When Matt Smith first announced his decision to bow out of the role of Doctor Who last June, all minds turned to the 12 regeneration rule which meant that his predecessor would be the penultimate Time Lord.
Then there was the 50th anniversary which introduced John Hurt as The War Doctor, a never before seen version of The Doctor, thought by many to be 8.5, meaning that, in theory, the 12th Time Lord, Peter Capaldi could be the very last Doctor Who!
Show runner Steven Moffat soon put our minds at rest insisting that between the 50th anniversary episode, The Day of the Doctor, and the Christmas Day special, The Time of the Doctor, which saw Smith regenerate into the Scottish The Thick Of It star, there would be a reasonable loophole in the regeneration limit revealed – And good thing too, as reports in the Daily Mirror newspaper suggest that Capaldi could be The Doctor for only one series of the show!
Over the years the amount of time each actor has spent playing The Doctor has varied with, apart from the odd exception like fourth Doctor Tom Baker who held the role for 7 years and tenth Doctor David Tennant who held it for 5, the average life span of the Time Lord averaging from 2-4 years.
There were, however, two actors who only played the part for a series each – Eighth Doctor Paul McGann who starred only in the 1996 film and unsuccessful pilot to try and re-launch the show after its first cancellation in the 80’s, and ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston who starred in the first 13 episodes only when the show was eventually brought back to life in 2005.
And now it seems that Peter Capaldi could be joining the list of part-time Doctor Who’s as the Mirror reports that bosses at the hugely popular BBC family sci-fi entertainment show are only planning to keep him around for series 8!
According to the paper Capaldi was only hired in the first place to help “steer the show in a new direction” allowing for bigger changes for the show after his departure.
But with filming for the new series already underway, and no new actor yet announced, how could this even work?
The Mirror suggests that perhaps the regeneration process will only be half filmed, with Capaldi never sharing a scene with his predecessor, who can be filmed and added in as and when they are selected.
But who could they possibly choose?
Maybe these “radical” changes that Capaldi is paving the way for could be the platform for the first ever female Time Lord as so many fans have been calling for over the last 12 months?
Possibly, but one thing is for sure, the people who know the answers, including the next actor or actress, will not be telling anytime soon, and the longer this isn’t addressed, the more likely it is that we are in for some big surprises!
Watch this space!!!!
Doctor Who, Series 8 is currently being filmed in Cardiff, and is expected to air on our BBC screens later this year – Watch Smith’s regeneration into Capaldi in the clip below: