In this climactic scene from last November’s The Day of the Doctor, all 12…wait, no…all 13 doctors fly in to help save Gallifrey, the Doctor’s homeworld.
For fans of the long-running Doctor Who, it was exactly the moment we wanted to see. And Peter Capaldi’s surprise appearance only made the moment even greater. (If I’m completely honest, my nerd shiver was accompanied by a quiet nerd gasp.)
The Eyes Say It All
Now, after an almost excruciating wait, we finally get to see Capaldi in all his glory as the new Doctor. Everything that’s been reported about his version suggests we’re in for a darker, less comfortable ride in season eight—and I don’t think you have to look any further for proof than those eyes. Even though you only get the briefest of glimpses of him in The Day of the Doctor, you can tell he’s all business.
Showrunner Steven Moffat is, of course, keenly aware of how piercing Capaldi’s expression is. In a brief interview with The New York Times, Capaldi said:
My eyebrows, which I’ve never taken much notice of in my life before, Steven’s decided are the most amazing comic devices. Now in the scripts, as a stage direction, instead of saying, ‘The Doctor looks peeved’ or ‘The Doctor looks annoyed,’ they just write, ‘Eyebrows.’
Seriously, just try looking away…
Of course, fans know this isn’t Capaldi’s first appearance on Doctor Who. He was previously seen as a non-Doctor character in season four’s “Fires of Pompeii” and on the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood—a coincidence that Moffat claims to have an explanation for (outside of the fact that, you know, an actor’s gotta pay the bills).
Doctor Who returns tonight on BBC America. Will you be watching?