Instigator / Pro
Points: 7

Peter Capaldi Was The Best Doctor


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After 1 vote the winner is ...
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Characters per argument
Contender / Con
Points: 4
BoP is on me.
I believe Peter Capaldi was the best actor to play Doctor Who.
All con has to do is prove that another Doctor was better.
No K’s please, this is a nerdy debate.
Round 1
Peter Capaldi Was The Best Actor To Ever Play The Role Of Doctor Who In The BBC Show “Doctor Who”

I. Acting
I believe Peter Capaldi had some of the best acting in the entire show. For example, look at part 1 of the season 9 finale “Heaven Sent.” [1] It’s a lengthy, scary, and twisting solo monologue not only about escaping from a mysterious creature, but also about him facing his fears. He continually quotes the folktale about the bird who chips away his beak at the mountain, and the episode concludes with a stunning montage of him reciting the folktale.

Another great finale is the two-parter “World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls,” [2] which is one of the best Cyberman stories in the history of Doctor Who due to the origin story it tells. There are many great scenes with the Doctor and Bill that show Peter Capaldi’s excellence. It shows off Peter Capaldi’s wit and charm.

II. Character
I also believe the 12th Doctor, who Peter Capaldi played, has some of the best character development in the entire show. In the Season 8 episode “Into The Dalek,” [3] the Doctor struggles with his conscience, asking himself, his protege (Clara), and even a Dalek if he is “a good man.”

In the Season 9 episode “Heaven Sent,” [1] the Doctor must face his fears whether he likes it or not to escape the Veil. and only during this time do we see the true face of the Doctor.

III. Storyline
I believe that series 8, 9, and 10 of Doctor Who have some of the best storylines in the entire show, and these plots are exemplified by Peter Capaldi’s Acting.

Take the season 8 finale “Dark Water/Death in Heaven.” [4] The writing is absolutely superb, and the way it harkens back to the first Cyberman episode (Cybermen marching on St. Peter’s) is absolutely awesome. You have no idea what is happening until the water starts draining out of the tombs and the Master, or Missy, reveals herself. This is just one example of the suspense and action featured during Peter Capaldi’s time as Doctor.

IV. Conclusion
Peter Capaldi was the best Doctor due to his interesting acting, wild personality, and great storylines. He is one of the most complex and layered Doctors, which is why many people like him.

V. Sources
[1] Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 11 “Heaven Sent”
[2] Doctor Who Series 10 Episode 11/12 “World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls”
[3] Doctor Who Series 8 Episode 2 “Into the Dalek”
[4] Doctor Who Series 8 Episode 11/12 “Dark Water/Death in Heaven”


John Devon Roland Pertwee was by far the best Doctor.

He had the best hair and best dress sense by far.

Also, he is relevant to my youth....Which to be honest was the only time that I regularly watched and enjoyed the programme. The filming effects and storylines were relevant to that era of T.V entertainment.

Dr Who is a Kids T.V. programme that is able to attract an audience of Big Kids...For nostalgic reasons or youthful escapism or what, I'm not certain.

Nonetheless post John Pertwee, Dr Who failed to capture my imagination and I now find it somewhat childish and also sub-standard in terms of effects and production.

Hence my own nostalgic preference for John Pertwee.

Maybe my opponents preference for Peter Capaldi is cultured for similar reasons and I expect that given the amount of Dr's to choose from and the lengthy production span of the programme, the appreciation of voters will be similarly subjective and variable.

The format of Dr Who has changed over the years for the very reasons I give above... It has developed from a serious attempt at Science Fiction into a consistently more and more tongue in cheek, almost comedic interpretation of the genre. I believe that John Pertwee and his personal development of the Dr Who character was therefore the most rounded of all the various interpretations.

An ongoing appreciation and enduring memory of John Pertwee and his style of character acting, was undoubtedly instilled in me by his later endearing interpretation of the Worzel Gummidge character....So who's a Big Kid then!

I personally have no similar recollections or fond memories of Peter Capaldi.

Round 2
Tom Baker had the best hair and dress but I’m not going to talk about him.

“Substandard effects,” ah yes, CGI will never top the magnificent scenes from “The Green Death.” I believe we can all agree that the effects have gotten better over time (but in my opinion they are sometimes overused). Just look at the view of Gallifrey in “Hell Bent” or the Bank of Karabraxos from “Time Heist.” Even the physical effects have gotten better. Look at the Dalek construction in “The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar,” the Cybermen suits in “Dark Water/Death in Heaven” (although the Gaiman design is not the best, you have to admit the craftsmanship of the suits themselves), and the Tardis over the entire series. 

I do agree that the show has become more tongue and cheek with needlessly low-quality slapstick jokes, and I’m not the biggest fan, but I believe this is where some of the appeal for the new doctors (most notably 10 and 11) and it helps add another side of the Doctor to the show. And when you think about it, slapstick has been around for the entire show’s production. Patrick Troughton was a very energetic and silly Doctor, and the same was for Tom Baker and Peter Davison (although the latter is a bit of a spaz), which spawned numerous incidents of unfunny slapstick humor, but nevertheless it’s good in a way.

This level of slapstick humor was more or less lowered once Capaldi came on the show, as his character was supposed to me a darker, reflective Doctor. I believe that Capaldi had the perfect balance of seriousness and humor which is why I believe he is one of the best doctors.
Well, I would suggest that Jon Pertwee and Tom baker had very similar hair styles, but Tom Bakers scarf and hat and overbearing vocal presentation was just pandering to the 70's generation. I found the bow tie subtlety and doctorial nature of Jon Pertwee's character a far more convincing Time Lord. Similarly the current female incarnation is also pandering to social pressures and really does lose the plot for me. Let's see if Jo Martin can make the character more believable.

In many ways Jon Pertwee and Peter Capaldi were similar, though Capaldi's character was nonetheless embued with the developing over exaggerations of the character, despite his supposed darkness.

The emphasis on outlandish dress and behaviour carried right on through to Number 8, where it could well be argued that Paul McGann's portrayal was a good return to the subtlety and character of the original Doctor's, without the overly dramatic presentation of Capaldi.

Nonetheless as I previously stated, Doctor Who preference is perhaps a generational thing and with 13/14 to choose from, then I think that the jury will be well and truly out on this one.

Interestingly the accolade of best Doctor Who is often awarded  to David Tennant, who for me doesn't even rate in the top ten. So it really is all very a subjective and personal decision at the end of the day.

Jon Pertwee's top for me and Peter Capaldi's top for my opponent...I think that this probably says more about us than it does about Doctor Who.

--> @Ragnar
Would you vote?
--> @Ragnar
Torchwood was okay but I never really got hooked to it
--> @nmvarco
Jack should have taken over the series or gotten a renewed spin-off.
--> @Ragnar
Jack should have had a longer part rip
--> @nmvarco
Also I'm completely cool with the Prisoner of the Judoon episode. Weird stuff with the Doctor having a hidden regeneration, or bumping into a potential future regeneration, I'm intrigued (plus Captain Jack!).
--> @Ragnar
You didn’t miss anything other than a HORRIBLY rendered Dalek made from a trash can
--> @nmvarco
I did not see the Christmas episode with a Dalek. I only found out I had missed anything, after finishing a binge of the latest season; at which point, I had simply given up on the show until they get a new show-runner.
--> @Ragnar
Enemy of the Judoon actually had a pretty good plot minus all the pc stuff, but that’s really the only good episode (maybe Ascension, but it got ruined by the finale). Looking forward to the holiday special with the Daleks, 13th doctor hasn’t really had a proper encounter with the daleks yet, except for that horribly rendered cgi Dalek last Christmas — oops I mean new year.
--> @nmvarco
You only say that because you're living in denial of yourself being a secret past incarnation of The Doctor! This is a distinct possibly about every human being, as implied by Chibnall's /brilliance./
I admit I really liked his Dinosaurs in Space episode (stand alone, unseen companions to imply there's plenty of unseen adventures, the Doctor choosing to kill the villain), but when looking for a new show-runner for the first female Doctor, maybe they should have steered clear of the mind behind Cyber Bikini.
--> @Ragnar
BBC: Hmm we need more diversity in doctor Who
Chibnall: What about if the doctor has been female and a minority infinitely many times?
--> @nmvarco
While I disagree, that I might be over hyping it is a non-falsifiable statement.
Part of my appreciation for this episode, is that it was stand alone, being set a quarter of a million years in the future, so not trying to overwrite everything else.
The evolution of the episode is of note, as during pre-production they realized Matt Smith was capable of playing both roles (the doctor and the cyber-planner). Which resulted in a very fun game of chess:
Sadly ideas therein were recently poorly recycled in a true disaster of an episode:
--> @Ragnar
Nightmare in silver was an overhyped disaster
--> @nmvarco, @zedvictor4
If doing this again, I suggest including a couple links, such as to:
Voters shouldn't have to Google pictures of the actors to think of this.
Personally, Matt Smith will probably remain my favorite. Mainly due to the superb writing throughout... Okay probably only the first half of his run... Still, multiple Neil Gaiman episodes!
--> @User_2006
--> @User_2006
It means Kritik
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Regarding BoP: This is a bit of a weird one, as the debate both stipulates that BoP is on pro, and that con must prove a different doctor to be better. With these contradictions in the setup, I'm going to have to weight this as shared BoP.
I'm glad that I'm not a particular fan of either doctor (as much as I understand why they're each preferred to some people).
Pro offers three solid contentions, which are easy to track. Con abandons these, largely to talk of nostalgia (which to be fair is the main reason anyone currently watches the show). Con also raises the comparative effects, as much as this was not flushed out, and pro countered with mocking a bad example from it.
Acting: Slight edge to pro
I was going to call this tied, as con did a great job showing the great impression left by his doctor, but in looking back at this debate I'm able to quickly find an example of pro's choice as advocated with key episodes (not re-watching episodes, but watching a previews of named episodes). Con's choice going on to play Worzel Gummidge (I looked up some clips, and he was indeed played differently than the Doctor), does showcase that the actor is indeed talented and stayed hard working, but it is of decreased impact to his impact on Doctor Who.
Character: pro
We have a citation for the Doctor questioning himself, his companion, and a Dalek, for the question of if he is a good man. This is compared to the show being more tongue in cheek now, and an assertion that the other doctor was "the most rounded of all the various interpretations." That Capaldi is getting away from the tongue in cheek greatly harmed the impact of con's point there.
Storyline: pro
While pro could have flushed things out more with what lasting impacts came from the cited stories, con offered nothing on this.
Effects: pro
This point was raised by con, but not defended when a key episode from his Doctor was mocked, and craftsmanship of recent Cybermen was praised. That said, I am not assigning any real weight to this, as no one expects the special effects to hold up, and the primary focus of this is the Doctor himself.
Nostalgia: con
This undeniably goes to con. The very fact that he is arguing for such an old incarnation of The Doctor, says so many good things about the longevity of that performance.
There is something undeniably good about the Pertwee Doctor, but based on what was presented the Capaldi Doctor wins by a large margin. Con almost seemed to be arguing just that he preferred the show under Pertwee, but very subjectively. Had the subjectivity been a key focus with examples of how amazing various doctors have been, it might have been a winning one (would be pretty hard to do with that character limit).
I had planned to just cast a tied vote, but reading things deeper than my previous skimming a couple weeks ago, this conclusion seems unavoidable.
While these impacted the argument, I don't feel they were integrated enough to earn this point on such a short debate.
For pro, I advise being careful what you put inside quotation marks. "substandard effects" is very different from "sub-standard in terms of effects and production." I also do suggest maintaining use of headings even if your opponent does not.