Given the momentous nature of this year’s Christmas special, it’s hardly surprising that both the departing Doctor Peter Capaldi and showrunner Steven Moffat wanted to get everything right – so much so in fact that Capaldi insisted on an eleventh-hour change to his regeneration scene.
Speaking to BBC presenter Jo Whiley in a new interview, which aired on BBC Radio 2 on Thursday 21st December (and is still available on iPlayer), Capaldi said that everyone involved was “hyper-sensitive” about trying to make the special, Twice Upon a Time, the best they possibly could.
And so, when Capaldi was unhappy with one of his last moments as the Doctor, he turned to Steven Moffat to address his concern:
“I had sort of expressed a little discomfort about one of the scenes leading towards the end – and he rewrote it.
“He rewrote it completely, and quite brilliantly, overnight. Which is fantastic. The downside is I had to learn it overnight!”
Capaldi went on to say that while he had some influence over his final moments as the Doctor, he always deferred back to showrunner Moffat’s story:
“I had an idea about the attitude that the Doctor should have about it happening. But the details of it, and the actual concept of it, is all him. And he’s smarter and cleverer and funnier, so he’s the right person to do it.
“I trust Steven – Steven’s got better ideas than I would ever have, so I would never say to Steven, ‘I think this is what should happen’.”
He added that his relationship with departing showrunner Steven Moffat will be the one thing that he’ll miss the most:
“He’s one of the wittiest, funniest people I’ve ever met. I think Steven could have easily been a stand-up comedian in another life.
“One of the most entertaining things that I’ll always remember about Doctor Who is that at the start of each season, he asks me round to his house and he will tell me what’s going to happen to the Doctor.
“He will go through all 12 episodes, just himself in his kitchen describing it all, and he’s absolutely hilarious.
“It’s doubly hilarious as you go on; obviously some of the episodes don’t turn out quite as well as he described them, or have a little less money, or are a little less focused. But he’s just a brilliant, brilliant writer.”
Well, we don’t have long to wait to see if all their endeavour has paid off. Twice Upon a Time airs Christmas Day on BBC One at 17:30.
Jo Whiley – Access All Areas Doctor Who Special on BBC iPlayer now.