Was that really Peter Capaldi playing rock guitar in the opening episode of the new series of Doctor Who? You bet your axe it was!
Yes, when the Twelfth Doctor rode a 20th-century tank into a 12th-century hall to challenge a Norman tribesman to an “axe battle” it was indeed Capaldi calling the tune (his own take on the Doctor Who theme, in case you missed it).
It was him, too, serenading Michelle Gomez’s Missy and Jenna Coleman’s Clara with Pretty Woman later in the scene.
In case you weren’t aware, back in the mists of time Capaldi was in a rock band called Dreamboys – formerly The Bastards from Hell – with comedian and talk show host Craig Ferguson.
Don’t believe me? Just watch (and listen)…
Yep, that is also Capaldi singing (to an appropriately sci-fi-titled song, Outer Limits). And if you want proof that he still has what it takes on the guitar, have a look at this, filmed in a music shop in Cardiff during shooting on Doctor Who.
See? They don’t call him the rock ‘n’ roll Doctor for nothing…
“I was really delighted to open the script and find the Doctor playing guitar,” says Capaldi of the scene. “I think I’d sort of half mentioned it in joking, but I was really delighted that these guys went for it as an idea.”
He also revealed that – just as when he hand-picked the Twelfth Doctor’s costume – he had a say in which axe he’d be wielding.
“We had a great day when I went to pick the Doctor’s guitar,” he recalls. “We went to Denmark Street and went to various vintage guitar shops, looking for Doctor Who’s guitar. And at first I thought it should be like a Stratocaster or a Telecaster, one of those old classic guitars, but they all started to look like I was having a midlife crisis.”
“We ended up with a guitar that looked like a Fender Stratocaster that had been described to someone who had never seen one.”
“That [joke] is hilarious, if you’re into guitars…”