It Wouldn’t Be Christmas Without Doctor Who! Exclusive Interview With The Great Peter Capaldi And Writer/Producer Steven Moffat

(PCM) It just wouldn’t be Christmastime without a little bit of Dr. Who to spice up the season. Fans have been on the edge of their seats waiting for this year’s Dr. Who Christmas Special to air, as it has been nearly a year since we have seen our favorite alien time traveler gracing our screens. The highly anticipated Dr. Who Christmas episode will be titled “The Return Of Doctor Mysterio and will premiere on Sunday, December 25, 9/8c on BBC AMERICA.

This Christmas episode sees the Doctor join forces with a masked Superhero for an epic New York adventure. With brain-swapping aliens poised to attack, the Doctor and Nardole link up with an investigative reporter and a mysterious figure known only as The Ghost. Can the Doctor save Manhattan? And what will be revealed when we see behind the mask?

Peter Capaldi stars as the Doctor, Matt Lucas (Bridesmaids, Little Britain) as Nardole, Justin Chatwin (Orphan Black, Shameless) as Grant and Charity Wakefield (Wolf Hall, The Player) as an investigative journalist.

The special is written by Steven Moffat, executive produced by Brian Minchin, produced by Peter Bennett and directed by Ed Bazalgette (Poldark). It was shot in Cardiff at BBC Wales Roath Lock Studios.

In the days leading up to the new Christmas Special, BBCA will air a Doctor Who Takeover Marathon. The new season of Doctor Who will premiere alongside the Doctor Who spin-off Class in Spring 2017 on BBC AMERICA.

BBCA’s robust slate of originals includes: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency airing now on Saturdays and returning with season two in 2017, BBC Music Awards on December 14th, Planet Earth II on January 28th, plus the final season of Orphan Black and the recently greenlit series from Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Killing Eve.

We were incredibly honored to catch up with the amazing Doctor Who, himself, actor  Peter Capaldi and writer and producer Steven Moffat while out at New York Comic Con back in October and absolutely can’t wait to share with you some of his thoughts on the series, the upcoming Christmas special and so much more!

When we last saw the Doctor he was struggling with his non-memories of Clara and it was quite an interesting way to end the season. When speaking about where the new season will pick up Capaldi reveals, “The Doctor, being that he is not a human being, moves on, but that’s not to say there’re aren’t ripples when he remembers something, such as a sentence or something, but he moves on because there’s a big universe out there and he gets to explore it all. He has a new companion who is new to the whole Doctor Who world and I think he finds that quite exciting and invigorating because he gets to explain it all again in a way that he hasn’t quite done before.  It’s different than with specifically with Jenna/Clara because she was such an  intrinsic part of the Doctor’s timeline and Bill isn’t, she comes from this world, the real world, and that’s a bit of an exciting place to be.”

We know that the character of Lucas will be heavily featured in the upcoming Christmas special, however the Doctor’s new companion Bill will not be gracing our screens until the Series 10 premiere in 2017.

Writer and producer Steven Moffat adds, “We don’t completely ignore what happened with Clara through, that is referenced. It’s a hard one to reference because you don’t know anything about it, but just know it’s in there.”

When speaking about the pop culture phenomenon that is Doctor Who, Moffat comments, “From the point of view of someone who was a fan of the old show, as I grew up devoted to that old show, and I endured those 16 unreasonable savage years when it wasn’t on and then to see it come back … it’s such a strange thing … that show that I loved came back and was the biggest thing on television and knowing that I wrote for it and now I’m running it just seems like a ridiculous thing to have happened. I’m too much inside that to notice, but I’ll be curious once I’ve left and the Doctor will carry on as another show that I’m no longer involved with and then it will finally have come back for me properly as somebody else’s TV show not the one I worked on.”

Capaldi adds, “It is extraordinary that you don’t realize .. and like Stephen I loved the show growing up as well … but when you get to be Doctor , which is not a phrase I ever thought I would say. It’s a world-wide phenomena. To me, it’s always felt like a very intimate and personal thing, so to suddenly find yourself in South Korea and people are crazy about you or New Zealand or Latin America where fans absolutely adore it, it’s an truly amazing experience. Obviously the rebirth of the show is what has stimulated the great success that we have at the moment, but if you go to Mexico they’ve had it there since 1963 and it’s extraordinary to discover that there’s something in the show that speaks to people all over the world. They always ask me what it is and I don’t know what it is, so I end up asking them.

The most common answer I get is escapism. It’s a very clear escapism and the Tardis, unlike other sci-fi type genre shows, it can just show up in the mall or in your backyard  or in a forest and you can step into it and it will take you anywhere in time and space. It’s definitely a fantasy for some people.”

Doctor Who is a series that can flawless blend together both elements of science fiction with very human and emotional moments as well. Capaldi tells us, “I think it’s interesting because the science fiction madness aspects of the show, we’re quite exuberant, where he’s the “mad” Doctor and he’s really quite “mad”, but we always take the emotional side of it really seriously, so we are deadly serious about the emotions. It does that thing a little bit with the monsters and the mayhem and then the melodrama and they act as sort of metaphors for how you feel about things.  You can make a story about something because it has an emotional impact.

If you look at old science fiction, before science fiction was mainstream, it was a cold and unemotional world, wasn’t it? Lots of men in recently pressed uniforms barking orders to each other, not that, that isn’t great, but the emotion is what we take terribly seriously in Doctor Who and sometimes maybe we get the physics wrong, but that’s the idea”.

We went on to discuss all of the various Doctor Who props and cosplay that occurs at Comic Con and Capaldi says, “It’s great fun to get into contact with the people who love the show. They watch it and it’s part of their lives. Most of the experiences I’ve had with people who are in cosplay is that they are all smart, clever, funny, and they don’t take it too seriously. They have a great way of affection for the show and that’s lovely to be around.”

Talking about the Doctor’s relationship with Bill and what it has been like to watch that play out Capaldi reveals, “It’s great fun because in a way because the show’s been a way for 53 years there are some things that we’ve all gotten used to, which are extraordinary things and because of Bill they are extraordinary once more. The whole concept of having a time machine that’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside and the whole concept of being able to move not just through time, but through space and the whole concept of being able to leave the real world behind and to go into this battle-scarred weird crazy cosmos is new again.”

Also, we just had to know what it’s like having the screwdriver back to which Capaldi replied, “Well, I love them them both, but the screwdriver is really great. People really love the screwdriver, but I always don’t quite know where to put it because it’s so heavy and it tears all the lining in your jacket. They’ve actually just sewn me a new sonic screwdriver, and they should really market this .. it’s like a toolkit and it acts like a holster of sorts.  It’s a sonic holster! (laughs)

 

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