What is the ongoing appeal of Doctor Who? With the show’s 60th anniversary on the horizon, it’s a good time to mull over why it’s lasted so long, and a little while ago, Peter Capaldi stressed that the ideas powering each story make the series unique.
The Twelfth Doctor actor admitted that there’s a “cobbled together” feel to the show at times, yet that’s part of why it’s so great; similarly, that dodgy execution doesn’t detract from the brilliant notions in the scripts. He warmly reflected:
“Everything on Doctor Who falls to pieces, all of the props fall to pieces and the costumes have to be stuck together with duct tape and velcro and stuff… I like the kind of B-movie, kind of cobbled together quality of it.
“You know that there’s never really quite enough money, but the ideas are often very special — that’s what I like.”
To be fair, most of the Twelfth Doctor era looks amazing, even stories that aren’t especially beloved.
Still, he makes an excellent point. This quote brings The Web Planet to mind: a curious infusion of superb and terrible execution, with a fantastic and dull narrative. Yes, the tale drags. Yes, sets wobble — and actually, that’s pretty rare for Doctor Who, despite what many think. But the reach and ambition of the production team was extraordinary, especially given the limited budget, and they largely achieved it, creating Vortis and all its inhabitants on a pittance.
Yep, that Peter Capaldi — he gets it.