Steven Moffat Talks Casting Peter Capaldi As The Doctor: Plus Some Of The Actor’s Geek Credentials
Sunday evening the internet nearly broke. After a 30-minute program on the BBC teasing the big revel of the next Doctor, it was announced that 55-year-old award winning Scottish actor Peter Capaldi would be the next incarnation of the famous Time Lord. While we’re all still very sad that Matt Smith will be regenerating this Christmas, Capaldi‘s casting makes things a lot easier. In the days following the announcement, Steven Moffat has opened up about the selection process. Some of Capaldi‘s geek history has also started to make the rounds as well.
Showrunner and professional troll Steven Moffat told reporters that Capaldi was actually considered at one time as the 11th Doctor, but Matt Smith proved he was the obvious choice with his audition (which might be released online soon). Capaldi is familiar to the Who crew having starred in The Fires Of Pompeii and Torchwood: Children of Earth. On top of all that, he has been a lifelong Whovian. Moffat talked about the shortlist of actors for the 12th Doctor selection:
He did flick through my mind when we were replacing David [Tennant] and it didn’t feel right at all – if you think about that, that wouldn’t have been right, not then.
But there’s something about Matt’s Doctor that paves the way for Peter’s Doctor somehow. The important thing to remember about the Doctor is that it is one character, going through his life, played by a succession of different actors. and you have to get to that place each time. I can somehow absolutely believe that the strange old/young Matt Smith will turn into the strange young/old Peter Capaldi.
[On the 12th Doctor casting] Yes, the list went, ‘Peter Capaldi’ – it was a very short list! Honestly, there was only one audition this time… and it wasn’t an audition so much as… he came round my house and we put him on video to see what he looked like as the Doctor and, gosh, he was terribly good!
I for one am pleased we’re getting an older Doctor this time. Matt Smith was 26 when he was announced as The Doctor and Capaldi is 55. That’s a pretty big age difference. Smith was the youngest actor ever to take on the role, so that means this regeneration will have The Doctor aging the most between regenerations in the show’s history (in real life with the actors that is). Moffat says that the idea to go older wasn’t necessarily a conscious decision:
Not particularly. I mean, the apparent age of the Doctor makes no narrative sense at all – he’s been anything from his 20s to his 70s. Obviously he doesn’t care, he just sort of picks a face off the rack and goes with it!
I think it’s good that we’ve got a different age, just because I cannot imagine what somebody in their 20s would do with the Doctor after Matt showed us all how to be a 20s Doctor. I don’t know what you would do after that, because he was so perfect.
You’d have to be an alternative or a deliberate contradiction – it wouldn’t work, I don’t think. So it makes life easier, I suppose, that Peter is different. But that wasn’t the reason, the reason was… the Doctor was in the room and that’s it. You don’t argue with that!
You can read the full interview over at Digital Spy by clicking here. Moffat took part in another chat with the good folks at BBC America to reveal some different information relating to Capaldi‘s casting. He does reiterate a little of the above, but he does state that they are working on the 12th Doctor‘s scripts and that Capaldi will film his regeneration scene sometime in September.
And finally, we have to show you some of the new Doctor‘s geek credentials. Since the announcement, Capaldi‘s history has been gone over with a fine toothed comb. Two things worth mentioning is this fan letter Capaldi wrote as a 15 year old to the Radio Times about the good Doctor. When he was a little older, Capaldi was in a punk rock band called Dreamboys with Doctor Who superfan and late night talk show host Craig Ferguson. Capaldi (to the left) was the guitar player and lead vocalist. Ferguson (standing and on the right) was the drummer. Ferguson has chatted with Karen Gillan and Matt Smith on his show a few times and was really gunning for a guest appearance on Who. Maybe with his friend and former bandmate taking over the TARDIS he’ll finally get his shot.