Moffat Explains Older Capaldi Casting
Speaking about how many names were on the shortlist this time around: “The list went, ‘Peter Capaldi’ -- it was a very short list! Honestly, there was only one audition this time… 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!”
Asked if it was a conscious decision to cast a much older actor this time, he replied: “Not particularly. I mean, the apparent age of the Doctor makes no narrative sense at all – he’s been anything from his 20s to his 70s. Obviously he doesn’t care, he just sort of picks a face off the rack and goes with it!
“I think it’s good that we’ve got a different age, just because I cannot imagine what somebody in their 20s would do with the Doctor after Matt showed us all how to be a 20s Doctor. I don’t know what you would do after that, because he was so perfect. You’d have to be an alternative or a deliberate contradiction -- it wouldn’t work, I don’t think. So it makes life easier, I suppose, that Peter is different. But that wasn’t the reason, the reason was… the Doctor was in the room and that’s it. You don’t argue with that!”
Asked whether it was true that Peter was considered to play the 11th Doctor: “He did flick through my mind when we were replacing David [Tennant] and it didn’t feel right at all -- if you think about that, that wouldn’t have been right, not then. But there’s something about Matt’s Doctor that paves the way for Peter’s Doctor somehow. The important thing to remember about the Doctor is that it is one character, going through his life, played by a succession of different actors. and you have to get to that place each time. I can somehow absolutely believe that the strange old/young Matt Smith will turn into the strange young/old Peter Capaldi.”
Responding to what sort of Doctor will Peter be: “Magnificent! The truth is, we don’t know. I’ve seen him do ‘Doctor-ish’ stuff and it’s worked. I’ve seen him deal with the technobabble, I’ve seen him deal with the nonsense… I wrote scenes [for the audition] that were deliberately impossible -- deliberately impossible dialogue, just to see, ‘Can you do the impossible, even without gunk being poured on you?’ and now we’re going to pour gunk on you, and throw a lizard at you, and ask you to say all this stuff and explain the plot… So we don’t know [what he’ll be like] yet, we’re going to work on that. Matt developed hugely as he approached the part over the first few episodes and we’ll do the same with Peter.”