Published on September 29th, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

Moffat: Capaldi Appearances Theory Will Be Included [VIDEO]

Steven Moffat recently chatted to the Nerd³ guys about various Doctor Who and Sherlock topics (not to mention Tumblr) in a video interview on YouTube, which you can view above.

Easily the most interesting aspect of the discussion on the comfy sofa was the fact that Peter Capaldi’s prior appearances in Doctor Who and Torchwood are going to be recognised in future episodes.

As you may recall, Capaldi guested as Caecilius in Fires of Pompeii and also played the unpleasant politico John Frobisher in the superb Torchwood: Children of Earth. Unlike Freema Agyeman and Karen Gillan, these are two significant roles and The Moff has revealed that he is “not going to ignore the fact.”

I remember Russell [T Davies] told me that he had a big old plan as to why there were two Peter Capaldi’s in the Who universe: one in Pompeii and one in Torchwood. When I cast Peter and Russell got in touch to say how pleased he was, I said, ‘Okay, what was your theory and does it still work?” and he said, ‘Yes it does. Here it is…’

We’ll play that one out over time. It’s actually quite neat.

There is also some interesting news about the nature of regeneration, and why the Doctor ends up with a particular face.

The face is not set from birth. It’s not like he was always going to be one day Peter Capaldi. We know that’s the case because in The War Games he has a choice of faces. So we know it’s not set, so where does he get those faces from? They can’t just be randomly generated because they’ve got lines. They’ve aged. When he turns into Peter he’ll actually have lines on his face.
So where did that face come from?

Lots to look forward to when the new Doctor finally turns up…

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About the Author

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




18 Responses to Moffat: Capaldi Appearances Theory Will Be Included [VIDEO]


  1. Okay… I see where this is going… and I think it’s magnificent! #RespectforRTDandMoffatt

  2. DonnaM says:

    I just hope it isn’t too involved. Not all Doctor Who viewers watch Torchwood, and not everyone obsesses over these detail. If you try and get too clever and inward-looking, you can easily alienate people!

    That said, RTD and Moffat are clever chaps; I’ll be intrigued to see what they’ve come up with!


  3. It will be interesting to find out how this works as in classic who they never explained why the sixth doctor looked like commander Maxill

  4. Geoff says:

    People knock SM a lot but to me this demonstrates one of the areas where his strength lies: he thinks about this stuff and it interests him because he’s a geek fan like us. Unlike us he has the gift of being able to drop it into a script with a lightness of touch, usually funny and in a way that doesn’t spoil or alienate you from the show if you don’t know that the hell hes talking about. I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out too.

  5. Lozzer says:

    So he said we’ll possibly do the Angel story (other writer pitched) the year after this one – looks like he’s planning on staying till at least series 9. Great interview, bring on Capaldi.

  6. Mugen Pharoah says:

    I always had a pet theory that as the Doctor travels through time he absorbs the DNA or just absorbs other people’s appearances subconciously and they manifest themselves when he regenerates. So this explains why he resembles the Abbot of Amboise, Salamander, Maxil and John Frobisher….as he flits through time he just absorbs these fizzgogs around him or through the Earth’s (or whatever planets’) morphic field. As he travels in time he might meet a double of him which in a timey wimey way goes back into the past and influences his appearance.

    However it might be more interesting if the Doctor’s regeneration isn’t just physical and instead all Time Lords have a personal or collective pool of potential versions of themselves in another dimension. This is why in the War Games they can show a range of potential bodies (the thin one looking quite a bit like Matt Smith!) Regeneration can’t be totally physical as the Doctor’s clothes change when he regenerates numerous times (1st to 2nd, fourth to fifth, fifth to sixth [where all the Androzani crud on him has magically disappeared in The Twin Dilemma {but this could be the TARDIS’ Magic Laundry Fairies}) .

    i’m looking forward to how this all plays out….

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  8. I bet it will end up being a 5 seconds line about a subconscious reaction from a past memory.

  9. Francis Cave says:

    Maybe I am getting old but there are times during that interview where I would seriously want to give those two guys a slap…


    • Seems like a reasonable response to me…

      Seriously though, that’s a video that needed some serious trimming before being published, simply for quality control.

      On the other hand, it wasn’t as bad as Moss’ Board Games show in the last IT Crowd.

      • Francis Cave says:

        Which version, i.e. with or without womens slacks on?


        • Without. Of course ;)

  10. vortexter says:

    Romana 2 based her appearance on Princess Astra in Destiny. Seems if they take a shine to a face perhaps a Timelord can mimic it.

  11. TimeChaser says:

    I’m not sure they need to make a big deal of him having the same face as two other men who’ve appeared in the series and one spin-off. They never dwelled for a second on the fact that Six looked like Maxill. I think Time Lords are simply genetically programmed to shuffle through an infinite number of bodies and its mere luck of the draw whatever the Doctor gets when he regenerates.

    Perhaps they can mention Caecilius in one quick line, but since the Doctor never met John Frobisher, why bother bringing him up? Doctor Who and Torchwood have forged their own paths to the point that I don’t even consider them in the same universe anymore, because no one in Doctor Who after either Children of Earth or Miracle Day ever says to him “Hey what do you think about that time when everyone on Earth stopped dying?” etc.

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  13. Tlee89 says:

    Or what if john frobisher is the doctor himself forced to use the stop watch and go into hiding again and frobisher is just a cover we all saw how 10 trully beleived he was John smith the teacher in that episode..so who’s to say 12 doesn’t embark on a political career as his cover and get caught up in all the events with the.456 in children of earth. Which would also explain the doctors absence from the event I know frobisher seemingly commits suicide along with his family behind a closed door thats the only dent in this theory . unless thats how he regenerates in to 13 but that would ruin the doctors reputation being a murderer and all.
    Anything could of happened behind that door they could work with . But like alot of people are saying its not really overly important to explain it really.

  14. Ch1cky says:

    Peter capaldi in fires of Pompeii could have been 12 in human form. 10 wouldn’t recognise him because he hasn’t been him yet, and in human form 10 wouldn’t know he was a timelord. at the very end of the episode he is holding something that looks rather similar to a pocket watch, maybe as it’s much in the past the pocketwatch disguises itself as something more relevant to that time. . . .

  15. Jim says:

    What happened with Romana being able to choose her regen-body??? Was it just the Doctor that couldn’t choose, or was it something I missed???

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