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Spirit of Adventure

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Peter Capaldi's second year as DOCTOR WHO sees a shift in the dynamic between the Doctor and his companion, Clara Oswald, as well as a greater sense of adventure. Scott Hocking caught up with Capaldi and Jenna Coleman at San Diego Comic-Con to discover what fans can expect in Series Nine.


Talking to Peter Capaldi is like talking to Doctor Who, in the sense that there's a lot of the actor's personality and charisma invested in the character. But even after a year in the role, he admits there's still nothing easy about playing one of TV's most iconic figures.

"It's quite a difficult role because of the tone of the programme," Capaldi explains. "I have to say because I've been a big fan of Doctor Who since I was a kid, and played Doctor Who in the playground, I thought it would be a bit easier. But with my adult acting head on, as it were, it's more challenging than I thought; you have to be able to be quite funny, and then quite tragic and sad, domestic and cosmic, all in one scene. It's often quite hard to commit truthfully to all those contrasts, but that's what the job is. And you have to be a bit over the top — big eyes, big nose, big hair!" [sienna Coleman notes that her co-star has "ticked all of those boxes".]

Capaldi's casting reintroduced the character's alien side; in Series Eight his Doctor is a darker and more enigmatic persona than Matt Smith and David Tennant's interpretations, uncertain if he's "a good man" and making morally questionable decisions that can have disastrous consequences.

"I think the most exciting thing about the character is that he actually changes," Capaldi says. "In each new regeneration he has to discover who he is himself; it's a mystery to him who he is. So I think a lot of the last season was about him struggling to come to terms with the fact that, morally, he had to make some decisions for the greater good and leave a trail of distress and pain among some people. And he didn't really enjoy that, but he's come to realise that's his role, that he will pursue the greater good sometimes at the cost to other people.

"I think having realised that that's who he is, he realises that life is short, even if you're a two and a half thousand year-old Time Lord, and his time in this regeneration is short. So he recognises that it's time to make the most of that and enjoy life — he and Clara are now a little gang charging through the universe for adventure and being reckless. But that doesn't mean the Doctor of the last season has vanished; it's Doctor Who and there's something coming, so he can't go on having a good time and range around the universe enjoying himself because there's a price to pay."

Series Nine also sees a shift in the relationship between the Doctor and Clara, as well as revealing a more adventurous side to the Doctor's companion.

"I think with a show like Doctor Who, you have to let it take its own life," says Jenna Coleman. "It was a really new companion/ Doctor relationship, I felt, complicated and not easy, but deeply bonded. And it's really nice in this series to have got to the point where they are quite close-knit and a team, facing adventure together. This series Clara isn't split, she's not earthbound and space-bound. Having lost Danny Pink, her perspective has changed and again, like the Doctor, she just wants to eat it all up and look for adventure with reckless abandon and freedom."

Capaldi notes it's this sense of adventure that gives the ninth series an epic quality. "We go to corners of the galaxy, time and space, that we haven't done before and it's realised in a very cinematic, visual kind of way. There's a great sweep

to it in terms of the adventure but also emotionally — there's a lot of stuff going on emotionally that will get paid off."

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  • APA 6th ed.: (November 2015). Spirit of Adventure. JB Hi-Fi p. 40.
  • MLA 7th ed.: "Spirit of Adventure." JB Hi-Fi [add city] November 2015, 40. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Spirit of Adventure." JB Hi-Fi, edition, sec., November 2015
  • Turabian: "Spirit of Adventure." JB Hi-Fi, November 2015, section, 40 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Spirit of Adventure | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Spirit_of_Adventure | work=JB Hi-Fi | pages=40 | date=November 2015 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=20 June 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Spirit of Adventure | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Spirit_of_Adventure | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=20 June 2024}}</ref>