“Doctor Who” showrunner Steven Moffat has been in discussions with his predecessor, Russell T Davies, concerning a Twelfth Doctor story arc, it has emerged.
In a new interview with Nerd³, Moffat – who recently cast Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor in the BBC’s 50-year-old science-fiction TV series – addressed the issue of the actor having already played two separate characters in the Who universe.
In 2008, Capaldi appeared with the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant, in The Fires of Pompeii, paying the part of Caecilius. Then, in 2009, he cropped up as John Frobisher in Torchwood: Children of Earth.
Rather than ignoring this, Moffat has hinted that he will be addressing Capaldi’s previous appearances head on when the 55-year-old actor takes over from outgoing Doctor, Matt Smith, for the 2014 season of Doctor Who.
In the Nerd³ interview, he said, “We are aware that Peter Capaldi’s played a big old part in Doctor Who and Torchwood before and we are not going to ignore the fact.”
As reported by Doctor Who TV, he indicated that he’d spoken to Davies – his predecessor as Doctor Who showrunner – about it. “I remember Russell told me that he had a big old plan as to why there were two Peter Capaldi’s in the Who universe: one in Pompeii and one in Torchwood,” he said. “When I cast Peter and Russell got in touch to say how pleased he was, I said, ‘Okay, what was your theory and does it still work?” and he said, ‘Yes it does. Here it is …’ We’ll play that one out over time. It’s actually quite neat.”
Davies is the man responsible for returning Doctor Who to TV screens. During his time with the show, he wrote many of the episodes, as well as creating the two successful spin-offs, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. However, since handing over the reigns of the parent show to Moffat, in 2009, he has not written for Doctor Who, despite his successor saying that there is an open door for him to do so.
In August, Davies told Doctor Who Magazine that the choice of new Doctor was, “Perfect casting, just perfect! I’d kept Peter’s number after we worked together on The Fires of Pompeii and Torchwood. I loved him as an actor, and a writer, and a director, I was actually in awe of him, and so clung to his number, in a slightly stalkerish way. I think that the scene in Episode 3 of Torchwood: Children of Earth, where Peter’s character faces the 456 for the first time, is one of the finest performances in anything ever. Seriously. Anything. Ever.”
Many fans had hoped that Davies would contribute something for the series’ 50th anniversary, but, so far, that hasn’t happened.
As for the “look” of the Twelfth Doctor, Moffat elaborates: “The [Doctor’s] face is not set from birth. It’s not like he was always going to be one day Peter Capaldi. We know that’s the case because in [the 1969 regeneration story] The War Games, he has a choice of faces. So we know it’s not set, so where does he get those faces from? They can’t just be randomly generated because they’ve got lines. They’ve aged. When he turns into Peter he’ll actually have lines on his face. So where did that face come from?”
Doctor Who returns to television screens on Saturday, 23 November 2013, for the official 50th-anniversary story, Moffat’s The Day of the Doctor, in which several incarnations of the Time Lord join forces against the Daleks and the Zygons.
November also sees David Bradley take on the role of the First Doctor – as originally played by the late William Hartnell, in Mark Gatiss’s Adventures in Time and Space.
Peter Capaldi will make his debut as the Doctor in the Christmas Day special, which also marks Matt Smith’s last-ever episode.