It doesn’t seem thirty one years since Sylvester McCoy found his way out of my costume and stole the Tardis, but it is.

And now Peter Capaldi says that he will be on his way to Who knows where at the end of the series that will start airing in April. We have never met, but I wish him well.

He portrayed a ‘grown up’ doctor after a succession of undeniably excellent, but young, Doctors. We were also spared the romantic connection, hinted or actual, that existed between his immediate predecessors and their companions and which for many viewers, myself included, just didn’t seem right.

Capaldi’s Doctor was unencumbered by a desire to be liked, could be quite rude to the point of seeming uncaring, whilst embodying all the characteristics shared by all Doctors – an ability to see the bigger picture and an innate sense of what was right.

He has clearly shared the great Patrick Troughton’s view that three years was the right length of the Doctor’s tenure, although Tom Baker’s seven years is remembered with great affection by many viewers of the 70’s and 80’s.

And so begins the great triennial debate.

Who will succeed him? And as a new showrunner has been appointed, Chris Chibnall, with the superb Broadchurch as part of his back catalogue as a writer, we can perhaps look forward to something ground-breaking and different. Will he be brave enough to seize the opportunity to cast a woman or an actor of different ethnic origin?

Logically the Gallifreyan species must contain varieties on the white human male lookalikes we have seen so far. Indeed our glimpses of life on the Time Lords’ planet have confirmed that. So is it finally time to break the mould? The bookies are offering odds already. Olivia Coleman is in their frame and as someone well known to Mr Chibnall already and a fantastic actress that is quite understandable. Time (forgive the pun) will tell.

It would feel wrong in this context not to mention the loss to my profession of the peerless John Hurt, who portrayed ‘The War Doctor’ when Christopher Ecclestone was unavailable for the fiftieth anniversary story. I met him once. Sir John was that rare thing: a gentleman, a gentle man and a stellar talent. We will all miss him and his instantly recognisable rich voice but thankfully his unbelievably diverse legacy will remain forever.