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'Doctor Who' writer-producer ponders how the time lord feels being Matt Smith, then Peter Capaldi

Peter Capaldi's first season as the titular time lord is to kick off Aug. 23 on BBC America.
By Karen Butler   |   Aug. 15, 2014 at 1:22 PM
NEW YORK, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Writer-producer Steven Moffat says the cyborg sub-plot of the Season 8 premiere of Doctor Who is meant to mirror the title character's transformation and discomfort with his new appearance.

Season 7 of the re-booted series wrapped up with 31-year-old star Matt Smith leaving the role of the time lord and being magically regenerated in the form of 56-year-old actor Peter Capaldi. Season 8 opens with the 12th incarnation of the Doctor still adjusting to his latest face and body, as well as trying to stop the nefarious plot of a group of murderous robots who appear human. The feature-length episode also deals with the difficulty the Doctor's companion Clara -- played by Jenna Coleman -- is having with his altered appearance.

"I suppose that's why I chose those monsters because they've replaced themselves continually and the Doctor is faced with the fact that he has to and he doesn't even know where he got his face from,"
Moffat told UPI at a press conference in New York Thursday.

"I know it seems preposterous, in a way, that you're obliged to sit in a room and think seriously: 'What would it be like if you were Matt Smith one moment and Peter Capaldi the next? What would that be like?' It's not a general life experience. It's not something that's ever happened to me, for instance. But you have to take it seriously and you have to sort of think, 'It must be frightening.' And it must be frightening when you look at your best friend in the whole world, because that's where I put that line in about seeing. You look at your best friend in the whole world, the person on whom you are anchored, and they don't see you. They, literally, look at you and look right through you and they see something else. And you still feel the same. You're looking this way. You feel a bit different. But if someone's looking back and not seeing you, how frightening that must be. Not to have your only basic irremovable right, the right to be yourself. The Doctor periodically has that removed from him."

"Usually because of an unsuccessful wage negotiation [with the actors who play him,]" Moffat quipped. "Not really, actually. Not at all. Can I just say, that was not the case. We couldn't resist the gag because I'm trivial."

Season 8 of Doctor Who is set to premiere on BBC and BBC America Aug. 23.

Topics: Matt Smith
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