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The Peter Capaldi Tapes

Peter Capaldi met the press on a number of occasions from 2013, but not everything he said was reported. This collection of previously unseen quotes from those interviews reveals a new side to the man who played the Twelfth Doctor.
The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) goes through his old paperwork in The Lie of the Land (2017).

It wasn’t what I signed up for. I’d been given the role of Doctor Who and then they more or less immediately said, ‘We’re going to launch you live on BBC One.’” It feels like a lifetime ago – and for the Twelfth Doctor, it was. On Sunday, 4 August 2013, Zoë Ball announced Peter Capaldi was to play the Time Lord’s next incarnation. “I thought it was going to be like Stars in Their Eyes”, Peter reflected later. “‘Tonight, Matthew, I’m going to be Doctor Who!’…”

This was his Doctor’s introduction to the world. Some words with Zoë, and then little more said in public until he spoke to press at Roath Lock Studios in Cardiff, the following summer. As the Doctor, Peter’s job entailed regular sessions with journalists – mostly in meeting rooms and sometimes in between shooting scenes. Tens of thousands of words spoken, most of which, due to (lack of) page space, never saw print. Having heard from our new Doctor last issue,Doctor Who Magazine is now taking you into those rooms, to capture some of the conversations which accompanied Peter Capaldi’s tenure.

“Although people may disagree very violently about different aspects of the programme, their affection for it remains very sound and pure.”

12 June 2014

“You can step from the supermarket car park into the Andromeda nebula.”

It’s Peter’s first press day as the Doctor. As with Matt Smith before him, it’s been held back until he’s nearly completed work on his debut series. Here we go: Is the Doctor you’re playing different from the one you fantasised about as a child? He laughs gently. “When you’re a kid, you just be whichever Doctor is on. You don’t think, ‘My Doctor would do this!’ because you’re not an actor, you’re a kid. I never had any concept of a Doctor I would play. Even as an actor, it wasn’t something I thought was likely to happen to me.” Nonetheless, when he was announced to the world, his first instinct was a lapel-clutching tribute to William Hartnell. “The audience applauded for too long”, he explains, “and I thought, ‘I can’t just stand here, what do I do?’ So I did that.” He continues:

“I grew up in the 60s. So, I grew up with Doctor Who, The Beatles, Sunday Night at the London Palladium, school milk, bronchitis and smog. Little S-buckle belts. Doctor Who is part of my DNA.” He reflects that the things in the series which appealed to him as a child are still part of it today. “It’s this relationship between the domestic and the epic. The dark and the light. The sense that a hand could be extended and you can step from the supermarket car park into the Andromeda nebula. The Doctor appears and takes people deep into the forest where there are monsters. But he will deliver them back into safety at the end… I love monsters. Everybody loves monsters. Any show with monsters in it works.” Although he’s yet to be seen on TV in the role, he is now the Doctor. “I’m Doctor Who! How did that happen?” he laughs. “Every day is amazing. I feel guilty. My wife says to me, ‘Are you still enjoying it?’ I say, ‘Yeah. Sorry.’”

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About Doctor Who Magazine

DWM 522 throws new light on Doctor Who's success in its early years, with exclusive interviews with two people who knew Terry Nation (the creator of the Daleks) well: his agent Beryl Vertue and his writing colleague Brad Ashton. Doctor Who Magazine 522 also includes: • New research which reveals the Dalek toys which never made it to the shelves • The story of the Daleks in print in the 1960s • Previously unseen interviews with Peter Capaldi • Comedian – and now Doctor Who writer – Susan Calman discusses her love for the Time Lord • Emma Freud, the organiser of Comic Relief's unprecedented Breakfast with the Doctors is interviewed • Christel Dee’s guide to cosplaying Ace • Part four of The Phantom Piper, a new comic strip adventure featuring the Doctor and Bill • The Fact of Fiction explores the 2006 Tenth Doctor story New Earth • Previews, book and audio reviews, news, The Blogs of Doom, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!