If you didn’t know this already…SPOILERS…this season is Peter Capaldi’s final season as the Doctor, and it’s also Stephen Moffat’s final season as showrunner. If general Whovian opinion is to be believed, Capaldi’s tenure as the Doctor has been a bit ‘meh’; I for one cannot remember any stand-out moments during his run but I don’t consider myself appropriately qualified to make such a judgement, I’m NuWho all the way. Nobody yet knows who the new Who will be but the smart money is on Kris Marshall of Love Actually/My Family/Death in Paradise fame, Marshall himself has denied it of course but that in itself doesn’t mean it’s not true. Chris Chibnall, the man replacing Moffat, himself responsible for many Doctor Who episodes and the unflinchingly popular Broadchurch is not giving too much away on the identity of the new Doctor but he has gone on record to suggest a female Timelord would not be out of the question.
All of this begs the question, is ‘this’ Doctor a Lame Duck?
With a new lead actor and a new showrunner you can be pretty sure that anything that has gone directly before, that doesn’t fit into the new powerhouse’s plans can easily be discarded, and maybe this isn’t a bad thing. Just like any lame duck, it gives said duck a lot of freedom to do whatever the hell they like, maybe it won’t stick but it could be a hell of a ride. Now is the opportunity for both Capaldi and Moffat to put this Doctor through his paces and deliver some really original storytelling. They’ve got a lot to handle in this tenth series with the introduction of two newish companions, the obligatory regeneration and the the story that builds to that changing of the guard, will they have time to also do something special?
I’m hoping the answer is yes and although Moffat hasn’t been the best showrunner, he has delivered some of the best Who stories I can recall, The Girl in the Fireplace and Blink being the ones that stick out in my mind. We know Moffat can deliver and he owes it to Capaldi to give him the best possible send-off he can. I’m not sure this latest trailer indicates that we’re in for a classic Who this series but I remain optimistic, especially with the return of classic Cybermen and the gender-swapped Missy.