20 Things You've Always Wanted To Know About The 12th Doctor, As Told By Peter Capaldi
BuzzFeed UK sat down with the Doctor himself to discuss guitars, Christmas, and most importantly, his favourite biscuit.
Last week, BuzzFeed sat down with Doctor Who's Peter Capaldi to discuss memorable moments, Scotland, and the show's Christmas special.
1. Who was your first Doctor?
Peter Capaldi: William Hartnell. That's only because of my age. I was only 5 when it started. So my first one would be…the first one.
2. Which companion, other than Clara, would you want to travel all of time and space with?
PC: I like Janet Fielding, who plays Tegan. She's great.
3. Which Doctor's signature style would you most like to adopt?
PC: In real life? I'm happy with my own. I'll go with the 12th's gear.
4. Which Doctor Who villain are you most afraid of?
PC: When I was little, I never found Doctor Who very scary. I always liked it, but I never really found it particularly scary. I suppose the original Cybermen were quite frightening. And the Autons, I think, were pretty scary.
5. What has been your most memorable moment as the Doctor so far?
PC: Well, they're all memorable, really. I think the first time you come out of the TARDIS is pretty special. It's quite nerve-wracking, because it's just like a big wardrobe, but you know on the outside it's the TARDIS, and you actually get to open the door and step out of it. That was sort of the first thing that I did, so it is terrifying, because also there's 200 people standing there, thinking "What's this new Doctor Who going to be like?" So that was quite special.
6. What's been your craziest fan encounter?
PC: I haven't really had any…I think that people like the idea that fans are sort of slightly eccentric and strange, but generally I've just found them very creative and warm and cheerful. I think the most extraordinary thing about fans is the level of excellence that they show in the work that they do. I mean, if you go onto the internet and see some of the fan videos that have been put together, they're just extraordinary; they could be programmes in their own right. And the drawings and the paintings that people do…I just think they're extraordinarily creative. So my experience with them has been very positive.
7. If you were to have a dinner party made up entirely of Doctor Who villains, who would you invite?
PC: Ooh, a dinner party. I'd invite Omega, because he'd probably be quiet for most of the dinner, and then he'd be loud towards the end. I'd invite a Menoptera of some description. Probably the Prince of the Menoptera, because Martin Jarvis who is the actor who played the Prince of the Menoptera does great impressions, so he'd be one. I'd invite Azal, who's the demon creature who has horns and cloven feet and looks like the Devil. He's not actually the Devil, but that was probably the inspiration for that. I'd invite Davros, because he's good value, and he likes a chat. He'd keep the conversation going. I'd invite an Axon, because they're rather elegant and beautiful and glamorous to look at and then they'd transform into this big mess at about pudding time. One more…Yes! Missy. Because Michelle [Gomez] is good fun, and she'd say funny things.
8. Was the guitar your idea?
PC: I said to them I thought it'd be fun if the Doctor played guitar, because I thought it would be good if he played as a teenager, and I always wanted him to plug it into the console. I'm surprised that they ran with that. I didn't realise that they would go with it so much but I'm very delighted that they have. And we had the most fun when we went to buy the Doctor's guitar. That was a great day, because I went to Denmark Street, where all the vintage guitar shops are. Trying to find the right guitar was quite key, because I thought at first we should have a Fender Stratocaster or a Les Paul, one of those classics, but I just looked like a guy that was having a mid-life crisis. But then we found that guitar, that looks kind of like he's built it himself. Like someone's described a Fender guitar to him and he's tried to make it without seeing one. So I quite like that.
9. And is it actually you playing?
PC: I play on the day. But then I think they add things to it.
10. If the Doctor could go back in time and play with any band, who would it be?
PC: I somehow feel as if the Doctor should have something to do with Jimi Hendrix. I somehow think the Doctor was probably behind some of those big amplifiers…I think he and Jimi would've got on well, because he had a big hat with a feather in it, and a purple waistcoat, and he was pretty cosmic. And also those big old Marshall amps that they used to have could probably be TARDISes. But I'd love for us to do a rock episode. The Spiders From Mars would obviously be a band that the Doctor would like, because he would know that there actually were spiders from Mars.
11. If you couldn't have a sonic screwdriver or sonic sunglasses, what sonic item would you have?
PC: I would have a sonic microphone. Or a sonic hearing aid [laughs]. Yeah, a sonic hearing aid.
12. Would you rather play hide and seek with a Weeping Angel or fight a Dalek armed only with a pointy stick?
PC: [Thinks for about 20 seconds] Difficult question. I think hide and seek with an Angel. You could find other means of defeating the Weeping Angel, while you're hiding from them, but with the Dalek and the stick it's not going to go very well.
13. Do you think the 12th Doctor has more of a solid identity this season? How do you think he's changed since the last season?
PC: Well, I think that "solid identity" is a phrase to describe clarity, and I think that the Doctor doesn't have a solid identity. I think in a new incarnation he changes, so I think he spends a lot of time getting to know himself. And all the Doctors do this, if you look at them. So I think, in a way, in the first season he was struggling with the role he found himself in. When you regenerate, I think you wake up as a new person, but you have all of this backstory that's catching up on you, and all this stuff that you've done, and you think, "Oh, who am I? This is who I am." So I think he struggled to come to terms with his past and what that made him, but I think this time around – having realised that, even when you're 2,000 years old, life is short, and he's in an incredibly privileged position where he has all of time and space to roll around, and Clara to share it with – I think he just decides to have a good time. So I think he just goes out and has a good time.
However, ironically, things go awry, and so the worries that he perhaps entertained in my first season I think he was right to worry about. So it's interesting to look forward with it, because I feel that he's been deliberately lighthearted because he knows that there's bad things coming. But I think when those bad things happen, I don't know quite where that puts you.
14. What would the teenage Doctor Who fan Peter Capaldi think of actual Doctor Peter Capaldi?
PC: I think he'd love him! Favourite Doctor. He's the best.
15. What is one Scottish thing you think the Doctor would really love to do?
PC: I think he'd like New Year's Eve. I think he'd really like to have Hogmanay. I think he probably celebrates Hogmanay, because there's a moment – it's one of the few things left in our culture – there's a moment where time stands still. You know, at midnight? I think he'd inhabit that moment. So I think he likes Hogmanay.
16. Are there any plans for a newer episode set in Scotland?
PC: Well, funnily enough, we did do one this year that was set in Scotland. You had to be careful, though, you had to be watching. It doesn't look like it's Scotland, but it is. "Under the Lake" is set in Scotland. "Under the Loch", it should've been called. Although the monsters that we're dealing with right now, the Zygons, first appeared in – this is my Doctor Who geek coming out – it wasn't the first episode set in Scotland, because there had been an episode before. This is total geekness. There was a character called Jamie, who was a companion of Patrick Troughton, who was the second Doctor. Jamie wore a kilt, because the Doctor had shown up in 18th-century Scotland, at the Battle of Culloden, when the Highlanders had been defeated by the armies of King George, and Jamie was one of the Highlanders and he came with the Doctor on his travels. And as a little boy, it was amazing to see somebody Scottish in the TARDIS. But the Zygons, the monsters that we're fighting at the moment, first appeared in a story called "Terror of the Zygons", with Tom Baker, which was set in Scotland. But of course wasn't shot in Scotland, it was shot in Reading or somewhere.
17. So, when you were younger, you wanted to be in charge of the Doctor Who Fan Club...
PC: No, I didn't!
BF: Did you not?! Is that a filthy rumour?
PC: No, this idea has grown that I spent my entire life devoted to becoming in charge of the Doctor Who Fan Club or in charge of Doctor Who or becoming Doctor Who, and this isn't the case. I loved Doctor Who and I was a great fan of it, but then reached a point where I went out into the world and got on with my own life and became an actor and pursued my career. And I wasn't spending every day going, "Oh god, I'm not Doctor Who today." I didn't really ever expect to be involved with it, so I was just thrilled when I eventually became Doctor Who.
18. OK, so on to Christmas questions. What would the 12th Doctor want for Christmas?
PC: I think he'd quite like a cool record player. A sort of '60s record player, so he could play his vinyl collection.
19. And what's his favourite Christmas song?
PC: I think he'd play that one that the Pogues did.
BF: "Fairytale of New York"?
PC: "Fairytale of New York", yeah. That's a good one.
20. OK, so last question. The most important question. What’s your favourite biscuit?
PC: My biscuit-eating days – said he, munching a croissant – are largely behind me, because obviously I'm very sophisticated and worldly now, and I eat croissants as opposed to biscuits. All the biscuits that I used to eat in my biscuit days have now gone.
BF: You could travel back in time and get some.
PC: I'd travel back in time and get a Breakaway.
BF: Breakaways are good.
PC: Have they still got Breakaways? I think I like a Breakaway.
BF: Excellent choice.
PC: Is it? Obviously I like a Hobnob. That goes without saying.
BF: Of course. Chocolate or plain?
PC: Chocolate. Chocolate Hobnob. What other biscuits do I like? There's a dizzying variety of them now…a Bandit! I used to like a Bandit, do they still have Bandits? They had a Mexican theme.
PR representative: Was it like a Wagon Wheel?
PC: No…but then is a Wagon Wheel a biscuit, or is it a confectionary? Is it a cake? A Wagon Wheel is a tricky one. I love Wagon Wheels. I mean, they are smaller now. Less substantial than they used to be. I would say…let's go with Breakaway, Hobnob, Bandit.