Doctor Who Roundup: Steven Moffat Talks 50th And Peter Capaldi’s Past Appearances Explained
We’re still a little over a month away from the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor, but anticipation seems to be growing daily. Luckily a few bits and pieces of news and teasers have helped curb our appetite for now. The BBC has announced that a few teasers for the larger trailer will air tonight before and after the premiere of Atlantis. We’ll have those for you as soon as they hit, but some other things have also been going on in the world of Who. Steven Moffat has been out and about talking about the 50th and having two Doctors interact. It’s some surprisingly open comments from Moffat who usually trolls us Whovians. Moffat has also stated Peter Capaldi’s past Doctor Who and Torchwood appearances will be explained thanks to a little help from Russel T. Davies.
Tennant News had the rundown of a recent interview with Steven Moffat about The Day of the Doctor. The showrunner once again said we don’t really know anything about the special because the only things confirmed are things filmed outside, like the Zygons. He said even the things outside don’t mean much since he would “lie to you prodicgiously and regularly right now if I felt it would help kept a secret.” Moffat also touched on having Matt Smith and David Tennant together playing the same person. He explains it’s something strange and weird that only Doctor Who can do:
One of the comments that David and Matt made to each other after the read-through was ‘It’s really weird to hear someone else doing this, because I can keep thinking “Oh, is that how you’re meant to do that bit?” You have to say, ‘No, no, could you please both do it different ways?’ While the flourishes change between the Doctors, the essential Doctor is just the Doctor.”
It’s one of those things that Doctor Who can do. You actually can have another Doctor revisit. I tried to imagine what it would be like to interact with your younger or older self, and I concluded that I’d absolutely hate it. My younger self would be a prat and my older self would just be even uglier. Imagine the lack of hope you’d have the moment the 30 year old me came into the room and saw the 51 year old me and went ‘Really? Is this as good as it’s ever going to get?’ I didn’t write the show like that. That would’ve been depressing.
Most interesting of all though, Moffat explained how the 50th is less about looking back than looking ahead and assuring there’s a 100th Anniversary. Seems we’ll have a huge turning point for the series this November. It’s a long quote, but it bears being seen in full:
You’re going to get every kind of retrospective in the world when it comes to the 50th and you’re not going to be short. To make this show just a walk-down, just a tribute to the past, a backward glance, would be like one of those end of year shows: ‘That was the year that was! Look back and feel slightly old and sad.’ Don’t do that! Of course it’s a celebration of the legend of Doctor Who, but more importantly it’s ensuring there’s going to be a 100th anniversary.
It’s a hugely important story to the Doctor. That was my mission statement. Very, very rarely in Doctor Who does a story matter to him very much at all. Obviously he runs around, defeats mutants, meets a space badger, saves a civilisation, causes epiphanies to happen to everyone he meets, rushes back to the TARDIS and forgets everything about it. If you asked him he might have a vague memory of the badger, and that’s it.
My intent was to move it forward, to have a show that’s equally about the next fifty years of Doctor Who. Attaching the word fifty to anything…I almost tried to rip the logo off saying ‘Why is that good?! That show you’re watching is really old!’ Why is that a good thing to say? It’s about proving we’ve got many, many more stories to tell, and in a way, being able to say the story really starts here. People ask me how am I going to please the regular audience and I say I’m actually on a recruitment drive to get the people who’ve never watched it before to watch Doctor Who. That’s what matters. There are some people out there who’ve never watched it before, God help them. You want them to think, ‘Oh I’ve been missing out, I;m going to join in now.’
If you’re going to celebrate Doctor Who, you’re celebrating the Doctor – well, why not tell his story? What’s it like for him? What’s it like being him, what defines him, what defines what he is? How do you make that might moment in his life? What would be the Doctor’s most important day, what would be the show that would change him as a person for ever, alter the course of his life?
That’s what’s big enough to do for the 50th, rather than just a parade of the greatest hits. Never mind that space badge one; this is the adventure that he really remembers, and thinks, ‘That was the day everything changed.
Finally, new Doctor Peter Capaldi’s previous Doctor Who and Torchwood appearances will be explained in his first season. Steven Moffat told Nerd³ (via Doctor Who TV) that former showrunner Russel T. Davies actually had a hand in the idea to show why The Doctor looks exactly like a man he ran in to in Pompeii:
We are aware that Peter Capaldi’s played a big old part in Doctor Who and Torchwood before and we are not going to ignore the fact. I remember Russell [T Davies] told me that he had a big old plan as to why there were two Peter Capaldi’s in the Who universe: one in Pompeii and one in Torchwood. When I cast Peter and Russell got in touch to say how pleased he was, I said, ‘Okay, what was your theory and does it still work?” and he said, ‘Yes it does. Here it is… We’ll play that one out over time. It’s actually quite neat.
Moffat points out that The Doctor isn’t predestined to wear a particular face. In The War Games we see that the Time Lords gave the Second Doctor a choice. Moffat says that we’ll get answers to the question of ‘where did that face come from?’ With teasers for The Day of the Doctor coming later tonight, it looks like the promotion for the 50th is officially kicking off. There’s a lot going on in the world of Who but there will soon be a lot more things popping up online. What do you think about Moffat’s 50th comments? Do you like the fact we’ll be looking more at what’s to come instead of what has already been?
- Tennant News