Since Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat announced he’d be stepping down following series 10—his sixth full series as lead writer and executive producer—the question on everybody’s mind wasn’t how incumbent Chris Chibnall would do once he took over for the 2018 series, but if current Doctor Peter Capaldi would stick around to witness it. Now, a new interview with the actor confirms the BBC want him to stay, but he’s not sure about it yet.
In an interview with the Radio Times, Capaldi was quoted as saying: “I’ve been asked to stay on, but it’s such a long time before I have to make that decision,” which is true. Series 10 is set to begin filming in May, with no episodes—save a Christmas special—airing in 2016. Then, once Moffat’s swansong season does begin, in spring of 2017, there will be the lengthy press tour for the return, which could last months. And that’s all before series 11 even begins shooting.
Capaldi continued, “Steven’s been absolutely wonderful, so I love working with him. Chris is fantastic, and I think he’s a hugely talented guy. I don’t know where the show’s gonna go then. I don’t know. I have to make up my mind, and I haven’t yet. As Steven will tell you, it’s very difficult to say goodbye.”
The Scottish actor has been a confirmed lifelong Doctor Who fan, even writing in letters to newspapers and magazines about various aspects of fandom. But he, more than anyone, will also tell you that most Doctors only stick around for three years/seasons, if not fewer. Jon Pertwee did five, and Tom Baker did seven, but Hartnell, Troughton, Davison, McCoy, Tennant, and Smith each only did three full seasons. Colin Baker also did three calendar years, even though it only resulted in two TV seasons.
This would, if Capaldi does decide to stick around, be the first time since Tom Baker that a Doctor has carried over from one showrunner to the next. Notably, Tennant vacated at the same time as Russell T. Davies.
If I were a betting man, I’d bet Capaldi decides to step down, or maybe even do half of the new run. Because as much as he loves the show, he’s a man in his mid-50s who would be 60 if he stayed on for Chibnall’s first crack at the bat. It speaks volumes of his professionalism and of the BBC’s faith in him to ask him to stick around already (or maybe to assuage fans worried about Chibnall). I love the Twelfth Doctor and Capaldi’s take on him, but it would seem almost too much to hope for him to agree to stay on beyond series 10.
What do you think? Will Capaldi stay in the TARDIS or is regeneration forthcoming? Would you like him to stay? Let us know in the comments below!
HT: Radio Times
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor, a film and TV critic, and the resident Whovian for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!