussy, more angry, but the same sort of basic color-blocking as THREE! Who very rarely gets referenced, but who has been more and more referenced as the series closed out last year (the Ice Warriors, the Great Intelligence, etc), and so it makes sense.

See, I have this idea that the Doctor, despite changing all the time, is actually just showing different aspects of whatever underlying personality links all the Regenerations together, and when you're getting up to Twelve (or Fourteen) incarnations, you're going to start showing different interpretations of previous interpretations. So Twelve* could very easily be a reprise of Three the way Ten was similar to Five and sometimes Four, the way Nine had a lot of Seven, the way Eleven had a lot of Two and a lot of Four. Because despite being written by dozens of different people over the course of decades, there has to be a unified intelligence and basic personality underneath, or he's not really the same person each time.

So! Now we can get to the meat of this extrapolation: What do we know about Three that we can hopefully see applied to Twelve*?

  • Three was the one who was trapped on earth because of ticking off the Time Lords.
    • This, I think, could be key. We have the potential return of the Time Lords during Capaldi's run, and therefore a return of their Laws and their enforcement of the Laws, and the Doctor has never, ever done well with meddling from the home world. Just because he wants to free them and bring them back, it doesn't mean he wants to put up with their crap, and that could be an awesome storyline--especially when we think about how the Council is supposedly insane, and the Doctor is a different man now.
  • Three was pompous and pushy and impatient, but also charming and occasionally sweet.
    • All of which I can see Capaldi being. And it would be awesome to have a Doctor who isn't the least bit worried about people liking him, who just does what needs to be done because he's the only one who can do it, and doesn't put up with people being jackasses about it.
    • It might also lead to my personal wish of a return of a professorial sort of Doctor who is actively teaching people to be better or to be more futuristic than they are--rather than just accidentally teaching them by dragging them with him everywhere.
  • Three had silly but adorable Jo, and then had the early and wonderful Sarah Jane.
    • I can easily see Clara being a less-useless Jo: the helper, the one who patches things up when he ticks people off, the one who is always there when he needs her. But Clara is already sort of an heir of Sarah Jane by being smart and snappy and able to keep up with the Doctor, and she hasn't yet become the damsel in distress either companion eventually became, so maybe she can sort of make up for that.
  • Three had a support staff, of sorts, in the Brigadier, Benton and Yates.
    • We've already met the Brig's daughter and seen how much power she has, and I would absolutely adore if she stuck around more. And we could have the science-girl with the asthma as one of the other regulars that comes with her--she's not particularly brave, she's physically unsuited for adventure, but she's smart and she can hold her own, and she already knows about aliens and has dealt with them face-to-face. We'd just need, like, a perfect UNIT soldier to even out the team, and there you go!
    • This also could be the return of something else that I've been wanting: more companions. There's no reason it has to be one, or very rarely, two. The Doctor in the past had as many as four or five, on occasion, and it's great story-fodder, having that many people from different places and with different goals, all in one problem together. Plus, it helps alleviate the problem of the Companion repeatedly falling in love with the Doctor--there's other people around, so stress-bonding is more complicated.
  • Three was an action-Doctor, with gadgets and fast cars and Venusian Karate.
    • Eleven, Ten, Nine, were no strangers to action, but they were all sort of...accidentally action heroes. They tried to avoid it and wound up in the middle of it. Eleven was more of a warrior, specifically, and less of a person who's first thought was to drive quickly to where the problem was and then chop it into submission. While I would more enjoy a Doctor that stays in his lab tinkering with widgets, a Doctor who specifically goes out to right wrongs as opposed to waiting until he lands on them accidentally, might be fun. It would clean up a lot of the moral ambiguity that has collected up on the show--he'd be actively seeking out specific injustices with an eye toward putting them right.
  • Three had a lot of quarries and caves.
    • And wouldn't it be nice to have a good quarry, or a good monsters-in-a-cave story?
  • Three also had some awesome alien planets and a few memorable alien creatures.
    • I would love to have a reunion with Alpha Centauri, mostly because I would like to see how they'd redesign a seven-foor-tall green penis with one eye, horse-hooves, and a cape. 
    • And there's always Peladon, and the monster that can be sung to sleep, and the Princess who wanted to marry him.
And then, of course, there are my own personal wants and wishes:
  • My bestie and I decided that we'd love if the Doctor frequently forgot that Clara wasn't his pet, and occasionally just petted her on her head and offered her, like, a sugar cube or something. We also decided that Strax would love the sugar cubes and would constantly be trying to get them when Clara turned them down.
  • I'd love if the Doctor had some silly quirk that Clara had to keep track of--like he was always stealing little things, or he went into people's spaces and rearranged all their things all the time.
  • I'd love if he was bumbling and lovable, like Seven, but also had that deep layer of outright manipulation--though it would have to be toward a purpose, not just vague manipulation without an end-game; we get enough of long-term stories that never quite end up anywhere specific.
  • I'd love if the Doctor finally started wondering what happened to his old Companions--or if Clara sought them out and brought them back to his attention--so that we could get the occasional update the way we did with Sarah Jane in "School Reunion". There's piles of grown-up Companions still around who didn't die when they left, and it would be amazing to see how their lives turned out. (also, I feel like at least a few of them would have formed some sort of support group to help the new ones adapt after they left)

What do you guys think? What can you infer from these first glimpses of the new Doctor, and what do you hope the new series will be like? Share in the comments, and be sure to sign up for email updates or RSS to keep track of the conversation!

* This one is an actual *, but in general, I'm going to refer to him as the 12th* or 12* because he's actually, apparently, number 14, but wibbly wobbly and so on.
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