We at The Iris were lucky enough to attend a screening of the series premiere of Doctor Who, starring the 12th Doctor Peter Capaldi and his returning companion, the adorable Clara Oswald aka The Impossible Girl (played by Jenna Coleman). While we aren’t able to tell you anything about the episode (perhaps, except for the fact that we very much enjoyed it), we are able to share with you what we learnt about the new Doctor and the eighth series from the following Q&A, featuring the Doctor and Clara themselves. Here, we count down our 12 favourite things we learnt from their conversation with Australian media and MC Adam Spencer.
12. Capaldi reckons it takes until episode 6 or 7 that they really know who this new Doctor is, what he was like and where he was going… “But I’m not sure where he’s going next time – if he is around next time…”
11. When asked if a second series was likely for Capaldi, he replied, “Well I think you have to watch and see” – though he had to cave in on the fact he was coming back for the Christmas special. If there is a next time Peter Capaldi would like there to be a heater in the actual, small interior of the TARDIS prop.
10. Jenna was the first to show Peter Capaldi around the TARDIS interior set, on the day before the regeneration scene was filmed, “and showed me all the switches, and how it all worked, which was great. I was nervous obviously, but it felt great to finally be there”. Adam Spencer then asked, “It felt right?” to which Capaldi replied… “Oh yeah…”
9. There were unaired takes of the regeneration scene that included singing and break dancing. Take with that what you will.
8. The day before flying in to film that scene, Capaldi met – seemingly by coincidence – the third Doctor Jon Pertwee’s son Sean at a bar in Prague, where Capaldi had been filming The Musketeers.
7. Using the Scottish accent for the Doctor seemed to very much be Capaldi’s idea: “I said to them that I felt it was important to bring the Doctor to myself, rather than add a lot of layers of acting technique to it. I wanted to bring him closer to me. So it would be a faster conduit between me and the character and the stories.”
6. Possibly a joke, but in case it’s not: “Eyebrows” is now a shorthand stage direction in the scripts, referring to Capaldi’s prominent features, according to Coleman.
5. Something that’s new about the series? Coleman remarked, “Steven (Moffat) is writing a lot of longer scenes, which I think is new. We’re allowing scenes to really play out… even over ten pages.”
4. Capaldi said, “The great thing about Doctor Who is that you can move from genre to genre, week by week. So sometimes you find yourselves in the middle of a somber episode, and the next week you’re in an all out slapstick!”. So though the tone and pace are different from what we’ve come to know from Smith’s Doctor, as Coleman reflected, things shouldn’t be too different to what we already know from the series. Capaldi called it “Unmistakably Doctor Who, with a few less larks…” Things are also continuing on with directors coming on board for two episodes at a time.
3. Something we have to look forward to: There’s on episode where “you have a monster that you’re not even sure is there, which is really quite scary – and there’s very few people in it!” – Capaldi
2. Touted as a “Life Long Doctor Who Fan”, Peter Capaldi, in the two and a half months when he knew he was the Doctor – but no one else did – would stand near people reading Doctor Who comics at his local comic store Forbidden Planet, getting joy out the knowledge that he knew they were standing next to next Doctor, but they didn’t… that’s the far geekier equivalent of Bill Murray walking up to people in parks, holding his hands over peoples eyes and whispering “no one is going to believe you” – or however that urban legend goes…
1. And finally, Spencer asked the pair to leave us with three words that they felt summed up the series. Coleman said “Good vs Evil” and Capaldi, cryptically, said “Tiny (which Coleman interestingly giggled at…), Listen and Beware”…
Peter and Jenna will continue a day of press around Sydney before hitting the stage at Sydney’s State Theatre for the official World Tour event, where the first members of the general public in Australia will get the chance to see the premiere episode. Episode 1 of Series 8 will screen on ABC TV in Australia on Sunday, 24th August – with an iView version going live earlier that morning.