The Peter Capaldi panel was held at the Madison Square Theatre, one of the largest venues at the NYCC and a testament to the Twelfth Doctor’s appeal in North America as Capaldi is a Spotlight Guest at this year’s convention. This is his second appearance at NYCC, folloing on from his extremely popular panel fom last year.
Capaldi thrilled fans eager to hear about his years as the Twelfth Doctor and just a more details on the upcoming Christmas special, Twice Upon a Time, which also will mark his final trip as the Doctor.
The panel began with a mashup of Capaldi’s greatest moments, featuring all of his companions and stressing The Doctor’s order to “be kind.”
Q: Does it feel like three minutes since you started?
“Time ran away with me. It seems it was just a moment ago we started.” Capaldi went on to describe when he filmed Smith’s regenerations scene. “The first day, I was on set fI had the regeneration with Matt. He looked after me. I couldn’t have had a better day.” There was a long break between Series 7 and Series 8 that Capaldi remarked upon as “four months of no work” before he was back in Cardiff filming Episode 1 stepping “out of the TARDIS on the set at Cardiff. ‘
Q: What about return of the Mondasians Cyberman?
Capaldi has had a special affinity to the original Cyberman, “I always wanted them to return. But Moffat always said the Mondasian Cyberman looked terrible Just men with pullovers.” But in the end Capaldi did get his way and the Mondasian Cybermen were included in the final episodes of Series 10.
Q: When did you feel like you were the Doctor?
“The first episode, I was convinced I was the Doctor and it really came together was Listen.”
Capadli gave co-star Jenna Coleman, who played Clara Oswald, credit for helping him fit into the role. “Jenna was great. She showed me round the studio and was really welcoming and sweet. The cast had just changed and she was used to Matt. And then there was this other slightly older gentleman,” he laughed.
He also gave Rachel Talaley a lot of praise. “Rachel Talaley is just a brilliant director. When I started acting, directors were the most powerful people in the set.” He went one to describe how directors role had changed as he continued to commented on Talaley skill. “Rachel’s the real thing. She’s an artist and shoots quite cinematically. I adore it and I’m so grateful she came for my last show.”
Q: What is happening at Christmas?
The fans were able to pry a bit of information out of Capaldi on his last episode. “My Doctor is refusing to regenerate. He’s fed up with it and it doesn’t matter whether he’s going to be someone as talented as Jodie Whittaker, he wants to stay. The person to convince him it is time to for change is the first Doctor.” But as we all know William Hartnell is no longer with us. “But Hartnell’s gone, so we have another brilliant actor playing the first Doctor – David Bradley. I met him years ago and it was like meeting Hartnell’s Doctor Who.”
Q: Why did you decide to leave?
After a long time, Capaldi answered. “I felt it was time. I never wanted to get to the place where I knew how to do this. You should be constantly challenged on how to play this role.” He continued, “I never wanted to get to the place where I knew how to do this exactly right and I didn’t want to get tired. I could feel myself getting there.”
He also remarked on the his last day on set. “The last day was quite fun but it was also sad. Many of the people I had worked with all came to say goodbye.” Capaldi added his still had a bit more work to do. “I haven’t completed finished yet. There’s still some voice work to do.”
Q; How He Learned About Jodie Whitaker
It was kept very secret. But I sort of thought it would be not a man. One day, I went into Paul Smith’s to buy my suits and they commented that the Doctor Who office had called them for a pair of my trousers, but with a 30 waist. – The Doctor wears Paul Smith, for all you fashionistas. – At that point, I knew it had to be a woman. Jodie lives up the road from me. Once the announcement had been made shee said to me, ‘We’ve sat in the same cafes over the past three months, but I couldn’t come over to you because that would have given it away.’”
Q: Have you stolen anything from the set.
“No. I’ve played Doctor Who. I don’t need anything.“
Q: Would you ever come back?
“It’s time for me to go. There’s no need to come back for any specials, with my hair dyed, with a cummerbund to keep the stomach in.”
Q: What was the hardest episode to film?
The fan favourite and perhaps most critically acclaimed episode topped Capaldi’s list. “Heaven Sent was challenging. I worked with Rachel and the crew very closely.” He also added, “we didn’t know whether it would all work, but it did.
Q: What is your favourite season ever?
The first season. I always liked when the Doctor changes.”
Q: Any insight into how you leave the show?
Capaldi also remarked that he had an input in his departure. “I had an attitudinal thing about how I’d leave, and Steven went with it.”
Q: Will you watch it?
I might. They’re might be something else on.
Q: What would the Doctor’s advice be to humanity?
“Oh an easy question. Get it together! Stop all this. Sort it out. Get people in power who are leaders. Get people in power who understand the future.”
Q: What character flairs did you want?
Actual Flares! Ah that was a long winded gag about bell bottoms. I wanted him to be difficult to know. I wanted to step away from trying to embrace the audience. I had wanted to keep a distance. He’s not human. He’s not always on their side. He doesn’t always think they’re great.”
Q: What was the magical moment that was essentially Doctor Who?
After another long pause Capaldi answered “It’s a complex question.” but the actors was able to continue with “The Magician’s Apprentice When I escape with Jenna after we enter a Dalek control room with a Dalek gun. The speech in Listen. Fear is a superpower, which Moffat spun off from a Hartnell line.”
Q: A favourite recent scene?
Capaldi provided a few. “I liked Hell Bent because I ran around in an old TARDIS and wear a frog coat and Jenna and I had a go at wiping each other’s memories. And coming in playing guitar on a tank. Really? Not too much like Cher? But it worked out brilliantly.”
Q: The evolution of the hair
Capaldi seemed to relish answering the question about his hair. “I didn’t really want to have short hair when we started. But I wound up getting my hair cut short in the makeup van. By the time we got to the next season, I was brave enough to say just leave it and see what happens. Little did I know what I was unleashing this monster that does what it wants. We should have done a story about it. It gets so huge it creeps out of the TARDIS, strangling people.”
Q: The Paul Smith jumper that is character
The jumper was Capaldi’s choice. “I saw the jumper and I bought it. I think wore it to the read through.” After he had convinced the powers that be, “they had to go to the shop and buy a pile of them. Will it be seen in the last episode? I’m not telling you.”
The panel ended with a video of fans from around the world. A visibly emotional Capaldi added,