I have to admit that although I semi-enjoyed “Twice Upon A Time”, Peter Capaldi’s last turn as The Doctor on Doctor Who, the real highlight is his exit speech before his regeneration. While not as uber-sad as David Tennant’s Shakespeare take on his exit back in 2008-09 during “The End Of Time” two parter or as somber as Matt Smith’s quickie regeneation, this was on the level of being just the right mix of the two.
At this point, having watched ten series of Nu Who and probably a bunch of seasons of the classic series, it’s almost impossible for the tone of the regenerations to be that much different. Still, Capaldi’s exit felt like an extension of Peter Davison’s exit back in the 80s in The Caves of Androzani; an underutilized actor finally getting to show off his chops in his final moments. Stephen Moffat, who seemingly wanted to make Capaldi’s Doctor darker, could never find the right tone for how his Doctor should be. Grumpy works for a few episodes in a show like Doctor Who and then after awhile, it becomes a bit of a mix and match – moody doctor in a wacky plotline that doesn’t allow for humor, irony or even relief from darkness.
With the exit of Stephen Moffat and Capaldi moving on just after Chris Chibnall’s takeover as producer of the show, one might wonder whether more moments like Capaldi’s exit speech would have been brought to light under another person’s creative handl; no one can say, although it is interesting that Moffat’s plans for David Tennant had he stayed would have been for the Series Five plotline to be the same as the one Matt Smith had for his first series.
Whatever your opinion is on Moffat, Capaldi and the entire last few seasons of Nu Who, this remains one of the best examples of how great Doctor Who can be when it wants to be.