Peter Capaldi on the Importance of Death in Doctor Who

The Twelfth Doctor himself Peter Capaldi has been chatting about the importance of death in science fiction.

No stranger to television equivalent of the grim reaper, having lost companion Clara Oswald to a Quantum Shade in Face the Raven, Capaldi found himself waxing lyrical in an appearance on James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction (which recently aired on AMC), where he reflected on the philosophical nature of Doctor Who, reports the Radio Times.

In the sixth episode of the show, which was about Time Travel, Capaldi discussed the reason why Doctor Who has lasted so long – the ingenuous idea of the Time Lord regenerating and the lead actor being recast every few years or so.

He said:

“It has all these other levels of philosophical and reflective nature that make it very, very rich.

“People always ask me what is it about the show that appeals so broadly. The answer I would like to give – and which I’m discouraged from giving because it is not useful in the promotion of a brand – is that it’s about death.

“And it has a very, very powerful death motif in it which is that the central character dies. I think that is one of its most potent mysteries because somewhere in that people see that that’s what happens in life.

“You have loved ones and then they go, but you must carry on.”

Another beautiful (if not exactly market-friendly) summarisation from the Doctor. Change and not a moment too soon.