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A mysterious Dr Who

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The Time Lord becomes a superhero in a new Christmas special that pays tribute to the Christopher Reeve-era Superman movies, writes Tiffany Fox

When Latin American children hid behind their couches in fear of the Daleks and Cybermen terrorising their television screens, it was not Doctor Who who would come to the rescue but Doctor Mysterio.

The translated title is a quirk of the long-running sci-fi show's history that Peter Capaldi has long enjoyed, and one that brought an extra level of delight to the upcoming Christmas special, Dr Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio.

The Return of Doctor Mysterio, which premieres here today, sees Capaldi's Doctor team with an investigative journalist, played by Charity Wakefield, and a superhero to save New York from a deadly alien threat.

The Time Lord is new to the superhero genre and Capaldi said the special was a gentle tribute to the Christopher Reeve-era Superman movies, rather than the current Marvel and DC franchises hitting our big screens.

"Superhero movies these days are all sort of knowing and sarcastic and full of destruction and smartness but the earlier superhero movies of the Christopher Reeve period were more ironic and lighter and funny, and that suits Christmas and suits Doctor Who," Capaldi said.

"It is light but it is still thrilling.

"Christmas episodes tend not to be as scary as the regular ones, but it is thrilling as well as being funny."

The Christmas episode also marks the return of comic Matt Lucas as Nardole, last seen in the previous special as one of two detachable heads sharing a robotic body.

"Oh, well, the Doctor can solve that," Capaldi said with a laugh.

"I am thrilled that (Lucas) is back. He is very, very funny, very clever and because he plays an alien it now means the Doctor has an alien chum and it brings a whole different colour to the show."

Christmas will also mark another special Doctor Who event with the screening of an animated recreation of the long-lost series Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks.

The story arc, which first aired in the UK in 1966, is one of the most celebrated Doctor Who adventures but it is believed no complete film recordings survive after the master negatives were destroyed in a BBC archive purge in 1974.

This brand new animation is based on the program's original audio recordings, surviving photographs and film clips, and features the regeneration – or as it was then called "renewal" — of First Doctor (William Hartnell) into Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) and follows the Time Lord and his companions Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben (Michael Craze) as they do battle with the Daleks on the planet Vulcan.

Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks will be fast-tracked to ABC iview today, immediately after the BBC's broadcast of the Christmas special. In the meantime, Capaldi is busy filming the upcoming 10th season of the "new Who", which will see his Doctor invite a new companion, Bill, played by Pearl Mackie, into the TARDIS alongside Lucas' Nardole.

Capaldi said the new season would almost be a "reboot" for the long-running series because it saw the science fiction series touch base with its beginnings.

"It is hard-core Doctor Who in the sense that it has gone back to its origins and it is a show about an innocent from Earth who is swept into this world of galactic conflict by this mysterious character and you get great monsters, great fun and terrific stories," he said.

"We get to do that great thing of genre busting, which Doctor Who does so well, because the Christmas special is a classic superhero story but then we will get into hard-core science-fiction stories.

"And there will be episodes that are like a horror movie and episodes that are historical.

"And monsters, lots of monsters, and adventure, which is what it's all about."

Caption: Peter Capaldi plays The Doctor in Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Fox, Tiffany (2016-12-26). A mysterious Dr Who. The Western Australian .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Fox, Tiffany. "A mysterious Dr Who." The Western Australian [add city] 2016-12-26. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Fox, Tiffany. "A mysterious Dr Who." The Western Australian, edition, sec., 2016-12-26
  • Turabian: Fox, Tiffany. "A mysterious Dr Who." The Western Australian, 2016-12-26, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=A mysterious Dr Who | url= | work=The Western Australian | pages= | date=2016-12-26 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=4 December 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=A mysterious Dr Who | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=4 December 2023}}</ref>