Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi is frustrated with the BBC and spoke out about his belief that the network is neglecting the beloved science fiction drama. In an interview with Newsweek, the actor, who’s been a lifelong fan of the series, discussed showrunner Steven Moffat’s imminent departure, casting the replacement for the Doctor’s companion, and the change in what time the show airs.
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A few days after it was announced that BBC executives asked Capaldi to stay on as the Doctor, Capaldi felt he could speak freely when he told Newsweek the BBC is taking Doctor Who for granted when the network should be taking care of the series.
“The BBC is an incredible organization, but…sometimes people there think, [Doctor Who is] looking after itself. And it’s not being looked after. I think maybe their eye was taken off the ball, or the show was seen as a thing they could just push around. It’s not. It’s a special thing.”
With recent headlines proclaiming the series has lost a significant portion of its audience, even from the BBC’s own news service, Entertainment Weekly reports that Capaldi also criticizes the BBC’s decision to move Doctor Who to a timeslot deemed too late for young viewers. The series has typically been viewed by most as a family show.
“It does frustrate me. If you’re going to have a family show, I think you have to build up a little ritual around it—and that ritual usually starts with having it on at the same time [every week]. Even I didn’t know what time it was on because it got later and later and later.”
According to the Daily Mail, when Doctor Who returns for Season 10, it will air on Sunday afternoons.
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Not too long ago, the news that showrunner Steven Moffat is handing over the Doctor Who reins to Who writer and Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall in 2017 shocked fans, but Capaldi understands why Moffat is leaving the show. The actor says the weight of responsibility from running Doctor Who takes a tremendous toll on a person.
“He’s an astonishing talent, but he’s a human being, and I don’t think he can continue working at this rate. The cost of doing Doctor Who to an individual is immense. He takes the greatest weight on his shoulders, he loves the show and he’s absolutely responsible for it and feels that responsibility gravely—and with delight as well. He loves this job so I think it’s very, very difficult for him to leave. But I think he has to, otherwise he might have a heart attack.”
Moffat has run Doctor Who since 2010. Before he leaves, words is that the new companion will be cast to replace Jenna Coleman’s Clara Oswald, also known as the “Impossible Girl.”
Typically a new Doctor is cast when there’s a change in showrunner, but Capaldi revealed BBC executives have asked him to stay on as the Doctor though Moffat is leaving.
“I love doing Doctor Who. Obviously things are going to change with it, and I might want to carry on and see what that’s like — or I might not. It’s a very difficult decision to make, as Steven says, when it’s time to say goodbye. I’ve not made that decision yet.”
Capaldi said he’s talked with the new showrunner but didn’t give specific details as to what they discussed.
“I think he’s great, he’s got great ideas. I don’t really think any of us are certain what’s going to happen in two years’ time,” Capaldi said.
After BBC boss Charlotte Moore pushed back the sci-fi series to 2017, Whovians will have to wait until the Christmas Day special episode for a new helping of the show.
What do you think about Capaldi’s assessment of the BBC’s treatment of Doctor Who?
[Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP]