SFX - - Doctor Who -

Peter Ca­paldi decks the tardis halls

What can you tell us about this spe­cial?

It’s fes­tive, it’s light-hearted, it’s a big, rol­lick­ing Doc­tor Who ad­ven­ture, but with a fes­tive and comic edge to it. The Doc­tor is sought out to per­form a task, to help a king. But he’s not quite up to the task. And the king is un­happy with him. But this is all in a very fu­tur­is­tic way, with fly­ing saucers and ro­bots. So it touches on a lot of Christ­mas themes, but re­mains very Doc­tor Who-ish.

We’ve seen a warmer and more open Doc­tor this year. Was that driven by the scripts or you per­son­ally?

I think both. When you come into it in the first sea­son, you’re sort of ex­plor­ing and try­ing to find out who this par­tic­u­lar Doc­tor is, and that car­ries on. We did feel he’s a lit­tle more used to him­self now. So let’s warm him up a lit­tle. Let’s see him have some fun. Be­cause I al­ways felt he ac­tu­ally loved the po­si­tion he was in, that it was really ex­cit­ing to travel through time and space.

Do you know where you want to take him next?

There are so many colours and you want to com­bine those colours. It’s ironic be­cause I’ve been telling you how this per­son came to be more at ease. But then the events of the pro­gramme crush him. He was right. He was right to be dis­tant and sus­pi­cious. Be­ing cheer­ful and warm and funny is all very well but the dark still comes. I think that’s an in­ter­est­ing place to be go­ing into. I think he will be more com­mit­ted to his cru­sade.

Did you get any Doc­tor Who Christ­mas presents as a kid?

There wasn’t much Doc­tor Who mer­chan­dise when I was grow­ing up. I grew up dur­ing the Dalek­ma­nia pe­riod. My par­ents, god bless them, bought me a Dalek cos­tume. The box had a much more con­vinc­ing illustration of what it was sup­posed to be. When you opened the box it was a dome with like a plas­tic skirt, with cir­cles drawn on it, and with two holes that you stuck your hands through. It was a kind of ab­stract version of a Dalek. My mother al­ways used to buy me the Doc­tor Who an­nual. In fact she did un­til quite re­cently as a sort of joke! Which is why I have this huge col­lec­tion of Doc­tor Who an­nu­als… Nick Setchfield

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