Series ten will be Peter Capaldi’s third as the Doctor, the same amount that the previous two lasted before regenerating. With Steven Moffat departing after the next series, there’s been talk he’ll be followed out the door by Capaldi. This could leave series 11 being similar to series five; a new show runner, a new Doctor and a rebooted show. But should Peter Capaldi hand over the TARDIS keys or should he hang around into Chris Chibnall’s era?
Looking back at series five, it was the most precarious time in the new era’s short history. If Steven Moffat or Matt Smith didn’t deliver then the show had a very fair chance of being axed. The much loved Russell T. Davies and David Tennant had gone and people were already prejudging Moffat and Smith and prematurely damning them as failures. However series five was a huge hit and led to the budget being boosted for the following series. Despite this, would the show want to take a risk like this again? All it would take is a few iffy episodes from Chibnall or a new Doctor who wasn’t liked and the show would be massively at risk. So I think Capaldi will be asked to stay on. It’s up to him whether or not he wants to.
From all the conventions he appears at, I think it’s fair to say that the Scotsman is loving his time as the Doctor. So why would he want to leave? On the most part his Doctor is liked or loved, perhaps not as widely as David Tennant but adored nonetheless. Personally Capaldi is my favourite Doctor to date and I know I’m not alone in saying that. There’s no fan pressure for him to be replaced so I don’t see any reason why he’ll feel like he has to move on. Three series has been the point in which the tenth and eleventh Doctors reached before bowing out, however they were not under any strain to leave either. I’m not suggesting Capaldi hangs around until he’s forced out, he should leave while he’s still at his peak. But he shows no signs of his performances deteriorating despite him being older than the last few actors to have played the Doctor. Tom Baker’s era did slump ever so slightly toward the end, seven years was maybe too long, but even just an extra series could do Capaldi no harm surely?
By the time series 11 comes around, Chris Chibnall will be one of the most under pressure men in the country. Fans and critics alike will be analysing every episode to ensure the show’s high standards are maintained. Of course he’ll have his own ideas for the show, he’ll definitely want to leave his mark. This includes his own Doctor for which nobody can begrudge him. However he could do with all the help he can get and Peter Capaldi continuing in the role for series eleven will surely ease the transition and help Chibnall settle in to his new job. After series eleven, I think it’ll probably be time for a new Doctor, the show thrives on change. But until then we are privileged to have such a top actor as the show’s star. We should enjoy it and Chibnall should make use of it.