Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell-Boyce (Macmillan Children’s Books, 2016); audiobook read by Peter Capaldi (HarperCollins, 2019) At first this comes across as merely scattershot; then the madcap antics take a half-step back, allowing room for a story about family and dementia. The Scottish setting is very appealing and Peter Capaldi’s audiobook reading adds considerably to the…
Doctor Who: Rhythm of Destruction by Darren Jones; audiobook read by Dan Starkey (BBC, 2018) The character of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is just about right—and is well conveyed by Dan Starkey—but the writing is plain at best and the story is hackneyed; it might well have come about in extemporised response to the cover art.
Doctor Who: The Husbands of River Song by Steven Moffat; dir. Douglas Mackinnon (BBC, 2015) The 2015 Christmas Special takes a lighter approach than its predecessor, and not since Blackadder II has a severed head been played for such laughs. Peter Capaldi captures something of each of the first four Doctors while Alex Kingston nails her swansong.
Doctor Who, Series 8 (BBC, 2014) Series Eight starts with an apology, ends with a folly turned helter-skelter. In-between this, Peter Capaldi simmers rakishly: the sort of caustic, ‘dislikeable’ Doctor that Colin Baker was aiming for, only with the necessary scripts and production values to support the characterisation.
Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio by Steven Moffat (BBC, 2016) The New Series Christmas invasion takes a new twist when the Doctor, through rather comic happenstance, creates a bona fide superhero. Peter Capaldi revels in the light-hearted humour while the Superman homage dovetails nicely with the longstanding dynamic between Doctor and companion.
Doctor Who, Series 9 BBC, 2015 Bookended by Steven Moffat’s tulipomaniacal stake-raising and overblown (if ingenious) retrofitting of Doctor Who’s mythology, the other writers of Series 9 have crafted a straight flush of dark, self-contained science fantasy; gothic disturbances in which Peter Capaldi adds depth to his characterisation.
Unflinching Beyond Midnight (The Derelict Space Sheep Review of Doctor Who Series 8) Never one to shy away from the sort of perilous escapade made famous by Danger Mouse and Penfold, Arthur Graeme Smith has ventured into Fish Fingers & Custard to review Peter Capaldi’s first season of Doctor Who. Arthur’s review appears in FF&C #16, which is…