As series eight approaches, fans are slowly beginning to get an idea of what to expect from Peter Capaldi’s era of Doctor Who.
For along with comments made by Capaldi over the weekend that the show will have more “gravity” and less “flirting,” the star has now given an insight into the 12th Doctor himself, giving the hint that he’s a lot different to predecessor Doctor Matt Smith.
“He’s more alien than he’s been for a while,” says Capaldi. “He doesn’t quite understand human beings or really care very much about their approval.”
Co-star and on-screen companion Jenna Coleman agrees, telling Empire that, “With Matt’s Doctor, [Clara] felt quite safe, really. She knew she’d be caught if she was in danger, but this guy is a lot less human-friendly and a lot less patient. He’s more removed and inaccessible. You can’t quite access him in the same way.”
Capaldi also spoke of his desire to own the role, rather than be a mere imitation.
“[Doctor Who] can become a kind of franchise where it’s not a real character at all, but just an amalgam of elements that people think are Doctor Who: a scarf, a bow tie… I wanted to be the actual Doctor Who.”
It’s a sentiment that echoes comments made to The Sunday Times over the weekend, where he said: “Sometimes I’d look in the mirror and think, that’s just me. That’s not him. But some days he’d look back and I’d try to catch it. It’s not an intellectual process it’s just an instinctive relationship.”
Showrunner Steven Moffat has described Capaldi’s Doctor as, “older, trickier, fiercer,” while writer Mark Gatiss has said that he has a “madness in his eyes.”
“All that’s true but he’s also joyful,” said Capaldi. “One thing the show does well is balance the epic and the domestic. You can go from the edge of the universe to a pedestrian precinct. This Doctor loves watching stars being born in Andromeda; he’s also thrilled to see litter blowing across the car park at dawn.”
As well as his Doctor being different, Capaldi also said that the tone of series eight will shift from Matt Smith’s era.
“We still blow a lot of s**t up. That’s very important, but it’s going to be a bit different from what we’ve seen over recent years. A bit more gravity.
“Some situations are more sombre and I think there are more rooted dramatic scenes. Over the past two or three years [with Matt Smith], which I’ve loved, there has often been a breathless vigour; we still have that attack, but we have another level of drama, another tone. And the scenes are longer.”
Doctor Who returns with series eight opener Deep Breath on August 23.