While one might expect a series of excruciatingly long auditions to help decide who would replace Matt Smith on “Doctor Who,” it turns out that just wasn’t the case. Executive producer Steven Moffat spoke with reporters about the decision to cast Peter Capaldi in the covered role of the Doctor and makes the choice seem like a simple one.
“There was only one audition this time,” Moffat says, “and it wasn’t an audition so much as … he came round my house and we put him on video to see what he looked like as the Doctor and, gosh, he was terribly good!” According to Digital Spy, Moffat says the short list of choices he was considering for the role only consisted of Capaldi.
It helps that the actor likes the show. “I happened to know that he’s a very, very big fan,” he says, “and there’s something rather seductive about an utterly brilliant, arresting-looking leading man — one of the most talented actors in Britain — who you happen to know is a big fan of the show.”
There was even a moment of time when he was considered as a replacement for David Tennant’s Boctor, before Smith was cast. It wasn’t meant to be though, as Moffat explains, “That wouldn’t have been right, not then.”
With a 55-year-old Capaldi replacing a 30-year-old Smith, the change allows for something of a fresh start for the Doctor. “I cannot imagine what somebody in their 20s would do with the Doctor after Matt showed us all how to be a 20s Doctor,” Moffat says.
Age didn’t have much to do with the casting, though. Moffat is very clear on the reason Capaldi was hired. “The Doctor was in the room and that’s it. You don’t argue with that!” Still, he’s coy about what to expect from the 12th Doctor, other than he will be “magnificent.” It would be surprising if the different in age didn’t play some role in the new Doctor’s personality.
While most fans are excited with the possibilities that that Capaldi brings to the show as the new Doctor, many are still wondering why Moffat decided against mixing things up. When it was announced Smith would leave “Doctor Who,” a large chunk of vocal fans had hoped to see the first Doctor that wasn’t a white male. During the live special, Moffat addressed those hopes in a recorded interview, joking that he would like to see a man play the Queen of England. The studio audience had a laugh, but in reality the comment doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Capaldi will take over as the Doctor when Smith regenerates in the 2013 “Doctor Who” Christian Special, which airs on BBC America December 25.