12… Why Do You Love Him Or… Not So Much

Bombastic and plain spoken?
Or rude and sometimes lacking empathy?
Maybe both.
What I love about Capaldi’s Doctor was that he had the qualities of other curmudgeons like 1, 6, and even 9. I see a little of 3 in him too.
As I reader, I love seeing more character conflict. He is an alien and sometimes the companions and even the audience needs to be reminded of that.

Capaldi is really a fine actor.
So, I am open to all opinions.
I promise to not twist anyone’s opinion…. Unless your wrong. :face_with_peeking_eye::wink:


Ah…possibly my least favourite Doctor on gut instinct - but one I have to admit to warming to more on rewatches.

The biggest issue for me was how 12 was written in Series 8. It didn’t chime with me at all. I was a huge fan of 11 and so any change was going to be hard but that first series with Capaldi just hit wrong note after wrong note.

I didn’t enjoy his rudeness or any of the ‘am I a good man’ stuff.

One of the biggest issues for me was the ‘soldier-hate’ and, in particular, the way he treated Danny. I just didn’t buy the Doctor - who’s best friend is/was the Brigadier - would suddenly hate all soldiers. The Journey Blue stuff just didn’t ring true and the Danny hate was just weird - the whole ‘love triangle’ bit with Clara just never worked for me and stories like The Caretaker and Dark Water left a nasty taste in my mouth. (I’ve rewatched both and The Caretaker may just be one of my least favourite stories of all time).

I did start to like him more in Series 9 and 10 but for me, generally, he took all the worst aspects of the Doctor and accentuated them at the expense of all the aspects I love in other incarnations.

I know he is hugely popular with lots of fans but for me he just isn’t my Doctor.

I’ll caveat this with the fact that the Third Doctor was previously my least favourite (I see a lot of 3 in 12) and yet one of my all-time top 10 stories is Inferno. There are some cracking stories in Capaldi’s era and times when I do like him.

But you did ask :wink:


Oh yes, I did ask. :heart_eyes: @deltaandthebannermen
It’s funny how I was reading on the internet regarding some of the reasons 12 wasnt popular and one was because 10 and 11 were so popular and 12 comes in rough, much older, and Scottish.
But Dr Who fans are smarter than that.
I do think you nailed a few things that are apt.
I think what happened to Danny was that 12 turned into a father figure for Clara and he came across to me as a protective dad looking out for her and not wanting her to leave the nest so to speak.



Personally, 12 is one of my favourite doctors. He’s definitely not without flaws, but I think those are actually why he ranks so highly for me. He’s arrogant, insulting at times, he doesn’t care for other people (or maybe rather he has difficulty understanding other people’s feelings, something I relate to). But in spite of that, or as I would argue because of that, he’s one of the kindest doctors. I see great value in the way that kindness in him is portrayed not as an empathetic action but as a moral stance. Without hope, without witness, without reward is such a good quote for just this reason. It helps that he has some great episodes and speeches too


He’s so kind and warm and I love him :heart_eyes: And he’s so autistic, and he never quite knows how to act around humans, but he’s so kind and loving. He’s both the most human and the most alien. He is the Doctor, he helps people.


He does get a lot of good lines and dialogue and YESS
I thought he acts autistic as well.

He can be awkward and that brings out some gritty stuff.
That he is an idiot with a box is one of the best lines ever.


I have complicated feelings about Twelve.

I think Peter Capaldi plays him very well. In the Revival period, he is the strongest actor of the Doctor. He also has a range of acting things to do in this era.

As for Twelve themselves, it’s more 50/50. While I enjoy the brash, in your face, nature of the Doctor, it does get tiresome episode, after episode. Even in the gentle moments, it feels like he is angry that he has a soft side and gentle nature. It almost feels like he is a stereotype of a Scotsman.

My take with Twelve is that he is a modern, Scottish version of First. They share wanderlust, while being annoyed by the injustices they have to face. Him being such a grump, and similar to First, may be explained as him being the first in a new cycle. A cycle he didn’t ask for. Almost like the Doctor is being forced to go on, and resenting it. This is further brought up during his end with First, until he finally relents and we get Thirteen.

While all that is a mix of positive and negative, some parts both at the same time, it isn’t my bone of contention.

I’ve made it no secret that most of Doctor Who after Eleven hasn’t been my jam. It’s fine. People like what they like, and in no way do I begrudge someone enjoying something I don’t.

Part way through Series 9 is when it hit me. I wasn’t enjoying Doctor Who any more. Sure, I could happily watch old stuff, but the new things weren’t doing anything for me. The Doctor’s ‘angry’ nature was starting to get old, and the stories were going from fine to fairly bad. I just couldn’t connect with the stories being presented to me. I have gone back and watched this era properly, but the good stuff I enjoy is mostly related to Missy.

I’ve tried a couple of times now to ‘get’ this era, but it hasn’t happened, and I’ve given up trying to force the issue.

So in conclusion. Great actor, grating character choice.

I’m truly happy for people who enjoy Twelve/this era. It just doesn’t do it for me.


12 is my tied favorite along with 13, and I think his era is the best written of the show. He’s got incredible character arcs through his 3 seasons, and the major plot arcs of those seasons serve to reinforce those arcs really well. He also gets one of the best Doctor/Master dynamics with Missy and one of the best Doctor/Companion dynamics (as well as one of my favorite ships) with Clara. Plus Peter Capaldi is just an absolutely fantastic actor


@ItsR0b0tNinja Yess! I get it. Having Scots blood on my mom’s side… I do see Some of that rebelliousness is really wanting to lash out. And yeah, Capaldi very good.


I love 12. On first watch, I was in my teens, and I don’t think I quite liked him as much as 10 and 11. I did a rewatch of his era about 3 years ago, and really enjoyed it. I binged most of series 8 when my 2nd COVID shot made me feel awful :joy:

12’s relationship with Clara is EXCELLENT! The character moments between them, especially in episodes like Dark Water and Hell Bent, really sold them as one of my favorite TARDIS teams.

Episodes people seem to hate from his era, I usually find just okay or fine, like Kill the Moon and Sleep No More. Peter and Jenna frequently lift up scripts just by their presence and delivery.

12 in series 8 I’ve grown to like, but not the soldier stuff. It really makes no sense for the Doctor. So I concur with @deltaandthebannermen on that. Series 9 and 10 is peak 12 though!

I’m kind of craving a Capaldi era rewatch again now!


I love 12, he is definitely my favorite.
For me personally it is the mix out of his grumpiness while he still cares for the people closest to him a lot, but at times doesn’t quite seem to know how to show that.


Coincidentally, I was planning on wearing my 12th Doctor shirt tomorrow. I will draft my endorsement when I am properly attired.


I love 12.

He is autistic, alien, and otherworldly. He has self doubt. He has a deep, strong love for Clara that goes beyond 11 being her “space boyfriend” - no, it’s a strong platonic love and he as a “duty of care”.

After 10 being a love-sick puppy and 11 being quite disconnected except the weird dynamic with River, I find 12 a refreshing change of just being so caring.

DOCTOR: You betrayed me. Betrayed my trust, you betrayed our friendship, you betrayed everything that I’ve ever stood for. You let me down!
CLARA: Then why are you helping me?
DOCTOR: Why? Do you think I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?

Absolute love that quote! Just shows how much he cares.

I love when he first regenerates and Clara cannot accept his change, I see that all as a trans allegory (I know it wasn’t written by that but it can be interpreted)

Then we get the dynamic with Missy, which as well as her being my favourite Master, the 12/Missy stories are my favourite Doctor/Master interactions completely.

Then The Husbands of River Song is my favourite Doctor/River episode. It is 100% perfect, no notes.

Capaldi is a brilliant actor. And 12 gets all the best speeches. The one in Zygon Inversion is incredible. And there are so many more great ones!

Then of course there is the masterpiece, probably the greatest bit of Doctor Who ever created, Heaven Sent. And that whole trilogy is brilliant.

Then the 12/Bill dynamic is so different and so much fun. He is like a caring dad again but more like a granddad to young Bill. The ending is heartbreaking.

Ahhhh I could go on. He’s absolutely marvellous!!

I get that the hating soldiers is a bit annoying but I don’t see it as much of a stretch - he hates guns and soldiers are walking guns. I actually think the entire existence of the Brigadier contradicts his stance on guns. It may be why, having watched Classic Who last, I never really understood the love for the Brigadier or UNIT. They kill people, for a living. It’s so anti-Doctor!

And it’s not a love triangle. He is a protective father figure. If you watch it knowing this, you’ll understand!


I absolutely disagree with this. I think 12Clara is absolutely romantic (even Peter and Jenna describe it as such) and I don’t think there’s any better way to describe the dynamic in late S8 than “emotional affair” (and Mummy on the Orient Express in particular is very heavily leaning into that).


That was kinda part of their whole dynamic, though. The Brig was coming at things from a military standpoint while the Doctor was trying to resolve things more peacefully. They even gave us the Silurians early on, with the Doctor being appalled at their actions early on.


He was the Doctor that was on when I started watching. Season 9 were the first episodes I had to wait for. He will always have a special place in my heart for that.

His relationship with Clara is just bonkers. And I have to agree with @flora_snow00. There is definitely something between them. Though I agree that the thing with Danny was a bit weird and I never really warmed up to him. But it did lead to lead the lines shauny quoted and those are so good they make me want to scream.

I never really liked Clara not recognising him after his first regeneration. I just didn’t make sense to me. Out of all people shouldn’t she be able to adept easily with her having seen all his former regenerations. Having jumped into his timestream and all.

With him an Bill I definitely see the whole grandpa thing. I love him, I love her, I love season 10. This reminds me. I should definitely rewatch season 10.


She’s met all of them but a) she doesn’t remember it very much and b) we see pretty clearly that she still sees 11 as The Doctor and the others as something else

CLARA: Look at you. The three of you. The warrior, the hero, and you.
CLARA: Have you really forgotten?
ELEVENTH DOCTOR: Yes. Maybe, yes.
CLARA: We’ve got enough warriors. Any old idiot can be a hero.
ELEVENTH DOCTOR: Then what do I do?
CLARA: What you’ve always done. Be a doctor.


I am with @deltaandthebannermen on this one and I will try not to repeat what he said. I don’t see the appeal of the twelfth doctor. This has nothing to do with Peter Capaldi he is a great actor (probably one of the best of all the Doctors). But I just don’t like that many of his stories. They often take themselves too seriously and I feel like they are missing a bit of the fun part of Doctor Who. I think that this gets better, especially in his last season but to me, it’s a bit too little too late.

I am also not that big of a fan of Heaven Sent but that is another story :stuck_out_tongue:


I’m going to look to see if we can set up some sort of support group for those of us who just don’t get the fuss over Heaven Sent. It will be a private area even @shauny doesn’t have access too :wink:


I will also counter ‘he’s like the First Doctor bit’ though because I don’t think he is. There is a generalisation that the First Doctor is a grumpy curmudgeon - something perpetuated by the characterisation given to Bradley in Twice Upon a Time - which isn’t actually that true when you sit and watch his stories. Beyond that very first story, Hartnell softens his portrayal to the grandfatherly space wizard quite quickly and whilst there are acerbic flashes, I don’t see too many similarities.

Now the Third Doctor, that’s a different story. The arrogance, the fatherly relationship with the companion (which could be seen as romantic in certain lights), the (ironic) dislike of soldiers (his relationship with the Brigadier and UNIT is much more combative in Season 7 and closer to the way 12 treats the military).

It’s great to see all the love for 12 though and I have come to enjoy Capaldi’s performance a little more on rewatches - it’s just not ever going to be ‘my Doctor’ when there are performances like 2, 5, 11 and 13 in the mix accentuating all my favourite traits.