In August 2013, the great Peter Capaldi was cast as The Twelfth Doctor. He has starred in two seasons and is presently filming season 10 which is expected to air late 2016. Here we will be ranking the greatest moments seen and performed to date from the Twelfth Doctor.
I Am Not a Good Man
“I am not a good man, and I’m not a bad man, I am not a hero, and I’m certainly not a president … Do you know what I am? I am an idiot with a box and a screwdriver just passing through helping out, learning.”
Up to this point, The Doctor has been portrayed as a cynical, stern and at times ruthless incarnation who has had to make some difficult choices. This has made him appear cold and heartless.
In this episode, he begins to reflect on the choices he’s made and evaluates what kind of man he is. Through several flashbacks, we see that he doesn’t view himself as a ‘hero’, recalling when he was called a “good Dalek.”
Eventually, The Doctor answers the question – he is a man who helps people as best he can. Here, the Twelfth Doctor gets some therapy and takes the first step towards his redevelopment into the same Time Lord he has always been.
Saving Child Davros
“If someone who knew the future pointed out a child to you and told you that that child would grow up totally evil, to be a ruthless dictator who would destroy millions of lives, could you then kill that child?” – the Fourth Doctor, Genesis of the Daleks
The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witches Familiar covers this question where The Doctor is reunited with his arch-nemesis, Davros. Davros is a genius scientist who created the Dalek race, and he and the Doctor have shared many encounters together.
When the Doctor encounters a lone Dalek, he nearly executes it. It’s not until the Dalek desperately expresses the concept of ‘mercy’ that The Doctor figures out that Clara is trapped inside.
Upon escaping the planet Skaro, The Doctor realises the only way to save Clara is to save Davros. The Doctor is reluctant but knows that someone either greater or more evil could have taken their place and thus events must be set in motion.
So, The Doctor rescues his greatest enemy, demonstrating just how much willpower he has, despite everything that Davros has done and will do.
The Doctor Warns Ashildr
In Face the Raven, The Doctor, accompanied by Clara and Rigsy, are placed in an elaborate trap staged by his immortal nemesis Ashildr. Clara’s noble but reckless efforts to remove a Quantum Shade from Rigsy’s reach results in a chronolock being placed onto her.
The Doctor is powerless to do anything to prevent her death. Clara, knowing how he will react, desperately begs him not to seek revenge, but rather to honor her memory. With incredible reluctance, The Doctor is forced to watch the heartbreaking death of his beloved friend. The Doctor is alone once again.
In the end, The Doctor coldly warns Ashildr to stray from his path for the actions she has committed. This is where we feel the ‘darkness’ in The Doctor’s words and the restraint he possesses to contain his immense anger. Capaldi delivers this perfectly, portraying a more menacing and darker incarnation of the Time Lord.
The Singing Towers of Darilium
In The Husbands Of River Song, The Doctor is reunited with his wife, River Song. However, much to his disappointment, she spends most of their adventure unaware of his true identity. To complicate matters further, The Doctor learns how River behaves outside of their marriage, putting a silent yet heavy strain on him.
When River finally discovers his true identity, there’s a bittersweet moment and the two end on a warm, emotional note. Upon crash landing on the planet Darillium, The Doctor knows more than anyone that every story has to end eventually.
In a heartwarming long-anticipated final scene, the couple gaze upon the beautiful Singing Towers of Darillium. However, both of them know that on the other side of this night will be the last time they share together before her death. As a final gift to her, The Doctor reveals they would spend a total of 24 years together.
The Doctor’s Goodbye to Clara
In this episode, The Doctor reaches his breaking point, stepping away from his title ‘The Doctor’. His actions and motives become morally questionable, and it’s difficult to view him as a hero or a villain.
To save Clara, The Doctor uses an extraction chamber to extract his companion moments before her death. Out of desperation, The Doctor escapes from his home planet with a conscious but physically frozen Clara.
When it’s clear that Clara’s condition won’t change, the desperate Doctor tries everything in his power to prevent her death. He becomes increasingly aggressive in his desire to save her, even going so far as to forsake the entire universe for her survival.
Eventually, the two decide they cannot avoid the inevitable, and their story has to end. The only way to solve the crisis is to use a neural block on Clara to erase the memories. But, with one final heroic and selfless act, The Doctor performs the neural block on himself. This gives Clara the chance to live the rest of her life until she can return to the point of her death.
“This is not a war. I fought in a bigger war than you will ever know, I did worse things than you could ever imagine, and when I close my eyes I hear more screams than anyone could ever be able to count. And do you know what you do with all that pain? Shall I tell you where you put it? You hold it tight till it burns your hand and you say this – no one else will ever have to live like this, no one else will ever have to feel this pain. Not on my watch.”
In The Zygon Inversion, The Doctor acts as a mediator between humanity and the Zygons. Throughout the negotiation, The Doctor makes several attempts to convince them to maintain the ceasefire; however, he is still unable to sway them.
In this emotional scene, Capaldi delivers a profound speech about the notion of war and the consequences of what those who have experienced it have to bear.
The speech is an inspiring testament to who The Doctor is and what he stands for. It’s a highlight of Peter Capaldi’s incredible performance and has defined his role as the Twelfth Doctor.
How Many Seconds in Eternity
In Heaven Sent, The Doctor is still in the process of grieving the death of his beloved companion, Clara. He becomes trapped inside a mysterious castle compiled with a set of puzzles designed to break him physically and emotionally. There are no means of escape, and a veiled creature created from a memory of his greatest nightmare pursues him.
It’s here where we see The Doctor face his biggest challenge to date. He is forced into an eternal cycle of striking the impenetrable exit with only his bare fists. The Veil halts his attempts, so he must crawl back into the teleporter room and burn his body to produce a copy of his original version, disintegrating his present version. This painful cycle continues for over 4.5 billion years.
This is perhaps one of the darkest yet most inspiring and noteworthy moments of the series’ history. We see exactly how far The Doctor is willing to go to save the one he loves. He pushes himself to the extreme, and his actions are noble and selfless. Fueled by the remorse of Clara’s loss, he is driven to continue to fight no matter what the cost.