Doctor Who: American Viewers Struggle With Capaldi’s Accent

Peter Capaldi's Doctor

It looks as though American ‘Doctor Who’ fans are struggling to understand the new series… after Peter Capaldi’s Scottish accent proves to be a bit too much.

The 56-year-old Glaswegian actor is the first Doctor to use his natural Scottish accent – unlike David Tenant who resorted to decidedly English tones. But while British viewers seem to be taking it in their stride, it’s causing a few translation issues for American fans.

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According to Wales Online, there are numerous reports of international fans who just can’t understand what Capaldi is saying.

“Can’t understand the show anymore without closed captions,” said Canadian fan Anna Hoffman. And Hannah from Delaware is no different. “First noticeable downside of Capaldi: my dad can’t understand his Scottish accent so he rewinds every two minutes.”

Of course, while a lot of it appears to be down to his thick, Scottish accent, there are others who seem to think it’s all down t Capaldi himself. Kelsie Withey from New York, told the Guardian: “I don’t think it’s necessarily because Peter Capaldi is Scottish – he just talks really fast and doesn’t enunciate properly.”

And she’s certainly not alone. Patricia Fletcher – a voice coach from Manhattan – delivered a rather damning verdict on Capaldi’s ability to enunciate.

“The actor often speaks very quickly, with a staccato rhythm and without enough attention to articulating through to the end of his thought/line,” she said. “This does promote a character choice of Doctor Who being sharp and quick-thinking, but does not help us understand what the Doctor is actually saying/thinking.”

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I have to admit, I think they’re all wrong. Perhaps it was a bit of an oversight to assume that the global audience would instantly understand a Scottish accent… but that has nothing to do with Capaldi’s acting ability.

Unfortunately, shifting the blame makes little difference to the fact that there are some fans who clearly can’t understand what the Doctor is saying… and that’s bound to make an impact on how they perceive Capaldi’s Doctor.

Do you appreciate Peter Capaldi’s Scottish accent? Would you rather a typically English Doctor once again? Let us know what you think in the comments below…

About the Author

Ryan Leston is the Editor-In-Chief of Total Geeks. He's a big sci-fi nerd from Cardiff who loves all things Star Wars. His favourite Star Wars film is The Empire Strikes Back and he still wants to be Han Solo when he grows up.