Doctor Who 60th: Peter Capaldi Explains Why He's Okay Not Appearing

Last week, David Tennant shared the backstory regarding how he and Catherine Tate came to join the cast of incoming-returning showrunner Russell T. Davies' upcoming Doctor Who 60th-anniversary event (more on that below). Since the news of Tennant's return, fans of the long-running BBC series have been speculating about which other Doctors might appear. Matt Smith has been a frontrunner in the rumor department, and Christopher Eccleston is working up something on the audio drama side. But if anyone's expecting Peter Capaldi to make a return? Well, it sounds like you can stop waiting because it's not going to happen. Speaking with SFX Magazine, Capaldi expressed his concerns that having too many Doctors dilutes the importance of each individual Doctor. "It's very hard to imagine how you'd get a decent crack of the whip when there's 14 of you, you know? So I think I'd rather leave it as is because I loved my time on Doctor Who and loved doing it," he explained, adding with a laugh, "I don't want to be Doctor Who's assistant. It used to drive me insane on 'Doctor Who,' not being able to talk about anything. It's like, 'Who cares?!' But then I get into trouble."

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BBC Doctor Who screencap

Remember those "Doctor Who: Lockdown!" social media "watch-alongs" of old episodes that took place while everyone was locked down at home? "That's where this all started," Tennant shared with the BBC during an interview in support of his return to live theater in CP Taylor's play Good, where he offered insight into how his & Tate's returns came about ("It all slightly happened a little bit by accident") and how the global COVID-19 pandemic played a major role. "At a certain time and day, everyone would press play on a certain episode, and some of the people who had been involved in those episodes were tweeting along," he continued, adding, "I don't tweet, but my wife helped me." From there, he, Tate, and Davies "were just having a text exchange, and Catherine said, 'wouldn't it be fun to do it again?' Russell said, 'We could do a one-off, maybe they'd let us.'"

But as much as the trio liked the idea, nothing much would come from the exchange… at least for a little while. But when Davies was announced as returning to the long-running franchise, Tennant and Tate got the call. "Suddenly Russell let us know that he was taking over the show again, and he would be back fully in charge, and would we come and play a little bit for him?" said Tennant. "So I don't know if we gave him the idea to take 'Doctor Who' back but certainly we thought if he's doing it, we can't let these young people have all the fun."

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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