This year marks the last time that Peter Capaldi final appearance at San Diego Comic Con as the current Doctor. While his time in the TARDIS due to run out in this year’s Christmas special, his final scenes were actually filmed a few weeks ago. So with ‘Doctor Who’ now firmly in the his rearview mirror, the actor is able to reflect on the entirety of his run even as fans begin to do much the same in anticipation of the next phase of the program’s long history.
Speaking at the convention, Capaldi was asked which episode he sees as having defined his Doctor. In his answer, he cited an episode that some might find to be surprisingly early in his run, given the myriad ways in which any actor’s understanding of their character will naturally evolve over time. Based on his comments, it seems that Capaldi feels that his pick marks the point at which he began to have a more fully formed sense of his Doctor. Per Capaldi:
I think ‘Listen,’ in the first season because it’s the first time we clearly see this kind of obsessive quality about him. Because, in that episode, he has a compulsion that there’s a creature that exists that you can’t see, and he sets off to find it, even though you can’t see it and there’s no evidence of it, and he’s absolutely committed to that idea.
Capaldi then took the opportunity to elaborate on what it was that made ‘Listen’ stand out to him, both in terms of the Twelfth Doctor’s developing characterization, but also in a more general sense:
And it’s also, slightly, he looks a little more Gothic-y, a little hint of ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’ in how he is. I liked all the candles in the TARDIS and that stuff. I liked all that. So for me, that was really one of the first of, oh, this is really how this Doctor is. He was quite brutal with people, but he was also kind and he was also funny and acidic. I think that was the first one where he really first appears.
‘Doctor Who’ will return at Christmas, as Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor passes the torch to Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth. The special will also see outgoing producer Steven Moffat hand the reins to his successor, Chris Chibnall.
Which moments do you think defined Peter Capaldi’s Doctor? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more news on the Christmas special and upcoming eleventh season of ‘Doctor Who’ as it becomes available!