Is Peter Capaldi freaking out about losing his Comic-Con virginity at the Doctor Who panel in Hall H? What can he tell us about the still-being-filmed new season of the British science fiction show (which premieres on BBC America this fall)? And how did he find working with Who guest star Maisie Williams, of Game of Thrones fame? The Scottish actor took some precious time out of his schedule to exclusively answer our queries.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Are you looking forward to Comic-Con?
PETER CAPALDI: Very much. Comic-Con is so legendary, so a great thrill to be invited along.
You told me last year that, as a child, you were always more intrigued than frightened by Doctor Who. But are you nervous at all about appearing in front of 7,000 people at the Doctor Who panel?
Very nervous. Don’t think I’ver ever stood in front of 7,000 people in my life. But if 7,000 people want to see us, it would be rude not to turn up.
If you were going to walk the Comic-Con floor disguised as a monster from Doctor Who, or as anything or anyone else, what or who would it be?
A white walker from Game of Thrones. Or, from Doctor Who, a menoptra.
Could you tease the two-part premiere?
It places the Doctor in a conflict that is central to his being, as well as containning some subtle tributes to the ’60s, and truly wonderful guest performances.
What can you tell us about the exclusive photograph from the premiere (see above)?
The photo shows the Doctor about to make a mistake that has cataclysmic repercussions.
How is the Doctor different this season from last?
He’s throwing himself into life with a newfound hunger for adventure. He’s in pursuit of joy and grabbing every thrill that he can along the way. But I sense him running from something, that even he does not yet understand.
Tell us about the villains and monsters the Doctor will be encountering this season?
There is an epic sweep to this season and I think the villains and monsters reflect that. Great new ones, brilliant old ones, and some very scary creatures looming in stories with real emotional ambition.
In the hands of Michelle Gomez, Missy is more magnificently bad than ever before.
Maisie Williams is one of the new season’s guest stars. How was working with her?
Maisie is fantastic. A sharp, talented tornado. As an 18-year-old, she has taught me many new words and expressions. All I’ll say about her character is she shifts in cosmic ways.
How would you describe the relationship between your Doctor and Jenna Coleman’s Clara this season?
They’ve suddenly realized that they are the most fortunate people in all of time and space and are hellbent on adventure. Jenna continutes to deliver a beautifully nuanced, complex, and funny performance that marks her out as one of the best companions ever.
Jenna had planned on leaving last season before changing her mind. Will these be her last shows?
I hope not.
An edited version of this interview ran in Entertainment Weekly issue #1371-1372, on newsstands Friday, July 3.
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