Doctor Who is back for the annual Christmas Special on December 25. It will be a bittersweet date as it’s Peter Capaldi’s final episode as the Doctor. Capaldi dished some secrets to fans at New York Comic-Con as his time on the series winds down.
At heart, Peter Capaldi is still the ten-year-old boy who fell in love with Doctor Who when it first aired in the 1960’s. He quite literally has lived his boyhood dream of being the Doctor. Come Christmas, he hands the reigns over to new Doctor Jodie Whittaker. Here are ten things we learned about Capaldi’s time on the show and the transition.
1. He’s a Jodie Whittiker fan
Capaldi couldn’t be more pleased that a woman is taking over the franchise. Apparently he and Whittaker live down the block from each other. Whittaker kept seeing him in their neighborhood cafe and wanted to approach him, but realized she couldn’t because her casting hadn’t yet been announced. This went on for several months.
He stated that he hasn’t given Whittaker any advice because she’ll be brilliant and she won’t need it.
2. How did Capladi find out?
Capladi was at his regular tailor who coincidentally supplies all the Doctor Who suits that he wears. The tailors asked him what was going on because they had been asked to supply several pairs of size 30 waist pants, which are considerably slimmer than Capaldi’s build. He immediately realized that they must have cast a woman for the next Doctor because of the small sizing, and he found out officially two days later.
3. Guest appearances
Despite pleads from fans, Capladi feels his time on the series is finished. He is not a fan of popping back in for a flashback sequence or something of that nature. He did say, “never say never,” but felt his only reappearance might be in a large anniversary special.
4. The former Doctor’s club
Much like former U.S. Presidents bond after their term in office is over, the same is true with former Doctors. They’ve basically formed their own support group. Capaldi said that several times over the years he’s rung David Tennant or Matt Smith up to chat about a Whovian experience only they would understand.
5. Proudest moments
Capaldi is particularly proud of his work on the “Heaven Sent” and “Hell Bent” episodes that marked Clara’s (Jenna Coleman) departure from the series. In particular, the moments where they wiped each other’s memories were very touching. He had heaps of praise for his former co-star.
6. A hairy situation
Capaldi stated that he always wanted his Doctor to have long hair. He didn’t quite get his way in series one, but it got longer as they filmed because he liked the mannerism of his Doctor pulling at it. For season 2 he put his foot down and got his way. He stated that his hair is now longer than it was at age 17, and it drives the make-up and hair people crazy because it has a life of its own.
7. Storyline ideas
Overall, Capaldi professed to be a rubbish writer, and his ideas are never right. He stated that he thought the idea of entering season 2 in a tank playing guitar was insanely bad, and he’d look like a refugee from a 1970’s Cher video. As it turns out, the entrance was hugely popular.
8. People the Doctor should have met
If he had had a say in who the Doctor got to meet, Capaldi stated Jimi Hendrix would have been his choice. He would have wanted the Doctor to invent the “wah-wah” pedal, and hand it to Hendrix for his iconic sound. He envisioned a scene where Hendrix plugged into the TARDIS to get his guitar powered up.
9. Reprising ‘The Thick of It’?
Capaldi won’t be reprising his role of the foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker on The Thick of It. He wryly quipped, “Who knew foul-mouthed politicians would prove to be so popular?” On a serious note, he doesn’t think political humor is particularly funny at the moment. He is proud of The Thick of It, but doesn’t think the series would work in today’s climate. He said that everyone (regardless of their country) should be concerned with voting in people who are wise, observant, empathetic, and intelligent because they will truly make changes for the better.
10. Hints about the Christmas episode
David Bradley is back as the first Doctor. You may remember that Bradley played first Doctor William Hartnell in a one-off special, An Adventure in Time and Space, about how the series came to life.
According to Capaldi, “My doctor is refusing to regenerate. He doesn’t want to turn into someone else. He has to be persuaded to do that. The person to do that is the first Doctor.” For Capaldi, this is a fitting tribute as Hartnell was his own first Doctor as a boy.