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Moments ago the BBC revealed the identity of the twelfth incarnation of Doctor Who: 55-year-old Peter Capaldi, a man who's had a solid run of supporting and guest roles on many British shows. The hiring of Capaldi is a bit of a shocker to the new Who series, as it breaks away from the trend of casting younger actors as The Doctor.
For example, outgoing Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith was cast as the character when he was then 26 years of age. Before Smith, David Tennant got the role at the age of 34.
Can we read something into the decision of hiring a more mature Doctor? Perhaps. Since Russell T. Davies rejuvinated Doctor Who for a 21st century audience, the show's format has been to have a female companion that serves as a bit of a romantic interest for The Doctor. Naturally, since this is T.V., the companions have generally been younger, attractive women. But with Capaldi's Doctor now entering the Tardis, it would seem odd to pair up an older Doctor with a younger companion, at least in any sort of romantic way.
There's also been speculation that current Doctor Who showrunner and head writer Steven Moffat has been instructed to uncomplicate the plotlines for the show. Perhaps that may mean not having multiple season long story arcs, or perhaps it may mean returning to the ways of the old school Doctor Who series from the 1960s-1980s, which featured more of a fatherly Doctor jaunting around the universe.
Production on the next season (the eighth) of Doctor Who is scheduled to commence in October. Peter Capaldi will have his first on-screen appearance as The Doctor when Matt Smith's Doctor rejuvinates in the upcoming Christmas/50th anniversary episode, scheduled for broadcast come November.