Deep Breath’s Clockwork Droid to Return?

Here we are, nearly a week since Capaldi’s debut as the Doctor in the season opener, Deep Breath, and it’s still captivating our minds.

Confession time: I’ve already watched it twice on TV and have since picked it up via iTunes. A strong debut, for sure, but I’ll leave the majority of my thoughts on that for a later time. However, despite some critics’ notions and reviews, it should be said that the return of the Clockwork Droids (trademark Lucasfilm – I wonder if Moffat has to cough up some cash every time he uses the word ‘droid’ in Doctor Who? I know that Verizon and Motorola did when they named a phone line after the Star Wars characters… I digress) is one of the highest highlights of the episode, indeed much creepier than the masked versions from their initial appearance in The Girl in the Fireplace. This is largely due to Peter Ferdinando’s performance as the “Half-Face Man.” If you enjoyed his performance (and saw the last five minutes of the episode), you may be pleased to learn that there has been talk of his return.

In an interview with The Independent, Ferdinando admitted that he would enjoy the opportunity to play the character again: “Why not? It’s fun, it’s a scary, juicy role to play because it’s totally different to what I’ve ever done. There was talk about bringing him back but I don’t know whether that will happen or not. If it does, yeah, I’ll do it.”

He also touched on how they brought the character to life, continuing, “I’ve never played a half man half robot before, so it was very exciting and a challenge – dare I say that word – to play something that’s not really real. But he’s trying to turn into a human being, so there was a fine line of trying to find some human qualities in there and the same time he is a robot, so it’s very technical.”

Spoilers for Deep Breath ahead! Given the apparent resurrection in the “Promised Land” and interaction with Missy (there’s a fine article by one of my colleagues musing on who she might be; as for me, I’m thinking she’s the Master or the Valeyard… though I haven’t quite reasoned out how Michael Jayston would have turned into her) it would seem natural that his return may be sooner than we initially thought.

What say you, fellow Kasterborites? Did you enjoy Ferdinando’s “Half-Face Man”? Are you keen to see him return to the role? Let us know!


“That’s bacon! Are you trying to poison me?” And from that line on, I’ve been unable to stop watching, reading, musing about the Doctor. As a recent transplant to the Whoniverse, I’ve been trying to soak up as much Who-related knowledge as possible. That journey has taken me from the Tenth Planet to the Fields of Trenzalore and gently set me at the edge of my seat for what’s next. It’s an honor to be here and I plan to bring a unique perspective. I hope you’ll enjoy the journey alongside me.

  • Jason

    … Clockwork Droids (trademark Lucasfilm – I wonder if Moffat has to cough up some cash every time he uses the word ‘droid’ in Doctor Who?…
    The Doctor called them that in 18th Century Victorian period, which preceeded the Era of copyrights and trademarks, so they’re all good.

    • thenickkitchen

      Touché ;-)

    • Christian Cawley

      Having quickly looked into this, it seems Lucasfilm has only claimed on this trademark for commercial technological items.

      Also the 18th century/Victorian argument is incredibly cheeky ;)

  • TonyS

    “indeed much creepier than the masked versions from their initial appearance in The Girl in the Fireplace”

    I thought the versions in The Girl In The Fireplace were creepier. Mainly due to superior writing.

  • Castellan Spandrel

    The clockworkers in Girl in the Fireplace looked creepy (and beautiful underneath when we saw the mechanism inside the head), but seemed flimsy, like you could easily push one over.

    These ones seemed sturdier.

    Peter Ferdinando is a terrific actor. Watch his performance in a film called ‘Tony’ if you get the chance; it’s on the Horror Channel sometimes.

    It can’t be easy to portray what is, on the surface, a ‘non-feeling’ character, but he made the Half-Face chap sinister and a bit tragic at the same time.

    Someone give this man more TV and film work!

  • Clem So (@Clem_So)

    I thought the new Clockworks were more Terminator (without the computer brain) than droid with a bit of Frankenstein’s monster thrown in for good measure, but certainly more scary than the earlier versions with all the scars (repairs) on their faces. Technically, all the droids were turned off in Deep Breath, so could be turned back on again for a future episode.

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