Our reasoning? The first script Peter Capaldi ever got – as a child, before he even knew what a script was – was for an episode of Doctor Who. Talk about starting your role research early…
“I didn’t know [classic Doctor Who producer] Barry Letts, but I was just a kid writing into Doctor Who, asking when the show was coming back, and questions like the questions we’ve had,” Capaldi told the crowd at the Radio Times Festival.
“One day this huge package arrived in my home. And it was scripts – two scripts, for The Mutants, which was a Jon Pertwee story – and designs. Four floor set plans for television centre.”
A letter sent by Peter Capaldi to the Radio Times in 1974
“I’d never seen a script before in my life. I didn’t know there was a thing called a script, that a television programme was made from. I think he just had a policy, if he thought somebody was interested enough, that he’d send a script.”
Forty-odd years on, Capaldi’s seen his fair share of Doctor Who scripts – but he says he never forgot Letts’ kindness, and enthused about making contact with him again years later.
“I got to meet Barry years later, because I became friends with his son,” Capaldi said. “And I didn’t know that he was Barry’s son. So later in life I got to meet Barry, and he was fascinating.”
Doctor Who: The Witch’s Familiar is on BBC1 tomorrow (Saturday 26th September) at 7:45pm