When Steven Moffat recently announced that Peter Capaldi would be the 12th Doctor on the BBC’s long-lived Doctor Who, he set off quite a reaction among Whovians (fans of the show), including those who buy the comic book featuring characters from the program as well.
Given past history, it’s going to take quite a bit of time for the new Time Lord to appear in the IDW comic.
David Tennant, the Tenth Doctor, still was the face of the alien time-traveler for about a year after Matt Smith appeared. Will it be any sooner this go-round? I don’t think so! Also, it’s likely that they’ll begin with a new “number one” issue to make it more collectible, as they did with Mr. Smith.
Of course, bringing Who as well as any other television series or movie to comics takes a lot of work. I remember an artist telling me that he was drawing a film-related comic to the local shop, and it was likely to be quite a task. There was one actress involved who had to give her stamp of approval to any likeness that appeared in the comic. And she was tough to please!
Gordon Purcell had to do this with the Star Trek comics he worked on in the past. Word online was that he used still photographs to get the cast’s facial features as close to reality as possible. That must have been something, probably having to lay tissue paper over the photo at times so he could trace them back in the days before Photoshop became popular.
AN OLDER DOCTOR?
But there’s one variable that might impact sales of the comic: the recent discussion about moving from a younger Doctor to one who’s decades older.
Ever since the new actor’s name was divulged, there’s been quite a debate about whether younger fans will take to a more “senior” Doctor. Some folks online have said they watched Matt Smith, but no one before and will not watch the new one either. Others indicate that they’re willing to give Mr. Capaldi a chance, but will reserve judgment until they see him performing on the small screen.
Of course, Capaldi has already appeared on Doctor Who once, appearing in “The Fires of Pompeii.” And he was also in Torchwood: Children of Earth.
What’s intriguing to me is that Mr. Moffat originally wanted an older Doctor to replace Tennant, but was won over by what Smith brought to the series. He supposedly was considering Capaldi for the role even then.
And the very first Doctor was an older guy, so there’s precedent for a Time Lord who resembles an elder human.
LOOKING AHEAD IN TIME
At this point, there’s been no formal announcement as to when episodes starring Capaldi flying solo as the Doctor will actually debut, but I’d expect they’ll begin in the Spring of 2014. Look for the comics to come in much later that year, whoever gets to produce them!
Still, Whovians can look forward to the 50th anniversary special and Christmas special later this year, with the transformation from Smith to Capaldi happening in the latter of the two. Until then, keep enjoying the anniversary miniseries coming from IDW each month and the BBC America shows looking back over the various Doctors as well!