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After All The Hype, Mr Potty Mouth Had Better Be Good (2013)

2013-08-05 Daily Mail bottom.jpg

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THE worst-kept secret in the galaxy is out. The whole country had guessed: That shouty, sweary, scary Scotsman from the political sitcom The Thick Of It would be taking over as the Time Lord.

But that didn t stop presenter Zoe Ball teasing us for half an hour, endlessly delaying the news to introduce instead a slew of famous fans and former stars from the show.

There were one or two top quality guests on last night s Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor on BBC1, which did take our minds off the waiting.

Showbiz veteran Bernard Cribbins, who was starring in Carry On movies 50 years ago when Doctor Who was first screened, revealed that in the mid-Seventies he auditioned to take over the Tardis from Jon Pertwee.

Physicist Stephen Hawking revealed he'd like to see a female Doctor, with a male assistant. But the show s chief producer and writer, Steven Moffat, appeared to dismiss that idea, with his scathing comment that there was as much chance of Dame Helen Mirren playing the Doctor as there was of a male actor playing the Queen.

When Peter Capaldi finally walked on stage, in an explosion of lasers and dry ice, the sense of anticipation was turning to saturation. Even the audience of dedicated Whovians, the show s ultra-fans, were starting to look glazed.

We ve seen similar before, when JK Rowling s publishers whipped up a frenzy around the launch of each Harry Potter book, with midnight queues in bookshops and crowds of fans in wigs and costumes.

It always leaves a sense of hangover and deflation in the morning. What publishers and TV execs never remember is that hysteria doesn t last. Nothing stays at fever pitch for long.

Peter Capaldi faces a tough job, justifying a build-up like that. At 55, he s got the experience to face the challenge - he might not have been around as long as Bernard Cribbins, but he s a veteran himself. A punk band frontman in the Seventies, he made his first major impact in 1983, in the Bill Forsyth film Local Hero.

Capaldi is a director, too, with a Bafta and an Oscar for his short comedy film about the writer Franz Kafka.

But he s best known as the foul-mouthed, hyper-tense spin doctor Malcolm Tucker, who screamed, threatened and bullied his way through Whitehall in The Thick Of It - the show so inventive that in 2009 it gave the country a favourite new word, Omnishambles , meaning a monumental foul-up.

The show featured a troupe of excellent actors, but when Capaldi was on screen, the rest just dissolved. He monopolised all the attention. Even when he was at his most viciously rude, he made Tucker seem vulnerable and insecure.

To make us feel that all the hoopla around his Doctor s appointment has been worthwhile, he ll need all those talents.

We need to forget about Matt Smith, and quickly: He took the emotional depth of his predecessor, David Tennant, and boiled it down to two dimensions.

Smith s 11th Doctor was fun and quirky, but always on the brink of parody. When the scripts were poor, such as the Cybermen episode earlier this year, he was more like a puppet than a real person.

The 12th Doctor needs to ditch all the gyration, the gestures and the gurning. We have to believe in the Doctor as a compassionate, brooding soul. Capaldi must bring authority, and the glint of steel to his actions.

If he doesn t, after all this razzamatazz, the show will fall apart. And we face the spectre of an army of Daleks, advancing on us, intoning: Om-ni-sham-bles! Om-ni-sham-bles!

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to whovian@cuttingsarchive.org

  • APA 6th ed.: Stevens, Christopher (2013-08-05). After All The Hype, Mr Potty Mouth Had Better Be Good. Daily Mail p. 5.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Stevens, Christopher. "After All The Hype, Mr Potty Mouth Had Better Be Good." Daily Mail [add city] 2013-08-05, 5. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Stevens, Christopher. "After All The Hype, Mr Potty Mouth Had Better Be Good." Daily Mail, edition, sec., 2013-08-05
  • Turabian: Stevens, Christopher. "After All The Hype, Mr Potty Mouth Had Better Be Good." Daily Mail, 2013-08-05, section, 5 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=After All The Hype, Mr Potty Mouth Had Better Be Good | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/After_All_The_Hype,_Mr_Potty_Mouth_Had_Better_Be_Good | work=Daily Mail | pages=5 | date=2013-08-05 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=18 November 2017 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=After All The Hype, Mr Potty Mouth Had Better Be Good | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/After_All_The_Hype,_Mr_Potty_Mouth_Had_Better_Be_Good | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=18 November 2017}}</ref>