Now that the Doctor Who Christmas special, “The Husbands of River Song,” has come and gone, fans of the long-running British science fiction television show will have to wait quite awhile before the tenth series arrives in late 2016. The search for a new companion is on, but that’s not the only cast member who could need replacing. That’s according to the Twelfth Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi, who told the Telegraph that his third year playing the character might be his last:
“This could be my final year. I love Doctor Who but it can be quite an insular world and I do want to do other things. There will come a time when this is over. But I knew that when I started. I was thinking about my regeneration scene from the outset. That’s my terrible melancholic nature. When you accept the job you know there’ll come a day, inevitably, when you’ll be saying goodbye.”
Capaldi’s desire to “do other things” outside of the coveted show’s “insular world” is a common complaint made by actors who previously played the part in past iterations. Christopher Eccleston, who played the Ninth Doctor, famously left the rebooted series after a single season in 2005. At the time, Eccleston repeatedly deferred to his wanting to play other parts in other properties as his main reason for leaving. However, he eventually admitted his consternation regarding the role’s perception — that of an intellectual British type with a refined accent.
Unlike Eccleston before him, Capaldi seems more sincere in expressing his want to move on to other roles. Though the 57-year-old Scottish actor does seem perturbed by the continued criticism lobbed at him by fans of the series — especially those who grew accustomed to Tenth and Eleventh Doctors David Tennant and Matt Smith, who were quite younger:
“Every Doctor should be different from the last one. If you want exclusively young, sexy guys, to me that’s not Doctor Who. You want occasional ones like that — but then some other eccentrics. I always think that if you’re Doctor Who, somebody somewhere’s going to love you. That’s comfort. But if people don’t like me there’ll be another one along in a minute. It’s only Doctor Who — and I say that with the greatest of respect and affection.”
Of course, this is all an actor’s on-set conjecture. Capaldi signed on for 2016, and no plans have been made by showrunner Steven Moffat to transition to the Thirteenth Doctor just yet. Still, for an actor playing the hero for children and adult-kids the world over, his comments sure are f*cking depressing.