Capaldi: ‘I want no Papa-Nicole moments.’

You may well be aware that Peter Capaldi appeared in yesterday’s Sunday Times Magazine, a supplemental that ships with the full Sunday Times newspaper (which takes most people over a week to read). Sadly, with the online version only accessible through a paywall, there hasn’t been too much talk about the full article.

Hardly a surprise – there’s a lot to read (as opposed to many interviews of this kind, which are padded with fluff) in particular Capaldi’s thoughts on who his Doctor is. Interviewer Matt Rudd declares in the closing paragraph that he’ll “…be surprised if he doesn’t become the most compelling Doctor to date.”

So what leads him to this conclusion? Well, the conversation seems to start well, and Capaldi is in a chatty mood. He’s also very definite about who his Doctor is.

“There’ll be no flirting. that’s for sure,” he says. “It’s not what this Doctor’s concerned with. It’s quite a fun relationship, but no, I did call and say, ‘I want no Papa-Nicole moments.’ I think there was a bit of tension with that at first, but I was absolutely adamant.”

There are a couple of discussions about the Doctor’s new look. The first explains why Capaldi chose the dark colours.

“Magician look?” he says, more defensively. “I think it’s quite a hard look. I always wanted him to be in black – I always just saw the Doctor in dark colours. Not tweed. Matt’s a really young cool guy – he can wear anything, but I wanted to strip it back and be very stark.”

Later on, with Capaldi wearing the Doctor’s clothes, Rudd takes the conversation back to clothing, quizzing him about the outfit.

“Do you feel like the Doctor now?” I ask. “I do,” he replies, twirling. “I do.” “Are the twirls a punk thing?”

“It’s graphic shapes,” he says, twirling some more. “That’s why being in black is so great. You can make these spidery shapes. It’s like German expressionism or Sixties caricatures. They’re very graphic lines.”

What should be most encouraging to fans of classic Doctor Who, however, is this.

“I didn’t want to be Doctor Who in a Doctor Who I didn’t like. I had to be convinced the show was going in a direction I was interested in. I had to think carefully about the level of visibility. My life was blessed, but as soon as this happened I had paparazzi outside my house. People spoke to me before and recognised me, but nothing like this. I had to decide if I was ready to live with that. because once that genie is out of the bottle, it doesn’t go back in.”

So what does it mean?

Well, Capaldi has an Oscar. He’s been acting almost 30 years, and knows what quality is. We have high hopes for the Twelfth Doctor, dear reader, and so should you…

Christian Cawley


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+.

'Capaldi: ‘I want no Papa-Nicole moments.’' have 7 comments

  1. July 28, 2014 @ 10:06 pm vortexter

    The more this guy speaks, the more I like him. ‘I didn’t want to be Doctor Who in a Doctor Who I didn’t like.’ I’m glad we have him as The Doctor and I get more excited every minute I think of it. Welcome aboard Peter.


  2. July 28, 2014 @ 10:24 pm Howard Railton

    What a marvellous actor and human being! It’s such a great breath of fresh air for Capaldi to stick to his guns like this and really define his Doctor from the get-go. The sad fact is that poor old Mat seemed hopelessly bogged down by the endless burdening plethora of salacious twaddle that just isn’t what Who should be, and certainly wasn’t what it was when it was really great. Capaldi has the sense to know he’s got to make something he has fundamental belief in first and foremost, good on him!!! Go for it, Pete and stick it to ‘em.

    On the downside, can Gareth Roberts actually write a story without all that guff? He seemed hard pressed to write anything worth wasting film on when he last blew a Smith ep. Clearly, the series needs a better calibre writer.


  3. July 29, 2014 @ 4:20 am Zontar

    I think it works if each Doctor is different, so Tennant kissed a girl and all that
    Matt Smith didn’t really have that- but did have his own style & I liked it
    But I also think Capaldi should have his own style & it sounds like he will
    We should be able to enjoy one Doctor without denigrating those before him (or after)


  4. July 29, 2014 @ 4:32 am rickjlundeen

    For the first time in a LONG time, maybe since the 1970′s, the actor playing the Doctor has a bit more command in the proceedings than most other folk, possibly including the show runner, and by that I think the Moff may defer to Capaldi more than he did to Smith. But I see the reasoning there…..Smith was a bit like Tom Baker, very artistic, very free form but a I get the feeling that Capaldi really has an acting strategy, has really thought certain things through on a whole other level. I like that.

    And really, here’s a guy who as big a a Who fan, as knowledgable, probably more so than Davies or Moffat. He knows his stuff. August 23 rd can’t get here soon enough.


  5. July 29, 2014 @ 10:51 am Ranger

    I think that Capaldi has hit the nail on the head and will deliver exactly what the long-term and die-hard fans want. I am really excited.

    However, I do wonder what the more casual younger, sex-idol seeking viewers will make of him. Will he lose these fans, will he pick up the fans that have left because the couldn’t stand the recent soap-opera feel? Intriguing.


  6. July 29, 2014 @ 12:52 pm DonnaM

    Maybe Mr Capaldi wasn’t the only one auditioning at Mr Moffat’s house that day :-)

    Seriously, has the man put a foot wrong since he managed to keep his head and his dignity on that ridiculous live “introduction” show? His demeanour on set, as reported by spectators, his costume choice, to my eye at least, and now this. The man just gets it where the Doctor is concerned.

    I can certainly imagine that a highly experienced actor who is also an Oscar and BAFTA winning writer/director would be far more assertive in giving his opinions to the showrunner than for instance Matt, a 26-year-old when he took over from DT if I remember rightly, would feel confident about. As long as they’re both thinking along similar lines and there’s not going to be too much “creative tension” I think that could be a very good thing.


  7. July 29, 2014 @ 8:10 pm teddybowties

    ooo sexy! he mentioned sixties caricatures and German expressionism! mmmmm I want to see him twirl because of that. He mentioned something I know about- I’m ecstatic to see his take on that!


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