New series scribe Mark Gatiss has opened up about new Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi – and it’s all good!
In a recent interview with the Islington Gazette, Gatiss spoke candidly about the latest incarnation of Gallifrey’s most famous Time Lord.
“I’ve seen quite a bit of him and he’s absolutely fantastic,” he said. “Peter’s just got this amazing, fierce, funny, slightly alarming quality to him – he reminds me a lot of Alastair Sim, actually. You’re not quite sure where you stand with him; he’s very funny, but he’s got this glint in his eye and I think it’s a terrific run of episodes.”
I’m sure a lot of people are terrified that they’ll be lumbered with a brooding, aggressive, sinister Time Lord when the series returns this August. I’m equally sure that the BBC is trying to capitalise on this angst, and whip the fragile fans into a frenzy! As the recent trailer demonstrates, Capaldi is piloting the TARDIS “into darkness” in a manner similar to that of Kerr Avon from Blake’s 7, his expression ice-cool and shrewd. Will the Doctor retain this façade throughout the twelve episode run? Mr Gatiss seems to think so…
So he’s going to be less human, a tad anti-social, quite abrupt, and rude – a Tom Baker/Jon Pertwee/Christopher Eccleston hybrid? That’s actually quite reassuring!
“The brilliant thing about Doctor Who is that it’s always changing like the central character – not just the face of the actor, but the direction of the show.
“David and Matt were both wonderful, but both were very human Doctors and I think it’s time to remind people that the Doctor isn’t always like that. He’s that sort of Tom Baker, Jon Pertwee and even Christopher Eccleston style actually: it’s someone who’s not immediately going to be your best friend and can be quite abrupt and rude.”
So he’s going to be less human, a tad anti-social, quite abrupt, and rude – a Tom Baker/Jon Pertwee/Christopher Eccleston hybrid? That’s actually quite reassuring! Let’s not forget Tom Baker’s wonderful introduction to the Scarlionis in City of Death, peppered with wit and misdirection, all the while concocting a plan. Then there’s Jon Pertwee’s flamboyance and Venusian aikido, and his hovercrafts and gyrocopters, and his incessant ability to perplex, (I point you to the classic Boss scene from The Green Death.) Then there’s the wonderful Christopher Eccleston, grooving to Soft Cell’s ‘Tainted Love’ with gay abandon, and grinning from ear to ear when he discovers the Slitheens’ home planet – “Raxacoricofallapatorius!”
It’s so easy to label any Doctor as The Fierce One, but it’s important to remember that, from 1963 to the present day, it’s the same character – an alien being with a passion for life, justice, and the universe. I’m sure we’ll see all of these qualities in Peter Capaldi’s performance, and it’s fair to say that he probably knows the Doctor as well as any of us. However fierce, alarming, abrupt or rude, it’s absolutely the same man, whether we like it or not, (and I’m sure we will.)
But then, if I were to tell you that the next thing I say will be true, but that the last thing I said was a lie, would you believe me…?