Published on April 24th, 2014 | by Christian Cawley

Explore the Surreal with New Doctor Who Star Peter Capaldi

From time traveller to art enthusiast. New Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi appears in new online film exploring Surrealism in art.

Peter Capaldi, famed for The Thick of It, In the Loop and, most recently, as the Twelfth Doctor in the BBC Television series Doctor Who stars in a new online film exploring Surrealism in art.

In Unlock Art: Exploring the Surreal, Capaldi investigates how psychoanalysis and the unconscious mind shaped the Surrealist movement. The film examines the key players including Miro, Ernst and Dali and explores how the movement’s playful yet sometimes disturbing nature impacted contemporary culture and society; from art and theatre through to pop, humour and even politics.

This is the seventh Unlock Art film in the series of eight produced in collaboration between Tate and Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts which aims to unlock the big stories and ideas behind art. Other presenters in the series include indie rock band The Kills, author and broadcaster Dawn O’Porter, HBO Girls star Jemima Kirke and actor Alan Cumming.

Unlock Art aims to take viewers on a journey through various art movements and themes, from the history of the nude and humour in art, to Surrealism and Pop – offering the need-to-know facts, and making the arts more accessible to a wider audience.

Unlock Art is part of Le Méridien Hotel and Resorts’ ongoing commitment to provide a new perspective on the hotel experience through a curated approach to arts and culture.

Head to the Le Méridien ‘Unlock Art’ microsite for more: Meanwhile, follow the #UnlockArt hashtag on Twitter.

Previous Unlock Art films:



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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+.

8 Responses to Explore the Surreal with New Doctor Who Star Peter Capaldi

  1. avatar caitlindevi says:

    WTF, hes in the Doctor outfit… So is he doing this ‘as’ the Doctor?

  2. avatar Aleksandrovitch says:

    Ha, ha, that’s exactly what I thought when I watched this glorious little film. Tom Baker always says he wasn’t playing the Doctor he was playing Tome Baker. Maybe Peter Capaldi isnt dressed like the Doctor – he’s dressed like Peter Capaldi?

  3. avatar Al says:

    Not quite the Doctor’s outfit, but pretty close! Well, they did say Capaldi chose the costume! I like the fact Capaldi does these projects on the side – I bet a lot of people will learn more about art with the Doctor promoting it! I hope they maintain a bit of the “Doctor as teacher” aspect in Series 8.

  4. avatar simon magellan says:

    Speaking as an exhibited artist myself (I’ve fingers in many pies) it’s nice to see this – frankly I’d rather a Doctor celebrating Art (or as Baker did, reading) than see him prancing around on stage at Glastonbury! More my cup of tea.

  5. avatar Aleksandrovitch says:

    I think it only fair to bring to your attention that not only surrealists have luxuriant hair but also Doctors. Well at least twelve of the Doctors I am familiar with

  6. avatar Ella says:

    I love how he delivers the lines and that dry humour! If this is a hint of his Doctor, then he will be great. Not that I ever doubted it. I watched a lots of his stuff and he is often “larger than life” (something that could be said also about Tom Baker). I love how he keeps promoting art because he is an artist himself. I tend to think he will bring something from it also into DW :) August/September can´t come fast enough :)

  7. Hrm, I agree with everyone who said Capaldi seemed to be presenting this as the Doctor, which is nice. Like that other person said, I TOO want ot see a LOT more of the Doctor as Teacher theme, like they did with Tom Baker. ;)) If not, however, he DOEs look a bit scripted, as though he’s nervous. But, is that what he wants us to think? if so, niiiiiice. A very subtle Tom Baker tone, without being the Baker. I hope Capaldi gets his own chance though, and isn’t overshadowed by a former Doctor. ;) Good luck, Mister Peter!

  8. avatar STLShawn says:

    If you look for Peter Capaldi’s documentary on Scottish Portraits, you will find he is definitely dressed like the doc, and it was a bit before. I am thinking the wardrobe department or the Moff said “He acts like the doc, and he dresses in a unique way,,,don’t change it”.

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