The Oddness of Doctor Who

In one of his many interviews after becoming a mind behind the Doctor Who genial scripts, Steven Moffat has said something which may have sound a bit disturbing for the fans: Doctor Who cannot be played by an attractive actor. Of course, he did add that he was talking about a conventional attractiveness.

For him, the Doctor’s appearance is secondary to what he stands for: he doesn’t need to be attractive in order to be arresting. And he even gives an example: Matt Smith, the last actor who portrayed the ever-changing Time Lord, is quite odd-looking from a certain perspective. But then again it is this eccentricity of the physical appearance that makes you want to know more.

And this is like a secret of the Doctor persona. And this is also an aspect that made the show successful. Unlike other long-running series, it is what the character does and expresses that makes the show successful, rather than what he may look like.

In other words, and to paraphrase another eccentric character, a crooked tree will always be more beautiful than a straight one. And that is because, despite what the first impression might tell us, beauty is hidden inside and not at the exterior.

The age of the Doctor also plays an important part in the series, in the sense that it doesn’t count at all. Doctor Who is a Time Lord and, at the end of the day, it is the same person. So, for example, the swift change from the thirty-something Matt Smith to the almost 60 years old Peter Capaldi doesn’t mean anything at all: only the physical traits were changed, and not the psychological ones.

So that is why, at times, the Doctor (who, basically, encompasses unlimited knowledge) appears to be an old man (again, as far as his reactions are concerned), while at times he is still a child at heart. And Peter Capaldi’s demeanor expresses this precisely – he may appear to be old, but his eyes show his eternal youthfulness.

To sum things up, I can say that the Doctor’s feistiness is hidden within, even if we (as viewers) might want to give him a hand to hasten his pace or even to help him cross the street.

Maybe it is because we are a bit prejudiced, or maybe because we need to look beyond a man’s physical appearance. Maybe the next doctor should be a woman – how about that?

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