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Doctor New (The Sun) (2014)


  • Publication: The Sun
  • Date: 2014-08-23
  • Author: Paul Simper
  • Page: TV Magazine, p. 4
  • Language: English

What's Up Doc?



Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi on the role he couldn't refuse, his fans' reactions, and the relationship problems with his new companion

When it comes to Saturday-night, family-friendly entertainment, the likes of The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing can't compete with Doctor Who, as far as Peter Capaldi is concerned.

"Doctor Who is the best Saturday-night programme," he says with absolute certainty. "Always was and always will be."

Viewers can decide for themselves tonight what to make of the older, starker, spikier Time Lord.

When TV Magazine exclusively spoke to Peter during his last week of filming the new 12-part series, he was contemplating the prospect of a global tour.

"I'm hoping I'm not going to collapse," says Peter who, at 56, is the eldest actor to take on the role since the original Doctor William Hartnell, "because I'm more or less going straight on to a plane to South Korea to start the tour. I didn't realise the show was so successful. It's huge in Latin America, Rio, Mexico...

"Even the live launch came as a surprise [laughs]. That was more or less the first thing that was said to me: 'You're going to be revealed live on television.' I thought: 'Oh, that's not really what I signed up for,' but it's all part of the fun of it. Doctor Who is a big, magical fun ride. There's a healthy dose of showbiz attached to it and people like that, so it's good to get out there and give people the access. But a world tour — who would have thought? It's a wonderful privilege."

Peter would no doubt say the same about his appointment, having been a lifelong fan of the show since he first saw it on his family's black-and-white TV in the 60s in Glasgow. He was somehow both the most and least obvious choice to play the Doctor after Matt Smith laid down his sonic screwdriver last Christmas.

"You have to think about that offer carefully because you certainly become more visible, which is a different experience," he says. "My life prior to Doctor Who was very blessed already. I had to think about whether I wanted to change that and take on the big changes the show might bring."

Such as an action figure of himself, for example. He laughs.

"I saw it last week — it's good," smiles Peter. "It's very strange to see yourself at that size — pocket-sized Pete!

"At the end of the day, how can you say no to Doctor Who? Do you want to be the guy who said no to Doctor Who? For the rest of your life? Do you want to walk around watching the other Doctor?!

"My life has changed completely in the last year, but that's sort of why you become an actor — so you don't go to the same office every day for 50 years."


In time, the show's fans could decide that Peter is the best Doctor of all. In his debut, he is funny, charismatic, scarily intense —with his "attack eyebrows", as he describes them — as the Time Lord hares about Victorian London trying to put himself back together after his regeneration. But Peter admits he could never have done what previous incarnation Matt did.

"I think I would have found this difficult when I was Matt's age [26 at the time he became the Doctor]," says Peter. "At that age, I was less assured as an actor than he is and not so in touch with my skills. I was watching him the other night in an old episode — he has such a magic and wisdom about him. And he's been a big help to me. Both he and David Tennant have been tremendously helpful."

When Matt departed, he left behind Jenna Coleman as the Doctor's companion, Clara Oswald. In the Matt era, there was flirting and even snogging, but it's clear that theirs is now a very different relationship.

"Yeah, because they don't know each other," says Peter. "Suddenly the Doctor has become a completely different person — although he's the same person. And he doesn't make it easy for Clara to get to know him. They care deeply about each other, that's the bottom line. But it's not a smooth and harmonious bond..."


The same cannot be said for Peter and his co-star Jenna Coleman.

"Jenna plays this part so beautifully," he says. "She's my favourite companion."

And how did he feel when he sat down and watched his Doctor Who debut?

"To see oneself as the Doctor is moving and exhilarating," he says. "I'm the only person on the planet who is the person playing Doctor Who, watching himself. But of course you get anxious and it's nerve-wracking because you know that people may not like you, but that's life. The thing with Doctor Who is, you know if people don't like you, somewhere there are people who love you. Even if it's just a handful. And I don't mean my family.

"It's an extraordinary job. You have to be dramatic and comic and able to spin on a sixpence, and you have to act with men in monster suits and with some of the finest actors in the country. Some episodes can be very sombre and dramatic, some very comic, some full of explosions and some domestic. There isn't another show like it. You're outside of the normal. You're not a policeman. You don't walk around solving murders. It's a. total one-off. There's nothing else like it."

Saturday nights, the Doctor will see you now.

Caption: Jenna Coleman (left) returns as the Doctor's assistant, Clara

Caption: Peter describes Jenna as his favourite companion


To celebrate the new Doctor Who 'Regeneration' Sticker Collection, TV Magazine has teamed up with Topps to give one lucky reader seven framed Alien Attax memorabilia cards featuring genuine material from the costumes worn on set by David Tennant and Matt Smith.

Plus, we're giving away 4,000 Doctor Who 'Regeneration' Sticker Starter Packs", which feature Peter Capaldi


Ever wondered how Doctor Who makes it from the original idea to our screens? These storyboards, given exclusively to TV Magazine, were drawn by the director of tonight's episode, Ben Wheatley. But Peter has forbidden us from revealing how accurately they depict what you'll be watching tonight. "I think spoilers are a shame," he says. "People work hard to tell a story in a certain way and part of that is putting surprises in it."

Caption: The Doctor comes to the rescue after a T-Rex storms through Victorian London

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  • APA 6th ed.: Simper, Paul (2014-08-23). Doctor New (The Sun). The Sun p. TV Magazine, p. 4.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Simper, Paul. "Doctor New (The Sun)." The Sun [add city] 2014-08-23, TV Magazine, p. 4. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Simper, Paul. "Doctor New (The Sun)." The Sun, edition, sec., 2014-08-23
  • Turabian: Simper, Paul. "Doctor New (The Sun)." The Sun, 2014-08-23, section, TV Magazine, p. 4 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor New (The Sun) | url= | work=The Sun | pages=TV Magazine, p. 4 | date=2014-08-23 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=20 November 2018 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor New (The Sun) | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=20 November 2018}}</ref>