TV preview: Doctor Who

Doctor Who is back on BBC One for a Christmas special.
Doctor Who is back on BBC One for a Christmas special.
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Many actors shy away from watching themselves on screen, but not Peter Capaldi.

The Scotsman says he’ll definitely be tuning in to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special – although “it’ll be from behind the sofa!”

“I’ve always watched it, from before I was the Doctor,” he explains, during a break from filming scenes for the next series. “I’d watch it with my daughter, and it became part of our Christmas Day.

“Little did I know I was going to be playing that role – and now I have to watch it! I’d be depriving the family of one of the cornerstones of the day if I didn’t,” adds the actor, who has one daughter, Cecily, 23, with his wife, Elaine Collins.

This Christmas, the Doctor will be embarking on an epic New York adventure, when he and Nardole (a returning Matt Lucas) join up with investigative reporter Lucy (Charity Wakefield), and a mysterious figure known only as ‘The Ghost’ (Justin Chatwin), to try and save Manhattan from brain-swapping aliens.

“It reminds me rather of the early Superman movies with Christopher Reeve,” muses Capaldi, 58, who made his mark as The Thick Of It’s foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker.

“They had a great mix of irony and fun, thrills and chills, which on reflection is, in a way, how Doctor Who is. It has a very festive feel about it.

“The thing about the show is it’s been going for over 50 years, but every episode is episode one, really. You can join it at any time. It’s not an exclusive club for people who are spending too long looking at old VHS tapes and DVDs. It’s a living, breathing show of today.”

Doctor Who, BBC1, Christmas Day, 5.45pm