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Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Season 10 finale of Doctor Who. You are advised to read at your own risk.
It feels just like yesterday since Peter Capaldi was announced as the 12th Doctor, and now he will be bowing out of Doctor Who in December. Capaldi, who replaced Matt Smith, was announced as the new incarnation of the Time Lord on August 4, 2013, in a special BBC One live programme ahead of his debut series in 2014.
During his time as the Doctor, Capaldi has been seen in a grand total of three seasons, alongside numerous festive specials, all managed by departing show-runner Steven Moffat. Over this time, Capaldi has been accompanied by numerous companions including Clara Oswald and most recently Bill Potts. So, with the TARDIS keys being handed over to the new Doctor this Christmas, we look back on Capaldi's time in the role.
Unusual and Quirky, But Always A Fighter!
Despite Capaldi appearing in #DoctorWho in the past, he made his first full appearance in the opening episode of Season 8, which was titled "Deep Breath." As always, fans witnessed the new Time Lord attempt to adjust to his new body, and it was a struggle as always. However, accompanied by Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald, Capaldi was made welcome and as Season 8 progressed on, he left fans demanding more.
However, following the "death" of his best friend in Season 9, fans were introduced to Capaldi's dark side as the Doctor, which proved to be a scary but unusual turn for the Time Lord. Despite this, the Doctor powered on through and hasn't let anything stop him ever since his standalone episode "Heaven Sent."
Then, Season 10 — Capaldi's most recent season — saw the introduction of a newcomer companion (Bill Potts played by Pearl Mackie), who joined the dark and sinister Doctor on a trip of a lifetime. Unfortunately, the finale saw his new sidekick converted into a Mondasian Cyberman. What was even more tragic was the fact the Doctor never got to properly say goodbye to Bill as he was unconscious in the TARDIS as she left to see the universe alongside her crush, Heather.
During the final moments of Season 10, the 12th Doctor showed he was a fighter. Knowing he had to change, he tried his absolute hardest to postpone the regeneration, as witnessed numerous times in "The Doctor Falls." With all the anger and emotions released while forcing himself to regenerate, he proved he was destined to keep the face that he currently has. Sadly, he can't keep his current face for much longer as #PeterCapaldi has one final episode of Doctor Who remaining — a multi-Doctor Christmas Special.
Capaldi's Era Making History
Doctor Who may be about time, space and making fixed points in time, but Capaldi's era will certainly go down in the book of Doctor Who history, as he's brought us many iconic moments.
Firstly, Capaldi was the first Doctor to face a female incarnation of the Master. Missy, played by Michelle Gomez, was first seen in the hit #BBC show in the first episode of Season 8 before revealing her true identity in the finale. Ever since then, Missy has cropped up in every season with Capaldi. Sadly, it's unlikely that we will see Missy again as she was tragically murdered in the Season 10 finale by a previous incarnation of herself.
Secondly, Capaldi was the first Doctor to travel with an openly gay companion — Bill Potts. Speaking to BBC Entertainment, Pearl Mackie said this when questioned about her character's sexuality:
"It shouldn't be a big deal in the 21st Century. It's about time isn't it? That representation is important, especially on a mainstream show. It's important to say people are gay, people are black — there are also aliens in the world as well so watch out for them. I remember watching TV as a young mixed race girl not seeing many people who looked like me, so I think being able to visually recognise yourself on screen is important."
Lastly, Capaldi was the first Doctor to appear in a multi-Master story. John Simm returned to Doctor Who as the Master for the Season 10 finale. Simm joined Gomez, who then battled it out, ending in the Master regenerating and Missy being killed. But, will this really be the end of the Master?
No matter what, fans will miss Peter Capaldi as the Doctor dearly as he has put on a phenomenal performance. Yet, before Capaldi regenerates, he has one more episode to entertain fans with. He will be joined by #HarryPotter star David Bradley, who will be portraying the first Doctor in what will be a tale of hope and redemption.
Capaldi's replacement is currently unknown, although the BBC are expected to announce the new Doctor very soon.