Peter’s Doctor may be a departure from David Tennant and Matt Smith, but some things stay the same, like the Christmas special. What exactly is he allowed to tell me?
“Well… it’s got River Song in it. But she doesn’t recognise the Doctor, and she won’t be convinced that it’s him because she thinks he’s only got 12 regenerations. She doesn’t know the events of the previous Christmas special when I showed up. And the monster is lovely… it’s like a big Christmas toy. There’s a flying saucer in it, too, which is great, very old-fashioned. And Matt Lucas is in it, and Greg… I was going to say Greg Dyke! [now that would be scary]… Greg Davies. But, the main thing is, it’s very Christmassy.”
If you want to know more I’m sure it’s all on the internet. You could go mad keeping up with the online discussions about the Doctor. I’m guessing Peter’s not on Twitter, though… “No. I don’t do all that. I have an awareness of it, obviously. I did this interview where this guy says to me, ‘Which criticism has upset you the most? That you’re not David? That you’re not sexy? That you’re not young?’ And just lined up all these things, which I had carefully hidden myself from! Luckily I’m old enough to find that amusing because of the boldness of it.”
The great thing is, though, it’s very easy not to look at Twitter, and if you don’t, it actually doesn’t exist. “The other great thing is, Doctor Who doesn’t exist in that world, he exists in the cosmos, which is far larger, and he belongs to the future and the past. And Twitter, I think, is of the present. Twitter will be gone in the twinkling of an eye.”
That seems a good point to end our chat, though he’s so engaging I could have talked to him all night. But I think it’s best he saves something for Graham Norton.
Doctor Who is on Christmas Day at 5:15pm on BBC1
Charlie Higson is a bestselling writer and author of ITV’s Jekyll and Hyde