From the beginning of the series, it’s been an unwritten norm for the lead actor of Doctor Who to only stick around for three years. There are a couple of exceptions, of course—Some have done more (Jon Pertwee did five and Tom Baker did seven) and some have done less (Colin Baker got two seasons and Christopher Eccleston removed himself after just one), but generally, if an actor has played the role for one season, they tend to do three. Peter Capaldi might just be the one to buck the trend, according to showrunner Steven Moffat.
Moffat is stepping down from the show following series 10, which is filming now, and many commentators have been speculating that Capaldi would leave with the captain, as David Tennant had done when Russell T. Davies stepped aside. However—according to an interview in Doctor Who Magazine—Moffat more or less says it’s Capaldi’s choice to make. “I have no reason to suppose that I’m writing out a Doctor. Peter is loving the role, and long may he do so.” Now that’s certainly far from an affirmative ‘Yes, Peter is sticking around after I leave,’ but it’s starting to sound like Capaldi might be the sitting Doctor for incumbent showrunner Chris Chibnall.
Capaldi is a lifelong fan of Doctor Who and every interview you see of him about it, you can tell he’s pleased as punch to be at the helm of the TARDIS. He’s also become a fan favorite in his two series thus far. Series 10 will mark Capaldi’s first adventures with a companion who isn’t Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) in the form of Bill (played by newcomer Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (played by Matt Lucas).
Tennant did three (and a bit) series, Matt Smith did three (and a bit) series, but I think if anyone have it in them to stick around for longer, it’s Capaldi. But, to use a time-tested fan adage, “Rule 1: Moffat lies.” So, use your best judgment. And, join me in waiting FOR FRIGGING EVER for the show to come back, first at Christmas and then sometime next spring.
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We talked to Moffat and Mark Gatiss about Sherlock at Camp Conival!
Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor and the resident Whovian for Nerdist. Follow him on Twitter!