He didn’t like hugging, and his attack eyebrows could remove bottle tops! We take a look at the top five Peter Capaldi Doctor Who moments.
5. Fighting the clockwork android in ‘Deep Breath’
One of the most memorable Peter Capaldi Doctor Who moments was in ‘Deep Breath’ – the Twelfth Doctor’s debut episode which saw the return of not only the Paternoster Gang, but also the clockwork androids which hadn’t been seen since 2006’s ‘The Girl in the Fireplace.’ Arguably, ‘Deep Breath’ could be considered one of Peter Capaldi’s top moments as a whole.
But one particularly memorable scene came towards the end of the episode, when he was fighting one of the clockwork androids in a strange hot air balloon ship that was kept aloft by human skin. With both the Doctor and the droid teetering out of the door, hundreds of feet above London, the android declared that self-destruction was against its basic programming, and the Doctor replied, “And murder is against mine!” After a tussle, the Doctor looked the droid in the eye and said: “You realise, of course, one of us is lying about our basic programming.”
The next time we see the android, it is lying at the top of Big Ben, impaled on its spire. Missy – who witnessed the event – admitted that she couldn’t be sure whether the android jumped or whether it was pushed, making this a standout (and a very dark) Peter Capaldi Doctor Who moment.
4. The regeneration speech in ‘Twice Upon a Time’
The Twelfth Doctor’s departure was just as dramatic as his arrival. Like many Doctors before him, Peter Capaldi gave a farewell speech before his regeneration. But, in the absence of a companion, he delivered this speech as advice to his successor, telling her never to be cruel and never to be cowardly, and to never, ever eat pears. Sage words, by all accounts.
But this Peter Capaldi Doctor Who moment is also metatextual, with a hint that Peter Capaldi was also delivering the speech to himself. His final words, “Doctor, I let you go,” hint at the actor’s relinquishing of the role before passing the baton to incoming Jodie Whittaker.
3. The ‘Day of the Doctor’ appearance
This Peter Capaldi Doctor Who moment was history in the making. Prior to this, no actor had appeared on-screen as the Doctor before their regeneration, but in ‘The Day of the Doctor,’ the Twelfth Doctor himself made an appearance a whole episode before his arrival.
The moment was made all-the-more dramatic by the fact that this scene answered a key question in Doctor Who history: What really happened at the end of the Time War? ‘The Day of the Doctor’ gave an answer, showing “all thirteen” Doctors as they came together to save Gallifrey by sealing it inside a parallel pocket universe, meaning that the Daleks – who were firing on it constantly – would be wiped out in their own crossfire.
And few Doctor Who fans could forget how they felt – be it in the cinema or at home – when they heard Peter Capaldi’s voice for the very first time, followed by a dramatic closeup of his “attack eyebrows.” This was a historic scene, and one that made for a truly memorable Peter Capaldi Doctor Who moment.
2. The Doctor’s war speech in ‘The Zygon Inversion’
This Peter Capaldi Doctor Who moment managed to creep in without anyone expecting it. In ‘The Zygon Inversion,’ the Doctor finds himself caught between the humans and the Zygons, each with their fingers poised over the proverbial ‘destruct’ button. In his frustration, the Doctor launches into an iconic speech about the futility of war.
“You’re not superior to people who were cruel to you,” he says. “You’re just a whole bunch of new cruel people. A whole bunch of new cruel people, being cruel to some other people, who’ll end up being cruel to you. The only way anyone can live in peace is if they’re prepared to forgive. Why don’t you break the cycle?”
He adds: “So, let me ask you a question about this brave new world of yours. When you’ve killed all the bad guys, and it’s all perfect and just and fair, when you have finally got it exactly the way you want it, what are you going to do with the people like you? The troublemakers. How are you going to protect your glorious revolution from the next one?”
It is a real defining moment for the Peter Capaldi Doctor Who era, and gave a great opportunity for the actor to display his theatrical skills.
1. ‘Heaven Sent’
‘Heaven Sent’ is one of the most cherished Peter Capaldi Doctor Who moments, and for good reason. It is the penultimate episode of Series Nine and sees the Doctor trapped inside a Gallifreyan confession dial as he is stalked by a mysterious creature called the Veil. It pursues him relentlessly, unwilling to let the Doctor go until it has extracted the truth from him about a creature called the Hybrid.
What makes ‘Heaven Sent’ such an iconic Peter Capaldi Doctor Who moment is the fact that it is performed almost entirely solo. Apart from the Veil (and a fleeting appearance of an imaginary Clara) there are no other actors apart from Capaldi, meaning that he is talking to himself for almost fifty minutes.
What’s even more remarkable is the fact that – for many fans – ‘Heaven Sent’ has become a firm favourite of the entire Peter Capaldi Doctor Who era. And in many ways it represents a classic Steven Moffat script, playing with the ideas of ‘timey wimey-ness’ and cause-and-effect that have typified other episodes such as ‘Blink’ and ‘Listen.’
And who could forget the classic Shepherd’s Boy soundtrack by composer Murray Gold…?
What is your favourite Peter Capaldi Doctor Who moment? And would you add any others to this list? Let me know in the comments below.
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