Mark Gatiss Praises “Amazing” New Doctor Who Star

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…?


likes William Hartnell, whisky, being creative, debating canonicity, The Gunfighters, The Keys of Marinus and City of Death. He has a strong dislike of cold quiche, corporate PowerPoint presentations and lanyards, but loves terrible puns. He's currently employed by a mute teddy bear with black ears.

'Mark Gatiss Praises “Amazing” New Doctor Who Star' have 3 comments

  1. August 2, 2014 @ 9:48 am DonnaM

    Reassuring? It sounds flipping wonderful to me! I’ve felt the recent Doctors have been a bit too human in their emotional responses; too accommodating of their companions’ foibles; even, dare I say it, too eager for human appreciation.

    A doctor who doesn’t sugar the pill, who says it as he sees it without too much thought for its effect on his sidekicks is just what I would want, and I’m beginning to hope I might get it.


    • August 2, 2014 @ 10:42 am simon magellan (Doctorian)

      I read comments that a less friendly character will drive off viewers – and yet, when you look at, say, Sherlock Holmes (in pretty much any version), isn’t he basically anti-social and unempathetic and really not all that nice and cuddly? Doesn’t seem to have hurt that character much? No one expects Holmes to be a laughing, matey, flirty, character.

      My biggest problem with the new series is probably that the Doctor has become far too much like every other character on TV – he could cross from DW to, say, “New Tricks” without much notice – just another bit of an eccentric, but still the kind of man who would go down the pub with his mates and play football at the weekends in the park and flirt with the girls.

      Hopefully Capaldi will move the Doctor back towards being a unique character. Roll on the 23rd…


  2. August 3, 2014 @ 12:02 am Brucetheshark

    Music to my ears. Matt obviously was great and returned the doctor to being an alien after the David Tennant emo boyfriend years but it will be good to now return to the classic roots with a more distant and unknowable alien who has adventures and travels the universe, rather than having his companion pining after him *cough Rose and Martha cough* as the main plot. Steven Moffat has rebuilt Who from the ground up over his tenure with the magnificent Of The Doctor trilogy removing the loose ends and failed concepts of the RTD era and giving the show a new lease of life. All of the exciting comments about the fresh take by Capaldi, the new tone and tighter writing and plotting mean this is like new new Who – the reboot of the reboot and with Capaldi, Jenna and Moff we simply couldn’t be in safer hands.


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