Fans at the Radio Times Festival were treated to an extended Doctor Who session tonight, when the main star of the series, Peter Capaldi, having defeated Daleks and Cybermen, and conquered time, fell foul of the Friday night rush hour traffic on the M4, and arrived 30 minutes late for the session.
The actor had been filming all day at the Doctor Who studios in Cardiff, and had been whisked by car to London when he was greeted by a capacity audience in the main festival tent. The organisers extended the session to make sure the crowd had a full hour to enjoy a conversation with the Doctor.
The session was hosted by comedian and rabid Who fan Frank Skinner and also featured executive producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin. With last week's episode fresh in everybody's mind the trio discussed The Magician's Apprentice and Julian Bleach's impressive performance as Davros. You wait until you see the next episode said Moffat, He is amazing.
Peter Capaldi told of how some of the most surreal moments in filming the series came when acting with the Daleks. You rehearse with the guy who sits inside the Dalek, he said. His eyelevel is the same as a Daleks eyestalk, so you rehearse with him just standing there wriggling. I found it very funny.
Moffat denied an ancient fan rumour that there was a contractual duty to include the Daleks in each series of Doctor Who. My mother in law was Terry Nation's agent when he created the Daleks. Believe me there is no such clause in the contract.
One question that was met with a grimace from the Executive Producer came when Skinner asked about the plans for Series 10 and whether, contrary to rumour, there would be a full series of Doctor Who in 2016. Moffat seamed irritated by the question and said he wished people would concentrate on this series. We don't even know if the Doctor will survive until Christmas. Moffat did confirm he had signed up for series 10, but said that was only done 'very recently'.
The team discussed Jenna Coleman's departure from the series, which has been confirmed as taking place this year. Coleman had originally wanted to leave at the end of Series Eight, but had then decided to stay on for the Christmas special. It was on the World Tour that we ambushed her, said Capaldi, and persuaded her to stay for another season. I said it would be so much fun Moffat said he has no idea who the new companion will be.
All members of the team were adamant that they would not be able to produce more Doctor Who episodes per year. We started filming in January and we finish tomorrow, said Capaldi. The crew need a break. They are exhausted.
Peter Capaldi spoke of his costume and how he didn't want his doctor to have a specific costume, but more a look, in the same way Tom Baker's Doctor had a look. I loved his first season where he just grabbed some clothes and ran around looking like a tramp. He was asked about his recent comment that he didn't feel he had nailed the role in Series Eight. I don't think you ever really nail a role. Capaldi said he would happily be typecast as The Doctor. I don't mind being typecast as Doctor Who. I mean what's wrong with that? It's great, you know, if that's the stigma that's attached to you, how lucky you are.